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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 003149

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,
TUESDAY, JUNE 8, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
G-8 Summit will be a turning point for Middle East - Sabah
Erdogan to US for G-8 - Milliyet
Iraqi Kurdish groups ask Bush for autonomy guarantees -
Milliyet
Kurds threaten to withdraw from Iraqi government - Aksam
Kurds ask for US consulate in Erbil - Sabah
Iraqi PM: Armed militias to be dissolved - Aksam
ECHR will to review case of Abdullah Ocalan - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
G-8 to discuss Greater Middle East project - Yeni Safak
G-8 to discuss future of Middle East - Zaman
FM Gul secures Egyptian support on Cyprus, OIC - Zaman
Government prepares to open trade relations with Greek
Cyprus - Cumhuriyet
Iraqi Kurds threaten to leave government - Yeni Safak
Kurdish threat to Washington - Radikal
1,000 Iraqis killed in two months - Yeni Safak
Israeli FM: Gaza will be left to Egyptian control - Yeni
Safak
Gaza plan shakes Sharon government - Zaman
WSJ: Pentagon report gives Bush authority for torture - Yeni
Safak
License to torture for Bush - Cumhuriyet
US withdraws from Seoul - Radikal
Journalists targeted in Riyadh - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING
PM Erdogan to G-8 Summit: President Bush will seek Turkish
support for his Greater Middle East (GME) Initiative, which
aims to boost democracy in the region, at the G-8 summit in
Sea Island, Georgia. Prime Minister Erdogan leaves for the
United States on Tuesday to attend the summit. Erdogan is
expected to warn against effort to impose reforms on
countries in the region. Erdogan will also urge that the
Palestinian issue be given priority. Turkey will decide at
the summit whether to join the `Forum for the Future,' an
open dialogue framework of regional foreign ministers,
"Zaman" reports. President Bush expects Erdogan to give
`strong political support' to the GME, "Cumhuriyet" writes.
The paper speculates that Turkey's participation in the G-8
meeting could negatively affect Turkey's relations with the
Islamic world.
Turkey may open EU Customs Union to Greek Cyprus: Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul said Turkey is looking for a formula
for including Cyprus in its long-standing customs union (CU)
with the European Union. On June 4, the EU Commission urged
Ankara to apply the customs union to Greek Cyprus, which
joined the EU on May 1. Sources close to the Turkish
government said that trade relations with south Cyprus
within the EU framework will not be equivalent to formal
recognition of the Greek Cypriot state.
Greeks uneasy about OIC Istanbul Meeting: The Greek
Cypriots and Greece are worried that the Organization of
Islamic Conferences (OIC) will agree at a meeting in
Istanbul next week to recognize the Turkish Cypriot north of
the island as a "state." On Monday, Greece's FM Moliviatis
met with the ambassadors of 12 OIC members in Athens to
discuss the issue. Greek Cypriot FM Yakovu said the OIC had
no legitimacy on the international level, but added that a
characterization of northern Cyprus as a "state" would still
be perceived as important.
DEP lawmakers may be retried: Turkey's state prosecutor
claimed that there were seven irregularities in the retrial
of the four DEP lawmakers sentenced in 1994 to a 15-year
jail sentence. The prosecutor launched an appeal to have
the Kurdish ex-MPs -- Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak
and Orhan Dogan -- released. The case is being closely
followed by the EU.
Government working to reopen Halki Seminary: The MFA is
working on a formula to reopen Halki Seminary under the
theology department in Istanbul University. Current
legislation does not allow for the reopening of the seminary
as an autonomous school, so legal adjustments would be
necessary. However, the Fener Patriarchate in Istanbul
opposes affiliating the seminary with a Turkish theology
faculty. The MFA is working on a draft that would allow for
the reopening of the school before the visit of President
George Bush to Turkey in late June.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Reagan; Iraq


"President Bush's Political Father"
Tamer Korkmaz wrote in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman
(6/8): "It took a very long time for the US to realize that
Ronald Reagan's `star wars' project was a very costly means
of blackmail against the Russians. The Reagan
administration accelerated defense spending so much that the
Soviet Union's economy began to stumble. Reagan not only
helped bring about the end of communism by working with
Gorbachev, but also expanded capitalism all over the world
by working hand-in-hand with Margaret Thatcher. Reagan was
the most conservative of American politicians, and the
founding father of the `neo-cons.' Reagan is also
undoubtedly the `political father' of President Bush. This
has also been noted by the American press. The New York
Times, for instance, referred to the `third Reagan term'
when Bush was elected."


"Reagan"
Murat Belge commented in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(6/8): "Ronald Reagan is now being presented as the man who
ended the cold war. This common belief is based on a
mistaken assessment. The real credit for this belongs to
Carter, not Reagan. Carter and his staff pursued `human
rights' as opposed to `nuclear armament' as its primary
weapon against the Soviet system. . The Soviet system during
the Reagan era was weak enough to die at any time. Only a
president with a serious myopia would have launched a multi-
billion dollar arms project by declaring weakness as a
colossal threat in those circumstances. . There are many
similarities between the short-sightedness of Reagan's
advisors and those of President Bush. Reagan's diagnosis
and proposed solution for the Soviet Union was as `ethically
correct' as Bush's current policy is for Iraq.


"Iraqi Kurds are Losing Patience"
Ilnur Cevik opined in the English language Turkish Daily
News (6/8): "The Kurds feel that despite all the sacrifices
they have made and the maturity they have displayed for the
sake of Iraqi unity and territorial integrity, they are
again being sidelined. This is unacceptable to them. They
feel that their gains are being eroded. The international
community and Turkey have to pay more attention to Iraqi
Kurdish sensitivities. All sides must realize that if the
Kurds spoil the sensitive balances in Iraq, a much more
complicated situation may emerge that could be impossible to
sort out. The Iraqi Kurds felt they had obtained solid
assurances from their Arab counterparts about autonomy in
the north and that the Kurds would be accepted as first-
class citizens of Iraq. However, they are starting to see
that this may not be the case. Do the Arabs realize what
they are getting into? We had warned everyone that this
kind of a situation may develop and that the Kurds could
turn to the international community -- especially to Turkey
-- and ask: What would you do if you were in our shoes?"


EDELMAN

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