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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 005934

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 19, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Berlin O.K., Paris next - Aksam
EU Greens in Turkey for support - Aksam
Barzani: Kirkuk belongs to Kurdistan - Milliyet
Barzani: Ottoman documents prove Kirkuk to be a Kurdish city
- Hurriyet
British troops to be deployed around Baghdad - Milliyet
Iraqi intellectuals flee country - Aksam
God's shadow over US ballot box - Milliyet
Election outcome depends on 8 US states - Aksam
Putin gives Bush election support - Hurriyet
13 days to go, Bush ahead by 8 points - Sabah
Tel Aviv fears military operations will isolate Israel -
Sabah

OPINION MAKERS
Fischer assures full German support for Turkey in EU -
Radikal
EU `Greens' land in Istanbul - Radikal
European `Greens' come together for Turkey - Zaman
`Green' support for Turkey - Cumhuriyet
Barzani insists on Kirkuk - Zaman
Fallujah cease-fire talks called off - Zaman
Putin's vote goes to Bush - Cumhuriyet
Karadzic missing, his book in stores - Radikal
Neighbors oppose foreign intervention in Sudan - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

FM Gul in Germany: German FM Joschka Fischer assured his
Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul in Berlin on Monday that
Germany would do `everything in its power' to support
Turkey's drive to begin EU membership talks. Turkey is
looking for Germany's help to head off opposition in France
to starting EU accession talks with Turkey. After meeting
Fischer, Gul said that he thought it was premature to speak
of a referendum in France on Ankara joining the bloc. On
Tuesday, Gul will hold talks with Christian Democrat
opposition leader Angela Merkel, who is opposed to Turkey
having full EU membership, preferring a `privileged
partnership' instead. Gul will also meet representatives of
the Turkish community in Germany.

FM Gul denies Turkish plan to buy German tanks: Dismissing
earlier press reports, FM Gul told the German press that
Turkey was not currently planning to buy Leopard II tanks
from Germany. `We will only talk about it again if there is
a possibility of military cooperation between the two
countries,' Gul added. "Der Spiegel" magazine reported
earlier this month that Turkey was interested in buying
about 250-300 second-hand Leopard II tanks from Germany.
Reports last week said the sale of the Leopard II tanks was
expected to be pushed through if Turkey was given the green
light for EU accession talks.

PM Erdogan due in France: PM Tayyip Erdogan will arrive in
France Wednesday for two days of talks with French
officials, businessmen, and OECD Secretary General Donald
Johnstone, papers report. He will meet Johnstone, address
the OECD council and hold a press conference before flying
home on Thursday. Erdogan is to meet Thursday with Pierre
Lelouche, a member of the French Parliament's France-Turkey
friendship group. Erdogan is also expected to address the
French nation on TV. Allowing Turkey into the EU has raised
doubts in France, where opinion polls show strong public
opposition to Ankara's membership.

EU Greens in Istanbul: The European Parliament's Green
members are meeting in Istanbul for a three-day conference
to show their support for Turkey's EU drive. At the
gathering `Turkey in EU: A Common Future,' participants are
expected to stress the need for opening EU entry talks with
Turkey. On Wednesday, former DEP lawmaker Leyla Zana will
deliver a speech at the conference.

EU rapporteur in Turkey: European Parliament rapporteur
Camiel Eurlings is in Turkey for meetings in Ankara,
Istanbul, and the country's southeastern provinces
Diyarbakir and Mardin. On Monday, Eurlings described
shortcomings in implementation of reforms, and said Turkey
had not yet met the Copenhagen Criteria. He advised Ankara
to recognize the Greek Cypriot Administration, and improve
ties with Yerevan, papers report.

Barzani `insists' on Kirkuk: In Syria for talks, northern
Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Massoud
Barzani claimed after the census in Iraq that the majority
of Kirkuk people would opt to join Kurdistan, Turkish papers
report. Barzani said a clear distinction should be made
between the terrorists and the legitimate `peshmerge' forces
in the region. Barzani also recalled that 25,000 Kurds had
been driven out of Kirkuk during Saddam Hussein's
`Arabization' campaign. Barzani warned against intervention
by neighbors in Iraq's domestic politics.

