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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 005717

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, OCTOBER 5, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Verheugen: No EU membership for Turkey before 2015 - Vatan
FM Gul: We won't accept special EU conditions for Turkey -
Vatan
New EU expansion chief positive toward Turkey - Milliyet
Incoming EU Commission wants referendum on Turkey - Sabah
PM Erdogan: Referendum on Turkey is double-standard - Aksam
`TRNC' to be represented at EU - Turkiye
Another Turk killed in Iraq for `spying' - Milliyet
Life paralyzed in Gaza - Aksam

OPINION MAKERS
Europe's historic debate on Turkey - Radikal
Verheugen's successor positive on Turkey - Radikal
Brussels presses Ankara to recognize Greek Cypriots -
Cumhuriyet
HRW: For Turkey, human rights hold key to EU gate - Yeni
Safak
Fallujah under fire, death toll 39 in Iraq - Zaman
US kills children again in Fallujah raid - Yeni Safak
Sharon's operation to destroy Gaza - Zaman
Israeli operation isolates Palestine - Cumhuriyet
Israel's bloody Gaza raid may go on for weeks - Yeni Safak
Kerry catches up with Bush - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

EU-Turkey: The European Commission will make a
recommendation on Wednesday on whether Ankara has met the
political and economic conditions to begin accession talks.
EU leaders must then decide in December whether or not to
set a date for the talks. On Monday, EU Expansion
Commissioner-designate Olli Rehn said that if the
recommendation was positive, the bloc has a duty to `stick
to its word.' Rehn emphasized that a green light for the
opening of entry talks would split European public opinion,
but said the bloc should continue to encourage reform in
Turkey. Rehn also stressed that if accession talks began,
`the EU definitely will need a strong monitoring mechanism
in order to monitor Turkey's commitments concerning human
rights and the rights of minorities.' "Cumhuriyet" expects
the Commission to press Ankara for the expansion of rights
to the `Kurds and other minority groups in Turkey.' Rehn
said Turkey was taking the problem of torture seriously and
noted that `a lot of progress has been made in the last few
years.' EU officials also said that Turkey has met EU
conditions by supporting a UN peace plan for the
reunification of Cyprus. EU sources said the Commission
would propose no date for opening entry talks, and no target
date for Turkish accession. But the report assumes that
2015 would be the earliest realistic date. Meanwhile,
Turkish FM Abdullah Gul told reporters that there can be no
question of special conditions for Turkey's membership. On
Wednesday, PM Erdogan will go to Strasbourg to address the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Allegations of Pentagon `bribe money' for Halki Seminary: A
document sent to US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz
shows that the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos requested
$12 million from the Pentagon for `bribes' to Turkish
officials in an effort to see the reopening of Halki
Seminary in Istanbul, "Vatan" reports. The Pentagon sent
the money to a special account at Barclay's Bank on October
30, 2001. However, the money `disappeared' after being
transferred to the accounts of two Turks and a Muslim lawyer
from Bahrain, Awadh Obaid al-Yamani, who is in charge of the
Patriarch's private accounts and of donations made to the
Patriarchate. Businessman Vasilaki Floridi told a court in
Istanbul that he had given $3.3 million to Bartholomeos to
reopen the Seminary, but claimed that the Patriarch had used
the money for personal purposes. "Vatan" acknowledges that
the authenticity of the document sent to Wolfowitz has not
been verified.
Hastings meets PM Erdogan: PM Erdogan exchanged views on
Monday with OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Chairman and US
House of Representatives member Alcee Hastings on European
security and developments in Iraq, "Yeni Safak" reports.
Erdogan told Hastings that things are not going well in
Iraq, and urged the OSCE to consult with NATO, the UN, and
the EU to increase efforts for peace in the region.
Hastings said that US-Turkey relations are not confined only
to the struggle against terrorism. Hastings noted that the
OSCE has supported Turkey's EU membership for the last 10
years. Hastings later paid a courtesy visit to the deputy
speaker of parliament, and recalled that a group of Turkish
lawmakers would observe the US Presidential elections in
November.
Kizilay Employee Buried in Ankara: Mustafa Pekcan, the
Turkish Red Crescent employee who was critically wounded and
later died from gunshot wounds suffered in an attack against
a Turkish convoy near Mosul, was buried in a ceremony in
Ankara yesterday. FM Gul, Justice Minister Cicek, and
Health Minister Akdag were all in attendance. Murat Yetkin
wrote in "Radikal" that, based on his conversation with an
Iraqi Turkmen doctor who was on the scene in Mosul, American
military doctors made extraordinary efforts to save Pekcan's
life. The delay in transporting Pekcan to Ankara, the
doctor said, was due to the precariousness of his medical
condition. Meanwhile, CHP lawmaker Zulfi Livanelli said
that if the US military had allowed the patient to be
evacuated sooner from Iraq, he may well be alive today.
Turkish Hostage Killed in Iraq: All papers report that a
Turkish hostage, Yilmaz Dabca, was shot and killed by his
captors in Iraq. An Italian citizen of Iraqi Turkmen
origin, Ayad Enver Vali, was also killed. Before the
execution, then men's captors claimed that the two hostages
had `confessed' to spying for Israel and Turkey.
Body of Turkish Driver Founf Near Tikrit: The body of
another Turkish driver was found near the city of Tikrit,
some 130 kilometers north of Baghdad. The identity of the
victim, who had been shot and killed, could not be
immediately determined.
Nicosia demands recognition by Turkey: "Cumhuriyet" claims
that Brussels is forcing Ankara to include southern Cyprus
in the 1963 Ankara Agreement between Turkey and the EU. The
Greek Cypriots are urging EU to insist on full political
recognition by Turkey. The EU views the recent inclusion by
Ankara of Nicosia in Turkey's 1996 Customs Union (CU)
agreement with the EU as insufficient, and will present
Ankara with an additional protocol to the Ankara Agreement
which would introduce official recognition by Ankara of the
Cyprus Republic. Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Assembly of
the Council of Europe (PACE) announced Monday that Turkish
Cypriots would be allowed to attend the PACE meetings
independent from the Greek Cypriots. Papers view the
decision as a goodwill gesture toward PM Erdogan before he
addresses the Parliamentary Assembly on Wednesday. The EU
decision does not imply official recognition of the `TRNC.'
Israel will not join air exercises in Turkey: Israel did
not join air exercises held every year in Turkey's Karapinar-
Konya province due to the strain in bilateral relations with
Turkey, "Radikal" reports. The `Anatolian Eagle' military
exercises were held in Konya in Turkey's Central Anatolian
province with the participation of the US, Italy, the
Netherlands, and Germany. Diplomatic sources say the
Palestine dispute and strained relations between Ankara and
Tel Aviv are the main reason for Israel's withdrawal from
the war games.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq-Election 2004; EU-Turkey

