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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 04 ANKARA 005373

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 21, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Europe insists on new penal code - DB-Tercuman
Greek FM vows to support clear `Yes' for Turkey in EU -
Milliyet
Turkish aid convoy attacked in Mosul - Hurriyet
TIME: US wants Syrian support for Iraq - Sabah
Bush, Kerry showdown on TV - Hurriyet
Diyarbakir mayor: Time to bid farewell to arms - Milliyet

OPINION MAKERS
EU: Entry talks depend on penal code reforms - Cumhuriyet
EU: No talks without penal code reforms - Referans
Erdogan confident he will convince Brussels - Yeni Safak
Strain with EU hits Turkish markets - Radikal
Tal Afar aid convoy attacked in Iraq - Yeni Safak
FM Gul: Don't mess with Kirkuk - Yeni Safak
Seymour Hersh: Rumsfeld ordered torture in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Provocation: Two Sunni leaders killed in Sadr City -
Cumhuriyet
Germany bans Islamic international conference in Berlin -
Radikal
After Russia, Australia approves `preventive strike'
doctrine - Radikal


BRIEFING

Penal code/adultery debate: The EU cannot begin entry
negotiations with Turkey if the new penal code is not
adopted by the October 6, European Commission spokesman Jean-
Christophe Filori said on Monday. A public row flared
between Verheugen and Turkish PM Erdogan last week, when
Erdogan told the EU to stop meddling in Turkish domestic
affairs. Filori responded to Erdogan on Monday, saying: `It
is not interference in Turkish affairs, but rather the rules
of the game if a country wants to be an EU member.' Erdogan
will visit Brussels on Thursday to meet with Verheugen and
other EU leaders. Erdogan will reportedly raise the example
of legalized narcotics sales in the Netherlands and urge EU
leaders to `tolerate' the controversial adultery provision
to be included in the penal code reform. Some mainstream
dailies expect the AK Party to backpedal at the last minute
and enact the penal code on November 2. FM Gul is
optimistic, saying that Turkey had enacted `incredible'
reforms in the last two years, and that Ankara would be
granted an unconditional date for EU accession talks in
December. In a front-page story, "Radikal" says that a
survey on adultery carried out in 1999 is at odds with the
view of the AK Party that the Turkish nation wants adultery
to be criminalized. The survey showed a majority of both
men and women think that adulterers should not be punished.
The survey was conducted through one-on-one interviews with
3,053 Turks. The majority of Turks support Turkey's EU
accesson process and are unlikely to change their views for
the sake of criminalizing adultery, "Radikal" stresses.

Meat, rice bargaining with the US: US Ambassador Eric
Edelman called on Minister of Agriculture Sami Guclu on
Monday. The US wants Turkey to allow meat imports, and to
remove quotas and lower customs tariffs on US rice imports.
Otherwise, the US side said it will take the issue to the
World Trade Organization (WTO). The Turks have said that
the presence of BSE (Mad Cow Disease) as the main reason for
the ban on meat imports, and see no problem with a possible
US application to the WTO on the issue. Agriculture
Minister Guclu reportedly told the US that Turkey did not
prefer buying American rice because it was `costlier' and
`of lower quality' than rice from other countries.
Turkish aid convoy attacked in Iraq: The Turkish Red
Crescent humanitarian aid convoy to the northern Iraqi town
of Tal Afar was attacked by Iraqi insurgents en route to
Mosul on Monday. Five Turks were injured, two of them
Turkish journalists. Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
released a statement saying that `such an attack on a
humanitarian aid team aiming to assist the people of a
neighboring country has demonstrated the seriousness of the
situation in Iraq.' The MFA noted that universal rules
prohibit such acts against humanitarian aid teams under any
conditions. The Turkish company `Vinsan,' which is working
in Iraq, confirmed yesterday that Iraqi militants had
abducted ten of its workers. The insurgents gave `Vinsan'
72 hours to leave Iraq. `Vinsan' said in a statement aired
by Al-Jazeera that it had no links with any American
company. `Vinsan' believes the abduction of its workers had
been plotted by local Iraqi businessmen who want to kick
Turkish rivals out of Iraq. Meanwhile, another Turkish
truck driver was killed in Mosul, and the corpse of a second
Turk, also a driver, was found near Tikrit in on Monday.

Turkish, Greek FMs meet in New York: Greek FM Moliviatis
told Turkish FM Gul in New York yesterday that Athens would
vote for Turkey's European membership even if all other EU
members vote against it. Moliviatis also gave full support
to efforts to end the international isolation of Turkish
Cypriots, and for Turkey's candidacy for the UN Security
Council in 2009-2010. Gul said the Turkish-Greek deal to
cancel all military exercises would also be implemented this
year. FM Gul is in New York to attend the 59th annual UN
General Assembly meetings. "Zaman" reports that Gul
stressed his determination to continue the US-Turkey
strategic partnership in a speech he delivered at the
National Strategy Forum in Chicago on Sunday. `Turkey is
America's true strategic ally,' Gul said, noting that both
countries need more consultation and cooperation in Iraq.

