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 004878
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,
FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2004
THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
Chief Prosecutor Urges Appeals Court Chairman to Resign -
Shiite Massacre in Iraq - Hurriyet
Ambassador Edelman: "Turkey Working Hard for EU Entry" -
Sistani Convinces al-Sadr for Peace - Sabah
Massacre in Kufa Mosque, 74 Dead - Sabah
Ankara Freezes Halki Seminary Issue - Sabah
Chief of General Staff Ozkok Likens Iraq to Vietnam -
Mortar Bomb Strikes Mosque in Iraq - Turkiye
MFA: Halki Seminary not Part of a EU Criteria -- Cumhuriyet
Bloody Obstacle to Peace March in Iraq - Radikal
Iraq War Costs US $177 Million per Day - Yeni Safak
Sistani and al-Sadr Agree on Cease-Fire - Yeni Safak
Bloody Day in Najaf Ends With Peace Agreement - Zaman
Harsh Criticism to Appeals Chairman From Chief Prosecutor -
Ambassador Edelman Comments: Anatolian News Agency reports
that Ambassador Edelman, responding to a journalist's
question in the Black Sea city of Giresun, said that Turkey
has a potentially important role to play in the Greater
Middle East Initiative. `Now we have widened the scope of
this project,' the Ambassador said, `so it is now called the
Greater Middle East and North Africa Initiative.' `For us,
Turkey is a model country,' he continued. `Although its
population is overwhelmingly Muslim,' the Ambassador said,
`it has applied democracy very successfully.' `Turkey has
also been reforming its economy for the last 50-60 years,'
he said. In response to a question about the acquisition of
property by foreigners in Turkey, Edelman said, `I don't
want to interfere in an internal matter in Turkey,' `so I
can only say that Turkey has been working hard to meet EU
over the past few years.' `I believe that Turkey will
successfully maintain these efforts. I also believe that
this EU membership process will be beneficial not only to
Turkey and the Turkish people, but also to the EU,' he
Ankara `Freezes' Halki Seminary Issue: "Cumhuriyet" cites
Turkish Foreign Ministry sources as saying that the
reopening of Halki Seminary is not an urgent matter and is
not part of criteria for Turkey's EU accession. Serious
discussion of the issue has therefore been postponed until
December. An unnamed MFA official said that the seminary
could only be reopened within the framework of `reciprocity'
with Greece with regard to Islamic schools and mosques in
Prime Minister's Advisors to Visit Israel: "Hurriyet"
reports that three of Prime Minister Erdogan's top foreign
policy advisors - Egemen Bagis, Omer Celik, and Saban Disli
- will visit Israel on August 30 in an effort to repair
strained Turkish-Israeli ties. Unless there is a change in
the delegation's program, the report claims, they do not
intend to meet with Palestinian representatives.
Putin to Push Russian Helicopters for Turkey: "Milliyet"
reports from Moscow that Russian President Putin plans to
push hard for the sale of Russian helicopters to Turkey
during his September 2-3 visit to Ankara. The report claims
that the Russians are prepared to offer significant
incentives for the deal, including licensed production of
the helicopters in Turkey and permission to export to third
countries. "Milliyet" notes that in the recently canceled
tender process, a US offer of helicopters was rated highest,
but the Turkish side was bothered that the Americans refused
to offer production of the US helicopters in Turkey.
Allawi Postpones His Trip to Turkey, Hatemi due in
September: Papers report that Iraqi interim Prime Minister
Iyad Allawi has postponed his visit to Turkey. The visit
had been scheduled for the beginning of September. Sources
said that Allawi may now visit Ankara in early October.
Iranian President Hatemi is also expected to come to Turkey
in late September.
General Staff Chief Ozkok Discusses Iraq, PKK : "Milliyet"
reports that during a reception following the change of
command ceremony at jandarma headquarters yesterday, Chief
of General Staff Hilmi Ozkok told reporters that `the
military is closely following developments in Iraq.' `The
Iraqi resistance is very similar to the resistance the US
encountered in Vietnam,' he continued, `though the terrain
and circumstances are very different.' Ozkok said that
Turkey's March 1, 2003 decision to remain outside the
operation in Iraq had proven to be wise. `The wisdom of a
decision is determined by subsequent events,' he said, `and
with the exception of the PKK issue, we are pleased (by our
decision).' Ozkok said that although Turkey would like to
see a US military action against the PKK in Iraq, he is not
expecting such an action. `They are trying other ways -
political means - first,' he concluded.
Chief Prosecutor Urges Appeals Court Chairman to Resign:
"Hurriyet" reports that Chief Prosecutor Nuri Ok urged
Appeals Court chairman Ozkaya to resign before the new
judicial year opens on September 6. Ok stressed that other
members of the judiciary will not hesitate to express their
reactions if Ozkaya insists on speaking at the opening
ceremony. Ozkaya has been accused of having contacts with a
Turkish intelligence (MIT) official concerning the case of
Alaatin Cakici, a well-known underworld figure. "Milliyet"
highlights President Sezer's comments on the judiciary-mafia
link. Sezer described the scandal as `linked to personal
mistakes, not to the mistakes of the judiciary as an
EDITORIAL OPINION: : Situation in Iraq
"Iraq moves toward national resistance"
Hasan Unal argued in the Islamist-intellectual "Zaman"
(8/27): "The current situation in Iraq shows a clear
miscalculation by the US side. Even in the beginning, there
were no Iraqis to greet US forces with roses and cheers.
The US plan to bring democracy to Iraq is also far from
convincing. This is an act of occupation, which is losing
international support with every passing day. . The growing
resistance in Iraq is beginning to look like a national
movement. It has the potential to begin a trend toward
nationalization throughout the Arab world. It is quite
possible to see a nationalist process in all of the Arab
countries, especially if and when the US launches its
Greater Middle East and North Africa project. . Unlike the
Balkans, the concepts of the nation state and nationhood did
not take root in the Middle East geography. The Arab
countries became independent in the post-World War II
period, but very few of them fought for independence like
Algeria did against the French. Nationalist feelings were
always suspended under totalitarian regimes. But there are
now signs that a national resistance movement, taking
advantage of the US weakness in Iraq, might change the fate
of the Middle East."
"Underestimating the Shiites"
Hakan Celik commented in the mass appeal-sensational "Posta"
(8/27): "The US has made many miscalculations about Iraq.
The underestimation of the Shiite resistance is one of the
biggest ones. US forces are having a very hard time
controlling the Najaf uprising. The loss of civilian lives
because of American operations there is certainly a major
reason for the growing outrage among Shiites. The worst
part is the fact that the outrage is not limited to
militants, but extends to ordinary Iraqis as well. American
forces continue their operations near sacred Shiite shrines,
which is a big risk. Shiite militants are also capable of
trapping the Americans by dragging them toward the sacred
areas so that they manage to provoke more Iraqis against US
forces. The current American image in Iraq is very
negative, and includes the perception that US forces are
willing to bomb shrines and mosques in pursuit of their
goals. This is a very ominous development for Washington."