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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 002577

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,
THURSDAY, MAY 6, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS


Bush addresses Arabs, does not apologize - Hurriyet
Talabani: Torture `shouldn't be exaggerated' - Turkey
Powell: Turkey a very, very secular country - Milliyet
Powell calls Talat `Mr. Prime Minister' - Aksam
US won't wait for EU to remove `TRNC' sanctions - Milliyet
Erdogan's Greece visit may turn Aegean into a `peace lake' -
Turkiye
Karamanlis to urge Erdogan to open Halki Seminary - Sabah
Erdogan's Western Thrace visit makes Athens nervous -
Hurriyet
Michael Moore's anti-Bush film censored by Disney - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS


Talat like a `PM,' `TRNC' like a state - Zaman
Erdogan, Karamanlis to start `win-win' dialogue - Zaman
MFA: Ankara should not be expected to recognize Greek Cyprus
- Yeni Safak
Papadopoulos to UN: Annan Plan favored Turks - Radikal
Bush finds torture `disgusting,' does not apologize - Zaman
Bush, US officials move to soothe Arabs - Cumhuriyet
Turkish NGOs rally for end to brutality in Iraq - Yeni Safak
Rice, Gen. Miller apologize for abuse of Iraqis - Radikal
CHP: Torture is imperialism's dirty face in Iraq -
Cumhuriyet
Sen. Kennedy: Torture widespread in Iraq, Afghanistan - Yeni
Safak
Talabani regards allegations of torture as `exaggeration' -
Zaman
US won't reduce troops in Iraq - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING


Cyprus: In a rare meeting with the `PM' of the Turkish
Cypriots, Mehmet Ali Talat, Secretary Powell said he will
look for ways to reduce the isolation of northern Cyprus.
Talat expressed a desire for the `TRNC' to work with the
World Bank and to have direct flights from the US. A US
official said on condition of anonymity that Washington had
accepted Talat as the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot
community. In a speech he delivered at the CSIS in
Washington, Talat renewed calls for ending international
sanctions on the northern Cypriots. Talat said that
financial aid alone is not enough, because the private
sector in northern Cyprus has little prospect for
improvement under the current embargo. Turkish dailies
claim that the Americans are looking for ways to extend
financial aid to the Turkish Cypriots. The US might move
unilaterally to ease sanctions without necessarily waiting
for the EU to take action.


PM Erdogan due in Greece: PM Erdogan will visit Athens on
Thursday in the first official visit to Greece by a Turkish
leader in 16 years. Erdogan will discuss with Greek leaders
the Aegean continental shelf, the status of the
Patriarchate, the reopening of Halki Seminary, and Cyprus.
Athens will probably not block Turkey's EU bid if a
compromise can be reached on Aegean disagreements. The two
countries will also discuss suspending military maneuvers in
the Aegean before the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in
Athens. On Saturday, Erdogan will become the first Turkish
leader in more than 50 years to visit western Thrace in
northern Greece. The region is home to about 120,000
Turkish-speaking Muslims. PASOK leader Papandreou
criticized PM Karamanlis for allowing Erdogan to visit
Western Thrace, on the grounds that the Turkish PM's
meetings with local Muslim leaders could spark unrest.


Allegations of Iraqi prisoner abuse: AKP Deputy Mehmet
Elkatmis, Chairman of the parliamentary committee for human
rights, said the committee would condemn the mistreatment of
Iraqi captives by the Americans at an extraordinary session
today. Elkatmis criticized the international community for
not reacting more strongly to the abuse of Iraqis, and said
that a parliamentary delegation could visit Iraq to
investigate the issue. Opposition CHP said in a statement
on Wednesday that the Americans' torture of Iraqi prisoners
constitutes a `crime against humanity.' Turkish NGOs and
human rights organizations rallied in Ankara and Istanbul on
Wednesday to denounce the abuse of Iraqis.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq Prisoner Abuse


"American Torture"
Cengiz Candar stated in the conservative-sensational DB
Tercuman (5/6): "The torture pictures in Iraq's Abu Gharib
prison create a black mark for America. Yet there are
certain facts that should not be ignored. The Abu Gharib
prison used to be the worst of them all in Iraq during the
Saddam era. Saddam used to carry out the most brutal
methods of torture in this prison, and none of these events
ever became an issue in the international media. Bearing
this in mind, I see an international hypocrisy here -
including in Turkey - by those who are criticizing the
American torture so harshly. These are crocodile tears.
When Saddam massacred women and children, used chemical
weapons against his people, and buried more than 300,000
bodies in mass graves, I don't remember seeing such a harsh
reaction denouncing shameless acts against humanity.
Nevertheless, this does not dilute the horror of the
American crime. The Abu Gharib pictures will remain part of
America's image for years to come. Unlike Saddam, US
officials acted in a democratic manner by denouncing the
events and opening an investigation. It seems that the
magnitude of the incidents will lead to an even more
extensive investigation that will not be limited to 16
individuals."


"The Tradition of Torture"
Zafer Atay wrote in the economic-political Dunya (5/6): "If
you remember what happened during the Vietnam war or after
WWII, these torture pictures do not come as a surprise.
American and British soldiers have a bad record on torture,
so the treatment in Iraqi prisons is not something new. It
is wrong to blame the entire military and call every
American or British soldier as a torturer. But the fact of
the matter is that torture is a widely implemented act in
certain professions. . Thanks to brave journalists, we have
been provided information about the torture cases in Iraq.
It is also interesting to see that General Myers has
admitted trying to censor the CBS broadcast. Apparently the
free press concept was not deemed valid under the
circumstances. It will also be interesting to see what kind
of reaction will come from the Council of Europe, the EU the
British Foreign Office, and the American State Department,
which persistently advocate the anti-torture line for other
countries, including Turkey."


"The Ugly American"
Guneri Civaoglu commented in the mass appeal Milliyet (5/6):
"The recent photos of the crimes in Iraq have encouraged
people to curse the US presence in the region. Of course,
it would be wrong to consider every single person in the US
forces as a pervert. One can see this kind of sadist filth
in every community. However, the issue cannot be considered
only as a statistical fact. These handful of perverts, with
their photos reflected in the media, will become the symbol
of the US presence in Iraq. From now on, the US must
struggle with the resistance, which is spreading
continuously and rapidly in Iraq. With these photos, the US
will be labeled as insulters of Islam. With the help of
these few perverts, plenty of good recruiting material were
passed to terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda. US forces
are looking like `crusaders' against Islam. That is how
they will be presented. .And as the numbers of American
lives taken by the resistance or terrorist organizations
increase, the Vietnam syndrome will become more widespread
among the American people. Even the White House won't be
able to resist this trend."


EDELMAN

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