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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 02 ANKARA 007388

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
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Bush Invites Erdogan to Washington - Hurriyet
TGS Chief Says Recent Terrorist Attacks Have Religious
Motives-Hurriyet
Ecevit to Leave Politics After the Elections - Hurriyet
A School to Train Terrorists in Damascus - Milliyet
Ecevit Leaves Politics - Milliyet
140 Prisoners to be Released from Guantanamo - Milliyet
General Ozkok: "Religion and Politics Together Create
Savagery - Sabah
Suicide Bombers Planned Attacks in Ankara - Sabah
Two Turks Returned from Guantanamo - Sabah
Bloody Weekend in Iraq - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
General Ozkok: "Religion and Politics Should Not be Mixed" -
Cumhuriyet
Terrorists Attack: 5 Turkish Soldiers Die - Cumhuriyet
Ecevit Ends His Half-Century Political Adventure - Zaman
Government Acknowledges Bombers' Al-Qaida Connection - Zaman
US Brutality in Iraq - Yeni Safak
General Ozkok: "Attacks Motivated by Religion" - Radikal


BRIEFING


Bush Invites Erdogan to US: "Hurriyet" reports that PM
Erdogan has been invited to Washington by the Bush
Administration. The visit will take place in January, and
will be the first visit by Erdogan to the US as Turkish
Prime Minister.


General Ozkok Remarks: Speaking to the at the Romanian
National Day reception, TGS Chief General Ozkok said that
"there were religious motives behind the terrorist attacks
in Istanbul." Ozkok stressed that "religion and politics
should not be mixed." "Otherwise," he said, "savagery is the
result." "Recent developments have once again highlighted
the benefits of Ataturk's secularism," the general noted.


Ecevit's Decision to Quit Politics: All papers report that
DSP Leader Bulent Ecevit announced that he will quit
politics at the next party convention, which follows the
local elections in March 2004. Ecevit is not expected to
name an heir to lead the party after his resignation. In an
interview with Murat Yetkin in "Radikal," Ecevit said that
"the US might have played a role in the toppling of my
government." Ecevit speculates that the United States may
not have wanted his government to continue in power because
of its opposition to American policy in Iraq.


US Soldiers Kill 54 Civilians in Iraq: "Yeni Safak" reports
that after US troops kidnapped and raped around 30 Iraqi
women, the people of Samarra rebelled against US forces. In
order to halt the civil unrest, the paper claims, US troops
carried out a military operation in which 54 Iraqi
civilians were killed.


EDITORIAL OPINION:
Iraq; Campaign Against Terrorism


"The Second Phase"
Fikret Ertan noted in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman
(12/2): "The US and the UK have designed a two-stage
military policy for Iraq. The first phase was to occupy
Iraq and topple Saddam. The second phase is to transfer
authority to an Iraqi army and police force after a certain
period of time. The first phase has been concluded, and was
largely successful. Yet the second phase seems to be the
main challenge for coalition forces. Security and stability
are the two main issues in Iraq. . Nevertheless, the
American and British forces did not make any changes in
their long term planning for Iraq. They believe they can
overcome the challenges in the course of time. Plans for
the second phase are already underway, include the training
of Iraqi police and army as well as the establishment of
permanent military bases for the US and UK. . Given what we
know about the implementation of the second phase of the
operation in Iraq, we should realize that America and
Britain are going to remain there for years. This is a
direct and vital concern for Turkey."


"Impact of terrorism on foreign policy"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal Milliyet (12/2): "Syria
used to shelter the PKK leadership and was notorious in its
lack of cooperation on terrorism five years ago. Today, we
see that Syrian authorities accepted Turkey's request to
hand over the 22 terrorism suspects. . When the Turkish
government began a rapprochement early this year toward the
Syrian government, it was obvious that the Bush
administration was not happy about it. Syria is on
Washington's list of "rogue states." There has been strong
speculation about a possible US operation against Syria. .
It is very clear that the Bush administration is doing its
best by exerting pressure on the Syrian regime to make sure
that Damascus stops sheltering or supporting terrorism.
However, Ankara and Washington have different approaches
toward Syria despite their common stand against terrorism.
In other words, on the issue of Syria, Turkey and the US
have conflicting interests."


DEUTSCH

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