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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 004946

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, SEPTEMBER 1, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEALS
Putin: A Blue Cruise Changed My View of Turks - Hurriyet
Putin: PM Erdogan is a man of his word - Sabah
Putin: My Views Changed on my visit to Antalya - Aksam
A New Era with Russia - Turkiye

OPINION MAKERS
Islamic World Stands up for French Journalists - Zaman
The Penal Code Debate - Yeni Safak
Adultery Issue: What is the State's Business in Our Bedrooms
- Radikal
Credit Cards Become a Scapegoat for Current Account Deficit
- Referans
Bargaining with Russia - Ortadogu
Putin comes with economic agenda - Dunya


BRIEFING

Putin due in Turkey: Turkey is getting ready to host a
Russian leader for the first time in 32 years. Russian
President Putin is expected to arrive in Ankara on September
2. There will be a welcoming ceremony by Turkish President
Sezer the same day. Following talks between delegations of
the two countries, a number of agreements and documents are
expected to be signed. Putin will later travel with PM
Erdogan to the Aegean city of Izmir. Putin will meet
Turkish and Russian businessmen the same day and will depart
from Turkey in a Russian warship. Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov will
accompany Putin on the visit. Papers report that
developments in the Caucasus and Central Asian republics
will be discussed during the visit. The issue of energy and
shipping of Russian gas to Europe via the Blue Stream
pipeline are other topics for discussion. FM Gul said on
Tuesday that Turkey is buying a significant amount of
natural gas from Russia, and added that there would also be
new pipelines. Tanker traffic in the Straits will be one of
the most important topics on the bilateral agenda. Ankara
is expected to remind the Russians that 135 million tons of
oil pass through the straits each year, and note that this
figure will increase by 50 percent in 2010 when Kazakh oil
will also be sent through the straits. Ankara will stress
that alternatives must be found for delivering this oil to
Western markets. Chechen separatism and Russia's alleged
support for the terrorist PKK/Kongra Gel will also be
discussed. Speaking to the Russian Interfax news agency
ahead of Putin's visit, PM Erdogan said that Turkey wants `a
fundamental solution to the Chechen question within the
framework of Russia's territorial integrity, reached by
peaceful means and with a consideration for human rights.'
Both Moscow and Ankara support a broader role for the United
Nations in Iraq. Putin is also expected to press for
Turkish agreement to purchase Russian-Israeli attack
helicopters. (Note: Turkish MFA spokesman Namik Tan told
journalists this afternoon that the Putin visit is expected
to go ahead as scheduled despite the continuing hostage
situation in Russia. End Note.)

FM Gul on Iraq, PKK: Speaking to the private news channel
NTV, Turkish FM Gul said that Turkey is an important country
in meeting the needs of the Iraqi people. Harming Turks in
Iraq had a cost, Gul said, stating that everyone should take
this into consideration. Gul said that the Iraqi people
should not allow malicious acts against Turks. Gul noted
that nearly 3,000 trucks passed through from the Habur
border crossing into Iraq every day. Commenting on the
PKK/Kongra-Gel, Gul said that Turkey would not transfer
responsibility for the fight against terrorism to another
country. `Turkey knows how to deal with this problem,' he
said Gul added that the US has not yet carried out a
military operation against the terrorist organization.
Asked whether Turkish troops could launch a cross-border
operation against the PKK, Gul said Turkey would `do what is
necessary' for its own security.

AKP delegation in Israel: AK Party lawmakers Omer Celik,
Egemen Bagis, Saban Disli, and Mevlut Cavusoglu are
currently in Israel at the official invitation of the
Israeli government. AK Party delegation leader Disli said
that there is no tension between Turkey and Israel.
Replying to questions on the first day of the group's visit
to Jerusalem, Disli said, '"this an ordinary visit -- it has
no special purpose.' `We will exchange views, and look for
answers to questions that concern us.' On Tuesday, Turkish
lawmakers met with Israeli FM Shalom. Omer Celik expressed
the delegation's condolences for the families of those
killed or wounded in the suicide bombings yesterday in
Israel. "Yeni Safak" speculates that the AK Party deputies
have asked Israeli officials to allow Turkish observers
during Israel's withdrawal from Palestinian land.
Delegation members rejected allegations by the press that
their visit to Israel had been undertaken because of
warnings by President Bush to PM Erdogan on the need to
repair the strain in Turkish-Israeli ties. Turkish papers
speculate that the visit is an effort to test the ground for
a prospective visit to Israel by FM Gul. The delegation is
scheduled to hold talks with Palestinian officials before
returning to Turkey.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/French Journalists; EU/Turkey

"The Reason Iraq is not going to be a second Vietnam"
Mine G. Kirikkanat argued in the liberal-intellectual
"Radikal" (9/1): "The current situation in Iraq presents a
very confused picture as far as tribes, ethnic groups and
religious communities is concerned. All of them -- with the
exception of the Kurds, who support the US - are standing
against the occupiers. But a lack of unity and discipline
has led to the development of a disorganized guerrilla
movement. Unlike Iraq, in Vietnam there was a solid
ideological and national unity when the resistance fought
against the American occupation. . From this point of view,
Iraq is now being controlled by local and foreign terrorist
organizations, including some who do not have any real goal
or purpose other than the pursuit of violence for its own
sake. Terrorist organizations linked to al-Qaeda have the
largest role in Iraq, but they don't really care about
freeing Iraq from the occupation. On the contrary, the
growing chaos serves their interests to turn Iraq into a
staging ground for international terrorism. So Iraq is not
going to be another Vietnam. . It seems that a better
parallel may be Chechnya. If the French journalists are
murdered, and possibly even if they are not, the independent
press will begin pulling out of Iraq. In the long run,
international opinion will become distant to the Iraq issue.
This will lead to a number of consequences, including a
silence about US actions in Iraq. This will be similar to
what Russia has been able to do in Chechnya, shielded from
public view."

"US support for the EU accession"
Sami Kohen noted in the mass appeal Milliyet (9/1): "A
recent report issued by Atlantic Council, an American think-
tank organization, depicts very clearly the US position
regarding Turkey's possible EU accession. The report
concludes that it would be very much Turkey's, EU's as well
as the US's interests when EU gives a date for negotiations
and starts the membership process for Turkey. A negative
decision about giving Turkey a negotiation date has serious
potential consequences for all three sides. As the report
notes, Turkey's accession to the European Union will be an
important development and not only for the EU, for the US as
well. . Turkey's EU membership is an exciting project for
the US because Washington considers a strong and democratic
Turkey in the region as part of its immediate interests. .
The Atlantic Council's report provides a clear explanation
about the reason for US support for Turkey's EU vision, and
also provides a good guidance for both EU Commission as well
as the US administration about the ways to achieve the goal
in the right format."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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