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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 003328

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, JUNE 14, 2004


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

HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Zana `quake' in Diyarbakir - Sabah
FM Gul: Years in prison have `matured' DEP lawmakers - Aksam
DEHAP: PKK members should be allowed into politics -
Hurriyet 6/13
DEHAP: We are at equal distance from Turkish government, PKK
- Milliyet 6/13
PM Erdogan: We are Muslims who take a middle way - Sabah
Center-right boom in Europe - Hurriyet
Blair won't resign despite defeat in local elections -
Milliyet 6/13
Voters kick Blair - Aksam 6/13

OPINION MAKERS
PM Erdogan: Arafat missed peace opportunity - Zaman
`Time for peace,' Zana tells the PKK - Radikal
DEHAP calls for cease fire - Cumhuriyet
Al-Qaeda targets Americans in Saudi Arabia - Radikal
Bloody Sunday in Iraq: 21 killed - Yeni Safak
First assassination against new Iraqi government -
Cumhuriyet 6/13
Turkish police prepare for NATO Istanbul Summit - Yeni Safak
100,000 signatures against NATO Summit - Cumhuriyet
OIC gives Turkey many promises, little support - Cumhuriyet
Moscow may change Cyprus policy - Cumhuriyet 6/13
Bosnian Serb government admits Srebrenica killings - Radikal
6/13


BRIEFING

PM Erdogan visits US: Prime Minister Erdogan asked the US
to keep its word to eliminate the PKK/Kongra-Gel presence in
northern Iraq. Erdogan told American Jewish groups in
Washington that his recent criticism of Israeli policies
toward the Palestinians is not directed against the state of
Israel, but at PM Ariel Sharon's government. Erdogan
asserted that Turkey's political and economic relations with
Israel will continue. Erdogan criticized Arafat for missing
a significant opportunity for peace during the time of
former Israeli PM Barak. `Arafat should not have left the
negotiating table, and Barak should not have withdrawn from
politics,' he said. Erdogan added that `the peace process
requires a great effort.' He urged Arafat not to stand in
the way of peace. `The issue can be resolved between the
two peoples,' Erdogan said.

Freed Kurdish MPs in Diyarbakir: Four Kurdish ex-MPs --
Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak and Orhan Dogan -- went
to the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir over the weekend,
where they were given a warm welcome by tens of thousands of
local citizens. Zana called on the PKK to extend its
unilateral cease-fire by at least six months, and to
continue efforts for peace with the `brotherly Turkish
people.' `This country must not be turned into another
Palestine, Lebanon or Yugoslavia,' Zana said. Hatip Dicle
described the suffering in the region, and urged `new legal
arrangements' that could end the armed conflict. `The 5,000
Kurds now in prison should be allowed to contribute to the
peace process,' Dicle stressed. He also noted that if the
necessary conditions are established, imprisoned PKK leader
Abdullah Ocalan could become the `architect of peace.' Over
the weekend Tuncer Bakirhan, chairman of the pro-Kurdish
DEHAP party, which faces possible closure for alleged ties
with the PKK, called on PKK militants to lay down their arms
and resume their five-year cease-fire. Bakirhan called on
the Turkish government to declare an unconditional general
amnesty. The mayor of Diyarbakir, Osman Baydemir, said a
lasting peace in the region is possible now that the four
former pro-Kurdish lawmakers have been freed.
Congressman Wexler, Ambassador Edelman meet lawmakers: US
Ambassador to Ankara, Eric Edelman, and Congressman Robert
Wexler paid a `surprise' visit to members of the
parliamentary foreign relations committee last week,
"Hurrriyet" reports. Wexler told the Turkish lawmakers that
a vessel loaded with heavy weaponry that was stopped by
Turkish police on the Bosphorus last week was not going to
Egypt as announced, but rather to Gaza. Wexler responded to
AK Party lawmakers who hold Sharon responsible for the
unrest in Palestine by saying that terror has always existed
in the region. Some CHP lawmakers urged Wexler to help
postpone the US-sponsored `Greater Middle East Initiative'
due to objections by some Arab states. Wexler said that
such a postponement would not be possible.

