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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 004190

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,
WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION

HEADLINES

HEADLINES

HEADLINES

HEADLINES

MASS APPEALS
Erdogan's historic visit to Iran - Sabah
American `protection' for People's Mujahedeen - Milliyet
Turkey opens ports to Greek Cypriot vessels - Sabah
`US giants' Carter, Clinton, Gore give Kerry full support
- Milliyet
Clinton show at Kerry convention - Hurriyet
$1 million Turkish aid for Palestine - Milliyet
Castro: Bush mentally ill - Hurriyet
Castro: Bush an alcoholic - Aksam
Islamic Art Exhibition carries `God's voice' to US -
Aksam

OPINION MAKERS
PM Erdogan: Turkey will improve relations with Iran -
Yeni Safak
US not uneasy with Erdogan's Iran visit - Yeni Safak
Greek Cypriots fire at Wolfowitz - Cumhuriyet
Greek lobby launches campaign against Wolfowitz - Zaman
Greek lobby wants Wolfowitz sacked - Radikal
Clinton boosts morale of Democrats - Cumhuriyet
Clinton provides fresh blood for Kerry - Radikal
Clinton a `soldier' for Kerry - Zaman
US `umbrella' for People's Mujahedeen - Cumhuriyet
Israeli police put Masjid-al-Haram ban for Jews - Yeni
Safak


BRIEFING

PM Erdogan's Iran visit: PM Erdogan said Tuesday that he
would ask Iran to put PKK/Kongra Gel on its list of
terrorist groups before flying to Iran for a two-day
visit starting Wednesday. Prior to Erdogan's visit,
Iranian security forces this month launched a crackdown
on PKK militants hiding on Iranian territory along the
border with Turkey, in which 10 rebels and two Iranian
soldiers were killed. Tehran shares Ankara's concerns
that any move towards greater autonomy by the Kurds in
northern Iraq could spark unrest in neighboring
countries. A disagreement over the price of natural gas
Turkey is importing from Iran as well as a dispute over a
contract on the operation of the Imam Khomeini Airport by
a Turkish-led consortium were also expected to be
discussed, Turkish papers report. Erdogan said economic
cooperation would also be high on the agenda of his
meetings, noting that the two countries should double the
current bilateral trade volume of $2.5 billion in the mid-
term. "There has been improvement both in our political
and economic relations with Iran in the past several
years... We will explore ways and opportunities of
further improving our cooperation in all fields," Erdogan
said. Erdogan will meet with President Khatami and his
first aide, Reza Arif. He will also deliver a speech at
the Turkey-Iran Business Forum. A group of about 130
businessmen is traveling with the Turkish prime minister
on his trip. "Milliyet" claims that Erdogan has received
a last-minute warning from the US Embassy in Ankara with
regard to US laws envisaging sanctions for companies that
would make oil or natural gas deals with Iran. Iran-
Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 (ILSA) requires the US
President to impose sanctions on companies making energy
investments of over $20 million annually in Iran and
Libya, "Milliyet" notes.
US crackdown on Iraqi Kurdish office: Coalition forces
in northern Iraq have raided a PKK-affiliated office in
Kirkuk, papers report. On Monday, US troops broke into
the "Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party" office and
detained several PKK militants. Dailies regard the
crackdown as part of America's plans for breaking the
organizational structure of the PKK as well as meeting
Ankara's expectations for elimination of the group's
presence in the region. "Radikal" reports US Ankara
Embassy officials as saying that Washington had ordered
an investigation into the incident.

US gives terrorists `refugee status': The US
Administration has given 4,000 members of the Iranian
opposition group "People's Mujahedeen" in the "Ashraf"
camp in eastern Iraq refugee status within the framework
of the Geneva Convention, papers report. People's
Mujahedeen will remain on the list of terror
organizations, and its members involved in terrorist
attacks will be deprived of their refugee status. Iran
has asked for extradition of Mujahedeen members, papers
note.

