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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 005908

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 18, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
German FM expects a `Yes' for Turkey's EU drive - Hurriyet
Solana: EU security requires Turkey's membership - Milliyet
Italy wants referendum on Turkey in EU - Sabah 10/17
German racists campaign against Turkey - Aksam 10/17
Tens of thousands call for an end to Iraq war - Aksam
NYT openly supports Kerry - Aksam
Guantanamo torture with `rap' music - Hurriyet
Israel ends Gaza operation: 109 dead, 100 injured - Sabah
10/17

OPINION MAKERS
FM Gul seeks EU support in Berlin - Radikal
Greek FM: Turkey must become an EU member - Yeni Safak
Barzani: Kirkuk Iraq's internal problem - Zaman
New York Times' choice Kerry - Zaman
Iraq war protesters march in London - Zaman
`Top secret' US-UK missile agreement - Yeni Safak
NYT reports systematic torture in Guantanamo - Yeni Safak
Russia presses Iran not to enrich uranium - Cumhuriyet
Russia sets up permanent military base in Tajikistan -
Radikal
`Boss' returns to Tajikistan - Cumhuriyet
Israel destroys Gaza - Cumhuriyet 10/17
UN: 10,000 die in Darfur every month - Zaman 10/17


BRIEFING

FM Gul in Germany: FM Abdullah Gul, in Berlin as the
official guest of his German counterpart Joschka Fischer, on
Sunday praised Germany as a staunch supporter of Turkey's
efforts to join the EU and expressed confidence that Berlin
would help in overcoming French objections to Ankara's
accession bid. Gul will be meeting with German leaders and
non-governmental organizations on Monday and Tuesday. Gul's
trip to Germany is the first in a series of visits that
Turkish leaders will make to European capitals to build
support for their country in the run-up to a crucial
December 17 decision by EU leaders on whether to start
accession talks with Turkey. Gul is scheduled to hold talks
with German Federal Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission
Chairman Volker Ruhe, Free Democrat Party (FDP) leader Guido
Westerwelle and Christian Democrat Union (CDU) leader Angela
Merkel. Merkel is advocating a `privileged relationship'
with Turkey rather than full EU membership. Gul will also
meet representatives of Turkish associations in Germany. PM
Erdogan will discuss the issue with German Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac in
three-way talks in Berlin on October 26.

Turkey to buy German battle tanks: Germany and Turkey have
agreed in principle on the sale of 246 second-hand Leopard
II battle tanks to Turkey, Monday papers report. Ankara is
waiting for the outcome of the December 17 EU summit to sign
the agreement, papers speculate.

Greek Cypriots won't veto Turkey's EU drive: Weekend papers
report Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou as
saying that Nicosia would not veto the opening of EU entry
negotiations with Turkey. However, Iacovou expects Ankara
to recognize Nicosia before the December 17 EU summit, and
also urges Turkey to open its airspace and harbors to Greek
Cypriot planes and vessels.

Report on Turkey's minorities, human rights: The Prime
Ministry's Board on Human Rights prepared a report on
minorities and human rights practices in Turkey five days
prior to the release of the EU Commission's progress report
on Turkey, Monday "Sabah" reports. The report urges Turkey
to review the situation of its minorities before the EU asks
for reforms in this area. The report advises Ankara to
permit the use of languages other than Turkish. Non-Muslim
officials are not employed in state institutions, including
the military, MFA, police and the intelligence service, the
report notes. It also says that closing of Turkish
political parties had been a violation of democracy. Ankara
has to reassess its understanding of `nationals' in order to
catch up with the civilized world, the document stresses.

`Secret' protocol on Iraqi oil sales to Turkey: According
to the Duelfer Report, a secret protocol was signed between
Ankara and Baghdad in early 2000 for the sale of Iraqi oil
to Turkey, says Saturday "Milliyet." The illegal trade went
on for three years. Saddam Hussein has deposited $499
million earned from this sale in Turkey's state-owned
Halkbank, claims the report. $157 million remained in
Halkbank at the end of the war in Iraq. The US and the
Iraqi interim government have demanded the money from
Turkey. Ankara told both countries that the money will be
used to pay for exports made by Turkish companies to Iraq,
according to reports.

A new Kurdish party to be founded in Turkey: A new Kurdish
political party is to be founded in Turkey by Dervis Akgul,
a Turkish Kurd close to the Barzani family in northern Iraq,
report papers. The new party will be opposed to the
PKK/Kongra Gel and affiliates, said its founders.

Turkish detainee to be released from Guantanamo: Murat
Kurnaz, a Turkish-German dual national being detained at
Guantanamo for alleged ties with the Taliban, may be
released after the US Presidential elections, reports Sunday
"Sabah" in a story based on a Dere Spiegel magazine
interview with Kurnaz's family. Kurnaz, who lives in
Bremen, Germany, was apprehended at the Afghanistan-Pakistan
border in 2002.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iran; Iraq

"The Focus Shifts Toward Iran"
Yasemin Congar observed in the mass appeal Milliyet (10/18):
"Iran has become a top agenda item for Washington prior to
the elections. The Bush administration did not want to take
up the Iran issue until the U.S. elections were over, but
Germany, France and the UK have pushed it onto the agenda.
The G-8 meeting at the State Department reached agreement
to propose to Iran a variety of commercial and political
advantages in exchange of Tehran's immediately stopping the
production of nuclear fuel. In fact, the agreement was
concluded despite the Bush administration's opposition.
Washington was not convinced about the rationale of the
terms, but it did not want to be labeled as the one who
blocked a G-8 initiative..If Iran fully complies with the
term as well as the spirit of the initiative, it would enjoy
significant benefits. However, if Tehran declines to
comply, the Europeans will take the issue to the U.N.
Security Council in order to pass a resolution that would
bring the possibility of sanctions against Iran. . Given
past events, a UNSC resolution could be a long procedure,
and sanctions are not easily implemented. Iran might be
unwilling to cooperate for similar reasons. If that comes
to pass, a military operation against Iran could be an
immediate agenda item for Washington, regardless of whether
President Bush or Senator Kerry win the election."

"Iraqi Elections"
Fikret Bila wrote in the mass appeal Milliyet (10/17):
"Ankara discussed the Iraqi issue at a summit last week, and
security was named as the most important problem. The US
has not yet provided Iraq with sufficient security and it
seems it will not take the necessary measures before the US
elections. Washington is focused on the election and does
not want anything to have a negative impact on the voting.
However, it is not possible to conduct a population census
or hold a fair election in Iraq unless security is
established. How fair will the results of the elections in
January 2005 be? How will the population census, which must
take place before the elections, be conducted and to what
extent will it be reliable? There will be doubts as to the
results of both the census and the elections, if they indeed
they can be held at all."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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