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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.

121548Z Jul 04

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 003840

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, JULY 12, 2004


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

HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Kerry blames Bush for US troops killed in Iraq - Milliyet
Newsweek: Americans tortured Abu-Ghraib captives `for fun' -
Hurriyet
US Congress: CIA exaggerated Iraq information - Sabah 7/10
US official: Iraqi resistance larger than estimated -
Milliyet 7/10
Clinton: I wouldn't have occupied Iraq - Milliyet 7/11
Clinton: Path to Middle East peace passes through Jerusalem
- Yeni Safak
Pope to visit Istanbul in November - Milliyet

OPINION MAKERS
First US assistance for `TRNC' - Zaman 7/10
Turkey seeks lasting solution for Kirkuk - Zaman 7/10
Kerry wages `Iraq war' on Bush - Zaman
Barzani: Kirkuk issue `a time bomb' - Cumhuriyet
Athens, Greek Cypriots block EU aid for `TRNC' - Cumhuriyet
7/11
Karamanlis supports Turkey's European future - Cumhuriyet
Bush's destiny in the hands of Nader - Yeni Safak
Bush pledges reform of intelligence agencies - Cumhuriyet
7/11
Fundamentalist terror alert in the Netherlands - Cumhuriyet
7/11
Israel kills women in Gaza - Radikal 7/11
Karadzic allegedly ill, may surrender - Zaman 7/11


BRIEFING

Israeli, Syrian officials due in Ankara: Israeli Deputy PM
Ehud Olmert will be in Ankara July 13-15 to attend a meeting
of the Turkish-Israeli joint economic committee. Olmert
will also discuss with Turkish officials Ankara's critical
approach to Israel's policy in the occupied territories.
Ankara's mission as a mediator between Israel and Syria will
not be on the agenda of Olmert's talks with the Turks. PM
Erdogan has refused to grant Olmert a meeting, papers
report. Meanwhile, Syrian PM Momahad Naci Otri will meet
with PM Erdogan in Ankara July 14. Otri and his
accompanying delegation of Syrian businessmen will discuss
with Ankara ways for improving business and trade relations
between the two countries. Iraq and the activities of
Kurdish groups in northern Iraq will top the agenda of
Otri's meetings.

US aid for `TRNC': The United States will provide $30
million in assistance to the `TRNC' this year as part of the
American effort to reduce the isolation of the Turkish
Cypriot enclave, US officials said. The funding is to be
provided as recognition of the Turkish Cypriots' support for
the UN-brokered peace plan to reunify the island. The money
will be released in coming months. "We've worked up a
package designed to ease the economic isolation and keep the
idea of a settlement alive," a senior US State Department
official said.

Turkish delegation visits northern Iraq: A high-level
Turkish delegation visited northern Iraq at the invitation
by the KDP leader Barzani to investigate alleged Kurdish
attempts to change the demographic structure in Kirkuk,
Saturday's "Zaman" reports. The Turkish delegation was met
by the Kurdish governor of Kirkuk, and held meetings with
Kurdish, Turkmen and Arab representatives. Several ethnic
groups in the region expect a positive contribution by
Turkey to the resolution of regional problems, "Zaman"
reports.
Police seek prosecution of Kurdish ex-MPs: Turkish police
officials announced on Friday that mass demonstrations
organized to meet Kurdish ex-lawmakers led by Leyla Zana in
Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeastern provinces had been
carried out in violation of Turkish law. The police have
applied to the chief prosecutor to investigate the rallies,
in which the former lawmakers addressed their audiences in
Kurdish. People chanted slogans in support of the outlawed
PKK during several of the rallies. The announcement of
possible legal action against Zana and her colleagues came
the day after strong criticism by Deputy of the Turkish
General Staff, General Ilker Basbug, of the Turkish
authorities for allowing the Kurdish ex-MPs stage
demonstrations in southeast Turkey.

EDITORIAL OPINION:

a) US Elections
b) War against terrorism

"Collateral Damage and the US Elections"
Yasemin Congar wrote in the mass appeal Milliyet (7/12):
"The Iraq war has been very costly in terms of human loss
and financial burden. Yet there are other, indirect
consequences that can be viewed as `collateral damage' from
the war. Civilian casualties are one criteria for examining
the magnitude of the collateral damage. The estimated
number of Iraqi civilians killed in Iraq has now reached 11-
13 thousand. ... This figure has had negative political
effects in the United States, and has also completely
negated the positive steps taken by the US on the ground in
Iraq and in the region. The Broader Middle East reform is a
good example. It was the most constructive foreign policy
initiative from the Bush administration so far, yet it
received a very cold welcome in the international community.
... The upcoming presidential election in the US is very
much in the world's interests because of such collateral
damage. Even if Kerry-Edwards win the elections, there will
not be any fundamental change in US policy, particularly on
the war against terrorism, Iraq, and the Middle East. In
the event of a Kerry victory, the US is not going to
withdraw any forces from Iraq. Moreover, a Kerry
administration will be bound to realize the goals set by the
Bush administration. However, if the Democrats are in
charge of the White House, it is possible that the
collateral damage of the Iraq war for the US will be
reduced."

"The Meaning of Edwards"
Asli Aydintasbas wrote in the mass appeal Sabah (7/12):
"There are certain fixed parameters in US foreign policy set
in the post-9/11 period that will not change even in the
event of a Democratic administration. If Kerry wins the
election, Turkey's situation will remain the same. World
public opinion is mistaken in its expectation that there
will be fundamental changes in American politics if Bush is
not reelected. .... There are some factors that will make
the election process a tough one for Kerry and Edwards.
Their election rhetoric, including phrases that suggest
`class war' approach, is extremely leftist. It can be a good
theme for the media, but is not a popular approach for the
American people. The man on the street in America expects
better international relations and finishing the job in
Iraq. Ordinary Americans are yet to be convinced that the
indecisive and inexperienced Kerry-Edwards team is capable
of doing that. Unless the Democrats can turn that around,
the majority of Americans may well prefer `the devil they
know' over the one they don't."

"The US, Moderate Islam, and Turkey"
Emre Kongar commented in the social democrat-intellectual
Cumhuriyet (7/12): "The concept of moderate Islam was in
the US as a means to combat classical radical, politicized
Islam that was created in the Middle East with the support
of Iran. The moderate Islam concept was the result of a US
strategy change and aimed to impose a Turkish model on other
countries in the region. Creating a model for moderate
Islam required a back step from Turkey's secular system.
This tendency met with certain Islamist (Sharia) tendencies
in Turkey. When these trends came together, the US
characterized the result as moderate Islam. But the
moderate Islam model faces many obstacles, and will not have
positive results either for US interests of for Tukey's
internal dynamics. I really don't know how long it will
take for the US to realize this fact."

DEUTSCH

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