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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 007297

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
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Al-Killer - Hurriyet
Bush: terrorists hate free nations - Milliyet
Bush: Now is the time to show our might - Sabah
British demonstrators hold Bush responsible for Istanbul
bombings - Hurriyet
Secretary Straw: Evidence points to Al-Qaida - Sabah

SIPDIS
PM Erdogan: terrorists will be damned forever - Sabah
Time for unity - Sabah
Jason Burke: Turkey the target of Islamist terror - Milliyet
British government warns nationals not to travel to Turkey -
Milliyet
Isareli military says Turkey a `soft target' for terror -
Milliyet
Consul General Short was fan of Istanbul - Sabah
Terror once again targets humanity - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Al-Qaida in war with Turkey - Radikal
World decries attacks as barbaric - Cumhuriyet
Bombs shake Turkey - Cumhuriyet
Bush: Terrorists aim to demoralize nations, intimidate
freedom - Zaman
Wolfowitz: Istanbul bombings will bring civilized world
together - Zaman
Teror hits Turkey and Britain - Cumhuriyet
Turkey united in the face of terror - Yeni Safak
Dirty trap: International terror takes the stage -
Cumhuriyet
Blair, Bush: No compromise with terror - Yeni Safak
Analysts believe attacks on Turkey will continue - Radikal


BRIEFING


New terror attacks in Istanbul: 27 people were killed and
455 wounded in twin suicide attacks on the British consulate
and HSBC bank headquarters in Istanbul on Thursday. The
bombings came five days after suicide car bomb attacks on
two synagogues in Istanbul that killed 25 and injuring
hundreds. The British Consul General, Roger Short, who
began his diplomatic career in Ankara in 1969, was killed in
the attack on the consulate. The van that exploded at the
gate of the consulate was disguised as a catering vehicle,
witnesses reported. FM Gul noted that yesterday's attacks
targeted British interests in Turkey, and he called on the
world to cooperate with Turkey in the fight against
terrorism. `Al-Qaeda is waging war against Turkey,'
"Radikal" claimed. All papers agree that the attacks are
aimed at intimidating the nation. "Hurriyet" reported that
the bombers in both attacks had been identified, and that
both were Turks. Seven suspects have reportedly been
detained. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair voiced
support for Turkey in the fight against terror at their
joint press conference in London. `The nature of terrorists
is in evidence once again - we see their utter contempt for
innocent life. They hate freedom, they hate free nations,'
President Bush said. Dailies speculate that Al-Qaida may
have been trying to cast a shadow over the historic visit by
President Bush to the UK. UN Secretary General Annan and
other world leaders extended condolences to Turkey. US
Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz said the attacks would
not drive a wedge between the US and Turkey, but rather
reinforce solidarity between the two countries and with
Israel. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw arrived in
Istanbul Thursday evening, and Scotland Yard is to send a
team of terror experts to Turkey. The council of ministers
convened an extraordinary session to discuss the bombings,
but rejected a proposal for declaring martial law. The
temporary head of the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), Jalal
Talabani, said that Saddam Hussein had been providing
financial support for such terror attacks. CHP leader Deniz
Baykal criticized the AK Party government for releasing some
Hizbullah militants through a recent amnesty law. Analysts
expect Istanbul to lose at least 50 percent of its tourism
potential in 2004. Most scheduled tours to Turkey were
being cancelled in the wake of the attacks.


US to launch operations against the PKK: Deputy Chief of
TGS General Ilker Basbug, in Washington for the high-level
joint defense group meetings, said the US and Turkey have
agreed on a comprehensive military operation against the
PKK/KADEK in Northern Iraq. General Basbug said Turkey
would discuss the details of the operation with his American
counterpart, General Peter Pace, who will visit Turkey in
during the first week in December. Basbug stressed that
Turkey's military presence in Northern Iraq would end once
the PKK is eliminated.


EDITORIAL OPINION: New wave of terror in Istanbul


"Turkey's 9/11"
Sedat Ergin analyzed in mass appeal Hurriyet (11/21): "There
seems to be a close relationship between the spiritual mood
of the suicide bombers and their preference to choose Turkey
as an operations area. This fact is related to the vision
of the terrorist organization behind the bombings and its
peculiar interpretation of Islam. Let's be clear and bold:
The gist of the issue stems from an interpretation of Islam
which legitimizes bloody terror acts in the name of Allah.
This interpretation has supporters in the vast Islamic
geography, including in Turkey. . It does not come as a
surprise that these fundamentalists have chosen Turkey for
their terror attacks. They have attacked synagogues and
British interests in Turkey, and by doing so they are
killing two birds with one stone. They are not only sending
the message to their target countries, but also striking a
blow against Turkey, which stands as the complete antithesis
of this fundamentalist approach to Islam."


"A Brutal Message, and We Know What It Means"
Mehmet Ocaktan argued in the Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak
(11/21): "There is a clear message to read in these events.
This is a vicious plot against Turkey. It does not matter
any more whether Al-Qaida or some other terrorist
organization actually carried it out. It has almost been
two years that we are dealing with Bin-Laden and Al-Qaida,
which is an organization designed by the US. We see neither
the capture of Bin-Laden nor anything happening against Al-
Qaida. It is very likely that it will continue like this.
Yet we are aware of the fact that America is occupying
countries, killing women and children, and stealing others'
democratic ideals on the pretext of a war against terrorism.
The gang which is turning the world into a hell is now free.
The evil policies of Bush and Sharon have caused terrorism
to grow and to spread."


"The Istanbul Bombings"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (11/21): "The
attacks yesterday in Istanbul indicate the fact that Turkey
is facing a terror campaign which has many international
dimensions. This is a very critical situation. Turkey must
act as quickly as possible to respond. One response is
through more solid security measures, efficient intelligence
and better coordination. The second response is to make an
objective analysis of the reasons behind these events and to
make necessary fine-tunings in both foreign and domestic
policies. Results in the fight against terrorism can only
be achieved by following these two channels simultaneously."


"Why Turkey?"
Rusen Cakir opined in mass appeal Vatan (11/21):
"Immediately after asking the question, `Why Turkey?' it is
also necessary to ask, `Why Istanbul?' If Al-Qaida had
targeted only Turkey's foreign policy establishment, then
probably it would have chosen Ankara. But by striking
Istanbul, it also targeted to a great extent the culture and
civilization of the Islamic world, and all of the values
created by the Islamic world throughout history. It is
necessary for Turks, as the subjects of these values, to
stand up and be counted in the fight against global
terrorism. The society -- not the state -- can be the
catalyst for this response."


EDELMAN

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