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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 004587

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, AUGUST 16, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

MASS APPEAL
Iraqis Pour into Najaf to Support El-Sadr - Hurriyet (8/15)
Abdullah Ocalan Accuses his Brother of Betrayal - Sabah
(8/15)
Three Baykal Opponents Expelled from CHP - Sabah
Cease-Fire Lasts Only One Day in Najaf - Hurriyet
Bomb Threat Forces THY and Lufthansa into Emergency Landing
- Milliyet
Judiciary and MIT in Trouble - Milliyet
Al-Qaeda Threatens Italy - Turkiye

OPINION MAKERS
Mafia Links With MIT and the Judiciary - Radikal (8/15)
US Embassy Warns its Citizens Against PKK Attacks -
Cumhuriyet(8/15)
Iraqi National Council Overshadowed by Violence in Najaf -
Zaman
PM Erdogan Remains Silent on MIT-Judiciary Link - Radikal
Iraqi Interim President Al-Yaver in Ankara - Radikal
Iraqi National Conference Convenes - Yeni Safak

BRIEFING

Expelled CHP Deputies: "Hurriyet" reports that CHP leader
Deniz Baykal has expelled three parliamentary deputies from
the party. The three had been outspoken critics of Baykal's
leadership following the CHP defeat in local elections and
were campaigning to topple Baykal. "Yeni Safak" reports
that the expelled deputies are planning to take their case
to the Turkish courts.

PKK/KONGRA GEL: Sunday's "Sabah" reports that Osman Ocalan
(brother of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan) and 40 other
PKK militants have established a new political party in
Northern Iraq. The party is called the Patriotic Democratic
Party. The new organization announced that it supports the
US presence in Iraq and the Talabani-Barzani administrations
in Northern Iraq. Abdullah Ocalan condemned the new
organization and his brother in a statement released by his
lawyers. "Sabah" columnist Erdal Safak writes that the US
is implementing its plan to eliminate the PKK, and draws
attention to three important points about the letter Osman
Ocalan has allegedly presented to the US: 1.The new
organization supports the US presence in Iraq, and the
militants in Kandil will no longer be a threat to Turkey; 2.
The focus of the Kurdish movement will be shifted to Iraq,
and PKK influence over the people in Southeast Turkey will
decline; 3. The group controlled by Abdullah Ocalan will be
liquidated or marginalized as a criminal band.

Mafia Links With MIT and the Judiciary: "Radikal" writes
that the government is in no hurry to solve the mystery
surrounding allegations of shady connections between Turkish
intelligence (MIT), a Turkish mafia figure, and the Supreme
Appeals Court (Yargitay). MIT and the Appeals Court
Chairman have accused each other of lying, and the press is
suggesting the MIT and the Court struck a deal to delay
legal procedures against the underworld figure, Alaatin
Cakici. Cakici subsequently fled the country, and was later
captured by Austrian police. Despite the growing
controversy, and the fact that the Prime Minister has
bureaucratic control over MIT, the government has not
ordered an investigation into the allegations.

UK Proposes `Pristina Model' for Direct Flights to north
Cyprus: Turkish dailies report that the UK has proposed to
the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that
direct flights to north Cyprus be permitted using the same
procedures currently in place for flights to Pristina
airport in Kosovo.
Bomb Threats Force Three Planes into Emergency Landings:
"Hurriyet" reports that bomb threats forced a Lufthansa
flight, a THY flight, and a Croatian plane to make emergency
landings yesterday. Bomb searches in all three planes
produced no evidence of explosives, and the threats were
deemed to be a hoax.

Iraqi Interim President Arrives to Turkey: Iraqi Interim
President Al-Yaver arrives in Turkey today for a two-day
visit. Al-Yaver will discuss possibilities for improving
economic and commercial ties between Turkey and Iraq.
Turkish media reports that security issues and the fight
against PKK/KONGRA-Gel in Iraq will top the Turks' agenda
with Al-Yaver. Papers also speculate that Turkey will
request permission from Al-Yaver for the opening of a
Turkish consulate in Mosul. Al-Yaver will meet with
President Sezer, Prime Minister Erdogan, and Foreign
Minister Gul before returning to Baghdad on Tuesday.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; PKK-Fight against terrorism

"Democracy in Iraq"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative "Turkiye" (8/16):
"The convening of the Iraqi national council does not
provide much hope for democracy in the country. Iraq
continues to suffer from a serious lack of democracy since
the Baathist dictatorship was established in 1958. Given
the current circumstances, the Iraqi national council will
have to tackle the struggle between tribes and religious
groups as well as an outdated social structure rather than
wrestle with a transition to democracy. ... In this
picture, the only positive element is the elimination of
Saddam Hussein and his regime. A Saddam-style dictatorship
has ended in Iraq and no longer has any place in this
geography. However, a transition to democracy requires
stronger steps. This region most likely will be ruled under
an oligarchic structure in which constantly changing leaders
will get orders from the United States, especially on
foreign policy issues and oil-related matters. There might
be some promising developments in Iraq, but democracy in
Iraq or in Afghanistan remains a very remote possibility."

"The US Plan for the PKK"
Erdal Safak wrote in the mass appeal "Sabah" (8/15): "Even
the leader of the PKK has confessed that the PKK was a
product of the Cold War, implying that the KGB supported the
organization. As the PKK grew, interest among certain
countries grew as well, including France, Germany, Syria,
Greece, Iran, Italy, the Greek Cypriot administration,
Armenia, and the former Yugoslavia. Each of these countries
implemented different plans in Turkey by manipulating and
using the PKK. It seems that now it is the turn of the
United States. Yet the tone of the US intention is very
different. The others were interested in encouraging the
growth of the PKK, but the US is now planning to finish it
off. Turkey has been asking the US to disarm or hand over
PKK militants in northern Iraq ever since the US incursion
began. The US has pledged to take steps against the
organization, but has so far delayed action because of other
priorities in Iraq. Apparently the US is now making plans
to render the PKK ineffective without any need for a
military operation. The essence of the plan is to use Osman
Ocalan, brother of the jailed PKK leader to split and,
eventually, to eliminate the PKK."

EDELMAN

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