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


--------------------------------------------- -----


Killers of Turkish truck driver `familiar' - Aksam
8 captives killed in Iraq in 4 months - Aksam
Zarkawi allegedly hides in Iran - Sabah
Orange alert based on `canned' intelligence - Hurriyet
Orange `fiasco' - Aksam
Three-year `delayed' alert - Milliyet
South Koreans protest sending troops to Iraq - Sabah
France 5 TV: Turkey is Islam's `Trojan Horse' - Sabah

Turks involved in killing of Turkish truck driver - Radikal
Turkey `helpless,' US `indifferent' on security in Iraq -
HRW warns of looming conflict in northern Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Al-Qaeda threatens Europe - Cumhuriyet
US went on Orange alert based on `old' information - Zaman
Orange alert scandal in US - Yeni Safak
Howard Dean: Bush uses terror as a `pretext' - Cumhuriyet
Humanitarian tragedy on Gaza-Egypt border - Yeni Safak
Statue of Liberty opened to visitors - Cumhuriyet


MFA moves on Turks abducted in Iraq: The Foreign Ministry
sent a declaration made by a major Turkish transporters'
organization (UND) to halt operations in Iraq to Arabic
television channels al-Arabija and al-Jazeera in an effort
to gain the release of the remaining Turkish hostages in
Iraq. On Tuesday, Foreign Ministry and Foreign Trade
officials held a meeting with Turkish companies working in
Iraq. The MFA advised the companies not to go past Mosul in
making deliveries in Iraq. The MFA also contacted US forces
in Iraq, the new Iraqi Administration, and local tribal
leaders in an effort to secure the release of other Turkish
workers abducted by Iraqi militants. Television and radio
reports late Wednesday morning claimed that two more Turkish
hostages had been freed by their captors and would return to
Turkey on Thursday. The reports note that at least one more
Turklish worker, a colleague of the murdered Murat Yuce, is
still being held. Turkish papers speculate that three Turks
with ties to Al-Qaeda (Habib Aktas, Gurcan Bac and Azad
Ekinci) who staged car bomb attacks in Istanbul last
November may have been involved in the killing of a Turkish
driver in Baghdad on Monday. The number of Turkish trucks
going into Iraq through the Habur border crossing fell to
1,400 yesterday from a normal level of 2,000 the day before.
Ankara has become `helpless' in the face of US
`indifference' regarding security in the region, "Radikal"
claims. Turkey, a crucial logistical base for US forces in
Iraq, was aiming to increase trade with Iraq to $2 billion
this year, "Radikal" notes. A commentary in the daily
"Vatan" views the killing of a Turkish truck driver by
groups linked to al-Zarkawi men as an indication of an Al-
Qaeda presence in Turkey. "Vatan" claims that some Turkish
nationals have gone to Iraq to join the insurgents. The
commentary argues that Al-Qaeda cannot be regarded sincere
in `regretting' the death of innocent civilians while
`ruthlessly' killing foreigners working in Iraq. The paper
expects Al-Qaeda to continue its attacks against Turks in
Iraq, and warns of possible new, `spectacular' attacks in
U.S. Soldier Reportedly Arrested Entering Turkey from Iraq:
A front-page story in "Hurriyet" claims that a U.S. soldier
was arrested when authorities at the Habur border crossing
from Iraq found that he was carrying several rounds of
ammunition and other military supplies. Following an
initial interrogation, the soldier was brought before a
judge, who ordered his arrest. The soldier is reportedly
being held in a prison in the border town of Silopi. The US
Embassy issued a statement to the press on Wednesday
afternoon refuting claims that a US soldier had been

Erdogan on Middle East, global terror, Iraq: Turkish papers
report on the second part of PM Erdogan's interview with the
German daily "Bild." `For centuries,' Erdogan said, `Turkey
has shown that Jews and Muslims can live together in peace.
`Turkey has a particular responsibility in contributing to
efforts to find peace in the Middle East,' he added,
asserting that `Turkey wants peace in the Middle East.' `We
want an end to guerrilla war and terrorism in the region,'
Erdogan continued, noting that `Turkey has a particular
responsibility to take care in its relations with Israel.'
`Terror is not only Turkey's problem,' the PM asserted, `but
a problem for the world.' He noted that `even the Pentagon,
one of the best-protected buildings in the world, faced an
attack by terrorists.' Erdogan called on nations of the
world to launch a `joint struggle against terror.' On the
US-led coalition's war with Iraq, Erdogan said that the
`crucial' evidence in the view of the international
community had been claims about the development of WMD by
the former regime in Baghdad. `But no proof has been found
regarding the existence of WMD in Iraq,' Erdogan noted. `It
is a difficult situation for Turkey, because the war in Iraq
is on our border,' he added. `However,' he concluded, `we
are happy that Iraq has been fully disarmed.'