US Colonel Holshouser on Kirkuk: Colonel Kenneth
Holshouser, the US officer responsible for civilian
administration of Kirkuk, told Turkey's
conservative/intellectual "Zaman" that all ethnic groups in
Kirkuk will have to learn to live together under democratic
practices. Holshouser said he will struggle for a peaceful
coexistence of the Turkmen, Arabs, Kurds and Assyrians in
Kirkuk. All groups in the region want to take control of
the oil-rich northern Iraqi town, he noted. Nobody should
forget that Kirkuk is the future of Iraq, Colonel Holshouser
emphasized.

Ankara to end discrimination against non-Muslim foundations:
Ankara drafted a bill to remove the legal distinction
between Muslim and non-Muslims foundations as part of its
reforms to join the EU, papers report. Minority foundations
will be allowed to acquire property, and court decision will
be needed to fire foundation managers. The new bill will
scrap Ankara's authority over the sale of foundations'
assets, say reports. There are 161 minority foundations in
Turkey.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Israel/Middle East

"It might be too late for Turkey"
Haluk Ulman commented in the economic-political Dunya
(10/19): "Those who look closely at the events in Iraq agree
that a civil war seems inevitable and is only a matter of
time. Such a civil war will lead to the division of Iraq.
The foreign policy makers in Washington should be well aware
of this. In the event of a division, northern Iraq will
play a vital role for the US, not only because of its oil
resources but also due to its strategic importance and
gateway to Israel...Currently, the U.S.-Kurdish alliance is
in place and working well. Yet it remains to be seen to
what extent the alliance will continue to be of mutual
benefit. If Iraq goes through a civil war, the whole
equilibrium will change and the US will particularly find it
difficult to cope with the situation because by establishing
an alliance with the Kurds, it has already taken sides.
Under a scenario of civil war, the US will have to leave the
Kurds as well as Iraq. That is the worst-case scenario
because it will be too late for everything and Turkey will
be one of the countries that must deal with the resulting
problems."
"Hearts and Minds"
Fehmi Koru argued in the Islamist-opinion maker Yeni Safak
(10/19): "Israel is continuing to bomb the Palestinians, and
the situation in Iraq is no different in terms of serious
pain and agony for the people, particularly during a sacred
month. The occupying force in Iraq does not care at all
about the sacred month for Muslims. American forces have
turned Fallujah and environs, where they believe Zarkawi is
hiding, into a hell. The real intention of this operation
is to ensure the re-election of George Bush. The Sunni
Triangle is constantly under heavy fire, and people who are
fasting in this sacred month are leaving their homes for
shelter. The US, as the sole superpower, is acting insanely.
The policy makers in Washington interpret opposition to
these actions as justification for the ongoing US war
against terrorism. This is clearly a vicious cycle. This
is the period where our hearts and minds are like a burden."

"Is a Solution to the Israeli-Palestine Issue possible?"
Nuray Basaran commented in the mass appeal-sensational Aksam
(10/19): "First Afghanistan, and then the Iraq operations,
brought the establishment of stability in the Middle East to
everyone's mind. Hopes for peace in the Middle East have
always been left for another time. One of the ways to
address the problem goes through the election process in the
U.S. During his speech at the UN, President Bush, for the
first time, stressed that the US supports the establishment
of a Palestinian state. As a matter of fact, the goal of a
Palestinian state is one of the reasons for the US supports
Sharon's withdrawal plan. The instability in the Middle
East, the war in Iraq, and the increasing rejection of the
US have, along with the Israel-Palestine issue, been waiting
on Bush's desk until after the elections for a solution.
Each US contribution to the establishment of a Palestinian
state will be helpful to the Arab countries in changing
their negative feelings toward the US."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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