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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.

011509Z Dec 03

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 007360

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
MONDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Syria Hands Over 22 Bombing Suspects to Turkey-Hurriyet
Turkish Gendarme's Cross Border Operation in Damascus - Star
Medical Reports Identify the Fourth Bomber - Sabah
Historic Confession From Clerides about Annan Plan - Sabah
Hunt for Murderers in Syria - Milliyet
Taliban Frees Turkish Engineer After One Month - Milliyet
Operation in Syria - Milliyet
Synagogue Bombing Planner Arrested - Milliyet(11/30)


OPINION MAKERS
Major Operation in Syria - Cumhuriyet
US Allies Become Iraqi Targets - Radikal
Test for Secularism in EU - Yeni Safak
7 Spanish Agents Killed in Iraq - Radikal(11/30)
EU Postpones Activities in Turkey for Security Reasons -
Radikal (11/29)


BRIEFING


Turkish Engineer Released by the Taliban: Turkish Engineer
Hasan Onal, kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan about a
month ago, was freed over the weekend. Engineer Onal said
that the Taliban had kidnapped him mistakenly, believing him
to be a US citizen. Sunday's "Cumhuriyet" reports that
engineer Onal, who arrived at the Turkish Embassy in Kabul,
is in good health.


Investigation of Istanbul Bombings: "Hurriyet" reports that
the fourth suicide bomber, who carried out the attack in
front of the HSBC bank in Levent, has been identified as
Ilyas Kuncak, a 47-year-old spice shop owner who lived in
Istanbul. Kuncak reportedly left his home two months ago,
saying that he wanted to visit Muslim holy places.
"Hurriyet" reports that three of the four suicide bombers
had met in Pakistan for Islamic religious training.
Sunday's "Milliyet" reports that police have made
considerable progress in the investigation, and have
concluded that the attacks were carried out by a ten-member
Al-Qaeda cell based in Turkey. Today's "Sabah" reports that
one of the planners of the attacks, Yusuf Polat, revealed
that the group's main target had been the US Embassy and
Consulate. The team responsible for the planned attacks
against US targets, Polat said, had apparently been captured
by the police. Polat claimed that most of the bombers had
been trained in a terrorist camp in Afghanistan, which had
been established to train Turks for participation in Al-
Qaeda operations.


Syria Hands Over 22 Suspects to Turkey: In what some papers
and TV channels characterize as a "cross-border operation"
into Syria," Turkish officials detained 22 suspects in the
Istanbul bombing cases who had escaped to Syria. "Hurriyet"
reports that the suspects were detained by Syrian police
following an official request by the Turkish side. Papers
note that that this is the first time Syria has cooperated
with Turkey in the fight against terrorism.


Turkey Isolated From Europe in Wake of Terror Attacks:
"Cumhuriyet" reports that Turkey has been isolated by
European countries in the wake of last month's terrorist
attacks in Istanbul. The EU commission has postponed its
activities for the rest of the year that were scheduled to
take take place in Turkey. In reaching its decision, the
Commission cited concerns of a "security risk" in Turkey.
Many leading European countries warned their nationals
against travelling to Turkey. Sunday's "Hurriyet" reports
that Britain has restricted visas for Turkish tourists.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Campaign Against Terrorism


"Where Do We Stand in the War Against Terrorism?"
Yilmaz Oztuna observed in the conservative-mass appeal
Turkiye (12/1): "The US felt obliged to launch a global war
against terrorism following the events of September 11. Yet
the goal has become controversial, as the effort also
included a plan to control the world's oil reserves.
Nevertheless, there is no point for the US to give up the
fight against terrorism. There will always be allies for
achieving this goal. On this issue, the US and Europe have
different views. The US is very determined to eliminate the
terrorism problem, while Europe is still seems to believe
that all is well as long as the Europeans are not hit.
Moreover, the European attitude toward the recent terrorist
bombings is a clear statement of fear. That attitude will
do nothing but encourage international terror. It remains
to be seen when Europe will be in the same line with the US
in the fight against terrorism."


DEUTSCH

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