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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 004860

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,
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
`Mystery' Over Halki Seminary at NSC Meeting - Hurriyet
Two Turkish Engineers Abducted in Iraq - Hurriyet
Putin to Bring A Crowd of Businessmen - Hurriyet
Russia is on Alert Following Plane Crashes - Sabah
Iraq Discussed At NSC Meeting - Sabah
Cease Fire Offer From PKK to Turkey - Sabah
Russian Plane Crash - Terrorism or Negligence? - Milliyet
Shiite Leader Sistani Urges Supporters to Gather in Najaf -
Turkiye

OPINION MAKERS
Promises Forgotten: No US Military Operation Against PKK -
Cumhuriyet
Sadr and Sistani Call Shiites to Najaf - Radikal
Ambassador Edelman visits Black Sea Region - Yeni Safak
Turkey Discusses Safety of Truck Drivers in Iraq with US -
Yeni Safak
Shiites March to Najaf to Save Imam Ali Shrine - Zaman
Fitch Upgrades Turkey's Outlook - Zaman

BRIEFING

Ambassador Edelman's Visit to the Black Sea Region: "Yeni
Safak" reports that Ambassador Edelman, during his visit to
the Black Sea Region, said that `considering the security
issue Iraq, I don't think that there will be a US military
operation against the PKK in the near future.' The
Ambassador declined to rule out the possibility of a
military operation at a later time. He also denied rumors
circulating in the Turkish press that Osman Ocalan is under
US control. Responding to a question about developments in
Iraq, the Ambassador said that the US is `exerting every
effort to establish peace and democracy in Najaf and in the
rest of Iraq.' "Milliyet" reports on the Ambassador's
comments on democratization in the Middle East, which he
described as `important for the United States.' During his
visit to the Governor of Ordu, the Ambassador noted that
`democratization has been continuing around the world for
the past 20-25 years, but the Middle East has been an
exception.' Edelman stressed that Turkey had an important
role to play in the region. `Turkey has reformed itself
during the EU process,' he said, `and now provides a vivid
example to countries in the region.' `This shows that if a
country makes a decision and puts it's mind to it, it can
achieve progress in raising standards, improving human
rights, and carrying out economic reform,' he continued.
The Ambassador noted that these issues were not even being
debated in the Middle East five years ago. `Now,' he said,
`there is a very lively debate about the future, about
women's rights, and so on.' `But of course, progress
depends on the leaders and people in the region,' he
concluded.

NSC Meeting: "Hurriyet" reports that mystery surrounds the
outcome of yesterday's regular meeting of Turkey's National
Security Council. While, some sources say that the NSC
discussed the possibility of re-opening of Halki Seminary,
others say that the issue never came to the agenda. Some
sources say the NSC did not reach a decision about the
seminary, but reviewed various options and discussed recent
statements by Patriarch Bartholomeos concerning restrictions
on religious freedom in Turkey. The NSC reportedly
discussed ongoing instability in Iraq and the need to bring
an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. "Hurriyet"
highlights the fact that yesterday's meeting was the last
time the NSC will convene under the leadership of a military
member as Secretary General. The new civilian Secretary
General, Yigit Alpogan, will take part in the next NSC
meeting in October.
PKK Clashes Continue: Papers report that a Turkish soldier
was killed and a second was wounded in a clash with a group
of PKK militants near Semdinli in Hakkari province.
Opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal criticized the United
States, saying that `such attacks should remind those who
don't keep their promises of their responsibility' for
ongoing PKK activity. Meanwhile, "Sabah" reports that two
high-level PKK militants were captured in a rural area of
Tunceli province. The paper claims that 5,000 Turkish
troops are engaged in anti-PKK operations in Tunceli.
PKK/KONGRA-GEL Offers Bilateral Truce: "Sabah" reports that
officials of the PKK/Kongra-Gel offered to resume the
organization's cease-fire if Turkey ended military
operations against the PKK. "Sabah" notes that Osman
Ocalan's departure from the organization has triggered an
exodus of nearly 500 PKK militants from Kandil Mountain in
northern Iraq. The militants have reportedly settled in
various towns, particularly Dohuk, near the Turkish border
and have been issued identity cards by Iraqi authorities.

Two Turks Abducted in Iraq: "Hurriyet" and "Aksam" report
that two Turkish engineers have been abducted in Iraq. The
Iraqi militants who kidnapped the men demanded the
withdrawal of all Turkish companies from Iraq within 72
hours. The two companies employing the men, Sa-Ra and
Usluer, immediately announced that they will withdraw their
employees from Iraq.

EDITORIAL OPINION: IRAQ

"The US is finished in Iraq"
Fatih Altayli argued in the mass appeal "Hurriyet" (8/26):
"The influence of Ayatollah Sistani in the Shiite community
is very important. Al-Sadr's capacity to lead a popular
resistance is also significant. The main difference between
the two is in terms of approach: Sistani has advocated a
temporary collaboration with the US, while al-Sadr has stood
for violent struggle. Sistani has retained his influence
within the Shiite community, but the development of al-
Sadr's resistance and the US response has helped Al-Sadr to
become more powerful than Sistani. The mistakes of the US
have clearly created fertile ground for the more radical
figure and weakened moderate leaders like Sistani. .
Considering the current situation, Sistani is now changing
his tone as well. He has called on Shiites to march on
Najaf and to support al-Sadr's group. This is going to make
things even tougher for the US. Finishing the job in Iraq
will be very difficult, if not impossible, for the US now.
Turkey should formulate its Iraq policy by taking into
account the fact that the US is mired in a serious
quagmire."

"A Crisis in the Arab World"
Soli Ozel observed in the mass appeal "Sabah" (8/26): "The
Arab world is in urgent need of new thinking about its
ongoing crisis that was duly reported by editor Rami Khuri
in Beirut's prestigious `Daily Star.' . The Arab world has
been suffering from a lack of development since the 1980s.
The Arab states have produced instability, civil war,
terrorism, and rebellion instead of development. None of
the Arab states protect civil rights. The Arab world is
also suffering from a serious identity crisis. The search
for identity seems to be caught between many competing
concepts of the state, tribalism, Islam, terrorism and pan-
Arabism. The Arab world is also having problems shaping a
clear stance toward regional players such as the US, Turkey,
Israel, and Iran. The Arabs don't even have a clear view of
whether to consider those actors as friends or enemies. It
is the duty of Arab communities and Arab intellectuals to
work to overcome these difficulties. It remains to be seen
if the Arab world will have the social and political energy
to do this."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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