OIC Istanbul Summit: Ankara is hoping that the Organization
of the Islamic Conference (OIC) will back its candidate for
the post of OIC secretary-general and lift international
sanctions against the Turkish Cypriot enclave when OIC
foreign ministers meet in Istanbul beginning on Monday.
Ankara also expects the OIC to upgrade the position of the
`TRNC' to that of a `Turkish Cypriot State' within the
organization. Foreign ministers of 57 Islamic countries
will attend the three-day summit. Observers expect Saudi
Arabia and Egypt to voice opposition to the Greater Middle
East initiative. Iraq's neighbors will hold a meeting
within the summit framework. UN Special Representative
Lakhdar Brahimi will also attend this session.

Cyprus: In a meeting in Istanbul last week, PM Erdogan and
`TRNC PM' Talat discussed a symbolic withdrawal of 5,000
Turkish troops from Cyprus in an effort to remove the
remaining obstacles to Ankara's attempt to obtain a date
from the EU for entry talks, "Milliyet" reports. EU
enlargement chief Verhuegen told Talat that EU regulations
did not allow direct trade with the Turkish Cypriot enclave,
weekend papers report. However, Verheugen said the EU will
grant 259 million euros in aid to the Turkish Cypriots and
work to improve regulations concerning the buffer zone in
the island.


EDITORIAL OPINION:

a) G-8 Summit/BMENAI
b) US-Turkey-EU

"Don't disparage the importance of this partnership"
Yasemin Congar wrote in the mass appeal Milliyet (6/14):
"The participation of Turkey in the G-8 summit was an
important achievement for Turkish diplomacy. PM Erdogan's
messages about the Middle East and the Broader Middle East
and North Africa Initiative (BMENAI) included very valuable
assessments and warnings. All of these concerns were
reflected in the final G-8 documents. Turkey also was named
as a co-chair for the `Democratic Assistance Dialogue' group
along with Italy and Yemen. This led some to comment that
Turkey was beginning to turn away from its EU vision. On
the contrary, taking part in such a mechanism will be an
important step to enhance Turkey's ties with the EU. .
American officials attach great importance to the working
dialogue between Turkey's PM and the King of Jordan, which
went even beyond the Sea Island meetings. There is also
great optimism that the Turkish business community and
Turkish NGOs will cooperate successfully in the region to
promote economic, social and political reform."

"BMENAI is a project for occupying the region"
Erol Manisali argued in the social democrat Cumhuriyet
(6/14): "Whether it is the GME or the BMENAI, the project
provides clear goals for both the US and the EU. In short,
the goal of the initiative is to control the region
politically, culturally, economically and militarily. Pro-
Western regimes will be established and, from an economic
point of view, they will do whatever the US and EU request.
American and western capital would then be able to
monopolize the entire region. This is what the BMENAI is
all about. Democracy is a sheer lie to cover up its real
aims, which are fascist. . In order to achieve the goals,
the western world is now engaged in a vicious game. It is
using Israel, Armenia, Georgia and the Kurds against the
Muslim peoples. There are strong indications to prove this
kind of plot. Therefore, it is impossible to understand the
decision of the Turkish government to be a part of the GME.
Turkey's participation in such a plan which is designed to
occupy the region will achieve nothing, except perhaps to
bring Turkey to the brink of civil war."

"The Ball is in the EU's court"
Semih Idiz opined in the mass appeal Aksam (6/14): "In the
past, Turkey has missed many EU trains. Strategic mistakes,
especially during the time of PM Ecevit and President
Demirel, have become part of our history. History will also
register the train we missed at the 2002 Copenhagen summit
because of Denktas' intransigence. As a result of this
mistake, Greek Cyprus has now entered the EU on its own.
But recently, under the leadership of PM Erdogan, Turkey is
fulfilling all of the criteria the EU has established. If
the EU still blocks Turkey's accession, the impact will be
very negative for the EU. Therefore, let us continue to do
what is necessary. But at this point, the ball is really in
the EU's court."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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