"Milliyet" interviews mayor of Diyarbakir: "Milliyet"
talked with Osman Baydemir, mayor of Diyarbakir, Turkey's
largest Kurdish majority city, about the current situation
in the region. Baydemir noted that the time had arrived to
`bid farewell to arms' in the southeast. Baydemir offered
a `peace plan' that envisages a `period of no conflict,'
which could be called a cease-fire. 1,000 out of the 6,000
PKK members jailed in Turkey are ill, Baydemir claimed, and
he called for their release. Ankara, he said, should make
an effort to reintegrate PKK militants now in the mountains
back into normal life through an amnesty. PKK leader
Abdullah Ocalan should be transferred to another prison,
ending his `isolation' on Imrali' island, where he is
currently jailed, Baydemir said. The mayor also asked for
the lowering of Turkey's 10 percent election threshold in an
effort to enable wider political participation. Baydemir
said he had told EU Commissioner Verheugen that Turkey
deserved to be granted a negotiation date for full
membership. `We must disarm the Kurdish opposition movement
and make them join the democratic process in Turkey,' he
emphasized.

EU Commission warns on Turkey-Armenia border issue: EU
Commission President Romano Prodi said in Yerevan at a press
conference with the Armenian FM Vartan Oskanyan that he was
`uneasy' that the border crossing between Turkey and Armenia
had been kept closed. The border issue between the two
countries might be `harmful' to Turkey's EU claim, Prodi
noted, and stressed that he would support efforts to reopen
the gate. A spokesman for Prodi later denied that he had
raised the Armenian border issue as a further precondition
for opening EU accession talks with Turkey.

EDITORIAL OPINION
"Kirkuk on the Way to Becoming Another Kosovo"
Mustafa Balbay commented in the social-
democratic/intellectual Cumhuriyet (9/21): `US Ambassador
to Ankara Eric Edelman last week responded to Turkey's
worries about Tal Afar by saying that we are worried much
more about Kirkuk, which is on the way to becoming another
Kosovo.' (EDITOR'S NOTE: THE SECOND PART OF THIS ALLEGED
QUOTATION IS INACCURATE. END NOTE.) Although there are
many worrying things about the situation in Iraq, Ambassador
Edelman is expressing his concerns about Kirkuk. To us,
Edelman's statement sounded more like an announcement of
intention. Although in Kosovo, the NATO umbrella carried by
the US is gradually being handed to the European Army, no
outsider has considered leaving the region to the regional
people. Let us look at Kirkuk. The resistance is
continuing their attacks all over Iraq, but it is notable
that the resistance is murdering more Iraqi `collaborators'
than actual foreigners. This is a very strong sign that a
civil war could begin. Incidents in Kirkuk have been
different from those elsewhere in Iraq. Kirkuk is turning
into a Kurdish city with the knowledge of the United States.
Every day, hundreds of Kurds settle in a tent city next to
Kirkuk. Arabs and Turkmen are coordinating against this
resettlement. The situation is like an ethnic time bomb.
It is obvious that US policy in Iraq is to leave the place
in disarray. Plans to involve Turkey in this situation can
be considered within this framework. Barzani and Talabani
are being used by the US. Although both leaders constantly
reiterate that they are `brothers' with other ethnic groups
in Iraq, they act in accordance with US wishes. Since I
began my column with Kosovo, let me remind Barzani and
Talabani of a Balkan proverb: `those who don't treat their
brothers as a brother will eventually be forced to call
foreigners their master.'

"What Will Happen to Iraq?"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative-mass appeal Turkiye
(9/21): "It appears that the future of Iraq will be similar
to that which has taken place in Afghanistan. The US will
leave the country to its own people on condition that real
control of the country, including control of its energy
resources, roads and bases will be belong to the US. The US
is waiting for the November elections and their new
President (most likely Bush will be re-elected) to decide on
its Iraq policy. The US is planning operations against Iran
and Syria during the winter of 2004-2005. Therefore it is
necessary to leave Iraq on its own and to retreat to certain
bases. What will the Iraqis do? Obviously, they will kill
each other in a civil war. There will be a census in Iraq
on October 17. Around 25 million Iraqi who live in tents in
the deserts will declare their tribal and religious
allegiance. Of course, armed Iraqis will show higher
numbers than they really have. Foreign observers will be
rejected or even killed. In short, there will be a `census
war,' because the US will determine the number of
parliamentarians according to the census results. Moreover,
this disgraceful census will determine the basis for the
borders of autonomous Kurdistan. Northern Iraq is being
turned into the rose garden of Kurdistan. One of the main
goals is to keep the Kirkuk oil in the Kurdish region. The
other goal is for Kurdistan to stretch from Iran in the east
to Syria in the west. Of course, the other goal is to
prevent Turkey's intervention from the north. Having enough
trouble with Iraq, Iran, Syria and the organizations they
support, Israel might find such a Kurdistan useful, but that
will weaken Israel's relations with Turkey. Israel's hopes
for peace with the Arab World will then be left to some
other century."
EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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