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.




E.O. 12958: N/A




General Pace: US, Turkey in joint struggle against PKK -
US, Turkey agree to move against PKK - Aksam
Parliament of Europe: No negotiation date without a Cyprus
solution - Hurriyet
Sunni Triangle the center of resistance in Iraq - Aksam
AKP removes restrictions on Koran courses - Sabah

Verheugen continues targeting Denktas - Cumhuriyet
Loizidou case might launch a new wave of lawsuits -
Businessman Nadir: Denktas betrayed the Cypriot people -
Verheugen believes Turkey may join the EU in 10-15 years -
Turks may grab parts of the Iraqi reconstruction pie - Yeni
Iraqi resistance conducted from a single center - Yeni Safak
Turkey sends three helicopters to Afghanistan - Zaman
Rumsfeld visits Kabul - Radikal


General Peter Pace in Ankara: Vice Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, said after meeting with
Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul in Ankara on Thursday that the
PKK/KADEK is a terrorist organization despite its recent
announcement of a name change. "We will continue exploring
ways to fight terrorism," General Pace said. "The struggle
against terrorism must be carried out through financial,
political and military methods, Pace added." Dailies expect
the US to give priority to political and financial efforts
until the amnesty offered by Turkey to terror organization
members expires in February 2004.

Alan Larson calls on Turks to compete for Iraq contracts:
US Assistant Secretary of State Alan Larson advised Turkish
businessmen to compete for new contracts worth up to $18.7
billion to be offered by the Iraqi authority in coming days.
The US Congress is expected to approve the $18.7 billion,
which will be awarded for 25 large and 2,000 small
infrastructure projects, some time in February 2004. US
Eximbank board member April Foley applauded Turkey's
economic stabilization program and privatization efforts.

Ankara's show of support for TRNC government: The Turkish
government is sending three cabinet members to the Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Friday. The visit
comes on the eve of critical general elections in December.
The visit will demonstrate top-level economic and political
support for the current government in the TRNC, according to
Turkish dailies. Turkey's Treasury is to give the TRNC $160
million in loans, and the Turkish Development Bank will fund
17 tourism-related projects.
Military uneasy over AKP policies: The military has given
tough messages to the ruling AK Party regarding secularism,
"Cumhuriyet" claims. The military was bothered by the fact
that Prime Minister Erdogan acknowledged that religious
elements were involved in the Istanbul bombings only under
heavy domestic and international pressure. The AK Party
policy of assigning its supporters to key bureaucratic posts
is another source of concern for the military. AKP
provincial officials are encouraging fundamentalist
activities, "Cumhuriyet claims, and "politicized" the Muslim
holy month of Ramadan.

AKP removes restrictions on Koran courses: The AK Party
government has discreetly amended the regulation on Koran
courses. A new regulation was published in the Official
Gazette during the Bayram holiday. Koran courses, which had
only been allowed in summer, will now be open all year
round, including during evening hours. Mainstream media
believe the changes were designed to attract working
children to Koran courses. The opposition CHP strongly
criticized the new implementation, and claimed the new
system would serve to train fundamentalists.

Turkey sends helicopters for ISAF: Foreign Minister Gul
announced that Turkey would send three Black Hawk
helicopters to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Gul noted
that the helicopters would be used for humanitarian
purposes, not for combat. Gul also noted that NATO and EU
members had accepted a Turkish proposal for holding a
seminar on terrorism, in which the sources of terrorism and
possible action against terrorist activities will be


"The Plan for Getting Out of Iraq"
Mehmet Ali Kislali commented in the liberal-intellectual
Radikal (12/5): "The US has changed its Iraq strategy. The
election plan and the plan for transferring authority to
Iraqis indicate that the US has acknowledged the reality:
Getting out of Iraq can only be possible by transferring
administrative authority to Iraqis. . This is not what the
US originally intended when it began the occupation of Iraq.
The US wanted to create a new Iraqi nation and establish
democracy. And the US also hoped to be treated by the Iraqi
people as a liberator. Yet US forces now are viewed as
occupiers, not liberators. . History tells us about the
aftermath of US intervention efforts in the past. Since the
founding of the United States of America, there have been
200 foreign interventions carried out by the US. Among 16
of the total 200, the US intended to create a nation, which
resulted in success in Japan, Germany, Panama and Grenada.
Yet in 11 countries, efforts for democracy failed.
Moreover, these countries went backward to rule by
dictatorial regimes right after the US withdrawal. In the
Iraq case, it is quite possible that history will repeat
itself and the US will live through a similar experience as
Britain did when it occupied Iraq during the Ottoman

"Iran's Nuclear Capacity"
Murat Birsel opined in the mass appeal Vatan (12/5): "We are
all preoccupied by Iraq and have overlooked a clear Iranian
threat which remains right next door to us. Iran's nuclear
program continues to be kept secret from international
inspection, and the recent warning about the issue by the
US, UK, France and Germany did not receive enough coverage
in the Turkish media. Yet it was an alarmingly important
warning, and the foreign press interpreted it as a step
toward a potential Israeli attack against Iranian nuclear
facilities. . There are credible estimates that predict that
Iran could have an atomic bomb within three or four years.
This is a direct and imminent concern for Turkey. Let's
face reality: Our neighbors are labeled as `terrorist
states' by the Western world, and there are measures to be
implemented for punishing them. The fact of the matter is
that once terrorist states are punished by the Western
world, Turkey is the venue for reprisal. The Western world
is making a serious mistake by alienating Turkey and leaving
it helplessly in the wake of terrorism. We can only hope
that common sense prevails and the EU opens its doors to


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