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 02 ANKARA 004764
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 23, 2004
THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
Appeals Court Chairman: "I Will Not Resign" - Hurriyet
MIT Official Suspected of Mafia Connection - Sabah (8/22)
Starbucks Coffee in Ankara - Milliyet (8/22)
Ankara Prosecutor Seeks Permission to Try Railways Director
Bush Plans to go to Athens Despite Risk of Protests -
Turkomen Protest Against Kurds in Kirkuk - Milliyet
Iran Postpones Opening of Nuclear Plant for One Year -
French FM Urges EU to Fulfill Its Promise to Turkey -
New Iraqi Ambassador Comes to Turkey - Cumhuriyet (8/21)
US Tanks 300 meters from Shiite Shrine - Zaman
Fighting in Najaf Continues - Radikal
Judiciary to File Case Against Railway Director - Cumhuriyet
Cabinet Reshuffle Expected in October - Cumhuriyet
Putin Visit: "Hurriyet" reports on the September 1-2 visit
to Ankara by Russian President Putin, the first such visit
by a Russian head of state in over 30 years. According to
the report, the number one item on Putin's agenda will be
energy. Specifically, the Russian President is expected to
push for the construction of a pipeline through Turkish
Thrace as a means to by-pass the congested Bosphorus
shipping lanes. Given Turkey's environmental concerns,
however, "Radikal" reports that the Turkish side will likely
propose an alternative pipeline from the Black Sea port of
Samsun to the Mediterranean port at Ceyhan. "Hurriyet"
claims that the Russians are also considering a pipeline
that would run through Bulgaria to Greece. In addition to
energy issues, Putin is expected to raise concerns about
Turkish support for Chechen terrorist groups. The Turkish
side will likely counter with its concerns about Russian
support for the terrorist PKK.
Judiciary-Mafia Link: Saturday's "Sabah" reported that high-
level judiciary officials are angry at Supreme Court
chairman Ozkaya for his failure to resign over allegations
of contacts with mafia boss Alaatin Cakici. Some officials
have reportedly threatened to boycott the opening of the new
judicial year on September 6, a ceremony at which Ozkaya is
scheduled to preside. Sunday's "Hurriyet" reported that
Ozkaya continues to deny the allegations, and said he is
determined to continue in his position until his mandatory
retirement in three months time. The paper added that
Ozkaya has called for the entire text of his tapped
telephone conversations with MIT officials to be revealed.
Sunday's "Sabah" reports that the prosecutor has started an
investigation of MIT official Kasif Kozinoglu for
intervening on Cakici's behalf. Cakici subsequently escaped
from Turkey and was later apprehended by Austrian police.
Cumhuriyet" draws attention to comments by Bar Association
Chairman Ozdemir Ozok in support of Ozkaya.
High-Speed Train Accident Case: "Hurriyet" and "Cumhuriyet"
report that the prosecutor asked for permission to file a
case against Railways Director General Karaman for starting
high-speed train service without completing the
infrastructure for it. 38 people had lost their lives in
French Support for Turkey's EU Bid: "Zaman", "Vatan" and
"Turkiye" report that French Foreign Minister Barnier urged
to EU to `fulfill the promises' it has made to Turkey.
Barnier said that Turkey's accession is very much in the
Expected Cabinet Re-Shuffle in Turkey: "Cumhuriyet"
speculates that PM Erdogan will carry out an extensive
cabinet reshuffle in October. The cabinet reshuffle is
expected to take place after the election of the new
Parliament Speaker in October.
EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Fight against terrorism
"Iraq and U.S. Mistakes"
Ferai Tinc observed in the mass appeal Hurriyet (8/23): "It
seems impossible for the coalition or the Iraqis to gain
control of the situation in Najaf, whether through political
or military means. The CIA-sponsored Iraqi leader Allawi
comes from an influential and powerful Iraqi family, but
even he has failed to bring the situation under control.
The Najaf resistance was initially presented as a terrorist
group. Time has now shown that it is a popular resistance
movement. This is only one of many mistakes made in Iraq,
including the miscalculations of the Iraqi people and the
Iraqi opposition. The US provided all kinds of support to
Ahmad Chalabi. When the mistake was realized, it was
already too late. Support for Iranian-backed Al-Hakim was
another big mistake. The people of Iraq preferred an
independent Shiite figure, i.e. Sadr, as opposed to the
Iranian-backed Hakim. . Iraq is rapidly toward a period in
which more conflicts are likely. Looking for ways to
establish a balance in the current situation is very
difficult. There is no authority in Iraq that can unite the
complex interests of all groups Can the US be this
authority? It is far too late for that. American military
forces cannot even establish full control over Baghdad, yet
alone set up a lasting political structure."
"Conquering Hearts and Minds"
Ali Aslan wrote from Washington in the Islamist-intellectual
Zaman (8/23): "The Bush administration sees many
similarities between the Cold War and the ongoing war
against terrorism. However, the US has failed to invest
politically, intellectually and financially on this issue.
NSC Adviser Rice recently gave examples of how bright
Americans who spoke Russian and other languages in the
region were influential in the process of the demise of
Soviet Union. Yet today, Washington does not have a single
government expert who knows Islamic culture well and speaks
regional languages. This goes for prominent American
universities as well. . Rice also mentioned the
administration's efforts to focus more on non-military
issues such as tolerance, acceptance of the other, and
encouraging political participation of community
representatives. The problem is that this approach remains
on paper, because the military and security effort continues
to dominate. . The US should start begin trying to win
hearts and minds in the Islamic world. Otherwise its
policies, which have taken into account only terrorism and
fanaticism, are doomed to fail."