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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 002541

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, MAY 5, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
`TRNC PM' Talat Urges Powell to Lift Embargoes - Hurriyet
No `Positive Support' for Women From AKP Government -
Hurriyet
Imam-Hatips Will be Converted to Regular High Schools-
Hurriyet
AKP Revenge for February 28 on Imam-Hatip Issue - Milliyet
Approval for Constitutional Amendments - Milliyet
Blow on Higher Education Board - Sabah
US CG David Arnett: Torture Pictures are `Shameful' - Sabah
Harsh Reactions to Coalition Forces For Torturing Iraqis -
Turkiye
PM Erdogan: Turkey to Look For `New Horizons' If Denied EU
Entry - Aksam


OPINION MAKERS
AKP Reforms Give New Rights to Imam-Hatip Graduates -
Radikal
Equality for Men and Women Rejected by Parliament - Radikal
Ankara Reacts to Torture in Iraq - Radikal
Bush Media Censorship For Torture News - Cumhuriyet
8 Turks Still in Guantanamo - Cumhuriyet
Full Parliamentary Support For Constitutional Amendments -
Zaman
Former US Diplomats Angry With Bush Policies - Zaman
Guantanamo also A Torture Base - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Constitutional Amendments: "Milliyet" reports that the
constitutional reforms for EU harmonization were debated at
the parliament yesterday and more than 500 deputies voted to
approve them. The reforms are intended to ensure equality
between men and women, scrap all references to the death
penalty in the constitution, and abolish the State Security
Court system. "Aksam" notes that the parliament rejected a
proposal for affirmative action for women. Papers also
report on the new education reform draft, which will be
debated in parliament tomorrow. "Radikal" reports that the
educational reforms by the AKP government would abolish the
Higher Education Board (YOK) and give imam-hatip high school
graduates will be given the same rights as regular high
school graduates in entering the universities. "Milliyet"
interprets the new regulation as the government's revenge
for the February 28 process in which the Turkish military
forced the Islamist-led government from power. "Aksam" says
that YOK will hold an extraordinary meeting tomorrow to
discuss the new regulations.


Iraqi Prisoners: The shocking torture pictures of Iraqi
prisoners continue to draw harsh international reaction.
Criticism in the Turkish press has been extremely harsh.
"Radikal" reports PM Erdogan's remark that the Turkish
public had been deeply hurt by the abuses. Erdogan urged
that those responsible for the abuse should be brought to
justice. Justice Minister Cemil Cicek described the
incidents as `pure brutality.' Opposition party leaders
also criticized the abuse, claiming that the actons of US
forces violated the Geneva Conventions. "Aksam" and "Sabah"
note that US Consul General in Istanbul, Davit Arnett
characterized the instances of abuse as `shameful' in a
speech to a university audience last night.


Erdogan Remarks on EU Entry: "Hurriyet" and "Turkiye"
report that in an address to AKP deputies yesterday, PM
Erdogan said that Turkey will find `new horizons' for its
potential if it is denied entry into the European Union.


Turkish Trucks Delayed at EU Borders: "Milliyet" and
"Cumhuriyet" report that Turkish truckers have faced
significant delays in entering EU countries because their
vehicle insurance policies do not apply to the Republic of
Cyprus, now an EU member. The reports claim that the
truckers have lost time at border crossings and, in some
instances, been forced to pay 100-300 USD to purchase new
policies that cover all EU countries.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq Prisoner Abuse


"Torture"
Hasan Cemal observed in the mass appeal Milliyet (5/5):
"Torture is a crime against humanity, and nothing can
justify it -- neither war nor terrorism. The torture
pictures from Iraq have created a colossal mark of shame for
humanity. Condemning these unspeakable actions is our duty.
President Bush and Prime Minister Blair must take
responsibility for this scandal. If they fail to take
action by punishing all of those responsible, there will be
no way to justify their fight against global terrorism. .
The right approach for the future of Iraq is for the US to
take more specific steps toward putting the international
community in charge, including both NATO and the UN. The US
should engage more with the EU on cooperation in Iraq. The
US should also end its pro-Sharon policy. It might also be
the right decision for the American people not to re-elect
George Bush."


"The Greater Rape Project"
Mehmet Ocaktan stated in the Islamist-opinion maker Yeni
Safak (5/5): "Pictures showing occupation forces torturing
and raping do not represent an isolated incident. These are
part of systematic torture, and even represent torture as a
state's official policy. This is not a matter of
interpretation. General Kaprinski has already acknowledged
that torture and abuse are the military's official policy. .
It is beyond shame to see that the whole world remains
silent about this horror. I am afraid that such silence
will open the door to more tragedy. The shameful pictures
from Iraq are the manifestation of the loss of the values of
human rights and freedoms. I wonder if global capitalism is
now working toward bringing democracy to the people of the
Middle East by raping them. . This is the beginning of the
end for the two occupying forces in Iraq -- the US and the
UK."


"Who's downed the eagle?"
Abdulhamit Bilici wrote in the Islamist-intellectual "Zaman"
(5/5): "A year after the capture of Iraq, President Bush
has acknowledged that the war in Iraq is not over. There
were 136 American casualties in Iraq during April. . The
Americans could not break the resistance in Fallujah, and
they are in deep trouble with Moktada el-Sadr's Mahdi Army
militia in Baghdad and Najaf. The Americans are also not on
good terms with the moderate Shiite leader Sistani. . US
and British troops' mistreatment of Iraqi captives did not
help at all. Images that made the Iraqis long for the time
of Saddam have been another blow to the battered image of
the Americans. It is this overall picture that made 50
former US diplomats raise their voices against the Bush
Administration's Middle East policies. The diplomats
stressed that US support for Sharon's unlawful killings, the
security fence, and unilateral Israeli plans for a pullout
from Gaza have cost the US credibility, prestige and
friends. Americans should hold responsible those who have
deliberately `downed the Eagle,' as Immanuel Wallerstein put
it two years ago."
EDELMAN

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