Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report,
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 005596
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 29, 2004
THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
FM Gul to Annan: Kirkuk like a time bomb - Aksam
Armitage: Peshmerge will join Iraqi army - Aksam
First round between Bush, Kerry tomorrow - Sabah
Turkish trucker killed in Iraq - Milliyet
56 percent of French oppose Turkey's EU membership -
Ankara tension with EU over EU-OIC summit - Cumhuriyet
Regional Iraq conference to be held in Egypt in November -
Jordan King: Iraqi elections will increase insurgency -
US bombs Sadr City, Fallujah - Yeni Safak
Bush leads Kerry by 6 points - Cumhuriyet
Washington urges Athens to take US weapons back from Cyprus
French don't want Turkey in the EU - Cumhuriyet
FM Gul ends US visit: FM Abdullah Gul warned Tuesday at a
press conference after meeting UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan that a new TalAfar crisis in northern Iraq would lead
to a `catastrophe.' Gul said that coalition forces in Iraq
should to work hard to win the sympathy of the local people,
and he voiced Turkey's readiness to back efforts for
democracy, freedom and stability in Iraq. Gul also
reiterated Ankara's expectation that the UN take action to
remove international sanctions on Turkish Cypriots.
"Hurriyet" claims that Gul rejected a proposal by his
Armenian counterpart, Vartan Oskanyan, to open the border
gate between Turkey and Armenia, saying new steps would not
be taken until a solution is found to the Nagorno-Karabakh
dispute. Gul returned to Turkey from New York on Wednesday.
Armitage on Kirkuk, Kurds: Mass appeal "Aksam" quotes US
State Department U/S Richard Armitage as warning that if
property disputes between northern Iraqi ethnic groups
intensify to a critical point, Kirkuk might become a crisis
zone. Armitage noted that some areas have been taken back
from Arabs to be given to their original Kurdish owners, who
had been exiled by the regime of Saddam Hussein. `I don't
think the Iraqi Kurds are seeking sovereignty,' Armitage
said. `I think the Kurds are smart enough not to risk their
relationship with Turkey.'
Turkish driver killed in Iraq: Another Turkish driver has
been killed by insurgents in Iraq, bringing the total number
of killed to 14. Nizamettin Bilir, 46, was delivering fuel
to US forces in Iraq when the attack occurred near Mosul.
Turkish truckers have increasingly become the target of
Iraqi insurgents. Most Turkish hostages taken in Iraq have
been released after their companies have pledged to end
operations in Iraq or pay ransom money for their release.
However, 40,000 drivers continue to travel to Iraq each
month, according to "Cumhuriyet." The Turkish government
declined to provide official figures regarding the number of
missing Turks in Iraq.
DEA joins international narcotics conference: A conference
on the `International Initiative Against Smuggling of Drugs
and Money Laundering,' organized by Turkish Police and the
US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was opened Tuesday in
Istanbul. Turkish and DEA officials stressed the need for a
more systematic cooperation in the struggle against drug
smuggling and money laundering. DEA Administrator Karen P.
Tandy said the DEA has offices in 60 countries, and
underlined the significance of Turkey as a powerful partner
in the fight against drug trafficking.
Simultaneous sounds bombs explosions in Turkish cities:
Sound bombs exploded almost simultaneously in front of
branches of the British-based HSBC Bank in Istanbul, Izmir,
and Adana Tuesday evening. A percussion bomb went off at
about the same time in Ankara in the garden of the Turkish-
American Association, causing slight damage to the building,
the Anatolian news agency (AA) reported. The explosions did
not cause any injuries. NTV reported that the Ankara
explosion was also targeting HSBC, which has a bank branch
located 100 meters from the Turkish American Association.
No group claimed immediate responsibility for the blasts.
