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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 002894

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 24, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
US, UK want immunity for torturers - Aksam
Newsweek: US Attorney General permits torture - Milliyet
5/23
US troops kill 66 in El-Sadr militia - Sabah
Chalabi demands compensation from US - Aksam
Barzani, Talabani want Kurdish PM in new Iraq - Sabah 5/23
US to take home 500 tons of Iraqi uranium - Aksam 5/23
For US, Denktas is `former' leader of Turkish Cypriots-
Milliyet
Israeli minister: We are no different from Nazis - Hurriyet
Israeli Defense Min: Sorry, destruction will continue -
Hurriyet
Vorking: World Bank ready to aid `TRNC' - Turkiye
Former IMF boss becomes Germany's president - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Gen. Sanchez involved in torture - Cumhuriyet
Gen. Sanchez a torturer too - Yeni Safak
Wash. Post: US soldiers apply torture `for fun' - Cumhuriyet
5/23
US Attorney General `advises' torture - Zaman 5/23
US, UK want to block prosecution of war crimes - Cumhuriyet
US, UK shield torturers - Radikal
Weston: US support for Turkish Cypriots won't be symbolic -
Cumhuriyet
Israeli minister likens Rafah destruction to Nazi action -
Zaman
Israeli snipers hunt Palestinian children - Zaman 5/23
Palestinian Ambassador wants Turkish peacekeepers in
Palestine - Yeni Safak
Turkey's Kurds await implementation of EU reforms - Radikal
NGOs rally in Istanbul against NATO Summit - Radikal 5/23
TOBB warns of possible crisis in Turkey's economy -
Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING


US wants to use Turkey as a `logistical base': "Cumhuriyet"
claims that the US proposed to Turkey the signing of an MOU
that would allow increased US military training exercises in
Turkey. The paper alleges that the US proposed the MOU as a
means to by-pass the necessary approval for such an
agreement by the Turkish parliament. According to the
article, Turkish support for US military activities in
Turkey would continue to be shaped within the framework of
existing agreements between Turkey, the US and NATO. The US
will deploy 48 warplanes at Incirlik and Konya airbases,
according to the MOU. US military personnel would be
necessary for maintenance and care of these aircraft, but
their presence is not included in the MOU, "Cumhuriyet"
reports. The paper further claims that the US wants to
establish naval bases at the Black Sea ports of Samsun and
Trabzon. The US wants a response from Turkey on these
requests before President Bush arrives for his visit in
June, the paper claims. The Turkish General Staff (TGS)
believes that Turkish support for the US requests will be
decided by Turkey's political leadership and would also
require parliamentary approval. The duration and limits of
the US requests from Turkey are ambiguous, and the TGS
believes that such points require clarification. The AK
Party government would not want to lose US support,
"Cumhuriyet" claims, and therefore wants to keep the issue
away from public scrutiny. The paper claims, however, that
the government is inclined to accept the US requests.


TGS warns against AFOSI activities: The Turkish General
Staff (TGS) has warned the ministry of interior against
alleged intelligence activities being carried out in Giresun
province by US Air Force Special Investigations Office
(AFOSI) personnel from Incirlik Air Base, "Zaman" reports.
The Ministry of Interior has warned provincial
administrations to prevent such activities by not meeting
with AFOSI officials without prior approval from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Interior Ministry has also
ordered provincial officials not to allow US personnel to
carry weapons outside their military facilities.


Cyprus: US Ambassador to Cyprus Michael Klosson paid a
visit to `TRNC PM' Mehmet Ali Talat in the Turkish part of
Nicosia, weekend papers report. Klosson said the US has
been working on a package of measures to help end the
international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. He also
said the US is working to upgrade its office in northern
Cyprus. Papers also report US Special Cyprus Coordinator
Tom Weston's description of Talat as the leader of the
Turkish Cypriots. Weston reportedly referred to Rauf
Denktas as the `former' leader. Sunday's "Milliyet" notes
that US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta will visit
Turkey to discuss security measures at Turkish airports and
along the Bosphorus in advance of the NATO Summit in June.
Turkey's Transportation Minister Yildirim is expected to ask
Mineta to begin direct US flights from Washington to
northern Cyprus. Meanwhile, FM Gul said over the weekend
that Ankara opposed the idea of holding early elections in
northern Cyprus.


