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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 005830

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
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Zana demands constitutional guarantees for Turkey's Kurds -
Hurriyet
Zana defends Turkey in Europe - Sabah
Schroder fully supports Turkey in EU - Turkiye
American photo-reporter Taggart released in Baghdad -
Milliyet
Saddam's `killing fields' - Aksam
Saddam has killed babies - Milliyet
Infant corpses found in Saddam's killing fields - Sabah
Saddam's nuclear material may be in Turkey - Hurriyet
Task Force 121 to hunt Zarkawi in Iraq - Milliyet 10/13
Israel apprehends Hamas bomber - Sabah
Bush leads Kerry by 3 points - Milliyet 10/13
Russia warns to strike Arab nations supporting Chechens -
Milliyet

OPINION MAKERS
Jewish lobby: We trust PM Erdogan - Radikal 10/13
David Harris: No Middle East peace without Turkey - Zaman
10/13
German tanks for Turkey - Cumhuriyet 10/13
Metin Kaplan extradited to Turkey - Zaman 10/13
Zana supports Turkey's EU drive - Yeni Safak
French parliament to hold critical meeting on Turkey -
Cumhuriyet
Greek Cypriots will ask Turkey for recognition - Radikal
Ethnic tension rising in Kirkuk - Cumhuriyet
Al-Qaida gives South Korea two weeks to withdraw from Iraq -
Yeni Safak 10/13
The Guardian: Stolen Iraqi nuclear material in Turkey -
Cumhuriyet
FBI wants more operatives for security of US Presidential
elections - Yeni Safak
Gorbachev: Russia must give Chechnya special status - Yeni
Safak 10/13
Chechens infiltrate US - Cumhuriyet
French-US competition fans Darfur crisis - Zaman 10/13


BRIEFING

US Jewish representatives meet PM Erdogan: On Tuesday, PM
Erdogan received the head of the American Jewish Committee
David Harris, director for strategic relations Barry Jacobs,
and accompanying American Jewish lobby members, Turkish
papers report. Haris and Jacobs urged Erdogan's support for
peace in the Middle East. Erdogan reitereated his criticism
of Ariel Sharon's policies in Palestine, and called on the
Israelis and Palestinians to take concrete steps toward
peace. The Israeli security fence in West Bank will not
help efforts for a peaceful solution, Erdogan added.
Erdogan noted that he could visit Israel if conditions are
right.

US jetfighters target Iraqi civilians: Turkish papers and
TV channels reported Wednesday on a 30-second video footage
of a US F-16 jetfighter pilots targeting civilians on the
streets of Fallujah. The footage, filmed on April 10, is
posted on the Internet. `Lots of people below, shall I
clean them?' asks the pilot, responded by a US marine on
ground: `Clean!' The footage shows how US forces carry out
`precision strikes,' says "Yeni Safak."
US to `classify' nations regarding anti-Semitism: US
Congress has approved a bill which will establish a special
committee to monitor anti-Jewish actions worldwide, reports
"Cumhuriyet." The `Global Anti-Semitism Awareness Act' is
drafted by Tom Lantos, the only American Congressman who has
witnessed Genocide, against rising anti-Semitism in Europe
and the Middle East, says "Cumhuriyet."

Germany to sell tanks to Turkey: Germany wants to sell
about 250-300 heavy battle tanks to Turkey, in a major
change of recent defense policy, papers report. The sale of
the Leopard II tanks is expected to be pushed ahead if EU
leaders decide in December that Turkey has undertaken enough
democratic reforms to begin EU membership talks. German
Defense Minister Peter Struck is planning to travel to
Turkey next month to discuss the sale with his counterpart
Vecdi Gonul. Turkey receive second-hand tanks rather than
new ones at an estimated value of up to seven billion Euros
(8.6 billion dollars). Germany was prepared in 1999 to sell
around 1,000 tanks to Turkey, but opposition from the Green
party, fearing that the tanks might be used against the
Kurdish insurgents in southeast Turkey, brought the deal to
an end.

