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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 002474

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,
MONDAY, MAY 3, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Torture directed by military intelligence officers -
Hurriyet
53-page torture report drafted by Gen. Sanchez - Milliyet
Coalition forces' disgusting torture of Iraqi women,
children - Sabah
Disgraceful torture photographs by British troops - Sabah
5/2
Intelligence officers encouraged torture - Aksam
British soldier torturers to be expelled from army -
Milliyet 5/2
600 American troops killed since capture of Iraq - Milliyet
5/2
Thomas Hamill's great escape - Aksam
US resolution to end embargo on northern Cyprus - Milliyet
US pushes button for aid to `TRNC' - Turkiye
Patriarch: Hristodulous has gone too far - Aksam 5/2
Ten new members in EU; one day Turkey will join too -
Hurriyet 5/2
Likud members reject Sharon plan - Sabah
Foreigners attacked in Riyadh - Radikal 5/2


OPINION MAKERS
World is shaken by torture photographs - Yeni Safak
Saddam gone, now it's US torturers - Radikal
Torture the real face of Iraq invasion - Yeni Safak 5/2
Bush acknowledges war with Iraq not over yet - Zaman 5/2
US to enact law for `TRNC' - Yeni Safak
Prince Abdullah blames Israel for attacks in Saudi Arabia -
Yeni Safak
Europe celebrates historic expansion - Cumhuriyet 5/2
Archbishop Hritodulous `quarantined' by Fener Patriarch -
Radikal
Israeli missile attack kills two Al-Fatah leaders -
Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING


Cyprus: A bill has been submitted to the US House of
Representatives by Congressmen Ed Whitfield and Robert
Wexler calling on the US and EU to remove economic and
political sanctions on the Turkish Cypriots. `TRNC PM'
Mehmet Ali Talat is due in the US on Monday as the guest of
Secretary Powell. Talat will meet with Kofi Annan and

SIPDIS
Secretary Powell, attend the annual meeting of the American

SIPDIS
Jewish Committee (AJC), and deliver a speech at CSIS during
his US visit. The White House is trying to convince Greek
Cypriot leader Papadopoulos to hold a second referendum on
the Annan Plan, according to "Hurriyet." PM Erdogan said
over the weekend that Turkey would not gain anything by not
recognizing southern Cyprus. Erdogan phoned US President
Bush and Russian President Putin on Friday to ask their
support in removing international sanctions on Turkish
Cyprus. "Cumhuriyet" is pessimistic that Ankara's efforts
for ending the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots will yield
positive results. The paper speculates that the situation
will get extremely complicated after the EU accession of the
Greek Cypriots. In a televised address to the nation Friday
evening, PM Erdogan implied that Turkish Cypriot leader
Denktas should resign. `Politicians who have lost popular
support should not continue in politics,' Erdogan has said.


Charges of prisoner abuse in Iraq: All papers, particularly
the Islamist dailies, carried in detail over the weekend
stories regarding the alleged torture of Iraqi prisoners by
coalition forces. `The occupiers' torture of Iraqis is a
disgrace for humanity,' writes Monday's "Yeni Safak" on its
front page. Fundamentalist "Vakit" says the photographs of
American and British soldiers torturing innocent Iraqis have
enraged human rights defenders worldwide. Just a few days
after images of American troops mistreating Iraqi prisoners
were published, another photo showing a British soldier
urinating on a shackled detainee was featured prominently in
most Turkish papers. The torture methods used by US and
British troops are no different from those used by bloody
dictators, claims Sunday's "Sabah." Turkey's parliamentary
committee for human rights has announced that it will
convene this week to evaluate the reports of torture in
Iraq.


Fener Patriarchate cuts ties with the Greek Church: At an
extraordinary meeting of 42 metropolitans affiliated with
the Fener Patriarchate in Istanbul, the Patriarchate
announced that all ties with the Greek Church have been cut
for the violation of a 1928 Agreement and a `lack of
respect' for metropolitans in northern Greece. Last week
Archbishop Christodulous, leader of the Greek Church in
Athens, appointed three metropolitan bishops without the
approval of the Fener Patriarchate. The Patriarch claims
that Christodolous had no authority to make such
appointments. Papers report that Athens is reluctant to
interfere in the dispute.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/Torture Claims


"And this is called civilization!"
Ergun Babahan declared in the mass appeal Sabah (5/3): "The
US occupation in Iraq has turned into a war of insanity.
The pictures about how US soldiers were treating Iraqi
prisoners of war is beyond shame. These Iraqis were being
tortured and humiliated only because of their country of
origin. The irony is that such treatment comes from the
occupying force itself. Looking at these pictures is enough
to stand up in opposition to the war in Iraq. It seems that
the US has started repeating what it did in Vietnam in the
name of `democracy and civilization.' . It will be very
interesting to see how the current US administration can
bring charges against Saddam Hussein for its crimes against
humanity. What we have been seeing in Iraq is a
manifestation of hypocrisy in the American democracy
project. Events in Iraq mark a black spot in the history of
humanity."


"Nobody is innocent"
Fehmi Koru observed in the Islamist-opinion maker Yeni Safak
(5/3): "These pictures are clearly undermining Bush and
Blair's arguments justifying the war. The world was given
two main reasons for the war: weapons of mass destruction,
and Saddam's support for the events of 9/11. One year after
the war began, these two arguments have been proven
completely baseless. Failing to find any evidence to prove
these two pretexts, both the British and American
administrations have come up with a third one: Saddam's
brutality against his own people. After seeing these
pictures in the papers, it seems that Saddam's brutality is
amateurish compared with the brutality of the occupation
forces, which claimed to be bringing democracy and
civilization to Iraq. . American and British soldiers are
not only guilty of abuse and torture, but they have also
eliminated the third argument - Saddam's brutality - as a
justification for the war. Instead, Bush and Blair have
been turned into potential war criminals by the actions of
British and American soldiers."


"War Crimes in Iraq"
Derya Sazak opined in the mass appeal Milliyet (5/3): "The
Bush Administration is going through an awful test in Iraq.
It is more clear now why Saddam Hussein resisted the US for
years. Contrary to the first Gulf War, the wider world did
not approve of the occupation this time. The Saddam regime
was nicknamed by the Europeans as `The Baghdad Monster' and
`the terrorist empire,' and was portrayed by the Western
world as an enemy. .Moreover, the media had presented Saddam
as a symbol of evil in order to render more acceptable the
`shock and awe' campaign. In the end, Saddam was only a
mirror. Those who have gotten rid of his regime today were
the same people who had created him yesterday. This was a
project based on violence and interests. Saddam wasn't a
foreign monster who opposed modernization, but rather a
monster created by modernization. Saddam has now left the
stage. The US and British occupying forces are unable to
defeat the resistance.Is it possible to maintain peace
through torture, blood, and tears? One British soldier
said, correctly, that he was `fighting a lost war.' Isn't
the image exhibited by Bush and Blair in Iraq even more
scary than the monster in the mirror?"


"EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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