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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 004967

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, SEPTEMBER 2, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Terrorists use schoolchildren as human shields - Hurriyet
Terrorist shock for Putin - Turkiye
Day of horror in Russia - Vatan
Chechen terrorists point guns at innocent children - Sabah
Terror wave in Russia - Milliyet
Terror targets children in Russia - Milliyet
Greek Cypriots hold mass in `TRNC' after 30 years - Vatan
US promises security for Turkish truckers in Iraq - Turkiye
Qadafi regrets his 30-year anti-US policies - Hurriyet

OPINION MAKERS
US to transport weapons through Turkey - Cumhuriyet
Terror takes Russian schoolchildren hostage - Cumhuriyet
School raid cast shadow on historic Putin visit - Cumhuriyet
School raid in northern Ossetia - Yeni Safak
`True Lies 2' by Schwarzenegger - Cumhuriyet
550 anti-Bush demonstrators detained - Yeni Safak
Historic mass for Greek Cypriots - Radikal
Sharon angry, Israel may strike Syria - Zaman
Chalabi at gunpoint - Radikal


BRIEFING

Putin cancels Turkey visit: Russian President Vladimir
Putin, who is struggling to resolve a hostage situation at a
school in southern Russia, called off his planned visit to
Turkey on Thursday. The Kremlin announced that Putin had
postponed his trip, which will be rescheduled at an
unspecified date. News of the cancellation was carried on
all Turkish television outlets this morning.

Ambassador Edelman pledges enhanced security for Turks in
Iraq: US Ambassador Eric Edelman said after meeting with FM
Abdullah Gul on Wednesday that some Turkish truck drivers in
Iraq would be protected by US military escorts. Edelman
touched on the gravity of the situation in Iraq, and
stressed that the killing of an engineer who merely aimed to
contribute to the rebuilding of Iraq caused great sorrow for
the American people. "Radikal" quotes FM Gul as warning
Edelman that all Turkish companies working in Iraq may have
to leave the country if their security is not guaranteed.
`We have established with the MFA a mechanism for
cooperation on this issue,' the Ambassador emphasized.
Edelman also noted that the US is working on possible direct
flights to northern Cyprus and other measures to ease the
isolation of Turkish Cypriots.

US to use Turkish ports, airports: An MFA regulation
outlining the transfer of US military equipment through
Turkey took effect on Wednesday, papers report. The
dispatch of US military support material through Turkey will
be made through Turkish ports at Istanbul, Izmir,
Iskenderun, Yumurtalik, Antalya, Aksaz-Karaagac and Agalar,
or airports at Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Adana, Antalya and
Aksaz-Dalaman.

Erdogan urges release of French journalists in Iraq: PM
Erdogan on Wednesday condemned the wave of hostage-taking in
Iraq and urged the release of two French journalists
threatened with execution by insurgents. `We are upset by
developments in Iraq. Such terrorist actions, killings of
innocent people have nothing to do with Islam,' Erdogan
noted. `Those who have undertaken this action should
reconsider their position. This will only cause them to
lose credibility,' he said.

Greek Cypriots hold mass in Turkish Cyprus: Nearly 2,000
Greek Cypriots attended an evening mass in a church in the
Turkish northern sector of divided Cyprus amid heavy
security measures. It was the first time in 30 years that a
mass was held in the Saint Mamas church in the town of
Guzelyurt (Morphou). The windows, roof and door of the
church had been damaged in an explosion last Friday. `TRNC
PM' Mehmet Ali Talat paid a brief visit to the church while
the service was in progress as a gesture of good will to the
Greek Cypriot visitors. Talat wished success to Turkish and
Greek Cypriots in their efforts for peace, and was applauded
by Greek Cypriots. Meanwhile, a group of some 100 Turkish
Cypriots held a rival religious ceremony in a mosque near
the church in memory of compatriots killed in inter-communal
fighting on the island 30 years ago. Contrary to an earlier
announcement, the mosque did not broadcast the prayers
through a loudspeaker on its minaret. Both gatherings
dispersed without incident.

Kurdish activists call for an end to fighting: Former
Kurdish lawmaker Leyla Zana and three fellow politicians --
Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak and Orhan Dogan -- warned Wednesday
that continued clashes between Kurdish separatists and
security forces could derail Turkey's bid to join the EU.
`If a date for EU accession negotiations is not given
because of these clashes, the moral responsibility of this
will be enormous,' the four former parliament members said
in a joint statement. They argued that it would be easier
to resolve the Kurdish question if Turkey is brought closer
to the EU.

AKP delegation in Israel: The four AK Party lawmakers
currently in Israel at the official invitation of the
Israeli government met yesterday with Israeli Labor Party
leader Shimon Peres. The delegation later conveyed to
Palestinian official Saeb Erakat a message of friendship
from PM Erdogan. The Turks said their visit was intended to
explore ways to support the peace process in the region.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/French Journalists; Chechnya

"Can the Iraqis be That Stupid?"
Melih Asik argued in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (9/2):
"Iraqi resistance groups began the resistance by targeting
the occupying force -- the Americans. The casualties
suffered by the American army have created an enormous
problem for the Bush administration with the American
public. Over the course of time, there was a major shift in
the selection of targets, with US-appointed Iraqi policemen,
soldiers and civil servants becoming more frequent victims
of violence. Currently, we are seeing a further expansion
of the target list to include foreign workers and foreign
journalists in Iraq. As seen in the reaction to the
kidnapping of the French journalists, sympathy toward the
resistance movement is beginning to recede. Muslims around
the world are beginning to hold negative views about Iraqis
and the resistance. Leaving aside their unhappiness over
the US occupation, many are now beginning to take the US
side and to view the resistance groups as terrorists. This
development is clearly a relief for the Bush administration.
But could the Iraqi resistance groups really be so stupid?
Who would possibly organize such violent acts while knowing
full well that they will not serve to his benefit? There
are growing questions about the current situation in Iraq:
are those carrying out these kidnappings and murders real
resistance groups, or are they being organized by someone
else?"

"Putin is right"
Ergun Babahan noted in the mass appeal "Sabah" (9/2):
"Recent incidents have given us a glimpse into the growing
wave of terrorism Russia. Chechen terrorism began in the
twin plane crash last week, and has continued with the
subway attack and now the hostage-taking at a school in
North Ossetia. This act deserves absolutely no tolerance,
even by those who feel sympathy toward the Chechen cause.
Such fanatical acts also pave the way for more international
chaos. Just imagine the possibility that school children
would become subject to terrorist attacks all around the
world. The terrorists are claiming that their religiously
motivated goal is to achieve Chechnya's independence. Such
claims can only put more distance between the world's two
major religions. In fact, the terrorists in North Ossetia
do not represent any faith. As Putin rightly described
them, they are a bunch of bandits. These fundamentalist
criminals find scope for their vicious acts in the power
vacuum and chaos that is now Chechnya. Human life has no
importance for them. Their satisfaction requires more blood
and more death. .. The North Ossetia attack is an act
against humanity. It only helps to further blacken the
image of Islam in the eyes of Westerners. Every person with
common sense must stand against such terrorist acts, and
must not hesitate to call it for what it is."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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