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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 007416

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, DECEMBER 3, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Erdogan Finally Speaks of `Religious' Terror- Sabah
Conditional Compensation for Loizidu - Sabah
Turkey,Greece Sign Double Taxation Agreement - Hurriyet
Quebec Approves April 24 as Armenian Genocide Day - Hurriyet
Secrets of the Religious School in Damascus - Hurriyet

SIPDIS
TGS Chief: "US Should Act Against the PKK" - Hurriyet
SP Leader Erbakan Might be Jailed for 11 months - Aksam
Verheugen: "Opposition Should Win the Cyprus Elections" -
Milliyet
Erdogan Denies he Received Invitation from Bush - Star


OPINION MAKERS
Erdogan: "This is Fundamentalist Terrorism" - Radikal
Ugly Confessions from Verheugen About Cyprus and Denktas -
Cumhuriyet
An Open Message to Terrorists from Erdogan - YeniSafak
Terrorist Intelligence Services Target Islam - Milli Gazete


BRIEFING:


Terror investigation: Papers carry details about an Islamic
school in Syria, where some suspects in the Istanbul
terrorist bombings were trained. The school is reportedly
affiliated to "Al Fatih" university and educates students in
the Koran. Many graduates of the school continue their
education at El-Azhar University in Egypt. "Hurriyet"
highlighted the fact that about 14 of the total 22 suspects
handed over to Turkey by Syria are women. According to
"Aksam," Syria provided misinformation about the terrorist
suspects, and there are 6 terrorists still being sheltered
by Syria. According to "Aksam," Syria sent Turkey Islamic
school students instead of those really involved in the
bombing plot. 20 of the 22 suspects extradited by the
Syrians have been released by Turkish authorities.


Turkey Pays Settlement in Loizidou Case: All papers
highlighted the agreement reached between Turkey and the
Council of Europe concerning the long-running Loizidou case.
Turkey paid the required compensation (1.12 million euro) to
Greek Cypriot citizen Loizidou, yet managed to have the
Council of Europe delay the implementation of the verdict
for Loizidou's return to her house in northern Cyprus.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash characterized the
European Court's verdict in the case as `political,' and
warned that it will only make a settlement of the Cyprus
issue more difficult. Sources at the Turkish Foreign
Ministry said they were "satisfied" with the agreement, and
many Turkish papers portrayed the deal as a "victory" for
Turkish diplomacy.


Army Chief Appeals to US on the PKK: Turkish Chief of
General Staff Hilmi Ozkok urged the US to take action
against the PKK/KADEK in northern Iraq. Speaking to
journalists at a diplomatic reception in Ankara, General
Ozkok voiced Turkey's expectation that the US will act
against PKK elements as quickly as possible. According to
"Hurriyet," the General said that "action against PKK should
not be limited to a military operation. There are many
other measures that could be taken as well." "Hurriyet"
also speculated that Turkish military leaders will express
their sensitivity about this issue to General Peter Pace,
Deputy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is paying
an official visit to Turkey.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Campaign Against Terrorism


"Bombings push Turkey towards the West"
Mehmet Ali Birand noted in the mass appeal Posta (12/3):
"Turkey will not change its Iraq policy in order to avoid
new terrorist bombings. On the contrary, it will support
the US effort to see that stability is established in Iraq.
The Bush Administration will enhance efforts to prevent
Turkey, the sole model in the Islamic world, from being
wasted. . Leading EU countries have stressed that the
Turkish model, which is prone to destabilization by Islamist
terror, must be protected through full membership
negotiations in December 2004. . For that to become a
reality, Turkey must implement the Copenhagen Criteria. .
Turkey might take a significant step forward in December in
its drive for securing a place in Europe. That would be the
best response to the perpetrators of the Istanbul bombings."


"Metastasis of the Al-Qaida cancer in Turkey"
Cengiz Candar observed in the mass appeal DB-tercuman
(12/3): "The bombings in Istanbul have clearly exposed the
tumor within the Turkish nation. . The terrorist attacks in
Istanbul in November made Turkey appear as a country in
which Al-Qaida can take refuge rather than a country being
attacked by Al-Qaida. It will be extremely difficult for
Europe to accept a country that includes internal elements
of Al-Qaida. . Removing the Al-Qaida tumor from Turkey is
directly connected to Turkey's effort to gain accession to
the EU. Terror has not only infected Turkey, but has begun
to regenerate inside Turkey. The struggle against terror in
Iraq should be expanded to cover Turkey as well."


EDELMAN

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