Greek Cypriot dialogue attempts with Turkey: "Sabah"
reports from Athens that Greek Cypriot officials have
launched an attempt for dialogue with Turkey. Greek
Cypriot Transport Ministry officials said Turkey had
begun giving Greek Cypriot vessels access to Turkish
ports. Greek officials have welcomed the Turkish move as
being "extremely important and positive," says "Sabah."
Greek sources told "Sabah" that air corridors between
south Cyprus and Turkey, which were kept closed since
1974, would be opened soon. Direct flights between the
Greek Nicosia and major Turkish cities are expected to be
commenced before the end of this year, "Sabah" writes.
The Greek Cypriot Administration is also preparing a
package of economic and trade measures for improving
dialogue with northern Cyprus, the paper reports.

Greeks want Wolfowitz out: American Hellenic Institute
(AHI) claimed that Paul Wolfowitz's `pro-Turkey' policies
have been harmful to US interests, and urged him to be
sacked, Turkish papers report. AHI President Gene
Rossides said Turkey did not support the US in the war
with Iraq. The Turkish Administration has been cruel to
minorities, and violates human rights, Rossides claimed.
AHI has also asked for resignation of Pentagon's no 3
figure, Douglas Feith.

Turkish humanitarian aid for Palestine: FM Gul said
Turkish government would send food, medicine and medical
equipment worth of $1 million and donate three ambulances
to the Palestinian government. The humanitarian aid will
be dispatched to Palestine this week via Syria and
Jordan, Gul noted.

Ankara to invite bids for helicopter contract: Turkey's
Defense Industry Undersecretary Murat Bayar said new bids
would be invited next month for attack helicopters
following the cancellation of a previous helicopter
project, "Cumhuriyet" reports. Interested companies will
be given a few months to put forward offers, and the
decision will be made early next year, Bayar said.

EDITORIAL OPINION:

"Iran-France or Middle East-Europe"
Murat Yetkin commented in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(7/28): "Following his visit to France, PM Erdogan's visit
to Iran, which started yesterday, helps us to weigh Turkey's
political options. Turkey's biggest expectation from the
visit to France was to attain EU membership, which was on
the top of its list of strategic targets. Prior to
Erdogan's visit to France, Turkey was experiencing an
internal policy debate over head scarves. France's firm
support of Turkey's separation of church and state was proof
of France's support of Turkey's secular structure. It is
nice that Mrs. Erdogan is accompanying her husband to Iran.
But it would be very pleasing, not only for the PM but for
the Turkish public too, if Mrs. Erdogan had been invited to
France too. As a matter of fact, Iran is under a repressive
administration today, where women have no rights and they
have to be covered from top to toe. Because the U.S. is
looking for an excuse to attack Iran, there is international
pressure on Iran to open its nuclear program to inspections.
Turkey's expectations from the visit to Iran concern warning
Iran on their nuclear program, reducing Iran's gas prices,
and asking for support against PKK. Because, Turkey and
Iran's interests overlap, Iran's cooperation on these issues
is very likely. In short, Turkey's aim to integrate with
the West is to obtain politically permeable borders with the
West. And Turkey's aim with the East is for more
impermeable borders. The Turkish-Iranian border is the
world's oldest land border. And, everyone can benefit if
this border becomes the Europe's border on the east."

"No Voter's Last Hope is the EU Commission"
Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in the mass appeal Posta (7/28): "
I have noticed during the latest visit to France that even
countries formerly objecting to Turkey's accession, now say,
`if the European Union Commission report on Turkey is
positive, we won't object'. No one greets Turkey willingly.
But, no one expresses objections openly either. Everyone
passes the ball to the EU Commission. There are two reasons
for this attitude. The first and the most important reason
is to blame the commission for starting the membership
negotiations with Turkey. Since public opinion is strongly
opposed on the matter, rather than taking the blame,
governments prefer to hide behind the commission. The
second reason has more ugly intentions. Commission reports
are never black or white. The purpose is to give the member
countries more room to maneuver when they are making
political decisions. Even through there are differences
from time to time, in general, commission reports are
accepted. That is why the Commission's report on Turkey is
very important for the member countries. The only hope for
the European capitals, which want the negotiations to be
postponed for a while but do not want to deteriorate the
relations with Ankara, is for the commission to emphasize
the negative aspects in the report. In summary, the EU
members will be using the EU commission as an excuse to
object to Turkey's accession." DEUTSCH

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