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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 001445

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, MARCH 10, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Suicide Attack Against Masonic Lodge - Sabah
US Policy for PKK: Wait and See - Sabah
US Uncertainty on PKK issue - Hurriyet
Cyprus Referendum Date April 20 - Milliyet
Osman Ocalan `Selling Out' - Milliyet
President Bush to Arrive in Turkey Before NATO Summit -
Turkiye
US Embassy Spokesman: US to Fulfill its Commitment on PKK -
Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Turkish Companies Given Cheney's Fuel Oil Contracts - Yeni
Safak
US Follows PKK Activities in Iraq Closely - Yeni Safak
US Denies Reports on Osman Ocalan's Arrest - Zaman
Washington Slights Turkey on PKK and Interim Iraq
Constitution - Radikal
US Did Not Keep Its Promise - Cumhuriyet
The Law Which Forces Iraq to Separation - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING
Masonic Lodge Bombing: Two suicide bombers attacked a
facility associated with a Masonic lodge in Kartal-Istanbul
last night. Around 40 people were dining in the lodge when
terrorists attacked. One of the suicide bombers and one
waiter died in the explosion, and the other bomber was
seriously injured. Police reports say that the terrorists
used pipe bombs, and that damage to the building was rather
limited. "Milliyet" notes that such bombs are usually used
by the IBDA-C terrorist organization. At least six people
were injured in the incident.


US Policy on PKK: All papers and TV channels report on a US
diplomat's statement that the US could not make any
commitments about how and when it would carry out the
struggle against the PKK. After one TV channel interpreted
these remarks as implying that "the US will not fight
against the PKK in Northern Iraq", the US embassy spokesman
reiterated that the United States stands behind its
commitment to ensure that Iraq does not become a terrorist
threat for neighboring countries, including Turkey. "Sabah"
claims that the US is following a `wait and see' policy on
the PKK issue in Northern Iraq. "Cumhuriyet" reports that
the US has come up with new excuses to delay its effort to
eliminate the terrorist organization. "Hurriyet" cites a US
source as saying that PKK leaders will be arrested if they
are encountered by US forces in Iraq. "Radikal" says that
after ignoring Turkish concerns on the Iraqi constitution,
Washington now disappoints Turkey for its unwillingness to
carry out a joint military action against the PKK in
Northern Iraq. FM Gul told NTV that the PKK is `Turkey's
own responsibility' that would not be left to others. `No
one should trust someone else 100 percent," Gul said.


Cyprus: "Hurriyet" reports that FM Gul said that the
upcoming four-party talks on Cyprus with the involvement of
Turkey and Greece will be held at the highest possible
level, probably, most likely in an unspecified European
capital.' "Milliyet" reports that Greek Cypriot leader
Papadopulos has rejected all proposals by the Turkish side
on the Annan plan. "Radikal" notes that newly-elected Greek
PM Karamanlis will meet with Papadopulos over the weekend.
"Zaman" reports that the parties in Cyprus have agreed to
hold simultaneous referenda on the results of the
negotiations on April 20.


EDITORIALS: Iraq/TAL


"The Constitution for Chaos"
Sami Kohen commented in the mass appeal Milliyet (3/10):
"The initial positive signs that Iraq was on its way toward
representational democracy did not last very long. Right
after the signing ceremony of the temporary administrative
law (TAL), Shiite groups began asking for changes to certain
provisions in the law. In addition, there was an attack by
Kurds against Turkmen in the Kirkuk region. These
developments bring to mind the basic question: is the TAL
going to resolve the current chaos in Iraq or just
accelerate it? The Americans might see the TAL as a success
and a model for Middle East countries. But the Iraqi people
are occupied with other issues of daily life such as
violence, insecurity and the lack of goods and services. .
Moreover, each Iraqi group has a different priority and
different set of goals. It seems very difficult to melt all
of these differences down to a unified state structure,
particularly at a time of chaos and terror. . Ankara has
concerns about the TAL and has expressed them to Washington.
Washington's message is `not to worry' because this is a
transitional process and changes will be made in the final
constitution. We don't know if the US has shaped a workable
plan on this matter. It remains to be seen how the Iraq
groups, which barely reached a consensus on the temporary
law, will be able to agree on the final constitution."


"Constitution in Iraq"
Yilmaz Oztuna noted in the conservative Turkiye (3/10): "The
US has worked to establish order in both Afghanistan and
Iraq, yet it has failed in the end. The current situation
indicates that the US has proven its military strength and
experience, but does not have much skill as an imperial
power. A transitional constitution was drafted for both
Iraq and Afghanistan, and the US had the constitution
accepted by the countries' ethnic leaders, who were actually
appointed by the US. The TAL is basically a division of
Iraq between Kurds and Shiites and, interestingly enough,
even they are not happy with the outcome. It is an open
secret that this kind of Pax Americana will be extended to

SIPDIS
the Greater Middle East. Syria and Iraq might be next on
the US list. Yet the real question is how the US will
perform in managing the political problems similar to those
it has encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Sami Kohen


EDELMAN

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