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
MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2004




President Bush: We are proud to be Turkey's friend -
Erdogan to Bush: Crush the PKK - Hurriyet
PKK issue remains unresolved - Milliyet
Istanbul capital of the world - Hurriyet
NATO will call Islamic countries for cooperation against
terror - Milliyet
5 Requests, 5 Answers - Sabah
FM Gul: "Bush Did Not Request Anything" - Sabah
Istanbul was Secure and Quiet - Sabah
Bush Passed the Ball to New Iraq Administration on PKK -
Not Good Enough Mr. Bush - Posta
Security Check by the Dogs - Posta
Powell Intervenes on behalf of the Turkish Hostages - Posta

Bush declines making promises - Cumhuriyet
Bush renews promise on concrete steps for PKK - Referans
US words, but not deeds - Radikal
Ankara says `No' to conditional US loan - Yeni Safak
NATO flag for Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Istanbul ready for NATO guests - Yeni Safak
Bush meets religious leaders - Yeni Safak
Laura Bush likes Turkish coffee - Referans


President Bush visits Ankara: Papers report that at his
meeting with PM Erdogan, President Bush placed
responsibility for removing the PKK presence in northern
Iraq on the new Iraqi administration. Bush drew parallels
between Al-Qaida and the PKK. However, President Bush did
not elaborate on the method and timing for elimination of
the PKK threat. The Turkish side said it was not willing to
accept a longstanding $8.5 billion loan due to the loan's
condition blocking Ankara from taking unilateral military
action in northern Iraq. Both sides agreed to suspend the
loan. Ankara also asked Bush for direct US flights to
northern Cyprus in this tourism season. President Bush said
a US package on Cyprus would be announced soon. Ankara
asked Bush that Kirkuk not be left to one single ethnic
group. President Bush said that the US and Turkey were in
agreement on the future of Iraq. Bush gave a concrete
message on the EU, and promised to do everything possible to
see that the EU gives Turkey a date for entry talks.
Erdogan thanked Bush for US support on EU accession.
President Bush declined to respond to an American
journalist's question on the three Turks kidnapped in Iraq.
Following his meeting with Erdogan, Bush visited Ataturk's
mausoleum. After laying a wreath at Ataturk's tomb, Bush
wrote in the book of honor that he shares the deep respect
of the Turkish nation for Ataturk. After meeting with
President Bush at Cankaya Palace, President Sezer expressed
Turkey`s expectation that the US would work to eliminate the
terrorist PKK organization from the region as soon as
possible. Sezer noted that bilateral relations with the US
should be further improved. Sezer expressed hope that
Bush`s visit would yield positive results and contribute to
regional peace and security. Sezer also expressed Turkey`s
expectation that U.S.-Turkish relations should not be
negatively affected by `hostile' parties. President Sezer
thanked the U.S. administration for its support of Turkey`s
EU membership and its efforts on the Cyprus issue.

Turks abducted in Iraq: Al-Zarkawi militants abducted three
Turks in Iraq, and threatened to behead them if Turkish
companies do not leave Iraq in 72 hours. They also urged
the Turkish people to hold mass protests against President
Bush's visit to Turkey. Secretary Powell said in Ankara
that they were working for the release of Turks.


"Expectations from the NATO Summit"
Ferai Tinc commented in the mass appeal "Hurriyet" (5/28):
"The US-EU summit set the scene for the Istanbul summit.
NATO is developing a new identity based on the emerging
needs of the post-Cold War era. The Istanbul summit is
going to define this identity. The new identity not only
brings a variety of military and political missions to NATO,
but also requires a greater contribution from the alliance's
members. As proven by the Afghanistan experience, the fight
against terrorism requires NATO to assume both military and
political roles and to increase its contribution of finance
and supplies. ... President Bush expects to achieve
collaboration between the US and Europe, particularly on
Iraq. That means NATO intervention in Iraq, which has been
a goal of Washington for some time. John Kerry has been
accusing Bush of alienating the US in the international
arena. If NATO action in Iraq materializes, President Bush
will be able to gain an important advantage in the upcoming
elections against Kerry."

"Enough of being a good boy"
Gungor Mengi argued in the mass appeal "Vatan" (5/28): "The
NATO summit is the venue where the alliance is to redefine
itself. Terrorism is a major issue at the summit, which
brings Turkey to the frontline. The redefinition of NATO
will certainly bring some consequences with it, such as the
fact that the Turkish 3rd Army Corps has already become a
NATO army and it is quite possible soon to be called for
duty in Afghanistan. Turkey, among all the NATO members, is
the closest one to the `fire.' Now is the time for us to
stand up and make our dignified presence in the alliance
felt. Being a good boy is not a bad thing, but we should
not be a stupid boy! ... Both Sezer and Erdogan brought up
the PKK issue to President Bush and complained about unmet
U.S. commitments. President Bush, in return, noted the
transfer of authority to the Iraqi government and talked
about cooperation with the new government on this issue.
This is not a respectful answer to Turkey's sensitivity, and
not a realistic answer either. UNSC resolution 1546 leaves
the security issue in the hands of coalition forces. Bush
has been fooling Turkey on the fight against the PKK for the
past 12 months and now he simply cannot say `this is not my
issue any more.' One wonders if the Bush administration
plans to use the PKK issue as a trump card to establish a
relationship between Turkey and the Iraqi government. If
that is the real intention, it is risky and very bad."

"A Shadow Summit"
Erdal Safak commented in the mass appeal "Sabah" (6/28):
"The broader NATO Summit in Istanbul shelters another
summit: the EU summit. Istanbul hosts 19 of the 25 heads of
state from the EC. When ever again will we find so many EU
leaders together? I really wish the Turkish government had
squeezed into the NATO summit a meeting with EU leaders in
order to present the reform packages and their
implementation in Turkey. I wish it were possible to extend
the leaders' stay one extra day to take them for a tour of
the roots of Europe and the cradle of the Christianity.
However, we still consider the Istanbul summit as a
diplomatic good omen. In November 1999, one month after the
OSCE summit in Istanbul, during the EU's Helsinki summit,
Turkey was given full OSCE membership. We believe that five
and half months after the NATO summit, during another EU
summit, the doors will open for Turkey."
"June Without People"
Yasemin Congar opined in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (6/28):
"Recently, wherever President Bush has traveled, the same
measures were adopted as we have seen in Ankara and
Istanbul. Roads were closed to the people. In Istanbul, we
found ourselves in a NATO valley that is closed to the
public. The June series of summits, which will end with the
Istanbul summit, sends the world the message that the
conflict between the US and Europe over Iraq has been
overcome and that the NATO alliance has started to
coordinate again, including by putting the broader Middle
East on its agenda. However, the success is rather narrow.
Even after 16 months, stability and security has not been
established in Iraq. And the violent threat against three
Turkish hostages limits the success even more. Yesterday,
during Bush's visit to Ankara, the Turkish media stayed away
from the Turkish hostage issue. Terrorism was not
eliminated by the process that started after 9/11 and was
broadened by the Iraq War. Another unsuccessful aspect of
the June series of summits is that in his travels the
President did not find people meeting and greeting him
warmly. Within this framework, President Bush's half-day
Ankara visit did not meet Turkey's expectations. Other than
US support for Turkey's EU accession, our expectations on
the issues of PKK and Cyprus were not fulfilled. Bush left
Ankara without telling the officials anything new, without
making any new gestures, without taking any questions from
the press, and without making himself visible to the


© Scoop Media

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