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 001539
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,
MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2004
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER
Terror crushes Aznar - Milliyet
Al-Qaeda shakes Spanish ballot box - Milliyet
Kurds revolt in Syria, 52 dead - Milliyet 3/14
FM Gul calls for peace in Syria - Hurriyet
Iraqi Turkmen Front leader escapes assassination - Milliyet
US moves in Afghanistan to get Bin Ladin - Milliyet 3/14
War chimes in Georgia - Sabah
NATO shield over Athens Games - Sabah 3/14
Terror bells toll in Europe - Radikal 3/14
Spaniards punish government - Cumhuriyet
Blix: Iraq war has fanned terror - Cumhuriyet
Damascus closes border with Turkey - Radikal
In Putin We Trust - Zaman 3/14
Karamanlis, Denktas won't go to Lucerne talks - Cumhuriyet
Turkey to send 3 helicopters to Afghanistan - Cumhuriyet
US-trained Iraqi policemen shot Americans - Zaman 3/14
Double suicide attack in Israel: 11 dead - Zaman
"Hurriyet" exclusive with the King of Jordan: In an
exclusive to "Hurriyet" on the eve of his March 16 visit to
Ankara, Jordanian King Abdullah praised Turkey for
maintaining an impartial position in the Middle East.
Turkey's ties with the Middle East will be strengthened
after Turkey's EU accession, Abdullah said. Abdullah noted
that the Iraqi Kurds have acquired de facto autonomy, and
are not expected to step back from their current position.
Regional countries are against the founding of an
independent Kurdish state, Abdullah said, and added that the
US must find a formula for resolving the problem. The
Jordanian King confirmed that members of the Uzan family had
been given Jordanian passports, which will expire at the end
of 2004. He rejected allegations that some Uzan family
members are hiding in Jordan, and said that the Uzans'
passports would be confiscated if they try to enter the
country. Genc Party leader Cem Uzan had previously denied
allegations that he had acquired Jordanian citizenship.
Athens may ban anti-Turkey terror groups: The Greek Foreign
Ministry has asked Ankara to provide a list of terror groups
that are active in Turkey. Turkish authorities welcomed the
step as a sign that Greece was considering ending its
support for groups like the PKK and DHKP-C. "Milliyet"
claims that the Kurdish separatist PKK/Kongra-Gel and
extreme left DHKP-C have been operating in Athens for some
time. The terrorists have allegedly been given military
training at the Lavrion camp.
Ethnic unrest in Syria: 52 people died in clashes between
Kurdish and Arab groups in Syria's Kamishli village near the
Turkish border, weekend papers report. Pro-Kurdish
demonstrations have also spread to the capital Damascus, and
two Syrian diplomatic offices were been attacked in Europe.
Syria closed its border with Turkey. Turkish businessmen in
northern Syria fled to Turkey to escape the violence, and
the Turkish military was reportedly placed on high alert as
a result of the rioting in Kamishli.
Cyprus: New Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis rejected
a proposal by PM Erdogan that the four-way talks on Cyprus
to be held in Lucerne, Switzerland be held at the level of
Prime Minister. Inexperienced on the Cyprus issue,
Karamanlis prefers to remain distant from the negotiations
due to his fear of failure, papers speculate. Turkish
Cypriot leader Denktas is unhappy with the uncompromising
attitude of the Greek Cypriots at the UN-sponsored peace
talks, and is reluctant to attend the Lucerne meetings. If
Denktas is not convinced by Ankara, Turkish Cypriots will be
headed by the `TRNC Prime Minister' Talat at the four-party
TGS Chief says he is responsible for military directive:
Monday papers report that TGS Chief General Hilmi Ozkok
acknowledged responsibility for a controversial directive by
the Land Forces Command asking district governors to spy on
individuals seen as dangerous to national security. `If
there is a fault,' Ozkok said, `the responsibility falls on
me as commander of the military.' The list called for
intelligence to be gathered on a wide variety of groups
including ethnic minorities, writers, artists and supporters
of the EU and the US.
