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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 005395

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 22, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEALS
CHP calls for special parliamentary session on penal code -
Vatan
CHP urges AKP not to miss EU opportunity - Milliyet
Barroso: Turkey not yet ready for EU - Aksam
Kerry: I wouldn't have toppled Saddam - Vatan
Kerry: US weaker after removal of Saddam - Hurriyet
British envoy in Rome: Bush is al-Qaeda's best warrior -
Aksam
Another abducted American killed in Iraq - Vatan
Israel to buy 5,000 `smart bombs' from US - Hurriyet
Israel buys US bombs to strike Iran - Milliyet
Iran determined to enrich uranium - Sabah

OPINION MAKERS
EU: Turkey must obey EU rules - Cumhuriyet
Turkish markets turn to Brussels - Radikal
Annan tough on US - Cumhuriyet
Bush-Annan duel on Iraq at UNGA - Zaman
Painful opening for UN - Radikal
Bush mocks Kerry - Radikal
Khatami: Iran will continue its nuclear program - Yeni Safak
Damascus pulls troops from Lebanon - Zaman
US removes sanctions on Libya - Radikal
Saddam may ask Austria for asylum - Yeni Safak
Putin to divide Georgia into three - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING

EU/adultery debate: Turkey's ruling AK Party said on
Tuesday that parliament may reconvene to approve penal code
reforms after PM Erdogan has held talks in Brussels with EU
Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen and party leaders
from the European Parliament. Erdogan will leave for
Brussels this eveing and hold talks there on Tjursday.
Earlier yesterday, the main opposition Republican People's
Party (CHP) had called for parliament to reconvene September
28, but AKP rejected the request. The Parliament's next
regularly scheduled session will begin October 1. The AK
Party believes Erdogan can convince the EU on the adultery
issue. The incoming head of the European Commission, Jose
Manuel Durao Barroso, said on Tuesday that `it is Turkey
that has to adapt to the rules of the EU. Europe does not
have to adapt to Turkey's rules.' The EU Comission is
reportedly preparing to offer Turkey `conditional' accession
talks unless AK Party takes a back step on the adultery
issue. Mainstream papers accuse PM Erdogan of giving
ammunition to European opponents of Turkey's accession by
mishandling the penal code debate. EU diplomats reportedly
say that Erdogan is increasingly regarded as a hard-line
conservative whose position contradicts European values.

US Refuses Permission for Iraq Evacuation: "Radikal"
reports that the United States has refused a Turkish
proposal to evacuate a critically injured employee of the
Turkish Red Crescent from Iraq, where he was wounded in an
attack against a humanitarian convoy on Monday. The report
claims that the Turkish General Staff (TGS) wanted to fly a
specially equipped helicopter to Mosul to complete the
evacuation, which was necessary to carry out an emergency
operation in Turkey. US officials offered to fly the
patient to Turkey in a US helicopter, but so far no
evacuation has taken place. The article notes that Turkey
has given blanket permission for US planes carrying wounded
US soldiers to land at Incirlik airbase.

FM Gul in New York: FM Abdullah Gul met with several
counterparts in New York Tuesday, including Dutch EU term
president Bot and Greek FM Moliviatis. Gul attended a
reception hosted by President Bush at the Waldorf Astoria
Hotel last evening. The Turkish FM is expected to address
the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

Turkish hostages in Iraq: On Tuesday `Vinsan,' a Turkish
company working on contracts in Iraq, said it would freeze
its operations in Iraq in an effort to secure the release of
10 of its workers who were abducted by militants allegedly
linked to al-Zarkawi. State Minister Kursad Tuzmen said
yesterday that Turkey did not have the luxury of halting
trade with Iraq. Tuzmen said that the chaos in Iraq makes
it difficult to trade and send humanitarian aid to the
country. 200 Turkish companies are currently working in
Iraq. Reports say that about 2,000 Turkish trucks continue
going through the Harbur border gate into Iraq every day.

