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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 005689

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,
MONDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Erdogan named `European of the Year' - Hurriyet
Turkey's EU membership likely after 2013 - Milliyet
Israeli tanks in Gaza - Aksam
Children victims of violence in Iraq - Aksam 10/3
Kurds rally for a free Kirkuk - Hurriyet 10/3
Kerry leads Bush by 3 points - Milliyet
Nader a `Republican' independent - Aksam

OPINION MAKERS
Schroeder urges EU to keep promise to Turkey - Zaman
FM Gul `confident' of positive EU report - Radikal
FM Erdogan: No torture in Turkey - Cumhuriyet
US strikes Fallujah again - Cumhuriyet
Samarra under US control - Yeni Safak
Zawahiri threatens Norway, South Korea - Cumhuriyet 10/3
World silent on Palestine - Radikal
Israel carries out `genocide' - Yeni Safak
Palestine cries for help - Cumhuriyet 10/3
Afghanistan's problems will continue after elections - Zaman
10/3


BRIEFING

EU-Turkey: Papers believe that the European Commission
progress report on Turkey will be largely, advising the EU
to start entry talks with Turkey without delay. Papers
claim that the key phrase in the Commission recommendation
will be: `The Commission considers that Turkey has
sufficiently fulfilled the political criteria and recommends
that accession negotiations be opened.' The EU will reserve
the right to suspend accession negotiations if there is
backsliding in the Turkish reform process. Unsettled issues
with the EU include freedom of religion and expression,
human rights, the situation in southeast Turkey, military-
civilian relations, and economic and structural reforms.
The EU will continue monitoring closely the implementation
of reforms in these areas, and the continuation of entry
talks will depend on Turkey's performance. Entry talks do
not necessarily mean that Turkey will be admitted to the
European bloc, papers report, and in any event Turkey's full
membership will not come until at least 2013. Experts warn
that the EU's internal balances and Turkish sensitivities in
key areas will make negotiations difficult. The media
speculates that EU demands for more freedoms for the Kurds
and other minorities may grow.
Erdogan receives `Quadriga' award: On Sunday, German
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder presented PM Erdogan with the
`Quadriga' award for his positive role in the reform process
in Turkey. Speaking at the awards ceremony in Berlin,
Schroeder said that Europe most keep its word to Turkey and
support its bid to join the bloc. Erdogan said he expected
a positive report from the Commission. `We have done our
homework,' Erdogan said, `now it's time for the Europeans to
do what is necessary.'
EO-OIC forum cancelled: EU objections to the Turkish
Cypriots' representation at an EU-OIC forum under the name
`Turkish Cypriot State' led to the cancellation of the
meetings scheduled for October 4-5 in Istanbul. Weekend
papers criticize the EU for `surrendering' to pressure from
Athens and Nicosia. The Greek Cypriot foreign ministry
hailed the cancellation as a `victory,' "Cumhuriyet"
reports.
Nicosia enters Customs Union with Ankara: Ankara has
included Cyprus in Turkey's Customs Union (CU) agreement
with the EU, weekend papers report. The MFA said that the
inclusion of southern Cypriots in the Customs Union did not
imply recognition, and that Ankara would continue its
`special' relationship with the Turkish Cypriots. Ankara is
expected to ask the EU to remove economic sanctions on the
northern Cypriots before launching trade with Nicosia.
Sunday's "Cumhuriyet" strongly criticizes the Turkish
government for `conceding' to the Greek Cypriots despite the
fact that the EU has kept none of its promises with regard
to easing sanctions on northern Cyprus.
Talabani wants `Brussels model' for Kirkuk: In an interview
with the Islamist-oriented "Yeni Safak," Iraqi Patriotic
Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader Jalal Talabani called on all
ethnic and political groups to agree on a `Belgian-type'
structuring for Kirkuk. Talabani denied allegations that
the northern Iraqi Kurdish parties are helping displaced
Kurds return to their homes. `It is a natural right for the
Kurds and Turkmen driven out by Saddam to return home,' he
stressed. Talabani also denied charges of secret ties
between the Kurds and Israel. `We cannot block Israeli
businessmen coming to Iraq,' Talabani added. He also said
that Kurdish Jews returning to Iraq will be allowed to go
back to their villages. Responding to speculation about an
independent Kurdish state in Iraq, Talabani said such a
`foolish' venture would cause catastrophe in the region.
`Someone should tell us how a Kurdish state, encircled by
three strong states -- Iran, Syria and Turkey - that oppose
Kurdish independence could possibly exist,' Talabani said.
Turkish Red Crescent employee wounded in Iraq dies: Mustafa
Pekcan, a Turkish Red Crescent employee severely wounded in
a terrorist attack near Mosul, died in Ankara on Saturday.
"Aksam" claims that Pekcan was taken to the Al-Salam
hospital in Mosul instead of the fully-equipped American
military hospital, and was evacuated to Ankara six days
after his health condition deteriorated. "Aksam" quotes
Pekcan's friends as saying that he was a victim
`insufficient medical attention' in Mosul.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Election 2004; EU-Turkey

"Bush and Kerry's Joint Vision"
Yasemin Congar wrote from Washington in the mass appeal
"Milliyet" (10/4): "The election atmosphere is getting
stronger in Washington, yet there will be no fundamental
change in US policy or the campaign against terrorism
regardless of whether Bush or Kerry wins. In the next 4
years, the US will be seriously engaged in the fight against
terrorism. The project focuses on the Islamic world, and
combines elements of political, economic, and social
reforms. In terms of the rhetoric, it addresses the
ideological grounds for terrorism and directly targets
radical Islam. . The election atmosphere forces both
candidates into brief responses and sound-bite messages, so
a real discussion of terrorism has not been a part of the
election debate. Foreign policy staffers from both the
Kerry and Bush teams have reached a consensus regarding
their vision for the war on terror. Although the vision is
basically the same, it seems that a Kerry administration
would have a better chance of success than a second Bush
administration. Nevertheless, the war on terror will remain
the immediate priority no matter who wins."

"Becoming Aware of the EU Reality"
Gunduz Aktan commented in the liberal-intellectual "Radikal"
(10/2): "In many European countries, especially Germany and
France, there are historical prejudices against Turkey. The
word `Turk' is used in many pejorative ways. Moreover,
those who really make Turkey out to be the `other' in
Christian Europe are French intellectuals. In his book
"Structure du Serail," Alain Grosrichard proves through
Freudian analysis how Montesquieu's concept of `oriental
despotism' portrayed Turks as the opposite of a European
identity. At a time when the Armenians' anti-Turkish and
anti-Semitic sentiments are on the rise, the Muslim minority
faces significant reaction in Europe, and extreme
nationalist parties are opposed to Turkey in the European
Union. The view of Turkey as the `other' is definitely
getting stronger. Under such conditions, it is impossible
for one to accept a country and a nation which is thought to
represent the antithesis of everything one believes in as
one's equal. Another problem is that the French public is
currently experiencing one of its periodic depressions.
Some EU members, including the new ones, oppose the French
stance on the U.S. war in Iraq, and create significant doubt
about the future of the EU and the leadership of France.
Turkey's membership therefore becomes even less attractive
for the French. There is also the financial burden our
membership will bring, together with the important
adjustments needed within EU institutions. At this point,
the best possible scenario appears to be to continue on our
road step-by-step and be pleased to get a date to start
negotiations, while ignoring anti-Turkish statements made by
French politicians."

EDELMAN

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