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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 002598

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,
FRIDAY, MAY 7, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Bush backs Rumsfeld, apologizes - Sabah
Abuse photos may bring end for Rumsfeld - Sabah
Iraqi captives treated like animals - Milliyet
Iraqi prisoner treated like a dog - Aksam
US torture in Iraq a `shame on humanity' - Turkiye
Lynndie England, 21-year old smiling criminal - Aksam
TGS: higher education (YOK) bill against secularism -
Milliyet
PM Erdogan: Turkey, Greece must be friends - Turkiye
Anne Krueger: Ending Turkish reforms would be tragic -
Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Bush scolds Rumsfeld - Cumhuriyet
Bush apologizes to Abdullah instead of to the world - Zaman
American torture has no limits - Yeni Safak
Shameful photos from Iraq - Radikal
Wash. Post: Intelligence officers ordered torture photos -
Zaman
Lynndie England the `pride of occupiers' - Cumhuriyet
FM Gul: Isolation of `TRNC' not fair - Yeni Safak
US encourages representation of `TRNC' at IMF, WB, OIC -
Radikal
US drafting plan for `TRNC' - Yeni Safak
Erdogan: Bush did not ask for troops to Afghanistan - Zaman
Israel preparing new security wall around Gaza - Radikal


BRIEFING


Allegations of Iraqi prisoner abuse: Turkish papers write
that there are several hundred photographs depicting the
abuse of prisoners in Iraq, some of them revealed by "The
Washington Post." The photographs were taken in 2003 as
ordered by American officers in an effort to persuade other
captives to collaborate with coalition forces. President
Bush apologized Thursday for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by
American soldiers and called it "a stain on America's
honor." Turkish dailies carry a front-page photo showing a
female soldier holding a leash around a naked captive's neck
at Abu Ghraib prison. Bush has rejected calls for Defense
Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation, but is reportedly upset at

SIPDIS
the secretary for not alerting him about the existence of
the pictures. On Thursday, a statement by the parliamentary
committee for human rights strongly denounced the torture of
Iraqi prisoners by occupation forces. The committee called
for an end to the occupation of Iraq and for international
control of Iraqi prisons. The committee called for
offenders to be tried at the International Criminal Court.


TGS speaks out against education reform bill: The TGS
issued a strongly-worded statement criticizing the
government's planned higher education reform. The statement
alleged that the measure would sap the country's secular
foundation. The ruling AK Party wants to allow graduates of
religious vocational schools (Imam Hatip) equal access to
university education. The military fears the new bill will
boost the influence of religion in the state education
system. "It is obvious that the proposed changes will harm
the principles of secular education," TGS said, adding that
the army should not be expected to stand by in the face of
such a challenge to Turkey's secularist principles. "We
expect the related institutions to display common sense with
regard to the draft, which will spark unnecessary tension,"
TGS said.


PM Erdogan visits Greece: On Friday, Prime Minister Erdogan
will have talks with Greek PM Karamanlis and President
Stephanopoulos before making a private visit Saturday to the
Turkish-speaking community in Western Thrace. The region
has a 120,000-strong ethnic Turkish minority, and Erdogan's
visit is a sign of warming ties between Ankara and Athens.
Erdogan's visit has a strong economic angle as well, with
the review of a dozen trade deals made since 1999 between
the countries. According to Turkish dailies, Erdogan could
also seek Karamanlis' help with the problem of getting
Turkish trucks through EU customs points. Erdogan is being
accompanied by 160 businessmen and journalists. This
`historic' visit to Greece could turn a new page in
relations between the two neighbors.


Cyprus: US Special Cyprus Coordinator Tom Weston said that
EU moves for ending the isolation of the northern Cypriots
are `not sufficient.' Weston said the Bush Administration
is considering direct US flights to the Turkish north, and
extension of financial aid for Turkish Cypriots. The
reception given to `TRNC PM' Talat is an indication of
changing US policy, an anonymous US official noted. By
entering into dialogue with the `undisputed' leader of the
Turkish Cypriots, the US has established a de facto
relationship with northern Cyprus, the official emphasized.
Turkish dailies report that Papadopoulos was `infuriated by
the official treatment of Talat by the Americans, regarding
it as `hostile' move that might disrupt efforts for the
reunification of Cyprus.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq Prisoner Abuse/US Image Abroad


"The Two Americas"
Mim Kemal Oke noted in the conservative HO Tercuman (5/7):
"Following the Iraq prisoner scandal, the US President was
in a rush to correct the American image by appearing on Arab
television channels. Among the arguments he tried to
pursue, one was particularly interesting. Bush said that
those who committed these terrible acts cannot be American.
This argument is not only an effort for finding an excuse
but also a confession about the `two different types of
Americas' in the President's mind. . These two different
Americas can be described as `the soft one' and the `hard
one.' The former is about the US as a land of liberty and
opportunity where one can enjoy individual freedoms and
tolerance of differences. As for the latter, it is about
the CIA and national security. The hard side of American
power is like the alter ego of the soft side. . Westerners
have come up with a description of President Bush as
`fundagelist,' a word that combines `fundamentalist' and
`evangelist.' President Bush pursued global terrorism in a
purely religious context and contributed to a fundamentalist
interpretation of religion. Current U.S. foreign policy and
American internal security considerations have deep
religious roots. This is becoming increasingly disturbing
for Americans. President Bush is aware of the criticism,
yet his election campaign is based on the alliance of a deep
state and `fundagelist' approach. It remains to be seen
which America will prevail in the election."


"The Mentality in Photos"
Mustafa Karaalioglu commented in the Islamist-opinion maker
Yeni Safak (5/7): "The pictures are not only horrifying.
They also widen the gap between the Western world and
others. These events have established a hatred that cannot
be eliminated between the Islamic world and the US-UK
Alliance. The torture and abuse goes beyond being
systematic. It also shows the sick Western mentality. When
you look at the pictures, you won't see painful tactics, but
instead the tactics of humiliation. This shows the
mentality: Western values are the only precious values; all
the rest are doomed to extinction. This mentality does not
consider the right to exist for anyone who does not share
Western values. . These same soldiers would not have done
the same thing if the prisoners had been French or German.
This `special treatment' is available only for Muslims,
Arabs, and Iraqis because this is what the Western mentality
dictates."


"The US is Losing"
Ergun Babahan commented in the mass appeal "Sabah" (5/7):
"Current developments in Iraq are of great concern to
Turkey. It the US giant is defeated in Iraq, the regionis
likely to descend into chaos. It might take decades for the
US to regain its credibility in the Muslim and Arab world.
But at least the US can stop its mistakes in Iraq as soon as
possible in order to prevent more dangerous developments in
the region. Washington fails to see that acting on its own
will bring severe consequences for the region, will
encourage new 9/11s, and will increase hatred for the West
among Muslim youth. Those who are acting to counter
terrorism are not aware that they are creating new
terrorists. This policy is gradually making the world more
dangerous. After all of this, President Bush is planning to
come to Turkey in June to market the Greater Middle East
Project. He is apparently not aware that no one trusts his
administration's policies after the mess in Iraq and the
deaths of thousands of innocent people even after the war
was claimed to have ended. While Bush plays the Cowboy Game
in Washington, the Iraqi people pay the price."


EDELMAN

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