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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 004489

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,
TUESDAY AUGUST 10, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
--------------------------------------------- -----

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Patriarch blames Reuters for `exaggerated' reporting -
Milliyet
Al-Qaeda may stage `limousine' attacks - Aksam
Rice's tough message on Iran - Aksam
Rice signals `liberation' of Iran - Sabah
Mullahs hunt `free' women in Iran - Milliyet
Sadr defies Allawi - Aksam
360 Sadr militants killed in Najaf - Milliyet
Greek naval commander invites Turkish counterpart to
Olympics - Hurriyet
Heavy US pressure forces Sharon to halt security wall -
Sabah

OPINION MAKERS
Religious minorities want concessions - Cumhuriyet
OSCE to observe US Presidential polls - Cumhuriyet
US threatens Iran - Yeni Safak
Tension rising between Washington, Tehran - Cumhuriyet
Moktada es-Sadr takes Basra - Yeni Safak
45 NATO officers to Iraq next week - Zaman
Egypt, Hamas agree on Gaza - Yeni Safak
Eurocorps take over ISAF command - Radikal


BRIEFING

US wary of sending F-16s to Incirlik: "Sabah"s new Ankara
bureau chief, Asli Aydintasbas, writes today that the US
Administration may shelve plans for transferring 48 F-16
jetfighters currently deployed in Germany to Turkey's
Incirlik Airbase. The US Global Force Posture Review, a
restructuring of US forces worldwide, had been discussed
during the visit of U/S State Marc Grossman to Ankara last
December. Although President Bush was recently advised by
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld against deployment of F-

SIPDIS
a6s at Incirlik, some military officials and diplomats still
believe Incirlik to be the most strategically sound
alternative, "Sabah" speculates. A high-level US source
told "Sabah" that the US presence at Incirlik would continue
regardless of the final decision on F-16s, and noted that
the final decision would be made by President Bush. Turkish
military officials want the jetfighters not to be used for
an attack against another country, and further demand that
the planes should be used in coordination with the Turkish
military within the framework of the NATO treaty and the
bilateral Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement (DECA).
Ankara is uneasy that the F-16s might be used in operations
in Iraq or against other regional countries in the future,
"Sabah" claims. Ankara is also unhappy about the existing
autonomy granted to northern Iraqi Kurdish groups by the US
provisional authority in Iraq, and the lack of US military
effectiveness against the PKK presence in the region,
"Sabah" adds.

Michael Rubin on US/PKK: Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon
official and an expert on the Middle East at the American
Enterprise Institute (AEI), told "Hurriyet" in Washington
that the deputy mayor of Marseille had given large amounts
of money to the PKK during Saddam's rule in Iraq. Rubin
also said that some `unauthorized' US military officials in
northern Iraq and civilian Americans in Baghdad met with
representatives of the PKK, but stressed that the US
Administration has ended all such contacts with the
organization. Rubin said that despite repeated pledges, the
US has not displayed any determination on the PKK issue.
Rubin confirmed that Osman Ocalan turned himself in to US
military officials in Mosul earlier this year, "Hurriyet"
reports.

Iraqi President due in Turkey: Iraqi Interim President
Ghazi al-Yawar is to visit Turkey next week to discuss
security issues following the abductions and killings of
Turkish drivers in Iraq, Justice Minister and government
spokesman Cemil Cicek said after a weekly cabinet meeting on
Monday. `We are trying to take all necessary measures to
secure the safety of Turkish citizens in Iraq,' Cicek said.
Al-Yawar and four Iraqi cabinet ministers are set to visit
Ankara August 16-17. Turkish officials estimate that
Turkey's exports to Iraq will reach $1.8 billion in 2004.
Several Turkish companies have pulled out of Iraq over the
past few weeks because of the security situation.

Hotel bombings in Istanbul: Two bombs exploded at hotels in
tourist areas of Istanbul late last night, and another one
went off at a liquefied gas plant on the outskirts of the
city. Two persons were killed and seven others injured in
what was described by officials as an apparent terrorist
attack, the Anatolia news agency reported. The blasts
occurred almost simultaneously early Tuesday. The
nationality of the victims was not immediately known.

