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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 005078

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 8, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEALS
Verheugen: Violence will solve nothing - Hurriyet
Beslan a powder keg - Milliyet
Putin won't meet with `child killers' - Huriyet
Turkish truck driver killed near Samarra - Aksam
Talabani offers Kurdish guards for Turkish truckers -
Milliyet
Bloody fighting in Baghdad: 41 dead - Milliyet

OPINION MAKERS
Verheugen asks for more Kurdish cultural rights - Yeni Safak
Verheugen: Turkish reforms impressive, but not sufficient -
Radikal
Putin will get tougher - Cumhuriyet
New Russian-Israeli cooperation against terror - Cumhuriyet
Thousands of Russians march against terror - Cumhuriyet
Advised by Clinton, Kerry launches attack - Radikal
Massacre by Israeli missiles: 14 Palestinians killed - Yeni
Safak


BRIEFING

EU enlargement chief in Turkey: Turkey has made a start on
improving cultural rights for its Kurdish minority under EU
reforms, but the reform program must go further, European
Union Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen said on
Tuesday. Verheugen highlighted Kurdish language education
and broadcasting as key areas for further steps. Verheugen
is in Turkey on a final fact-finding trip ahead of an
European Commission report on Turkey's EU entry bid. `I'm
pleased that broadcasting has started, but I have to say
that what we have seen so far can only be a beginning,' he
told reporters during a visit to Tuzla village near
Diyarbakir, in southeast Turkey. Verheugen said that Turkey
should increase efforts to allow displaced Kurds to return
to villages destroyed in the 20-year separatist conflict.
Two policemen were killed in an attack on a police
checkpoint in Diyarbakir while Verheugen was in the city.
Verheugen told representatives of human rights organizations
that the EU entry process would ensure the continuation and
acceleration of domestic reforms. Lawyers reportedly told
Verheugen that there had been a decrease in human rights
violations in the region, thanks to Turkey's efforts to get
a date for entry talks. On Wednesday, Verheugen will
proceed to the Aegean city of Izmir for meetings with local
officials and representatives of civic organizations.

Iraqi Kurdish leaders visit Ankara: Visiting northern Iraqi
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) official Necirvan Barzani
said after meeting with FM Abdullah Gul that the current
border crossing system should be strengthened before a
second border gate is opened between the two countries.
Responding to a question, Barzani said the northern Iraqi
Kurds are part of the central government in Baghdad.
Barzani said in his meeting with Gul that the Kurds
considered the PKK/Kongra Gel to be a terrorist organization
and an enemy of Iraqi Kurds. Several papers reported,
however, that Barzani urged the Turks to use Osman Ocalan,
whom he characterized as a `moderate,' to Turkey's benefit
in its struggle against the PKK. Barzani also urged Gul to
start direct flights between Turkey and the northern Iraqi
city of Suleymaniye. Turkey is a model for the Iraqi Kurds,
Barzani noted. On Tuesday evening Jalal Talabani, leader of
the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), stopped over in
Ankara en route to Europe. Talabani told reporters that
Turkish truck drivers could be escorted by Kurdish guards if
Turks choose the Suleymaniye-Kirkuk route instead of the
road through Mosul. Commenting on recent military clashes
in Tel Afer, Talabani said that some Turkmen in the city had
been killed by terrorists, not by US forces. Talabani will
be meeting with MFA officials on Wednesday.

Another Turkish Driver Killed in Iraq: All papers report
that another Turkish truck driver was killed in Iraq
yesterday. The driver, who was not immediately identified,
came under attack on the road near the northern Iraqi city
of Samarra. Meanwhile, the captors of Tahsin Top, a Turkish
driver who was taken hostage more than 40 days ago, have
demanded ransom money in exchange for his release.

Iraqi children die of clashes, disease: About 3,000 Iraqi
children die every month due to fighting, disease and
malnutrition, the Iraqi Health Ministry reports in today's
"Zaman." Some weapons used by US forces in the region have
caused new children's diseases unseen in Iraq before the
war, the ministry said. The shortage of medicine in Iraq is
worse than the situation during Saddam's time, "Zaman"
claims. The Iraqi Health Ministry also pointed to problems
in the distribution of medicine around the country. Iraq's
only drug production plant is in Samarra in northern Iraq,
the site of frequent armed clashes.

PKK Kidnaps three in Lice, Diyarbakir: PKK militants have
allegedly kidnapped three civilians in the southeastern town
of Lice, near Diyarbakir. Captors of the three have
demanded ransom to secure their release.

AKP Still Tops Polls: A public opinion poll released by the
ANAR polling firm shows that the AKP holds a large lead
against all political rivals. 51.2 percent of respondents
in the poll expressed a preference for AKP, while just 16.8
percent favored the opposition CHP. No other party received
over 10 percent support. A majority of respondents, about
52 percent, identified unemployment as the biggest problem
facing Turkey today.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Global War on Terror

"The side effects of terror"
Sami Kohen noted in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (9/8): "The
North Ossetia disaster is big enough to shake up both
Russian domestic and international politics. The Russians
voiced their strong reaction against the terrorists, yet the
Russian incompetence in dealing with the problem has also
put the Putin administration on the spot. People are upset
at those Russian officials who either showed a very weak
performance or lied to them. Even Putin himself has been
subjected to harsh criticism. . This is the most serious
crisis Putin has faced as President. He might try to be
`tougher' from now to restore his weakening popularity, or
he might try to silence his opponents. Based on his most
recent remarks, the latter course seems more likely. . The
incident will also have an effect on Russian foreign policy.
Putin is trying to gain Western support on the Ossetia issue
by making a linkage to international terrorism. Some
leaders, including President Bush, have already lined up
next to Russia. However, some political circles of Europe
and some in the US press are treating this issue with
greater caution. The Dutch Foreign Minister, for instance,
struck a suspicious tone, which drew an angry reaction from
Putin, who blamed the Europeans for applying double
standards. Putin seems bound to go through a very tough
period, both internally and internationally."

"Saving Islam"
Cuneyt Ulsever warned in the mass appeal "Hurriyet" (9/8):
"The fact is that vicious murderers are being produced from
Muslim populations. They have shown a willingness to abuse
the Koran without shame. It is also a fact that 99.99 of
the Muslims have nothing to do with any of this. Yet a tiny
few encourage or advocate terrorism based on a sense of
`vengeance' for perceived injustices. All of this leads to
another bitter fact, which is the identification of Islam
with these murderers as far as international public opinion
is concerned. . Fortunately, a majority of Muslims in this
country act with common sense. But they now have an
important task -- to restore the image of Islam. Turkey's
EU vision is a project that embraces two civilizations --
Islam and the Western world. This project allows Turkey to
be a bridge between civilizations. . Turkey must condemn
terrorism in the strongest possible terms before the entire
world."

EDELMAN

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