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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 02 ANKARA 003603

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, JUNE 25, 2004


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

HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
President Bush: I would like to spend my holiday in Turkey -
Hurriyet
Bombs did not change Bush program in Turkey - Aksam
FM Gul: No US demand for new Turkish bases - Aksam
El-Al suspends Istanbul flights - Milliyet
Iraqi hell: 100 killed, 320 injured - Sabah
Socialist International meets in Istanbul - Milliyet
Iran releases captive Britons - Sabah

OPINION MAKERS
Bush to urge NATO protection for Iraq at Istanbul summit -
Zaman
Bush to ask NATO to train Iraqi forces - Radikal
Washington wants new defense deal with Turkey - Cumhuriyet
Talabani suggests general amnesty for PKK - Zaman
Turkmen: Unrest in Kirkuk may cause civil war - Yeni Safak
Violence growing in Iraq - Radikal
Resisters strike at five Iraqi cities - Cumhuriyet
BBC to set up Arabic channel - Radikal
Athens happy about efforts to reopen Halki Seminary - Zaman


BRIEFING

President Bush due in Turkey: Turkish papers expect
President Bush to voice support for Turkey's EU membership
at the June 25-26 US-EU Summit in Dublin, Ireland. Bush
will highlight the constructive attitude of Turkey during
the UN-backed negotiations for reunification of Cyprus, and
will press EU leaders to grant Ankara a date for entry
talks. "Cumhuriyet" does not expect President Bush to
announce a US package of measures about Cyprus. US sources
say that changes may be needed in some US laws and
regulations in order to take steps forward. Therefore,
discussion of a `Cyprus package' during the Bush visit are
not realistic, "Cumhuriyet" reports. Turkish papers also
expect Ankara to urge President Bush to authorize US
military action to remove the terrorist PKK presence from
northern Iraq. On Thursday, FM Gul denied news stories
claiming that President Bush would convey a list of new
military demands during his visit to Ankara.

Washington wants new defense deal with Turkey: Today's
"Cumhuriyet" reports that the US believes the 1980 Defense
and Economic Cooperation Agreement with Turkey is outdated,
and that a new arrangement that would better fit the defense
requirements of both countries. Ankara thinks that the US
is mainly interested in the defense aspect of the agreement,
and did not care about its economic side. Washington
believes the world and the threat have changed since the
agreement was signed, and that a new military approach
should be developed in line with those changes. In a recent
visit to Ankara, US Assistant Secretary of State Lincoln
Bloomfield said the future status of Incirlik Airbase
depends on the outcome of the strategic dialogue between
officials of the two countries. Bloomfield's remarks were
evaluated as an indication of Washington's efforts to bring
a new definition to its strategic cooperation with Turkey.
Talabani calls for amnesty for PKK: Patriotic Union of
Iraqi Kurdistan (PUK) leader Jalal Talabani on Thursday
called for a general amnesty for members of the outlawed
PKK/Kongra-Gel. Talabani said the PKK was now divided into
three, and said that the more pacifist wing led by Osman
Ocalan was supporting a political struggle. "Most PKK
members would return to their houses if a general amnesty
were declared," Talabani stressed. Talabani also noted that
he did not expect the US to launch a military operation
against the PKK, and said the Iraqi interim government
should take a decision for such an action.
EDITORIAL OPINION:

--POTUS Visit
--NATO Summit

"President Bush's Visit"
Hasan Mesut Hazar commented in the conservative Turkiye
(6/25): "A majority of the Turkish public thinks that
President Bush has created a great deal of chaos in the
world through his mistaken policies. They believe that the
American fight against terrorism is really an effort to gain
hegemony over the region and its oil resources. President
Bush is to arrive in Turkey in this negative atmosphere.
Moreover, the PKK issue makes things even worse. His
arrival highlights the unmet promise by the US side about
the elimination of PKK terrorism in northern Iraq. These
issues, which are of particular interest to Turkey,
naturally overshadow the NATO summit. It is hard to
understand the US silence about the PKK and its bloody
terrorism. It creates a serious credibility gap for
President Bush, because he is using the fight against global
terrorism to justify his every policy, whether right or
wrong. Let's hope President Bush is going to make some
gestures and announce measures on this issue so that the
overall negative atmosphere decreases. Otherwise, both his
Ankara trip and the efforts to add new missions to NATO are
doomed to fail. Turkey and the US need the strategic
partnership more than ever before."

"What is NATO's Aim?"
Taha Akyol commented in the mass appeal Milliyet (6/25):
"At the moment the Middle East is a region in crisis. Most
likely it will continue to be the world's most problematic
region for another fifty years. Public unrest, corrupt and
repressive regimes, unresolved border claims, terrorism, and
oil all contribute to the dangerous mix. Just like the
Balkans at the beginning of the 20th century, today the
Middle East affects the whole world through its instability.
Turkey is considered by many as a kind of solution to this
problem. However, clashes of interests and opinions are
preventing a further definition of this solution.
Therefore, if NATO tries to spread its activities to a
broader geography, it will lose its effectiveness and cracks
within its own structure could widen. NATO should be very
careful, especially on the Middle East. The US
representative to NATO, Nicholas Burns, during his speech in
Prague on October 19, 2003, said that `NATO's main duty is
still to defend North America and Western Europe. But, I
don't think we can fulfill this duty from where we sit. We
have to direct our attention and military power to the south
and east. I believe NATO's future is in the south and east,
it is in the Greater Middle East.' Burns' formulation is
problematic. It is certainly true that the Middle East is
in crisis, but the solution is not to be found in NATO.
Counter-terrorism is a must, but the necessary changes in
the Middle East must be realized through economic and social
development. NATO's new function should not be to create
more enemies, but to support security, stability and
development."

EDELMAN

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