Upcoming EU-OIC summit: Despite strong objections from
Greece and Cyprus, Ankara told EU missions in Turkey that
northern Cypriots would join the upcoming forum of EU and
the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) foreign
ministers under the name `Turkish Cypriot State,'
"Cumhuriyet" reports. Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
said the meeting will be held as scheduled on October 4-5 in
Istanbul. "Cumhuriyet" expects some EU countries to send
lower level participants to the meeting. Cyprus has
threatened to boycott the gathering, and has encouraged
other EU countries to follow suit.
Human rights symposium in Ankara: 500 human rights
activists from around the world will be meeting in Ankara
for a 5-day symposium beginning today to discuss new tactics
against violations of human rights, "Milliyet" reports. The
`New Strategies in Human Rights International Symposium'
sponsored by Turkey, the US, the UK and the Netherlands will
be held from September 29-October 2. General Manager of the
`American Center for the Victims of Torture,' Douglas
Johnson, told "Aksam" that a `culture of fear' has prevailed
in the US following the September 11 attacks. `Following
9/11, America's leaders have deemed all methods
`permissible' in obtaining intelligence information,'
Johnson said, noting that `such an approach has inflicted
substantial damage on US values and laws.'
EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Turkey-EU
"Tension will grow in Iraq"
Kemal Yavuz warned in the sensational-mass appeal "Aksam"
(9/29): "Iraq is on the verge of more tension in the days
ahead. Thanks to Ankara's determined stance, the situation
in Tal Afar, despite recent incidents, is now quiet.
However, the city administration has been transferred to
anti-Turkmen groups following the military operation. There
is speculation that about 2,500 armed Kurdish militiamen
have been placed in the area, taking advantage of the
chaotic atmosphere when US forces conducted their operation.
If this is the case, an ethnic-based conflict in this area
seems imminent. On the other hand, Kirkuk seems to have the
most serious potential as an area of conflict. There has
been a well-planned and intentional Kurdish migration to
Kirkuk over the past year. American military officials also
voice concern regarding this issue. . The US is having a
very bad experience in Iraq. If the census and general
elections do not go as planned, as seems likely, US prestige
and influence in the region will be reduced to zero."
"Who is This Murderer?"
Zafer Atay commented in the economic-political "Dunya"
(9/29): "His name is Ahmet Haleyle.For now, he is known as
Ebu Mus'ab el Zarkawi. Ahmet Fadil Halilyah, Ebu Ahmet, Ebu
Muhammet Sakir, and Ebu Suvayd are among the names he uses
time to time. Now he is the leader of a terrorist
organization. Zarkawi and his team love to kill. There are
times when even Islamic theologians rebel against his
actions. When any of these religious people criticize his
violent actions, such as the beheading of hostages, Zarkawi
immediately brands them as enemies or cowards. To defend
his terrorist actions, he tells lies and even claims that
the prophet Muhammed had given similar orders in the past.
He misinterprets the Koran to justify his murders.
Recently, he has been holding many Turks as hostages. Let's
not allow anyone to claim that Zarkawi is fighting against
the enemy to defend his rights. It would be a great insult
to real patriots and heroes to regard Zarkawi and his men as
`resisters,' when they really only get pleasure out of
"The Fight Over Turkey in the EU"
Erdal Safak wrote in the mass appeal "Sabah" (9/29): "It
seems France is having the most heated debate about Turkey's
accession to the EU. A recent opinion poll in the French
`Le Figaro' shows 36 percent popular support for Turkey's
EU, with 56 percent opposed. . This anti-Turkish sentiment
among the French public has declined slightly from the 61
percent recorded last June. Moreover, the percentage of
those who say they might support Turkey's EU accession in
the future is 63 -- a good indication of growing pro-Turkish
sentiment once the negotiation process moves further. .
Turkey will be at the top of the EU's agenda not only during
the upcoming December summit, but also throughout 2005.
Turkey should be well aware of the fact that people and
politicians in the EU will debate the Turkey issue almost
constantly in the days ahead."