Israel-Palestine: "Cumhuriyet" interprets recent strong
statements by Turkish PM Erdogan and FM Gul criticizing
Israeli military operations in Gaza as an indication of
growing tension between Turkey and Israel. Intensified
Israeli violence has forced Ankara to increase its support
to Palestine, "Cumhuriyet" claims. Parliamentary Speaker
Bulent Arinc condemned the Israeli attacks in the Rafah
refugee camp as `acts of brutality.' Arinc also argued that
the US shares responsibility for the bloodshed in Palestine.
The Turkish parliament will discuss Israel's operations
against Palestinians in a general session on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Israeli Minister of Infrastructure Joseph
Paritzki will visit Ankara unofficially on Tuesday for the
signing of cooperation agreements between Turkish and
Israeli companies, "Cumhuriyet" reports.


Putin due in Turkey; PM Erdogan to visit Iran: Russian
President Vladimir Putin will be in Turkey for the NATO
Summit in Istanbul June 28-29 and then proceed to Ankara
June 30 for the first official visit by a Russian President
since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The sides will
discuss bilateral relations, Iraq, and Cyprus. Meanwhile,
FM Gul reportedly told that Iranian News Agency IRNA over
the weekend that PM Erdogan would soon pay an official visit
to Iran within the context of an effort to enhance ties with
Islamic countries. Iranian President Khatami will also
visit Turkey as the official guest of Turkish President
Sezer, Gul noted.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; India


"The Chaos in Iraq Might Spread to Turkey"
Cuneyt Ulsever wrote in the mass appeal Hurriyet (5/24):
"Campaigning for a complete withdrawal of US forces from the
region is the right instinct, but is essentially an
emotional reaction. We need to recognize what would happen
after the US withdrawal -- namely, a disaster for Turkey. A
more reasonable approach to the issue requires a number of
elements. First, the US should admit the fact that it
cannot possibly rule this region alone. The US should be
willing to share control of the oil with Russia, China,
France and Germany. Overall control of the region should be
transferred to the United Nations. If that happens, Turkey
and the United Kingdom will be able to share and implement
their experiences in the fight against terrorism. Under
such circumstances, the US will be able to focus on
controlling the oil regions. As for Turkey, we should be
prepared for a federal Kurdish state. If these elements are
ignored, the chaos in Iraq might turn into a nightmare for
the whole region, including for Turkey."


"Why Chalabi?"
Asli Aydintasbas filed this from Washington in the mass
appeal Sabah (5/24): "The Bush administration has managed to
come up with an excuse for all of its failings in Iraq. The
current treatment of Ahmad Chalabi and the strong campaign
against him looks like the treatment of the enemies of
communism during the Stalin era. The Republicans seem happy
for having found a scapegoat, and Chalabi is now being
charged with every possible sin. . If you read the pro-
government press, Ahmad Chalabi is the worst man in the
Middle East. Yet a high level Pentagon official describes
Chalabi as `a genuine democrat and friend of America.'
Whatever the truth is, it is rather sad to see the US effort
to bring democracy to Iraq has come to a point where its
opponents are silenced by force. Washington has turned into
a beast eating its own children. The democrats in Iraq are
the first victims."


"Sacrifice or Lack of Experience"
Zafer Atay commented in the economic-political Dunya (5/24):
"Despite the election victory of India's Congress Party,
Sonja Gandhi announced at the last minute her decision not
to stand for the position of Prime Minister. Before the
elections, no one guessed that Vajpayee would lose. His
party was leading in every opinion poll. Some believe that
Sonja Gandhi has sacrificed her political ambitions in an
effort to avoid chaos in the country. Others believe that
Mrs. Gandhi is just an amateur politician. Although she
lived in the most important political family in India for
years, Mrs. Gandhi apparently learned very little from them.
She has neither her husband's charisma nor her mother-in-
law's determination. In fact, there are allegations that
her newly elected deputy son Rahul and future Congress Party
future leader Priyanka, Mrs. Gandhi's daughter, pressured
their mother to withdraw based on concerns for her physical
security. Although India is the world's largest democracy,
political intrigue continues to hamper the democratic
process. Meanwhile, the prediction Nostradamus made
centuries ago has not been realized: the possibility that an
Italian would someday rule India has disappeared, at least
for the moment."


EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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