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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 003995

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 19, 2004

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

HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
US Bothered By Erdogan's Attitude Toward Israel - Hurriyet
(7/17)
US Opposes Restriction on US Assistance to Turkey - Hurriyet
(7/18)
Turkish NSC Wants Active Role For Turkey in GME - Posta
Gul: "Bush Shares Our Views About Kirkuk" - Hurriyet
Erdogan Goes to France - Sabah
EU's First Turkish Minister - Sabah
Turkish Minister in Belgium - Milliyet
NSC: "Turkey Must Not Stay Out Of the Greater Middle East" -
Milliyet

OPINION MAKERS
Cyprus Promise From Gul - Cumhuriyet
Conditional Permission to reopen Halki Seminary - Radikal
US Official to Visit Cyprus - Radikal
Laura Kennedy Goes to `TRNC' to Discuss US Aid - Zaman
US Support for `TRNC' - Yeni Safak

BRIEFING

US Bothered by Erdogan's Stance on Israel: Saturday's
"Hurriyet" reports that the US was bothered by the attitude
of Turkish PM Erdogan toward Israel. US officials in
Washington said that while Turkey has the right to criticize
Israel, the timing of Erdogan's comments was unfortunate.
The statement came while there had been positive
developments in Gaza and while Egypt and other regional
countries were supporting the Israeli withdrawal from the
area. US officials said that they had conveyed their
concerns about the PM's comments to the Turkish side, and
claimed that the US and Turkey had `reached an
understanding' on the issue.

Armenian Lobby Targets US Assistance to Turkey: Sunday's
"Hurriyet" reports that the Bush Administration strongly
opposes an amendment to the Foreign Operations bill that
seeks to restrict US Assistance to Turkey. The provision
passed the House of Representatives in a voice vote, but has
not yet passed in the Senate. House Speaker Dennis Hastert
said that both the Congressional leadership and the Bush
Administration strongly oppose the measure and will insist
that it be taken out of the bill before the final version
comes to a vote. State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher
said the amendment would be detrimental to efforts aimed at
reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia.

FM Gul Warns Turkey not to Remain Passive on Kirkuk: FM Gul
told "Hurriyet" over the weekend that Turkey is closely
following developments in Kirkuk and will not remain passive
in the event of injustices against the Turkmen population.
`Just as we protected the Kurds from cruelties perpetrated
against them in the past,' Gul said, `we will protect the
Turkmen in the future.' Gul noted that Kirkuk had the
potential to turn into a `Bosnia-like' situation. The FM
added that President Bush agreed during his recent visit to
Turkey on the need to ensure stability in northern Iraq and
on the sensitivity of the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk.

Cevikoz to be Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad: "Hurriyet"
reports that the Foreign Ministry has decided to name
Ambassador Unal Cevikoz, currently serving as Ambassador to
Azerbaijan, as Turkey's new Ambassador to Baghdad.
PM Erdogan Goes to France: PM Erdogan travels to Paris
today for a three-day visit to seek support for Turkey's EU
Accession date. Erdogan will hold meetings with President
Chirac, PM Raffarin, the chairman of the French Parliament's
Foreign Affairs Committee, and with French businessmen. In
addition to asking for French support for Turkey's EU
accession date, the media speculates that the PM will also
discuss the possible purchase of Airbus jets for the THY
fleet.

TGS Urges Turkey's Involvement in GME: In the first edition
of its newly-established `National Security Bulletin,' the
General Secretariat of the Turkish General Staff (TGS) wrote
that Turkey should not allow itself to be excluded from the
Greater Middle East Initiative (GME). The publication calls
on Turkey to participate in the initiative because of its
geographical location at the heart of the Greater Middle
East and as a way to share its accumulated democratic
experience with other countries in the region.

DAS Laura Kennedy to Visit `TRNC': Most papers report that
US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for European
and Eurasian Affairs Laura Kennedy will visit the `TRNC'
this week to discuss the opening of a USAID office in the
`TRNC' and direct air links between the US and norther
Cyprus. Kennedy will make an official call on `TRNC PM'
Mehmet Ali Talat. Kennedy will hold meetings in Ankara with
the MFA and Turkish General Staff on Tuesday.

Reopening of Halki Seminary: "Radikal" reports that Turkey
is working on a formula for the reopening of Halki Seminary.
Under the proposal, which has been reviewed jointly by the
Turkish MFA and the Ministry of Education, the seminary
would reopen as a foundation operation under the authority
of the Ministry of Education. Before the seminary is
reopened, however, Turkey will insist that that Greece
increase the number of Turkish teachers in Gumulcine High
School, one of two Islamic religious schools in Western
Thrace. "Radikal" notes that both President Sezer and the
head of the Higher Education Board have approved the Turkish
proposal. In responding to a reporter's question on the
issue today, however, FM Gul said the report was entirely
inaccurate.

EDITORIAL OPINION:

n Iraq
n The US Elections

"Corruption in Iraq"
Zafer Atay commented in the economic-political Dunya (7/19):
"Corruption stories have long been circulating in Iraq --
the commission fee scandal for the UN, the Halliburton
scandal, and the recent cellular phone contract scandal.
There is strong evidence that Halliburton has been supplying
oil to American forces in Iraq at an extraordinarily high
price. The Pentagon has identified serious accounting
mistakes and irresponsible spending which has been billed to
the Pentagon. ... The cellular phone contract scandal also
involves some interesting figures, including Paul Bremer,
the former proconsul of Iraq, as well as some prominent
Iraqi businessmen and other US administration officials.
The Pentagon had decided to give the celluar phone bid to
Turkcell, but Bremer resisted this advice and opted instead
for an Egyptian firm, Orozcom. The Pentagon has already
launched an investigation regarding bribery allegations in
the case. All of this shows yet another ugly face for the
occupation of Iraq."
"The Presidential Race and Turkey: Who should win?"
Omer Taspinar from the Brookings Institute wrote in the
liberal-intellectual Radikal (7/19): "Talking about whether
Bush or Kerry is better for Turkey is to view the issue too
narrowly. Considering Bush as a friend of Turkey and Kerry
as anti-Turkey is to caricature the candidates without
explaining the future of Turkish-American relations in their
broader context. Turkey's importance to the US goes beyond
the personal views of the man who occupies the White House.
Regardless of who wins the upcoming presidential election,
Turkey's importance for the US is not going to change. ...
It seems that President Bush's chances are on the decline
for two main reasons -- Iraq and the economy. ... Regarding
Kerry-Edwards, there might be one particular advantage for
Turkey -- that is, the EU accession process. President
Bush's intervention on Turkey's behalf was not welcomed by
the EU, but lobbying efforts for Turkey by the Kerry-Edwards
duo might bring a more positive result, especially with
France."

DEUTSCH

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