Germany extradites fundamentalist Turk: A leading Turkish
Islamic militant known as the `Caliph of Cologne' was
formally charged by a court in Istanbul on Wednesday and
sent to jail pending trial a day after he was deported from
Germany. The court charged Metin Kaplan with `attempting to
overthrow the secular order by use of arms.' Kaplan's
organization aims to create an Islamic state in Turkey under
the leadership of a Caliph. The group has mounted a hate
campaign against Jews and Turkey and Israel.

Barzani softens tone on Kirkuk: Following meetings in
Ankara earlier this week, Barzani said on his way home that
Kirkuk is an Iraqi city with a Kurdish identity. `Kirkuk is
a symbol of cohabitation and it is important that people
live in peace and harmony there,' said the KDP leader.
Barzani emphasized that agreed with PM Erdogan and FM Gul on
many issues, and criticized the press for reporting the
talks as other than `friendly and positive.'

Cyprus: Foreign ministry spokesman Namik Tan told the press
on Wednesday that the Greek Cypriots are `trying to shrug
off responsibility for the failure of efforts to resolve the
Cyprus conflict.' `It is obvious who bears the
responsibility, and the whole international community knows
that,' Tan said, referring to a failed April referendum to
end the island's decades-long division. Greek President
Costis Stephanopoulos warned over the weekend that `Turkey
cannot join the EU if it does not normalize its relations
with Greece, recognize the Republic of Cyprus, and
contribute to a solution to the Cyprus problem.' Greek
Cypriot FM George Iacovou said Tuesday that Ankara would not
be allowed to enter membership negotiations with the EU
before recognizing the Greek Cypriot administration.
Iacovou also called on Ankara to open Turkey's ports and
airspace to Greek Cypriot vessels and airplanes.

Zana receives Sakharov Prize: Former Kurdish lawmaker Leyla
Zana finally received the European Parliament's Sakharov
Peace Prize Wednesday after being released in June from a
decade in prison. Zana had been awarded the high-profile
prize in 1995. Addressing the European Parliament's foreign
affairs committee, Zana praised the Turkish government for
pushing through `revolutionary changes' in its bid to win a
date to launch EU accession negotiations. She noted that
systematic torture no longer existed in Turkey. Zana also
said a new constitution was necessary for Turkey so that
minorities such as the Kurds and non-Muslims can express
themselves freely.

Turkish troops to Afghanistan: Turkey, slated to take the
command of ISAF in February next year, will deploy 1800
troops to Afghanistan. NATO's top civilian representative
in Afghanistan, former Turkish lawmaker Hikmet Cetin's
mandate had been extended for one year.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Afghanistan; EU-Turkey

"Afghanistan"
Melih Asik commented in the mass appeal Milliyet (10/14):
"The Afghanistan election was like a photo exhibit,
particularly regarding completely veiled women voters at the
ballots. Such images were presented as a proof of the
liberation of Afghan women. In fact, the pictures were no
different from the Taliban era. Foreigners who were in
Afghanistan during the Russian occupation still remember
that Afghan women at that time did not even wear
headscarves, yet alone the `burka.` The US helped develop
the Taliban against Russia, which led Afghanistan to a
complete fundamentalist order. Today the Taliban is gone,
but the religious fundamentalist system is still in place.
This is because that is the US's desire. And the US wants a
moderate version of it for Turkey as well."

"Turkish Image in Europe"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative Turkiye (10/14):
"The EU Commissioner Verheugen underlined the importance of
Turkey's accession to the EU by highlighting that the EU
would become a global super power. Europeans in general,
however, do not have such a vision. Their main concern
revolves around the possible cost of Turkey's membership.
In addition, Turkey's image in Europe is not good. The
labor force from Turkey which went to Europe many years ago
failed to establish a positive image vis--vis the
Europeans. People from very conservative and remote parts
of Turkey went to Europe to work and influenced the people
negatively. The few Turks in the labor force in Europe with
high qualifications have not made a significant difference
to correct the image. . In such a short period Turkey has to
exert every effort to correct this image. When we send
delegations to European capitals, we should even think of
excluding repellant characters."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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