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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 004526

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, AUGUST 11, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEALS
Al-Qaeda, PKK prime suspects in Istanbul bombings - DB-
Tercuman
Interior minister: Bombings target Turkish tourism - Aksam
Iraqi defense ministry bans Kurdish - Milliyet
Kerry supports Iraq war - Milliyet
Bush's favorite, Nader, is Kerrys' nightmare - Hurriyet
`Turkey's friend' Goss to administer CIA - Aksam
`Time' correspondent detained for not revealing source -
Hurriyet

OPINION MAKERS
Kerry no different than Bush on Iraq - Cumhuriyet
US calls on civilians to leave Najaf - Radikal
`Genocide' dispute between US, EU over Darfur - Zaman
A `new generation' of al-Qaeda leaders - Radikal
Libya to pay $35 million for `La Belle' bombing - Zaman
Bush gives CIA to Goss - Radikal
Democrats oppose Bush's CIA nominee - Zaman
Russia concerned about US missile shield project -
Cumhuriyet
BP, Shell watch Iraq - Radikal
German workers warn government - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

Bomb attacks on Istanbul hotels: Separate Kurdish and
Islamist groups say they were behind a series of bombs that
killed two people and injured several in coordinated attacks
in Istanbul on Tuesday morning. A previously unknown
Kurdish group - the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks - claimed
responsibility for the explosions that occurred at two small
hotels and a gas plant in Istanbul. A group linked to al-
Qaeda also claimed responsibility for the attacks, calling
them the first of a `wave of operations' across Europe, and
threatening worse to come. Officials said that PKK
separatists were the prime suspects. The US State
Department on Tuesday condemned the bombings in Istanbul,
noting that no Americans had been killed or injured in the
blasts. "Cumhuriyet" fears that the PKK may shift attacks
to urban areas as of August 15, the 20th anniversary of the
establishment of the terrorist organization. Terror first
struck in southeast Turkey, and then Istanbul following the
occupation by US forces in northern Iraq, the paper
speculates. Turkish police on Wednesday detained eight
suspects with alleged links to the PKK following the
Istanbul bomb attacks. Police are working to locate some
700 kg of TNT explosives taken into Turkey from northern
Iraq by PKK teams, "Sabah" reports. "Milliyet" claims that
several PKK militants went to major cities in western Turkey
after receiving explosives training on Gabar mountain in
northern Iraq.

Turkey rejects US demands again: Ankara has turned down a
US request for permission to carry out `extensive' military
exercises in Konya province this year, writes "Vatan."
Instead, Ankara has told the US it will allow the exercises
to proceed under a routine memorandum of understanding which
does not meet the US expectations of conducting `extensive'
operations of unspecified duration.

Iraqi Interim President due in Turkey next week: Dailies
expect Ankara to take tight security measures during the
call by Iraqi Interim President Gazi al-Yawar next week.
Turkish leaders will discuss with Yawar bilateral trade
issues, Turkey's contribution to Iraq's reconstruction, and
the recently intensified attacks against Turkish contractors
in the region. A "Sabah" commentary speculates that Ankara
is also discussing with the US the current security hazards
in Iraq. Another commentary in "Sabah" claims that Zarkawi
has denied responsibility for the killing of Turkish truck
driver Murat Yuce in Baghdad last week. Justice Minister
and government spokesman Cemil Cicek said that Yuce may have
been killed by Turkish `volunteers' collaborating with the
insurgents in Iraq. Turkey will not suspend trade with
Iraq, but will set up loading stations for Turkish truckers
carrying goods into the region. An MFA official said that
goods taken to US forces in Iraq constituted just a tiny
fraction of Turkish shipments to Iraq. Ankara believes a
new border crossing into Iraq is needed to facilitate the
transport of goods to Iraqis and to allow Turkey to continue
providing logistical support to US forces in the region,
according to "Sabah." The issue is to be raised during the
Yawar visit.

PM Erdogan to Georgia: PM Erdogan on Wednesday will be
visiting Tbilisi and Batumi on a two-day official visit to
Georgia, papers report. Before setting off for Georgia,
Erdogan met with Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Peter Stegny,
to discuss Russia's Caucasus strategy. Erdogan will be
discussing bilateral relations and the situation in South
Ossetia with Georgian leaders.

