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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 006048

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 25, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Turkey a nuisance for Chirac - Aksam
54 percent of Greeks oppose Turkey in EU - Milliyet
Erdogan urges Athens to work for a solution in Cyprus -
Sabah
Kerry US media's choice - Milliyet
Global political leaders prefer Bush - Hurriyet
US Republican women oppose Bush - Hurriyet
US diplomat killed in Baghdad - Aksam
Zarkawi kills new Iraqi army recruits - Milliyet
Turkish trucker killed in Mosul - Cumhuriyet 10/24
Moktada Sadr offers help for Sunni resisters - Aksam
Iran says a nuclear `No' to EU - Milliyet
Kosovo votes its future - Cumhuriyet 10/24

OPINION MAKERS
Resisters kill 50 new Iraqi army recruits - Yeni Safak
Washington Post says `Kerry' - Zaman
Clinton for top UN post if Kerry wins - Zaman 10/23
Nader: Bush, Kerry belong to `Skulls and Bones Society' -
Yeni Safak
Israel to continue occupation after Gaza withdrawal - Zaman
Arafat seriously ill - Yeni Safak
Arafat's health improving - Cumhuriyet
Egyptian intellectuals, politicians launch anti-Mubarak
campaign - Radikal
Rugova wins in Kosovo - Zaman
Karzai declares victory - Cumhuriyet
Karzai elected in first round - Zaman 10/24
US `symbolically' lands in Darfur - Zaman 10/24


BRIEFING

MFA denies US planes used Turkish airport: The Turkish
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) denied press reports that
American aircraft have been using the Trabzon airport on
Turkey's Black Sea coast for military purposes. MFA
Spokesman Namik Tan acknowledged at a press conference
Friday that the Trabzon Airport had been used by British
planes, not by American aircraft. Turkey's council of
ministers decided in June last year to allow coalition
forces fighting in Iraq to use Turkish airspace and
airports, Tan said. This mandate has been extended for one
year effective June 22, 2004 Tan noted.

Advisory report on Turkey's EU drive: European Parliament
is to discuss a report regarding Turkey's EU accession on
December 2, Monday papers report. The report, drafted by
Dutch Christian Democrat lawmaker Camiel Eurlings advises
open-ended entry talks with Turkey without automatic
accession guarantees. Ankara must recognize Nicosia, and
withdraw troops from north Cyprus, says the report. The
border between Turkey and Armenia should be opened.
Broadcast and education in mother tongues should be totally
freed. The Halki Seminary should be reopened. The
influence of the military on politics should be reduced.

PM Erdogan to Berlin: PM Tayyip Erdogan will drop in on a
German-French summit in Berlin on Tuesday in an effort to
remove the France's `obstacle' in Ankara's bid to join the
EU, weekend papers report. A Turkish foreign ministry
source said the purpose of the visit is to sign an Airbus
contract for Turkish Airlines (THY). THY is buying 36
passenger aircraft at a total cost of 2.22 billion euros
(2.8 billion dollars) to revive its ageing fleet. Erdogan's
visit should not be seen as a pro-European campaign by
Turkey, but inevitably Turkey's candidature will be
discussed with the German and French officials, German
officials said. FM Abdullah Gul will be accompanying
Erdogan to meet his German counterpart Joschka Fischer.

US may initiate direct flights to north Cyprus: Washington
is considering direct flights to north Cyprus if the US team
inspecting the Ercan Airport believes the security and
technical conditions to be sufficient, reports Sunday
"Radikal." If security concerns are not removed, Washington
will focus on economic aid for Turkish Cypriots, says the
paper. Unidentified US officials told "Radikal" that such
initiatives do not mean recognition of the breakaway
statelet in the north.

Nicosia may veto EU entry talks with Turkey: Nicosia said
on Friday that Turkey must meet certain conditions it had
put forward before Ankara starts membership talks with the
European Union. Greek Cypriot spokesman Kypros
Chrysostomides said Cyprus did not want to block Turkey's
accession. However, a number of conditions put forward by
Nicosia must be complied with, he added. On Friday,
Britain's Minister for Europe Denis MacShane stated that
Nicosia would not veto any EU decision to open membership
talks with Turkey. Meanwhile, in a statement to the Greek
daily "To Vima," PM Erdogan urged Athens and Nicosia to
support Turkey's EU drive. Turkey's EU accession and Cyprus
are two different issue, Erdogan said, adding that progress
in any one of those two topics would positively affect the
other.