TGS Deputy Chief due in US: Deputy Chief of the TGS General
Ilker Basbug will convey to the United States Turkey's
uneasiness over Iraq, and will discuss the PKK, Cyprus, and
EU during his upcoming visit to the US, "Milliyet" reports.
The article speculates that Washington wants to see the
Turkish military soften its grip on domestic politics in
light of developments in Cyprus and Turkey's EU drive. US
officials were "perplexed" to hear about an army directive
for spying on Turks who are known to be supporters of the EU
and US, but will not raise the issue with General Basbug.
An unnamed US official said that the US has launched a fresh
initiative in support of Turkey with some countries that
will join the EU in May 2004.
Jailed Kurdish lawmakers boycott court hearing: Kurdish
lawmakers from the former DEP -- Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle,
Orhan Dogan and Selim Sadak -- refused to appear at their
hearing before the State Security Court (SSC) in Ankara last
Friday in an act of protest. The defendants reportedly
objected to comments made by Government Spokesman Cicek, who
accused them of intentionally dragging out their trial for
political purposes. The defendants' lawyers noted that
their clients have been in prison since 1994, and demanded
their immediate release. The court turned down the request.
The defendants will not attend hearings for the remainder of
EDITORIAL OPINION: Spanish Elections/Madrid Bombings
Yilmaz Oztuna observed in the conservative Turkiye (3/15):
"The Madrid bombings mark the spread of terrorism to the
European Union. When Istanbul suffered its terrorist
attacks, there was no mention of terrorism in EU countries.
Yet the Madrid attack indicates the spread of 9/11 terrorism
in the US to the EU. . The EU countries have never
understood terrorism, and they preferred to remain aloof to
the issue as long as they were not affected. Moreover, some
of them did not change their policy and continued to support
terrorist organizations in Turkey. They had better
reevaluate their approach in light of these events. . There
are indications that strongly suggest that Al-Qaeda was
behind the terrorist attack in Madrid, but the Spanish
government seems determined to label the bombings as an ETA
attack. Worst of all is the possibility that there was
collaboration between Al-Qaeda and ETA. . The events of 9/11
led to a change in world politics, and the events of 3/11 in
Madrid mark another important event in that process of
"Terror in Spain"
Zafer Atay noted in the economic-political Dunya (3/15):
"Arguing about whether ETA or Al-Qaeda carried out the
terrorist attack may be too limited an approach, because it
is now common for terrorist organizations to cooperate and
coordinate with each other. ETA might be the driving force
behind this attack, and may have used Al-Qaeda as a kind of
subcontractor. Let's not forget that the Japanese Red Army
used to carry out terrorist attacks on behalf of Palestinian
organizations. . Searching for the truth about who may have
done this, we should also look at EU member countries.
Basque terror still enjoys support from some EU members.
Some of them also continue to provide support for terrorist
organizations in Turkey. After the Spanish elections, the
Turkish government should immediately begin a process to
enhance cooperation against terrorism with the new
administration in Madrid. We can only hope that some other
EU members will eventually come to their senses as well."
"Terrorist States and the Terrorists"
Erol Manisali argued in the social democrat-intellectual
Cumhuriyet: "During the cold war, the US used terrorism as
a tool in order to continue its struggle for `global
hegemony.' Now that the cold war is over, the US has turned
into a terrorist state and has acted like a war machine by
occupying the Middle East and Asia. The process began with
the first Gulf war and continued with the occupation of
Afghanistan and Iraq. In between, Yugoslavia was divided by
force, and operations took place against the Caucasus and
Indonesia. The US and Great Britain, ignoring the world and
the UN, are continuing their war and occupations. Half of
the EU, including Spain, contributed to this crime directly.
Trying to legitimate the belief that the powerful can
realize their objectives by force, the US (and western
capitalism) has helped to expand the swamp in which terror
flourishes. The US believes that, in order to remain a
superpower, it has to act under the principle that `whoever
doesn't stand with me is against me.' Western capitalism
contributes to this instability, sometimes through force of
arms as in Iraq, and sometimes through civil revolutions, as
in Turkey. It is impossible to stop terrorism while there
is deep instability and terrorist states in the world.
Since it is not to their benefit to understand this fact,
the US and the EU have chosen to ignore it."