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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 007037

SIPDIS


DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/SE, EUR/PD, NEA/PD, DRL
JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2003


THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER
THREE THEMES:


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL


Barzani still pursues dream of Kurdish state - Milliyet
PKK changes its name again - Sabah
Ankara sees PKK changing name as a `cheap trick' - Hurriyet
New make-up for terrorist KADEK - Aksam
Democrats draft a `Rumsfeld must go' bill - Aksam
Blair: Turkey's membership important for EU - Miliyet
Blair: Turkey deserves the EU - Hurriyet
UK, Germany favorable to date for Turkey's accession talks -
Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS


Solana: Cyprus not a condition for Turkey's EU membership -
Zaman
Gul inspires hope on Cyprus - Radikal
Riyadh uses iron fist on Islamic militants - Radikal
Bremer summoned to US to review Iraq plans - Zaman
26 Democrats urge Bush to sack Rumsfeld - Cumhuriyet
US Senate approves sanctions against Syria - Cumhuriyet
US asks Vietnamese help on Iraq - Yeni Safak
Released Afghans sue US for Guantanamo - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Barzani's `Kurdish state dream': In an exclusive to the
Turkish daily "Milliyet," KDP leader Massoud Barzani said he
would never give up on the idea of a sovereign Kurdish
state. The US has not managed the transfer of authority to
the Iraqis in a timely manner, Barzani claimed, so the
Americans are now perceived as occupiers instead of as
liberators. However, chaos will deepen if the Americans
leave Iraq too soon, he added. Iraq will not turn into a
Vietnam for the US, Barzani said, and he downplayed the
possibility of a civil war. The Kurdish people appreciate
the Americans for freeing them from a dictatorial regime.
The whole Kurdish zone should be a single state as part of a
federal Iraq, Barzani stressed. Barzani said that Kirkuk is
a Kurdish town, but reiterated that the Kurds respect the
rights of our brothers - including the Turkmen - who live
there. Barzani also voiced his respect for the Turkish
nation. He called for a political solution to the PKK
problem, which has not been resolved through force over the
past two decades.


Ankara warns against a Kurdish state: "Vatan" writes that
Ankara, discomforted by Northern Iraqi Kurdish leaders'
aspirations for independence, will not hesitate to intervene
in the face of an emerging Kurdish state. Ankara will warn
Celal Talabani, temporary head of the IGC, during his visit
on November 19 that the declaration of a Kurdish state would
be a cause for war. Meanwhile, the new leader of the Iraqi
Turkmen Front (ITF), Faruk Abdullah Abdurrahman, will visit
Ankara November 14-18 to meet with Prime Minister Erdogan
and Foreign Minister Gul.


Israeli Ambassador against a divided Iraq: Israel's
Ambassador to Ankara, Pinhas Avivi, told the daily "Sabah"
that a divided Iraq would pose a threat to Israel. A
federal Iraq will upset regional balances and negatively
affect Turkey, Syria and Iran, Avivi stressed. A unitary
Iraq will constitute a wall protecting Israel from the real
threat, which is Iran. The Israeli Ambassador also rejected
press reports that Israel is buying land in Northern Iraq.
PKK/KADEK changes name: At a PKK/KADEK Party Congress on
October 26 in Northern Iraq, the PKK/KADEK disbanded itself
in order to adopt a more democratic structure. KADEK
officially changed its name to the Kurdistan People's
Congress (KHK). Papers regard this move as a mere cosmetic
change intended to avoid inclusion of the PKK/KADEK on lists
of terrorist organizations in Europe and the United States.
The PKK has vowed to abandon its Marxist-Leninist path, but
Ankara and Washington continue to view all PKK-sponsored
organizations as terrorist.


FM Gul in Rome: Foreign Minister Gul had a friendly meeting
with EU officials in Rome following the release of the EU
Commission's progress report on Turkey. Gul told EU leaders
that Ankara would launch a new initiative to achieve a
lasting peace in Cyprus after the Turkish Cypriot elections
on December 14. He called on the Europeans to step up
pressure on the Greek Cypriots as well. EU foreign policy
chief Solana said that Cyprus was not put forth as a
condition for resuming accession negotiations with Turkey.
The progress report on Turkey is positive, EU leaders
stressed, and Ankara should not lose enthusiasm for further
reforms.


EDITORIAL OPINION
- Riyadh Bombings
- Iraq


"The Riyadh Bombings"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (11/12): "The
latest attacks indicate a growing wave of terrorism in Saudi
Arabia. Al Qaida is the most likely suspect behind the
terrorist acts. It is known that the organization has a
strong network in Saudi Arabia, and that its main targets
include the US as well as the Saudi Royal Family. .
Although the US decided to close its military bases in Saudi
Arabia, it seems that Al Qaida continues to treat the Saudi
regime as a US puppet. It is very likely that Al Qaida
hopes to create an uprising by weakening the Saudi regime
after the terrorist attacks. . The Saudi government has
pledged minor political reforms in this autocratic country.
However, the recent terrorist attacks might slow down the
limited democratization process and maybe even put an end
it. If that happens, it would be very discouraging for
Saudi Arabia's political future and could drag the oil-
producing states into violence and instability which could
shake the political and economic equilibrium around the
world."


"The Chaos in Iraq"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative Turkiye (11/12):
"Turkey has lost its influence in Iraq and does not have a
say anymore. Turkey's role is now limited to keeping the
right to intervene in case of a move by the PKK against
Turkey. . This is a very critical situation for Turkey that
results from our mistake on March 1 when Turkey declined to
participate in the Iraq operation. This is an absolute
failure on Turkey's part. But what about the United States,
which has all the advantages and military supremacy in Iraq?
Has the US been successful in its Iraq policy? The answer
is clearly no, as the US has made more mistakes and
experienced more failures than Turkey. . We should not
comfort ourselves with the apparent EU's support for
Turkey's Iraq policy. The EU seems happy because Turkey has
proven not to be a part of the big policy picture."
EDELMAN

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