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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 001577

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,
TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Terror panic in Europe: Who's next? - Hurriyet
Spain to withdraw from Iraq - Milliyet
Barzani's dream of a sovereign Kurdish state - Milliyet
Syrian Kurdish-Arab conflict spreads to Aleppo - Hurriyet
PKK threatens Syria - Milliyet
Turkey, Jordan to discuss anti-terror cooperation - Turkiye
European Parl.: Turkey's secularism restricts religious
freedom - Hurriyet
FM Gul warns Georgia against division - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Damascus blames US for Kurd-Arab conflict - Cumhuriyet
US allies timid after Madrid bombings - Cumhuriyet
Standing close to Bush more difficult - Radikal
First crack in coalition: Spain withdraws Iraq troops -
Zaman
Coalition cracked - Yeni Safak
Putin rejects Powell's election criticism - Radikal
Putin to Powell: Mind your own elections - Zaman
Putin's easy victory - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING


Cyprus: Four-way talks on Cyprus will continue in Lucerne,
Switzerland with the involvement of Ankara and Athens
beginning March 24. On Monday, Cypriot leaders Papadopoulos
and Denktas presented to UN Special Cyprus envoy De Soto
their proposals for changes to the Annan Plan. The Turks
ask for strengthened bi-zonality, an acceptable border line,
and fewer Greek Cypriot migrants moving to the north. The
Greeks want no restriction on the number of displaced
nationals moving back to their home in the Turkish sector.
The Greek Cypriots insist that Turkish troops should leave
the island immediately, and that Turkey's parliament must
endorse the UN plan before the referenda. Athens has
rejected Ankara's proposal that the Lucerne talks be held at
the Prime Minister level. Athens is concerned that
bilateral relations could be damaged if the prime ministers
fail to reach an agreement. Ankara believes the attitude of
Athens is shaped by tactical considerations. Meanwhile,
Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas is due in Ankara this weekend
for meetings with Turkey's political leaders.


Arab-Kurd conflict in Syria: Fighting has spread between
Arabs and Kurds in Syria. Turkey massed troops near the
Syrian border to halt a possible wave of refugees, papers
report. Damascus has accused the rioters of collaborating
with the US, noting that a 20-meter US flag was unfurled
during one of the demonstrations. "Yeni Safak" columnist
Husnu Mahalli claims that a CIA employee was among 30
demonstrators detained by Syrian police in Damascus over the
weekend. Damascus has accused the United States of a
`foreign intervention' at a time when the US is preparing to
impose economic sanctions on Syria. Ankara believes the
incidents are a Kurdish reaction against repressive regimes
in Iran and Syria. Meanwhile, Kongra-Gel's armed wing said
on Monday it would `not remain indifferent' to Syrian
`massacres' of Kurds.


Jordan's King urges Turkey to smooth ties with Iraq:
Jordan's King Abdullah, who will arrive today for a two-day
official visit to Turkey, urged the Turks to resolve their
problems with neighboring Iraq. "None of Iraq's neighbors is
prepared to pay the price of a civil war in Iraq," the King
told CNN-Turk during an interview. The King noted that
Turkey, a predominantly Muslim but staunchly secular state,
has an important role to play in a changed world following
9/11. Abdullah said that he would like to see Turkey become
a member of the EU.


European Parliament to discuss report on Turkey: The
European Parliament (EP) will discuss on Tuesday a report
drafted by Dutch parliamentarian Arie Oostlander concerning
the reform process in Turkey. The report says that the
current understanding of secularism in Turkey restricts the
freedom of religion. Reforms enacted by the AK Party
government are laudable, the report continues, but problems
in implementation continue. Ankara must display more
determination in fighting corruption and torture. Pressure
on human rights organizations and restrictions on the use of
Kurdish language should be removed. The report calls for
the elimination of state security courts and the release of
former Kurdish lawmaker Leyla Zana and her co-defendants.
The report will be debated at the EP General Assembly at the
end of March.


International investors meet in Istanbul: CEOs from 19
international firms with a total of $830 billion in sales in
2003 met at the Investment Advisory Council summit in
Istanbul on Monday. The global `giants' urged Turkey to
speed up privatization and to exert greater control over the
unregistered economy. They called for a more effective
judicial system, a simplified tax system, and the protection
of intellectual property rights. The companies also asked
for a reduction of bureaucratic formalities. Corporate
attendees included representatives from Ford Motor Co.,
Lafarge, Siemens, Nestle, CitiGroup, Fiat SpA, Pirelli SpA,
Unilever NK, Toyota, Hyundai, and Metro AG.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Spanish elections


"Change of direction for Spain"
Sami Kohen commented in the mass appeal Milliyet (3/16):
"The elections results indicate that the Al-Qaeda terror
attacks hit Spain not only right in the heart but also at
the ballot box. There will certainly be more consequences
of the terrorist attacks, both in Europe as well as the US.
Significantly, the New York Times immediately characterized
the Spanish election results as `a blow against Bush.' The
election winner, Socialist party leader Zapatero, voiced a
very different rhetoric about Spain's Iraq policy by
standing against participation in coalition forces. It is
likely that Zapatero will fine-tune Spanish foreign policy
based on these considerations. . The general picture shows
that Al-Qaeda got what it wanted through terror, which will
probably make the organization feel even stronger."


"The Extraordinary Results of the Spanish Elections"
Oral Calislar commented in the social democratic-
intellectual Cumhuriyet (3/16): "The US elections are due
at the end of this year. It is obvious that President Bush,
who already faces the risk of losing, will lose even more
points following the terrorist incidents and election
results in Spain. Things are getting harder for Bush, and
same goes for Blair. As a supporter of the occupation, it
is unlikely that Blair can stand the pressure for too long.
In the light of September 11, the results of the Spanish
elections could be considered as a starting point for very
important changes in the world. This is the beginning of a
new era. The credibility of those who provoked the war and
the occupation will drop. Anti-war activists have
strengthened their position in Europe.We should realize one
other fact: the political address for the anti-war movement
in the world is the left. I believe that Turkey and the
Turkish left have important lessons to learn from these
results. Supporting peace does not mean simply opposing the
occupation of Iraq. Supporting peace means to have a
pacifist stance against the basic problems in Turkey and the
wider world. The Spanish people have created a `light of
hope' for the world. Having suffered under the Franco
regime for years, the Spaniards have now produced a result
that will lead to a great change in the world. The children
of the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who was killed
during the civil war, have produced what was expected of
them. From this point on, we can be more hopeful."
"Global Resistance to a Global War"
Ibrahim Karagul argued in the Islamist Yeni Safak (3/16):
"It may not be clear enough to those who do not want to read
the signs, but the fact of the matter is that we are going
through a period of global war. The Spanish elections have
made it very clear: the Spanish people toppled the ruling
party by standing against this war. The statement of
Zapatero is something to look at very carefully, because he
is criticizing unilateral action and a war based on a bunch
of lies. Zapatero's decision to withdraw Spanish forces
from Iraq also opens a debate within the EU about its Iraq
policy and regional equilibrium. . There are some naive
people everywhere in the world who take the GME initiative
about freedom, democracy and welfare at face value. They
should uncover their eyes and see the reality: This is not
about freedom. It is about brutal occupation and looting of
resources."


EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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