UNSC cuts Cyprus troops: The UN Security Council voted
unanimously on Friday to reduce the number of peacekeepers
on Cyprus by about one third, weekend papers report. UNSC
voted to reduce the roughly 1,200-strong UN force, which has
been on the divided island since 1964, to 860 military
personnel. The council also extended the mandate of the
Cyprus mission until mid-June 2005.

With Kerry, Gordon expects better ties with Turkey:
Brooking Institute's Philip Gordon said Democrat
presidential candidate John Kerry's victory in the upcoming
presidential elections would improve Turkish-American
relations, repairing the damage suffered under President
Bush's term in office, weekend papers report. Gordon also
said he expected Kerry not to support Armenian genocide
allegations. Gordon is to be given an important post in the
US Administration if Kerry wins, "Hurriyet" speculates.

Kurdish lawmakers' retrial: Former Democracy Party (DEP)
lawmakers Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Dogan, and Selim
Sadak appeared in court for a retrial on October 22.
Turkey's appeals court in June freed the four, jailed for 10
years for alleged ties to PKK separatists, amid pressure
from the EU, which viewed the Kurdish lawmakers as political
prisoners. The retrial will be a test of whether Turkey has
embraced the spirit of EU-inspired reforms it has recently
adopted, the lawmakers' defense lawyer said.

New Kurdish party coming: Former Democracy Party (DEP)
lawmakers Leyla Zana, Orhan Dogan, Hatip Dicle, and Selim
Sadak declared the foundation of a new Kurdish political
party, weekend papers report. The "Democracy and Freedom"
party is being formed under instructions from the PKK's
imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, say reports.

Turkish gangster apprehended in Ukraine: Police in Ukraine
have arrested an alleged Turkish gangster, Turkish papers
reported Sunday. Haluk Kirci, found guilty of multiple
murder and linked to far-right political groups, had been
detained in the southern Ukrainian city of Nikolayev on an
international arrest warrant for murder. Kirci was arrested
in 1980 for the 1978 killing of seven left wing students in
Ankara. He was given a 30-year prison term but released in
error in 1991. Kirci is expected to be extradited to Turkey
soon.


EDITORIAL OPINION

"US And Iran Are at the Same Table"
Zeynep Gurcanli commented in the state controlled Star
(10/25): "In international relations, countries' interests
come before hostilities or friendships. An important
example of this rule will be seen next month at the
`International Iraq Conference,' in November 22-23 at Sharm-
Al-Seyh in Egypt. The long-time enemies, the US and Iran
will sit at the same table for the first time since the 1979
revolution. This conference is the continuation of
`Meetings of Iraq's Neighbors' Turkey had initiated in the
past. At this conference, together with the Iraq's
neighbors, the G-8 group, China, UN, Arab Union, Islamic
Conference Organization and the EU will be represented at
the level of Foreign Ministers. US Secretary of State Colin
Powell has already announced his participation. Iran will
be represented by Kemal Harrazi and Turkey by FM Abdullah
Gul. This meeting is not the first step the US has taken
towards Iran. Last week, German, French and British
delegations, after receiving the Bush Administration's
rather unwilling approval, suggested that Iran should
receive technical, political and economic aid if it agrees
to stop its uranium enrichment activities. Iran has not
responded to this proposal yet, but it is aware that if the
proposal is rejected, Iran has to answer directly to the
United Nations. The Bush Administration has already
signalled that it will take the issue to the UN to decide on
new sanctions if the proposal is rejected. Moreover, those
new sanctions may include the possibility of hitting the
nuclear plants in military operations.

What is behind these US steps against Iran? The answer is
the `US Presidential Elections'. The biggest criticism aimed
at President Bush during the election campaign was that he
allowed the US-EU relations to worsen. Meanwhile, John
Kerry, during the campaign, promised the American people
that he would improve the negative global image of the US
and improve relations with the EU, if he is elected. This
promise was welcomed by Americans. And seeing this support,
Bush decided to coordinate with Europe ...just before the
elections. This proves that if Bush is re-elected he'll
support rapprochement between the US and the EU. And,
secondly, Bush's policies vis--vis Iran are the exact
opposite of Kerry's. After seeing the support Kerry
received for his Iran policy, Bush decided to be flexible on
the Iran issue (as well). In short, just before the US
elections, a big step was taken regarding US' Iran policy.
And, according to diplomatic circles in Ankara, Turkey has
already taken an active position to convince Iran to accept
this proposal."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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