Turkey/Greece: Greek PM Karamanlis praised PM Erdogan in an
interview with the French newspaper "Le Monde." Karamanlis
said that Erdogan had `improved' Turkish democracy and
brought Turkey closer to the EU. Erdogan will attend the
opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Athens, and
Karamanlis is expected to visit Turkey August 16-20.

Kurdish mayors may be `sacked': Turkey's Minister of the
Interior, Abdulkadir Aksu, may sack Diyarbakir's Kurdish
mayor Osman Baydemir and four district mayors for paying a
condolence visit to the family of a PKK militant killed in
fighting with police in late July, "DB-Tercuman" claims.
`The mayors will have to face the consequences of their
action,' Aksu stressed, saying that they have `hurt the
conscience' of the nation.

Turkish human traffickers arrested in Austria: Several
members of a 30-man Turkish human trafficking gang were
arrested in Innviertel, Austria, "Radikal" reports. The
smugglers have been taking illegal immigrants from Turkey to
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and
Britain. Austrian police said the illegal immigrants were
taken from Turkey to various EU countries before being
transferred to the UK, where work and residence laws are
more liberal.

Churches, synagogues in Turkey to be given free electricity:
"Hurriyet"s Editor in-Chief Ertugrul Ozkok writes today that
the Turkish government has decided to provide free
electricity to synagogues and churches in the country. The
Jewish community in Turkey has asked the authorities to
provide synagogues and churches with free electricity -- a
prerogative long enjoyed by Turkey's mosques. `We are
taxpaying Turkish nationals, and should enjoy the same
rights as Muslims,' a leader of the Jewish community told
Ozkok. The electricity bills of non-Muslim communities'
places of worship in Turkey will now be paid by the
Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet).


EDITORIAL OPINION

"Iran and Turkey Will be at Top of New US Administration
Agenda"
Tulin Daloglu wrote from Washington in the government-run
"Star" (8/11): "Even though Bush and Kerry are neck and
neck in the election campaign, I still believe that Kerry
will win the election. Regardless of who wins, Iran and
Turkey will be at the top of the new administration's
foreign policy agenda. This week, both Bush and National
Security Advisor Rice warned Iran once again about its
nuclear program. Foreign diplomats in Washington believe
there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats
when it comes to Iran. But in the history of US politics,
when national security is the issue, the Republicans have
always been stronger. Kerry has to prove himself on the
issue of national security. Kerry is aware of Turkey's
strategic importance as well. If he is elected, there will
be no change in the administration's stance regarding
Turkey, and he will support Turkey strongly for EU
membership. In summary, when you look at it from
Washington, the stability of Turkey is critically important.
If Turkey's main aim is EU membership, any US president will
support that goal."

"From Sudan to Iran"
Ismail Kapan commented in the conservative "Turkiye" (8/11):
"Recently, President Bush's national security advisor Rice
officially threatened Iran once again, and implied that
Iran's nuclear facilities could be destroyed. The Bush
Administration's stance on Iran is not unknown, but while
the US was intensively involved in Iraq and Afghanistan, the
Iran issue was temporarily put on the shelf. Different
formulas have been tried in order to establish stability in
Iraq, but to no avail. Now there is total chaos in Iraq,
and it is spreading with every passing day. Strangely, the
new Iraq administration is now picking a fight with Iran
instead of exerting its effort to establish stability in the
country. I wonder if the US is planning to intervene in
Iran through Iraq? Also, as the elections get closer, Bush
might try to generate a diversion in the political
environment. The threat against Sudan is an example of
this. By threatening Sudan, the US administration's goal is
very different from what it is saying publicly. The region
where the problems are taking place in Sudan is very rich in
underground resources, including oil. One other reminder:
former US president Jimmy Carter has been working in this
region for some time as a missionary. Does that mean
anything to you? The superpower's political and military
maneuvers -- from Sudan to Iran -- should be followed
carefully. EU officials should also pay some attention to
this issue."


DEUTSCH

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