New Iraqi ambassador in Turkey: The new Iraqi Ambassador to
Ankara, Sabah Cemil Omran, will take office later today
after presenting his credentials to President Sezer on
Wednesday. Mr Omran is a Sunni Arab who served as a junior
diplomat in Ankara in the 1960s.
EU cautious about `TRNC': The EU is objecting to the `TRNC'
joining meetings between the EU and the Organization of
Islamic Conference (OIC) in Istanbul next month under the
name `Cyprus Turkish State,' "Zaman" reports. A Dutch EU
official told `TRNC PM' Talat that the Turkish Cypriots
should attend the talks as the `Cyprus Turkish Community' or
under no official name at all. The EU is afraid that the
designation `Cyprus Turkish State' could imply recognition
of the `TRNC,' "Zaman" speculates.

US Eximbank loan for Turkish trains: "Zaman" reports that
US Eximbank will give Turkey's State Railroad Directorate
(DDY) $91.5 million in loan guarantees for the modernization
of Turkey's railroad system. US Eximbank reportedly gave
General Motors a $86.8 million loan for renewing Turkish
rail cars and providing spare parts for the DDY.

EDITORIAL OPINION

"A Dirty Game in Iraq"
Fuat Bol commented in the conservative-mass appeal "Turkiye"
(9/22): "A systematic operation implemented against Turks
is taking place in Iraq. The goal here is to keep Turkey
and the Turks out of Iraq, so that Turkey's intervention in
the upcoming Iraqi civil war will be prevented. This is the
game! Why is the US playing this game? The US does not
plan to stay in Iraq forever. It had two goals in Iraq --
to topple Saddam and his regime, and to gain control of
Iraq's oil reserves. The US really doesn't care about the
other problems in Iraq. The second goal is more important
than the first, because the real purpose of the Iraq
invasion - as well as possible military operations in Iran
and Syria -- is the oil reserves. Turkey is making a big
effort to open a second border gate with Iraq through
Ovakoy. This gate would connect Iraqi Turkmen territory to
Turkey. The Ovakoy-Tal Afar- Mosul - Kirkuk line is a very
strategic route for everyone. Acting according to US
wishes, the Kurds' main target is to add these Turkmen areas
to their own land. The Kurds don't hesitate from playing
any dirty game to reach this goal. The administration of
the Turkmen region has been given to Kurdish peshmerge based
on `security concerns.' All Turkmen government offices are
under the control of the peshmerge, including the land
registration office. Knowing that it is not possible to
establish a state without oil reserves, the Peshmerge now
declare that Turkmen land falls within the Kurdish region.
But the US is keeping its under control, and will never
leave the oil reserves to the peshmerge. The US plans are
for tomorrow. It is obvious that the US will carry out
operations in Syria and Iran very soon. Therefore, it has
to maintain control of this strategic line, from Syria to
Iran, through Northern Iraq. With the opening of the Ovakoy
border gate, this strategic region would be under the
control of Turkey, and the US and the peshmerge would not be
able to act as they wish. Knowing this, the US and the
peshmerge are playing this dirty game. Their goal is to
isolate Turkey from the region, both militarily and
economically."

"Crisis Deepens over Penal Code Reform"
Ali Bayramoglu wrote in the Islamist-oriented "Yeni Safak"
(9/22): "The debate over the Turkish criminal code doesn't
look like it will end anytime soon. Despite what people
emay be hoping, PM Erdogan has made it clearly understood
that the Government has no intention of taking a step back
on this issue and will not pay attention to EU demands. He
has laid out his action plan: he will explain to the EU that
their demands with regard to the penal code are
illegitimate. Whether this approach is realistic will only
be determined at the end of his trip to Brussels. But there
is no reason to hold out much hope on the question. In
fact, quite the opposite.Columnists, politicians, and
experts are having a difficult time explaining this in the
face of strong negative press coverage in Europe. The
problem is basically a sociological one. Despite the fact
that the AK Party, as a ruling national party, has taken
revolutionary steps toward greater political rights and
freedoms, it hasn't been able to push ahead with similar
measures on moral, traditional issues. The `deep rift' with
regard to the EU stems from this. We must also say that
these recent events have been indexed directly to PM
Erdogan. He is the one who has been engaged and insistent
on the adultery issue. He is the one who blocked further
debate on the criminal code, even over the objections of
some ministers and despite the fact that the decision led to
this difficult situation. And if there is one person who
represents AK Party and its soul, it is the Prime Minister.
At this point, the AK party group has fallen in behind the
Prime Minister, and the friction and debate within the party
have been put in abeyance. What will happen under these
conditions, and where this will lead is difficult to say.
Is there a way out of this? Only time will tell."
EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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