Reuters corrects Bartholomeos report: The Reuters news
agency on Monday issued a correction to its reporting of
comments attributed to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartolomeos.
The Patriarch said he told Reuters that Turkey would agree
to reopen the Halki Seminary, but he denied making reference
to `EU pressure' on Turkey to do so. An aide to the
Patriarch said the Patriarch's message was that the church
enjoyed `unrestricted' freedom of worship in Turkey, but
that it also suffered from the absence of financial and
administrative independence.

Turkey's minority groups seek `concessions': Turkish
Armenian Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan has sent FM Gul a letter
asking for new `arrangements' with regard to the legal
status, administration, and property rights of the Armenian
Patriarchate, "Cumhuriyet" reports in a front-page story.
The paper regards both the controversial remarks made by
Patriarch Bartholomeos on the reopening of Halki Seminary
and the requests put forward by Mutafyan as a sign of
growing pressure by religious minority groups in Turkey to
obtain concessions on the eve of the EU summit in December.

Official investigation launched against Diyarbakir mayors:
The governor's office in Turkey's mainly Kurdish province of
Diyarbakir applied to a prosecutor on Monday to open a case
against Diyarbakir mayor Osman Baydemir and four district
mayors for paying a visit of condolence to the family of an
alleged PKK militant killed in recent fighting with police
in the region. Commentators slammed Baydemir for not
attending the funeral of a policeman killed in the same
clash in late July.


EDITORIAL OPINION

"While They Are on Holiday"
Sami Kohen opined in the mass appeal Milliyet (8/10):
"While the EU, with its commission and parliament, is on
holiday, Turkey's accession date issue remains at the top of
our agenda. There is a generally positive expectation in
Turkey on this issue. Of course, the final test will be the
EU progress report, which will be given its final shape by
the commission in October. The signals being given by EU
diplomatic sources on this issue are very encouraging.
Although there are still some concerns about the views of
Austria, Denmark, and even France, there is a strongly held
opinion here that these countries will not obstruct Turkey's
path to the EU. Since all the officials in Brussels and
other European capitals are on holiday, no one is paying
attention to Turkey's worries at the moment. But activity
on this issue will intensify in September, and Turkish
diplomacy is preparing a campaign to impress the EU. If
starting a public relations campaign abroad is one way to
reach the target of EU membership, finalizing the internal
reform process at home is another must. We have to express
our determination on this issue, not only within the
government but also among the Turkish public. Let us then
tune out meaningless rumors and intensify our efforts to
achieve internal progress and get ready for the big push in
Europe."

"Where Do We Stand in the War Against Terrorism?"
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in the conservative Turkiye ( 8/10):
"Where is the super power US today in the war they have
started globally against terrorism? The US had to begin
this global war following the horrific attacks from Middle
East terrorist organizations against the US homeland and its
embassies abroad. Even less powerful countries than the
United States would have been forced to respond in this way.
The US began its response in Afghanistan, by taking on the
Taliban, a very primitive and bloody terrorist organization.
Then the US occupied Iraq, which was long ago declared as a
terrorist country. The occupation of both of these
countries went perfectly from the military angle. But the
US began having problems once the military actions were
over. The Americans were in countries they didn't know
very well. Terrorism, under the leadership of Al-Qaeda,
found a convenient home in Iraq and, with the help of some
Iraqi opponents of the occupation, started a war against the
global power. In order to block support for the US, the
terrorist organizations carried out terrorist activities in
places like Turkey and Spain. Now the US wants to pass
responsibility for Iraq to the UN and NATO. This plan
cannot succeed. The US has neither eliminated Al-Qaeda, nor
arrested Bin-Laden. Therefore it is inevitable that
terrorist activities will spread to neighboring countries.
The US was unable to eliminate terrorism, because terrorism
was only a secondary goal in this war. The first goal was
to gain control of the oil, an aim from which the US will
never back away."

DEUTSCH

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