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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 03 ANKARA 001500

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,
FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Terror in Europe - Hurriyet
Europe's 9/11 - Sabah
No pasaran: Spaniards denounce terror - Milliyet
Nightmare in Europe - Aksam
Madrid blames ETA, but Bin-Ladin claims responsibility -
Aksam
Spanish press blames ETA - Turkiye
FM Gul warns Athens not to delay Cyprus timetable - Hurriyet
Greek government aims at Cyprus solution by May 2004 - Greek
FM - Sabah
Annan prepares to `fill in the blanks' - Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Terror arrives in Spain - Cumhuriyet
Spanish nation experiences horror - Cumhuriyet
Spain in 9/11 shock - Radikal
Terror bloodbath in Europe: 190 dead - Zaman
Terror shock in Europe - Yeni Safak
International solidarity messages rain on Madrid - Radikal
US allies targeted worldwide - Cumhuriyet
Amb. Edelman on the Greater Middle East - Zaman
Neumann consoles Ankara on Iraq Law - Radikal
Four-party Cyprus talks to take place in Switzerland - Zaman
Ankara's concerns continue on Iraq TAL - Cumhuriyet
Kissinger: Dividing Iraq into three the only alternative -
Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Madrid bombings: Papers cite the London based Al-Quds-al-
Arabi daily reporting that Al-Qaida had claimed
responsibility for the suicide bombing of three trains in
Madrid on Thursday and an attack on a Masonic lodge in
Istanbul last Tuesday. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for
the suicide bomb attacks in Istanbul last November through
the same newspaper. Turkey's political leaders sent
messages of condolence to Madrid.


Ambassador Edelman on GME initiative: According to U.S.
Ambassador Edelman, the Greater Middle East initiative to
improve democracy and human rights in the region will be the
most important U.S. strategic objective for the next 50
years, "Zaman" reports. Edelman made the statement in a
briefing for diplomatic correspondents on Tuesday. The
Ambassador said that Turkey's accession negotiations with
the EU will show countries in the region the sincere
attitude of the West toward reforms. Turkey's success, he
added, is therefore important for the credibility of this
project. Edelman noted that the US aims to end gender
discrimination and encourage progress on human rights in the
Middle East. Ambassador Edelman stressed that the US
initiative on the Middle East was beginning to emerge even
before 9/11, "Zaman" writes. Edelman denied that the U.S.
goal is to control the region's natural resources.


Ambassador Neumann's Ankara visit: CPA foreign affairs
advisor Ambassador Ronald Neumann explained the temporary
Iraq Administrative Law (TAL) to MFA officials on Thursday.
The US attaches great significance to Turkey's concerns,
Neumann said, and the U.S. considers Turkey a good friend
and ally. Neumann stressed that Iraq's territorial
integrity is the top priority for both Turkey and the US.
Ankara is concerned about the privileges given to the Kurds
and the exclusion of the Turkmen and Sunni Arabs from the
administration, and believes that the TAL violates the March
19, 2003 agreement.
Military to monitor civilian groups: All papers follow up
on a report by "Hurriyet" earlier this week regarding a
directive by the Land Forces Command sent to sub-governors
asking them to investigate members of `marginal' political
or religious movements, supporters of the EU and US, Masons,
Satanists, internet groups, minorities, and journalists who
write against Turkey. Prime Minister Erdogan and his
cabinet members declined comment on the issue, "Radikal"
reports. "Milliyet" claims that the TGS is investigating
which authority is behind the directive, and will make a
public announcement soon. Several columnists strongly
criticized the action, saying that the `chilling'
implementation constitutes a serious violation of individual
rights and privacy. "Radikal" columnist Murat Belge wrote
that `such a mentality regards the whole nation as a
potential threat to be monitored. Almost all individuals
are seen as suspects. It seems that the new enemy is the
nation.'


US Embassy organizes DVC w/ Dr. Hoffman: "Cumhuriyet"
reports on a Digital Video Conference (DVC) with Dr. Bruce
Hoffman, a terrorism specialist at the Rand Corporation,
that was held Wednesday at the U.S. Embassy. Responding to
questions from Turkish journalists, Dr. Hoffman said the
Washington Administration should support a moderate `Sufi-
Islam understanding' against the Wahhabi Islam belief in the
Middle East. Hoffman stressed that Al-Qaida has been
successful in adjusting itself to changing conditions, which
requires new efforts in the struggle against terror. `There
is not a single Al-Qaeda, but many Al-Qaidas,' he said.
`These groups are making use of modern technology,
especially the Internet, to further their aims,' he added.
Hoffman predicted that the US fight against terror might
take decades. He said that he was perplexed to see Turkey,
a country known to be experienced in the fight against
terror, caught unprepared in the Istanbul suicide bombings
last November. `Turkey is the front door of NATO, and a
path to Europe,' Hoffman said. `Istanbul is targeted
because it is harder to launch attacks in the US or
Britain,' he added.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq-TAL Greater Middle East


"US Policy in Iraq copies the British style"
Fuat Bol argued in the conservative Turkiye (3/12):
"Historically, it was always Britain that pursued a policy
of occupation and exploitation in other countries. The
British seized and occupied countries, then ruled through
puppet figures while exploiting the natural resources.
India stands as a typical example of British policy: India
was divided into three, and the country was brought to the
point of civil war. The Kashmir issue is still there to
remind us of the consequences of British policy. . It seems
that the US is following in the British tradition in Iraq.
The US made a lot of promises about Iraq, but none of them
has been kept. The goal of bringing democracy to Iraq has
remained on paper. Realistically speaking, the Iraqi
Shiites constitute the demographic majority in Iraq, so
democracy in Iraq means that the country will turn into
another Iran. There is no way the US will let this happen.
The US will prevent this by `playing the democracy game.' .
The natural resources of Iraq will be the key factor in
this, and Kirkuk is the center of gravity. Shiites, Arabs
and Kurds are all eager to have a say in Kirkuk. The US, in
typical British fashion, is ignoring the competition over
Kirkuk and remains blind to the fact that the situation is
close to civil war. When Iraq turns into a bloodbath as
brother kills brother, the US and UK will only sit by and
watch, because they have already laid the groundwork."


"Greater Middle East"
Mehmet Ali Kislali opined in the liberal-intellectual
Radikal (3/12): "It might seem significant that President
Bush's Greater Middle East Project was brought to the agenda
as we move closer to the US election, and when the US
started having trouble in Iraq. But the fact of the matter
is that research on this issue has been going on ever since
the collapse of the Soviet Union. . The US says the goal is
to spread democracy and freedom in the Middle East, and it
is working hard to bring the NATO allies into the effort.
Unfortunately, even before all the details of the project
were announced, Arab countries in the region expressed their
apprehension. . Turkish authorities had conflicting
opinions. Defenders of the US and Western views have
positive expectations, while the Turkish Foreign Ministry
and the military are not in a hurry to decide. In order to
be successful in its international efforts, the US should
establish a peaceful atmosphere first, so that Arabs and
Israel can begin to trust each other. The US is well aware
that this represents an enormous challenge."


EDELMAN

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