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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 02 ANKARA 004815

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 25, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEALS
Halki Seminary Tops NSC Agenda - Hurriyet
US Adds `TRNC' Bank to Money Laundering List - Hurriyet
US Shortens Visa Processing for Turkish Cypriots - Hurriyet
PKK Web-Site Says the Organization is Isolated - Milliyet
Erdogan Calls Extraordinary Session to Discuss Draft Penal
Code - Sabah
PM Erdogan Phones Putin Prior to Turkey Visit - Sabah

OPINION MAKERS
AKP Tries to Complete New Penal Code Before EU Report -
Cumhuriyet
El-Salvador Sends 80 More Troops to Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Israeli Interest in GAP Region Alarms Turkish Officials -
Yeni Safak
Turkish Parliament to Convene to Discuss Penal Code - Yeni
Safak
Court Trials Begin at Guantanamo - Zaman
Assassination Attempt against Two Iraqi Ministers - Zaman

BRIEFING

Ambassador Edelman's Visit to Black Sea Region: Anatolian
News Agency reports that US Ambassador Edelman met with the
Governor and the Mayor of Samsun yesterday. Responding to a
question about PKK activities in Northern Iraq, the
Ambassador said that `the US is very sensitive on the
terrorism issue and that the United States is working
jointly with Turkey in the fight against terrorism. Asked
whether he expected the United States to stage an operation
against the PKK in the near future, the Ambassador said that
the US is cooperating with Turkey in various ways against
the PKK. He added that the US is not expected to stage a
military operation against the PKK soon, but said this did
not mean that a military operation is excluded at some point
in the future. "Radikal" quoted Ambassador Edelman as
saying that `we urged the EU to add the PKK/Kongra-Gel to
their terrorist list.'

US Shortens Visa Process for Turkish Cypriots: "Hurriyet"
reports that the US Embassy in Cyprus released a written
statement saying that the visa procedures will be
streamlined to allow Turkish Cypriots to receive their visas
more quickly.

AKP Government Plans to Amend Penal Code to Meet EU
Requirements: "Hurriyet" reports that the government will
call an extraordinary parliament meeting on September 14 to
pass a new Criminal Code before the release of the EU
commission's enlargement report on October 6. "Hurriyet"
reports that the reform package will include heavier
penalties for honor killings, an end to unauthorized
virginity, changes to abortion regulations, penalties for
sexual harassment in the work place, and stiffening of
penalties for rape.

NSC Meeting: "Hurriyet" reports that the Halki Seminary
issue will be on National Security Council's agenda during
today's meeting. The NSC will discuss various alternatives
for meeting EU requests related to the seminary. The NSC is
also expected to discuss developments in Iraq and steps to
end the economic isolation of northern Cyprus.

Israeli Interest in the GAP Region: "Yeni Safak" reports
that Turkish intelligence and security officials are alarmed
by increased Israeli interest in purchasing land in the
Southeast. An office in the Prime Ministry has reportedly
started an investigation on the potential threat to Turkey's
future posed by the foreign purchase of Turkish real estate.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Iran

"The US is trying to rewrite history"
Serdar Turgut argued in the mass appeal-sensational "Aksam"
(8/25): "There is a concealed intention behind the US
declaration of war against Iraq. A recent story in
"Newsweek" tells about the incredible amount of looting and
smuggling of Iraq's historic heritage and antiquities. It
has been a `massacre' of history, and cannot be attributed
to the looting that could be expected in such war
conditions. We should keep in mind that this area is the
source of all monotheistic religions. . The rulers of the
global world have decided that now is the time to settle
accounts. The religious geography of the world in the 21st
century is about to be reorganized. It will not be
surprising even if brand new mass religions emerge in this
century. . The history of Iraq has now been erased, and it
will be recreated mostly with lies. That was the case
thousands of years ago, and history is simply repeating
itself. Turkey is completely unprepared for all of this,
because we failed to comprehend the ongoing historical
process in its proper context. . Chaos and anarchy prevail
in Iraq, but, given these circumstances, it would be wrong
to conclude that the US has failed in the Iraq war. The US
wanted to have chaos, and so has created it. But it is now
about time to establish a new order out of the chaos."

"Turkey and Iran's Nuclear Threat"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (8/25):
"Developments in Iran's nuclear program coincide with
improved bilateral relations between Turkey and Iran.
However, international concern about the Iranian nuclear
program and the possibility that Iran could produce nuclear
weapons is also a part of Ankara's agenda. Turkish
diplomats and strategists are closely watching developments
in this regard. As one MFA official expressed, `Ankara has
noted the Iranian explanation that its nuclear efforts are
intended for peaceful use, such as the production of
electricity. We are trying to determine if this is the
whole truth.' Turkey does not consider Iran's nuclear
capability as a direct threat. But if Iran really obtains
nuclear weapons, it will turn the balances in the Middle
East completely upside-down and constitute a new ground for
foreign intervention, including by the United States."

EDELMAN

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