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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 005993

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 21, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Ambassador Edelman: We are worried about Kirkuk - Hurriyet
US' Kirkuk worry - Milliyet
French minister: Chirac for entry talks with Turkey - Aksam
German FM calls for a `Yes' EU vote for Turkey - Hurriyet
Americans inspect Ercan Airport in `TRNC' - Aksam
`TRNC' to early polls in January - Sabah
CARE official Hassan, symbol of hope, abducted in Baghdad -
Aksam
Muslim votes will go to Kerry - Aksam

OPINION MAKERS
Ambassador Edelman: Kirkuk a source of concern for US -
Cumhuriyet
Edelman: Kirkuk a source of worry - Radikal
`TRNC' government disintegrates in 9 months - Radikal
Erdogan on persuasion tour in France - Radikal
China supports Turkey's EU membership - Zaman
US bombing of Fallujah kills a family - Cumhuriyet
US bombing wipes out a family in Fallujah - Yeni Safak
9/11 policies reduce Muslim votes for Bush to 7 percent -
Zaman
Cheney: Kerry cannot prevent another 9/11 - Zaman
Cheney's `nuclear 9/11' script - Yeni Safak
Syrian administration resists US - Yeni Safak
Putin to visit Turkey early December - Cumhuiryet
Greek volunteers may be involved in Srebrenidza massacre -
Lawmaker - Radikal


BRIEFING

Ambassador Edelman on US Presidential elections, Kirkuk: US
Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman paid a visit to Turkey's
central province Kayseri to deliver a speech on the U.S.
Presidential Elections at Erciyes University in the city of
Kayseri, Turkish media report. Responding to a question
after the lecture, Edelman said that the US was concerned by
some Kurdish groups' moving Kurdish families to Kirkuk in
northern Iraq. Edelman stressed that the US opposed
altering the demographic balance of the region by force. He
added the U.S. concerns in this regard have been made clear
to the IIG and Kurdish leadership. In response to another
question, Edelman noted that the US has been supporting
Turkey's EU drive since 1963. US Presidential elections
this year will not lead to significant changes in US-Turkey
relations, he added. The two American candidates have made
different promises with regard to recognition of Armenian
`genocide' claims, but such pre-election promises are
usually adjusted by the realities of the office, Edelman
noted. Ambassador Edelman also emphasized that Turkey is
strategically very important for the US.

US officials inspect airport in northern Cyprus: Officials
from the US Department of Transportation have inspected
security conditions at Ercan Airport in northern Cyprus,
Turkish papers report. A Turkish Cypriot official said
Americans wanted to see whether Ercan Airport meets
international flight safety requirements. The US had
announced after the April referenda for reunification of
Cyprus that it could initiate international flights to
northern Cyprus, papers note.

Turkish Cypriots may go to early polls: Turkish Cypriot
`PM' Mehmet Ali Talat on Wednesday announced his resignation
after a months-long political deadlock in northern Cyprus.
Talat's coalition, made up of his Republican Turkish Party
(CTP) and Serdar Denktas' Democrat Party (DP), lost its
parliamentary majority in April, shortly after a referendum
on a UN-sponsored peace plan aimed at unifying the divided
island. Talat is expected to remain in power as caretaker
premier. Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash asked Dervis
Eroglu, who heads the conservative National Unity Party
(UBP), to form a new government. UBP is currently the
biggest group in parliament with 19 seats. But Talat said
that early polls would be the best way to break the
deadlock. `TRNC President' Denktas has the authority to
call early elections if efforts to set up a new government
fail. Ankara has been careful to avoid any international
reaction to what may be seen as meddling in the domestic
affairs of the breakaway state in north Cyprus, "Cumhuriyet"
states.

PM Erdogan visits France: PM Tayyip Erdogan is in Paris
undertaking a diplomatic initiative aimed at EU countries
contemplating a referendum on the issue of Turkey's future
membership. Edrogan told a French daily that no referendum
has been held to approve the membership of a candidate
country during previous enlargements. Turkey, he said, asks
for only one thing: to be treated exactly like everyone
else. French President Jacques Chirac has said he favors a
national referendum on Turkey's bid to join the EU. Erdogan
said that organizing national referenda on Turkey's
candidacy would be contrary to the principles of the EU. On
Wednesday, French Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said
after meeting Erdogan that President Chirac had decided to
give a green light to EU entry talks with Turkey. Erdogan
will address the French public today on state television FR3
and private news channel LCI. He will attend a meeting of
the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) as well. France has expressed reservations about
Turkey's bid to join the European bloc.

Report on torture, democracy in Turkey: A report by the
Human Rights Consultation Board of Turkey's Prime Ministry
says that 692 Turkish nationals were subjected to torture in
the first half of this year. The report also points to the
perils of `absolute' rule of the majority party in the
parliament. The document asks for a thorough inspection of
irregularities in state institutions. It also advises
removal of legal immunity for lawmakers. The report regards
the 10-percent elections threshold as an obstacle to the
establishment of democratic order in Turkey. When
finalized, the report is to be submitted to PM Erdogan and
FM Gul. Meanwhile, UN Special representative on human
rights, Hani Jilani said some bureaucratic elements in the
state apparatus were resisting to reforms in Turkey.

Oskanyan calls for Turkish-Armenian talks: Armenian FM
Vartan Oskanyan, in Italy on an official visit, said that
recognition by Ankara of the Armenian `genocide' was not a
prerequisite for holding meetings between Armenia and
Turkey. He complained that Turkey was pushing for a
resolution of the Nagorno- Karabakh dispute before talks
with Armenia. Oskanyan said Yerevan expected Ankara to open
the border crossing between the two countries before the
prospective membership talks between Turkey and the EU.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; EU-Turkey

"Saddam Hussein's Iraq"
Zafer Atay remarked in the economic-politic Dunya (10/21):
"The Duelfer report contains some very interesting
connections, including Saddam's bribing some countries in
order to turn the UN embargo into an ineffective sanction.
Although Turkey is also mentioned in the report, other
countries constitute the big chunk in terms of bribery.
France apparently was bribed since 1980s for instance. .
Russia also took a significant share in the looting as
Russian oil companies sold cheap Iraqi oil in the domestic
market at a high price and distributed the difference to
Russian politicians. Some American firms and figures were
also a part of Saddam's bribery and corruption list.
However, the American Privacy Act prevents their names from
being listed in the Duelfer report."

"A Date in 2005 is good enough"
Mehmet Ali Birand commented in the sensational-mass appeal
Posta (19/21): "The most important issue is to get a date
from the EU to start the negotiations. It does not matter
if the negotiations start in March, July or November 2005.
All we need is a definite date without any additional
conditions attached or demands other than the Copenhagen
criteria. There should be no further limitations that go
beyond those listed in the EU Commission's Progress Report,
which may be found unacceptable by the Turkish public. Let
them just start the negotiations on a specific date. We may
be faced with certain annoying statements included within
the upcoming December 17 summit declaration. We may see
warnings that say the start of negotiations does not
necessarily mean full membership or call on us to mend the
bilateral relations with Greece. None of these are as
important as the start of negotiations. As the negotiations
get underway, the dynamism inherent in such progress will
take care of all the conditions or other limitations."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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