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.




E.O. 12958: N/A


--------------------------------------------- -----


Turkey to send humanitarian aid to Tal Afar - Sabah
Turkmen flee US bombing in Tal Afar - Milliyet
Despite Ankara's warning, US continues Tal Afar operation -
Sabah 9/12
Gul calls Powell about Tal Afar - Aksam 9/11
Karamanlis: Greeks want a European Turkey - Hurriyet
Bush commemorates Beslan victims - Aksam
Verheugen: Turkey can't join EU before 2015 - Hurriyet 9/12
Sharon warns against civil war in Israel - Milliyet

Turkmen: US operations kill 100 in Tal Afar - Radikal
Peshmerge join Tal Afar siege by US forces - Zaman 9/12
US indifferent to Turkmen - Radikal 9/12
US commemorates 9/11 victims - Cumhurieyt 9/12
US remembers 9/11 under the shadow of terror - Radikal 9/12
US operations turn Baghdad into a battlefield - Cumhuriyet
Seymour Hersh holds Bush responsible for Abu Ghraib -
Bush leads Kerry by 9 points - Cumhuriyet 9/11
Khartoum rejects Powell's genocide claims in Darfur -
Cumhuriyet 9/11
UNSC to impose oil embargo on Sudan - Zaman 9/11


Tal Afar crisis: Fighting in the predominantly Turkmen city
of Tal Afar, thought to be a haven for fighters crossing
into Iraq from Syria, has displaced an estimated 100,000
people, papers report. US troops have surrounded the city,
making it hard for civilians to get out and for aid workers
to get in. The Turkish government called on US Ambassador
Eric Edelman Friday to ensure that `the civilian population
is not harmed and excessive force is not used.' FM Gul
raised Turkish concerns with Secretary Powell in a phone
call Friday evening. Powell assured Gul that Turkey's
concerns would be taken into consideration. The Iraqi
Turkmen Front (ITF) has rejected US claims that there are
Shiite Turkmen in Tal Afar who have been supporting the
rebel Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. 50,000 Turkomen have
fled the citt, the ITF said. Turkish papers suspect that
Kurds returning to Iraq from Syria would be settled in Tal
Afar just before a nationwide census in Iraq scheduled for
October 12. The US bombings of Tal Afar caused hundreds of
casualties over the weekend, Monday papers report.
"Cumhuriyet" claims that US operations would displace the
Turkmen from Tal Afar, and give the region to the Kurds. FM
Gul said Turkey would send humanitarian aid to the region,
an idea that has been welcomed by Washington as an
`important and positive move' for cooperation in Iraq. The
US has notified Ankara that air strikes against Tal Afar
were temporarily suspended on Sunday. Papers point to
scores of injured in hospitals, and depict a deteriorating
health situation due to a lack of water. The Habur gate,
the border crossing critical for logistical support for US
forces in Iraq, could be closed if US attacks against Tal
Afar continue, "Milliyet" claims.

Ambassador Edelman on anniversary of 9/11: Turkey's leading
daily "Hurriyet" carried an op-ed by US Ambassador Edelman
on Saturday, the third anniversary of September 11. Edelman
strongly denounced terrorism, saying that no act of terror
can be justified in the pursuit of political or cultural
rights. US forces in Iraq have been using a variety of
tools -- diplomatic, political intelligence -- to counter
the PKK presence in Iraq, and to render the terrorists
ineffective, Edelman stressed. The Ambassador strongly
rejected some Turkish press stories claiming American
involvement in terrorist actions such the terrorist school
raid in north Ossetia. `Such ludicrous claims are intended
to create negative views of the United States in Turkey and
damage the US-Turkish relationship,' Edelman noted. Edelman
emphasized that terrorists are `unalterably opposed to the
goals and values shared by Turks, Americans, and the
overwhelming majority of others around the world -- freedom,
democracy, progress, and a more prosperous future for our
children.' `We are appalled by their ruthlessness, but on
this, the third anniversary of September 11, we are neither
intimidated nor discouraged,' Ambassador Edelman concluded.
Turkish synagogue bomber killed in Iraq: Habib Aktas, the
suspected Al-Qaida operative behind the suicide car bomb
attacks on two synagogues in Istanbul November last year,
was reportedly killed in a US bombing attack in Iraq's Al-
Ambar region on Friday. Video footage of Aktas' corpse was
sent to the Turkish Ihlas News Agency office in Baghdad.
Aktas was allegedly among the Iraqi insurgents who killed
Turkish truck driver Murat Yuce in Baghdad in August.

