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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 005183

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,
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Gul to US: We'll end cooperation if Tal Afar attacks
continue - Milliyet
Ankara warns of ending cooperation with US- Aksam
US troops in Tal Afar - Hurriyet
Powell: We've miscalculated the problems in Iraq - Aksam
Al-Qaeda kills another Turk - Milliyet
Iraq a new `Jihad' zone for Turkish fundamentalists - Sabah
Al-Qaeda Turks claim responsibility for Istanbul bombings -
Aksam
Powell: Saddam has nothing to do with 9/11 - Sabah

OPINION MAKERS
US takes Tal Afar - Cumhuriyet
Amb. Edelman: Tal Afar operation is about to end - Yeni
Safak
Massacre of civilians feared in Tal Afar - Zaman
Iraqi Turkmen fear mass killings - Yeni Safak
Holbrooke: Iraq worse than Vietnam - Zaman
Powell's belated confession on Iraq - Cumhuriyet
First Greek Cypriot school opens in `TRNC' - Zaman
Putin draws in the reins - Radikal


BRIEFING

Situation in Tal Afar: FM Abdullah Gul said Monday he had
asked Secretary of State Colin Powell to end the fighting in
Tal Afar, and said he had warned the Secretary that `if it
continues, Turkey's cooperation on matters concerning Iraq
will come to an end.' Gul condemned what he called `the
excessive use of force against civilians' in Tal Afar. The
MFA on Monday told US Ambassador Edelman about Turkey's
concerns over the situation. The US Ambassador replied that
strikes by US forces in Tal Afar were aimed at combatants
and not civilians. `We cannot completely eliminate the
possibility of civilian casualties,' the Ambassador said,
`but we believe the operation is being conducted with great
care,' Edelman said. He said Turkey and the United States
would cooperate to send humanitarian assistance to the area.
Ambassador Edelman rejected claims in the Turkish media that
US forces aimed to clear Tal Afar of Turkmen, who are close
to Ankara, and replace them with Kurds. `I assure you that
we will not let the demographic structure of Tal Afar be
changed,' Edelman stressed.

Turkish fundamentalists join `Jihad' in Iraq: "Sabah"
estimates that about 700 fundamentalist Turkish militants
are currently in Iraq fighting in the ranks of insurgents.
The paper points to video footage of abducted Turkish
workers, in which some militants are heard speaking fluent
Turkish. The Turkish fighters were first sent to
Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, and Palestine before joining
the resistance in Iraq, the paper claims. Some of them are
kept in Turkey to carry out fundraising activities,
according to "Sabah."

Osman Ocalan claims US support: PKK defector Osman Ocalan,
who has set up a new political organization in northern
Iraq, said the US has a `positive view' of his efforts,
"Milliyet" reports. In a statement to the Kurdish webpage
`Rizgari Online,' Ocalan said he had sent messages to Ankara
through Kurdish leaders Necirvan Barzani and Jalal Talabani
asking for contacts with the Turkish government. `The
Americans' positive approach to our initiative has been a
gain for our freedom movement,' Ocalan reportedly said.

Turkish truck driver beheaded in Iraq: Video footage of the
killing of a Turkish hostage by fundamentalist insurgents in
Iraq was posted on an Islamist website Monday. In the
video, three hooded kidnappers are shown slitting the throat
of Durmus Kumdereli, one of three Turkish truck drivers
seized by the Tawhid wa al-Jihad group headed by Al-Qaeda
operative al-Zarqawi. The execution reportedly took place
in August. Kumdereli was killed for supplying goods to the
US military in Iraq, the militants said.

Istanbul bombers' trial: Al-Qaeda financed the bomb attacks
against two synagogues and British interests in Istanbul
that killed a total of 63 people in November 2003, Adnan
Ersoz, one of the suspects in the bombings, told a court in
Istanbul Monday. `There is no Al-Qaeda branch in Turkey,
but there are ties of mutual assistance between us and Al-
Qaeda, and the money came from Al-Qaeda,' Ersoz said. At
Monday's session of the trial of 69 people accused of
involvement in the attacks, Ersoz acknowledged that he had
received training in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he met
Habib Aktas. Aktas, one of the alleged masterminds of the
plot, was reportedly killed in Iraq last week during a US
raid on Al-Anbar. Another chief suspect, Harun Ilhan said,
`I have fought in the ranks of Al-Qaida and I'm proud of
it.' Ilhan apologized to Muslim victims of the terror
attacks, but said, his group had `sent the Jews a message in
a language they can understand.' `The bombings were carried
out by Habib Aktas, Gurcan Bac (another suspect, still on
the run) and me,' Ilhan said.

AK Party's `adultery bill': The ruling AK Party government
is expected to submit a draft revised criminal code to
parliament on Tuesday that includes a provision that would
criminalize adultery. Voting will be held in the next
several days. Turkish papers say the AK Party effort to ban
adultery would jeopardize Turkey's EU hopes. Several EU
foreign ministers criticized the proposal yesterday at a
meeting in Brussels. The proposal is characterized by
Europeans as `a step backward' for Turkey. Some AK Party
officials said the proposal to criminalize adultery is a
social measure aimed at persuading men to be faithful to
their wives. They say it has nothing to do with religion.


EDITORIAL OPINION: 9/11 Anniversary

"Destroying It Completely while Fixing It"
Haluk Ulman noted in the economic-political Dunya (9/14):
"Three years after the events of 9/11 the world is
surrounded with fear and insecurity. The Bush
administration started the Iraq war without finishing the
job regarding Al Qaida and Bin Laden, and currently it is
experiencing serious pitfalls in both Iraq and Afghanistan,
not to mention the US's difficult position in the
international arena. . Bin Laden is still not finished, and
even if he is captured there is no chance of seeing the Al
Qaida terror end. The Iraq war did not deter Al Qaida, in
fact, it helped it to grow even more rapidly. Al Qaida
terror speeded across the continent, from Spain to Saudi
Arabia, Turkey to Indonesia. 9/11 was certainly a very sad
event. Yet the Bush administration's method of dealing with
the issue is even more sad. Washington tried to `fix' it
and `destroyed it completely' in the end."

"Is This Counter-Terrorism?"
Ismail Kapan commented in the conservative Turkiye (9/14):
"Three years after the September 11 incident, how does the
global war the US has started against terrorism proceed?
Was the US able to bring democracy and freedom to
Afghanistan and Iraq, as it claimed? Or, with the
occupation, were much blood, tears and chaos brought to
these countries? Actually, it is very clear that the
situation gets worse with every passing day. One other
thing is very clear-- that the US, with the excuse of
fighting against terrorism, started its operation to become
the only ruler of the world, for which it has been in
preparation for many years. In short, the fight against
terrorism is an excuse, and the real reason and target is to
control the strategic regions and the energy resources of
the world. The claim of `fight against terrorism' loses
its persuasiveness with every passing day. What do you
think is the number of the civilian lives lost in Iraq and
Afghanistan since the occupation? As a recent example, how
many civilians lost their lives in Tal Afar? Or in Fallujah,
Bakuba, Ramadi and Najaf, which are under constant bombing?
While heavily bombing Tal Afar with the claim that there
were about 200 terrorists there, how come the US ignores
thousands of PKK terrorists in the northern Iraq mountains?
The more the world realizes the real US intentions and
witnesses the deaths of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan,
the more the reaction against the US grows. This is because
the Bush administration's wrong policies increase terrorist
activities globally. The most important conclusion reached
from all this is: No one believes the fight against
terrorism argument anymore."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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