Iraqi leaders to visit Turkey: Iraq's President Gazi al-
Yawar plans to visit Turkey during the last week in August
before setting off on a tour of European capitals, papers
report. Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi will make his first official
visit to Turkey during the first week of September.

HRW report on northern Iraq: Turkish dailies carry a recent
report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that the new Iraqi
government has failed to resolve the property rights dispute
between the ethnic groups in northern Iraq, thus opening the
way for violence in the region in the near future. The 78-
page report documents the increasing frustration of
thousands of displaced Kurds, Turkomen, and Assyrians who
are living in desperate conditions as they await a
resolution of their property claims. The US-led Coalition
Provisional Authority (CPA) failed to address the rising
tensions in northern Iraq and to implement a strategy to
resolve the claims of the different communities there, HRW
alleges. Iraq's interim government urgently needs to
implement a judicial system to resolve these disputes, which
stem from decades of `Arabization' policies that uprooted
hundreds of thousands of Kurds and other non-Arabs, the
report warns. Since April 2003, thousands of displaced
Kurds, Turkomen and others have returned to Kirkuk and other
`Arabized' regions to reclaim their lands. These returnees
were forcibly expelled from their homes by Saddam Hussein
during the 1980s and 1990s. The process of seeking redress
for the displaced Kurds and others must not lead to new
injustices against Arab settlers, HRW warned. HRW called on
Kurdish political leaders to coordinate their efforts to
provide humanitarian assistance to displaced families who
have already returned to reclaim property, and to discourage
further returns until property claims are processed. Since
a census in October this year will determine which ethnic
group will control Kirkuk, Kurds are reportedly rushing back
to the oil-rich town. Kurds are flocking back to Kirkuk,
HRW said, but the city has little capacity to absorb them.

MFA describes Nagorno-Karabakh poll as `illegitimate': MFA
Spokesman Namik Tan said on Tuesday that municipal elections
planned to be held in the Armenian-occupied region of upper
Karabakh would be `illegitimate.' Tan said that Turkey
supports a peaceful solution to the long-standing dispute
within the framework of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Turk Killed in Iraq/ US Terror Alert

"Leaving Iraq is not a solution"
Erdal Safak commented in the mass appeal "Sabah" (8/4): "The
murder of a Turkish citizen by Iraqi terrorists linked to Al-
Qaeda brings up two important but overlooked issues: The
first is the failure of US forces in Iraq fulfill their
commitment to provide escorts for Turkish trucks. The
second is the failure of the Turkish Foreign Ministry to
take action against such negligence. Concerned parties,
including the Turkish-Iraqi Business Council, have been
screaming about the lack of proper protection for Turkish
workers in Iraq, yet their voice somehow did not reach
influential circles and cause them to take action. ... Let's
hope this time we will see effective measures taken on the
security issue, because business with Iraq is extremely
important for the Turkish economy. There might be some
interim solutions for the sake of keeping up the daily
routine, but it is important that the US and Iraqi
authorities be compelled to take proper action on security."

"Is there zero-risk area?"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (8/4): "Trade
with Iraq is an important source of revenue for the Turkish
economy, and the transportation industry is a large part of
this. However, the recent incident proves that Turkey
should first be thinking about providing enough security
protection for its own citizens. There are a series of
efforts within the Turkish state mechanism, including the
MFA, to implement measures that would ensure secure trade.
Such efforts also cover attempts to compel US and Iraqi
authorities to take actions to ensure proper protection.
Nevertheless, trade with Iraq -- and particularly the
transportation business -- cannot be completely risk-free as
long as terrorist organizations continue to operate freely
there. This does not mean, however, that we must give in to
the terrorists."

"Terror alert in the US"
Zafer Atay wrote in the economic-political "Dunya" (8/4):
"It looks like US intelligence agencies have taken a lesson
from the 9/11 investigation reports, and that they are now
more careful and cooperative with each other. The elevation
of the US terror alert not only enhances coordination
between security units and the military, but also gives
local administrations the authority to implement certain
security measures. ... In the event of a terrorist attack in
the US carried out by Al-Qaeda, we might expect a difficult
time for Arabs and other Muslim minorities living in the US.
The terror paranoia has become so great that it can easily
be used to limit human rights, freedom, and the rule of


© Scoop Media

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