EU `confused' by Turkish efforts to outlaw adultery:
Several EU officials blasted Turkish plans to outlaw
adultery, saying that Ankara's proposed law was incompatible
with its aspiration to join the EU. The Turkish government
wants to ban adultery as part of an overhaul of the
country's penal code. The ruling AK Party says the move
would protect the family and strengthen women's rights. EU
enlargement commissioner Verheugen was on a final fact-
finding trip to Turkey before a progress report by the
European Commission on October 6, which will form the basis
for EU leaders to decide in December whether to open
accession talks. Verheugen applauded the reform progress in
Turkey during his visits to various Turkish provinces,
including the impoverished southeast. Verheugen said he was
`puzzled' by the adultery debate, and pointed to the
importance of development issues in the mainly Kurdish
southeast. The outgoing EU enlargement chief said he
expects EU-Turkey membership negotiations to take many

Zana to receive `belated' peace prize: Leyla Zana will be
invited to Brussels to receive the Sakharov Prize the former
DEP lawmaker had been awarded in 1995, Turkish papers
report. Zana is expected to address the European Parliament
general assembly, and will join a lunch with leaders of
political party groups at the European Parliament on October


"A De Facto Declaration of War"
Metin Isik wrote in the conservative "Tercuman (H.O.)"
(9/13): "The Turkmen population is being deliberately
murdered in Tal Afar, and Turkey seems to be the real target
as far as the US is concerned. Turkey's role and influence
in the region has always been a problem for the US. Turkey
first was insulted by last year's Suleymaniye incident. Now
events in Tal Afar are the next steps intended to diminish
Turkey's prestige in the region. President Bush seems to be
blind to the ongoing presence of PKK militants in northern
Iraq. But perhaps he is rather busy creating shadowy Shiite
militants in Tal Afar. . Turkey cannot just stand by and
watch the ongoing massacre against the Turkmen population.
The situation is like a declaration of war against Turkey,
and we should take necessary action to preserve our
interests in the region."

"What's happening in Tal Afar?"
Yasemin Congar wrote from Washington in the mass appeal
"Milliyet" (9/13): "According to US officials at the
Pentagon, the operation in Tal Afar is an effort to avoid
the establishment of `another Fallujah' situation in Iraq.
Officials underline that there is no American operation
against civilians in the region, and they characterize their
real target as terrorists who had come to the area from
Fallujah and Syria. . US sources also note that the
operation in Tal Afar started because the local Iraqi
authority failed to establish and maintain order in the
city. The Turkmen Front (ITF) has claimed that the US is
aiming to establish a Kurdish domination in Tal Afar, but
the US strongly denies the charge. The absence of an
indigenous Kurdish population in Tal Afar seems to weaken
support for the Turkmen claim. . On the other hand,
Turkey's reaction is largely understandable. The Turkish
public has had to cope with Barzani's statements regarding
Kirkuk on the one hand, and allegations of a Turkmen
massacre in Tal Afar on the other. Neither of these issues
is easy to digest for Ankara. The current Iraq presents a
picture of near-total chaos, and it is not easy to really
know what is happening in Tal Afar. In a situation like
this, using provocative language and disseminating one-sided
information is a grave mistake. Both the Turkish media and
the government have an important duty in this regard."


© Scoop Media

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