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.




E.O. 12958: N/A
THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2004




Erdogan invited to G-8 as `Democratic partner' - Sabah
Erdogan to attend `Summit of the Giants' - Hurriyet
Paritzky: Erdogan right to criticize Israeli operations -
Turkey pressures Israel - Turkiye
130 killed in Iraq - Turkiye
Zarkawi's head worth $25 million - Aksam
Amnesty report accuses US -Aksam
US expects another terror attack before 9/11/04 - Milliyet

Bush invites Erdogan to G-8 - Radikal
Powell: US won't leave command of Iraqi forces - Radikal
US, UK disagree over command of coalition forces -
Turkish-Israeli tension growing - Birgun
Anti-Saddam scientist new PM for Iraq - Zaman
Shiite PM for Iraq - Yeni Safak
Amnesty Int.: US has made world a more dangerous place -
Gallup: 69 percent of Iraqis find cooperation with US
dangerous - Yeni Safak
Al Gore: Worse days await US in Iraq - Yeni Safak
Turkey may withdraw ambassador to Israel - Yeni Safak
Washington expects a new 9/11 - Birgun
TRT pushes button for Kurdish broadcasts - Cumhuriyet


PM Erdogan to attend June G-8 Summit: PM Erdogan has been
invited by President Bush to the G-8 Summit in Sea Island,
Georgia as a `democratic partner.' Erdogan will address the
summit as the leader of a democratic secular Muslim country
- a model for the Islamic world. Some Arab leaders had also
been invited to the summit, but they declined the invitation
in reaction to recent events in Iraq and Palestine.

Ankara may upgrade representation in Palestine: FM Abdullah
Gul said that Turkey might follow some European countries by
sending a diplomat of ambassadorial rank to head the Turkish
Consulate in Jerusalem. Turkish Consul-General Huseyin Avni
Bicakci's term will end soon, and he may be replaced by an
ambassador in September 2004. Gul also signaled that
Turkey's ambassador to Israel might be summoned to Ankara
for consultations. Such moves would force Israel to review
bilateral relations with Turkey, Israeli diplomatic sources
told "Radikal." They added that the Jewish lobby in the US
could withdraw support for Turkey. Ankara may respond by
reviewing defense contracts with Israel, and by closing
Turkish airspace to Israeli warplanes for training
exercises, dailies report.

Israel's Paritzky on Palestine, Syria: PM Erdogan has
renewed offers to mediate between Israel and both the
Palestinians and Syria, Israeli Infrastructure Minister
Josef Paritzky said on Tuesday. Speaking after his meeting
with Erdogan in Ankara, Paritzky said the Turkish leader had
been forthright in his criticism of Israel's assassination
of two Hamas leaders and the recent raid on the Rafah
refugee camp in Gaza. Paritzky said Erdogan had also
conveyed the message that Syria's President Bashar Assad
wants peace with Israel. The Israeli minister said Syria
would have to do more to show it was serious about peace
before Israel was convinced to restart talks. "If President
Assad is willing to go into a long, hard process to
negotiate for peace, he will find the Israelis to be willing
partners," Paritzky said.

TRT agrees to broadcasts in Kurdish: The executive board of
TRT, Turkey's state broadcaster, has decided to give a green
light to broadcasts in languages other than Turkish. TRT is
facing heavy pressure from the MFA to allow Kurdish language
broadcasts to begin. TRT General Director Senol Demiroz
said that there is `no legal obstacle' to prevent broadcasts
in Kurdish, and added that Kurdish broadcasts would begin

Ongoing trouble in implementation of EU laws: The
implementation of an EU-backed reform granting religious
minorities freedom of worship is being held up by
bureaucratic obstacles, "Radikal" reports. A Presbyterian
congregation in Ankara has applied to the Governor's office
to open a house of worship, but official permission was
denied. The problem was resolved only through the personal
intervention of the Interior Minister. The EU assessment of
serious bureaucratic obstacles with regard to the
implementation of EU reforms is true, "Radikal" claims,
stressing the need for Turkey to pass a separate law banning
religious discrimination.

Unrest growing in SE Turkey: Peace in Turkey's Southeast is
under threat, the Turkish daily "Birgun" reports. The paper
points to 29 killings that occurred in the southeast over
the last two months. Imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan
had criticized the AK Party government for carrying out
military operations in southeast Turkey without taking any
step forward to solve the Kurdish problem. Ocalan had told
the government that a war would begin unless something is
done. The Tunceli Bar Association has warned against armed
conflict, saying it would bring new pain for the people of
the region people and damage all democratic steps taken
forward on Turkey's path to the EU.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/President's TV Speech

"US Intentions"
Hikmet Cetinkaya argued in the social democrat-opinion maker
Cumhuriyet (5/27): "There are two important summits coming
up, and it is no coincidence that the G-8 and NATO summits
are scheduled for the same month. This has to do with US
intentions for the future of Iraq and the region. Both the
US and UK want to present Turkey as a model for the Greater
Middle East project. The role being designed for Turkey in
that context is that of a `moderate Islamic' country. The
US and UK are ready to ignore Turkey's secular democratic
system, because a moderate Islamic model works better for
their interests in this region."

"Bush's Remarks are Still Threatening"
Fuat Bol wrote in the conservative Turkiye (5/27):
"President Bush made his eagerly awaited speech, yet he
continues to mix threatening remarks with the facts. The
President underlined that the fight against terrorism is not
a war of choice for the US, but one that was foist upon the
US. He reiterated that it is time to take action, not to
talk. . The purpose of his remarks is to convince the
international public about the need for the ongoing war on
terrorism and to call on friends and allies to side with the
US. However, the truth is that every backward or cruel
regime in the Middle East, including the Taliban and Saddam,
used to enjoy US support. Their tyranny was made possible
by military and political support from Washington. . The
current situation does not give us hope for a better future.
After the US occupation, Iraq is living in pain and agony.
Moreover, the misguided US policies in Iraq have helped to
fuel more hatred and vengeance that will increase threats to
the future of Iraq and the wider region. None of this is
going to bring peace and democracy to the region."

© Scoop Media

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