"Any chance for democracy in the United States?"
Can Dundar commented in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (10/5):
"In the post-9/11 atmosphere, the Patriotic Act has become a
final blow against freedom. The image of the Statue of
Liberty has now turned into a police state. President Bush
has an authority to limit freedoms that any dictator would
envy. The law allows the tracking of financial records,
electronic mail, and other communication without a court
order. . The Patriotic Act has also expanded the list of
crimes punishable by a capital sentence by 15. The US is
living in a psychology of fear of terror, where people are
encouraged to spy on each other. . The American character
and status as a superpower is rooted in the ability to
encourage multiple cultures and successfully blend them into
a single nation. Unfortunately, the US is on the verge of
losing this character. It seems that the `Big Brother'
nightmare of George Orwell is now being played out in
America. It will be interesting to see whether the US will
return to democracy in the end, or whether it will turn to
fascism? The answer to this question requires a study of
many factors, including the election results and
developments in the Iraq war. In the event of a defeat in
Iraq, the American people might start to think about where
things went wrong. It may seem ironic, but the resistance
in Iraq might bring democracy back to the US, even though
the US has failed to bring democracy to Iraq."

"The Cost of Fear"
Haluk Ulman commented in the economic-political "Dunya"
(10/5): "During the first Presidential debate, President
Bush did not promise any policy change if he is re-elected.
Stubbornly, he continued to defend his Iraq policy. Since
it has been clearly proven that there were no WMDs in Iraq,
Bush can no longer defend his case, but still insists that
Saddam was on the verge of building WMDs if the US hadn't
removed him from power. Ignoring the situation in Iraq
after the occupation and the danger it posed to regional and
the world peace, Bush insists that the world became much
safer after the removal of Saddam. While all experts agree
that the occupation of Iraq helped Al-Qaeda to become more
powerful, Bush can't stop talking about how the occupation
weakened terrorist organizations in the region. Bush also
highlighted the progress made by Iraq and Afghanistan on the
road to democracy, even while there are no signs of
democracy in either country. The worst thing about the
debate was that although Kerry proved with examples that
everything Bush said was far removed from reality, Bush
still managed to convince a large number of American voters
that his policies were correct. Now, for the first time,
Kerry is shouting to the American people that `the emperor
has no clothes.' The result of the election will show
whether the American people have heard him."

"EU up in arms, Paris in panic"
Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in the mass appeal-sensational
"Posta" (10/5): "After Turkey completes a decade of
negotiations and reaches an agreement signed by all EU
governments, France cannot turn around and reject that
agreement in a referendum. Therefore, the most important
thing for Turkey is to start negotiations. If the EU
Commission's recommendation is clear enough to result in
Turkey getting a date to start negotiations, it will be
satisfactory. It does not matter if a different method or
an additional set of preconditions is attached due to
domestic considerations. . If there is to be a new method of
negotiations, it will not be applied only on Turkey. It
will also be applicable to all countries that begin
negotiations after Turkey. . In any case, I believe the
report will be very positive."
EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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