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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 04 ANKARA 006254

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, NOVEMBER 4, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Americans continue with Bush - Turkiye
Kerry concedes - Aksam
US votes for the General rather than the Philosopher - Sabah
Ankara pleased: US-Turkey relations `on track' - Sabah
Michael Moore and Hollywood lose - Turkiye
Moore, depressed, goes home - Sabah
Bush: A long, terrific night - Milliyet
US Congress shifts to the right - Milliyet
Tom Daschle loses - Hurriyet
Arab analysts see four more years with Bush as `nightmare' -
Milliyet
Arafat congratulates Bush - Milliyet
Bush victory spurs oil price rise - Sabah
Stock markets hail Bush victory - Aksam

OPINION MAKERS
A clear victory for Bush - Zaman
Kerry accepts defeat, world left to Bush - Cumhuriyet
3rd Bush term in US - Yeni Safak
Undisputed victory for Bush - Radikal
Whites vote for Bush, blacks for Kerry - Yeni Safak
Kerry first to congratulate Bush - Radikal
Edelman: US-Turkey strategic relationship won't change -
Cumhuriyet
Edelman: Whoever the president, US' Turkey policy won't
change - Zaman
Republicans maintain majorities in Congress - Cumhuriyet
Observers believe US election system worse than Serbia,
Kazakhstan - Cumhuriyet
11 states say `No' to gay marriage - Cumhuriyet
Middle East, disillusioned, reacts to Bush victory - Zaman


BRIEFING

US Election 2004: Turkish papers agree that Ankara had
preferred continuing with President Bush to `starting over'
with John Kerry, and therefore welcomed Bush's reelection.
Diplomatic sources told the Turkish press that Kerry's
political `ambiguity,' particularly on Iraq, had been a
source of concern for Ankara. The Bush Administration
already knows Turkish sensitivities with regard to Iraq's
territorial integrity and the PKK issue, they said,
expecting the continuation of close cooperation between
Washington and Ankara. PM Erdogan reportedly said in the
early hours of the US vote count that no matter who won,
good ties with the US would continue. Dailies expect Bush
to step up pressure in an effort to halt attempts to change
the demographic balance in northern Iraq, and to initiate US
military action against the PKK presence in the region. All
papers seem certain that the US will continue to support
Turkey's EU aspirations. Dailies also see Ankara as
prepared to become an active player in the US Broader Middle
East initiative in 2005. Unlike Kerry, Bush is inclined to
leave the Armenian `genocide' allegations to historians,
Turkish papers speculate. Turkey's ruling and opposition
party leaders voiced hope that Bush's re-election will bring
stability to Turkey's neighborhood.

Ambassador Edelman on the Election outcome: Evaluating the
US Election outcome at the Turkish American Association in
Ankara, US Ambassador Eric Edelman said the American vote
would not bring drastic changes to the strategic
relationship between Washington and Ankara. `There has been
no change in the US view of Turkey over the last nine US
administrations spanning 40 years,' he underlined. Speaking
after a panel discussion held on US the Election results,
Edelman stressed that both Republicans and Democrats support
Turkey's EU drive. He added that the Armenian `genocide'
issue is raised in every US presidential campaign, but when
the president-elect takes office, the issue tends to be
pushed from the agenda.

TGS Deputy Chief on Kirkuk: The Turkish Deputy Chief of
Staff, General Ilker Basbug, denied at a press conference on
Tuesday press reports claiming that Turkey has reached an
agreement with the US on a Turkish military intervention in
Kirkuk. He added that the issue had not been raised in
discussions between Turkish and US officials. Basbug said
that Turkey wanted Iraqi energy resources to be used equally
by all peoples in Iraq. Kirkuk has a particular
significance in that it contains 12 percent of all Iraqi
oil, he noted. Any wrong decision might incite a civil war
in Iraq, General Basbug said, in an assessment he claims was
shared by US officials and NATO intelligence sources. A
civil war in neighboring Iraq will affect Turkey, Basbug
said, emphasizing that Kirkuk should be granted a special
status. Recalling speculative press reports about plans for
a Turkish military operation, Basbug said it was the Turkish
military's duty to plan against unfavorable developments.
Meanwhile, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Ankara
representation denied on Wednesday claims that the Kurds are
attempting to change the demography in Kirkuk. In addition
to Kurds, the PUK said, Turkmen and Assyrians also want to
return to Kirkuk. The statement noted that thousands of non-
Arabs had been kicked out of the area during the regime of
Saddam Hussein. Kirkuk is an Iraqi city, but it is
historically Kurdish, the PUK stressed. The statement
warned neighboring countries against interfering in Iraqi
domestic affairs.

Athens to `toughen' defense policy: "Cumhuriyet" cites the
Greek daily "To Vima" as claiming that top Greek government
and military officials have decided to `strain' ties with
Turkey until the European Union summit in December at which
EU leaders are to decide whether and when to open accession
talks with Turkey. The new doctrine will bring strong Greek
retaliation for alleged violations by the Turkish military
of Greek airspace and territorial waters. Athens is to re-
adopt the strong retaliation policy of former Greek defense
minister Yerasimos Arsenis, "To Vima" reported, according to
"Cumhuriyet." Arsenis is known to have shaped a joint
defense doctrine with the Greek Cypriots. The Greek
government will justify such retaliation on the basis of its
joint defense agreement with Nicosia. While supporting
Turkey's EU drive, the Greek government will also take firm
steps to ensure that the EU holds Turkey responsible for
meeting its commitments to the European bloc. Meanwhile,
the Turkish General Staff denied on Tuesday allegations by
Athens that Turkish military planes and vessels are
systematically violating Greek airspace and territorial
waters in the Aegean Sea.

Zana asks for a special EU committee for Turkey's Kurds: At
a meeting with Germany's Greens Party leader Claudia Roth on
Tuesday, former Kurdish lawmaker Leyla Zana urged the EU
Commission to set up a working committee to explore a
solution to the Kurdish problem in a way that would respect
the sensitivities of the Turkish and Kurdish communities.
Responding to a question, Zana said the PKK's imprisoned
leader Abdullah Ocalan backed Turkey's EU aspirations. On
Wednesday, Roth and her delegation paid a visit to the
Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul, and later met with
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeus I. Roth said they had
come to inspect some problem areas in the implementation of
EU reforms in Turkey. Roth emphasized ongoing problems in
the treatment of minorities, but said the Greens are here to
seek ways to support Turkey's democratization process.

EDITORIAL OPINION: US Elections

"Coming Next: Bush vs. Bin Laden"
Can Dundar argued in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (11/4): "The
reelection of George Bush deepens the conflict between
American policy preferences and global interests. The whole
world has to cope with a reality now: Who is going to stop
plans for a new Middle East and an attack against Iran? The
US Democrats do not provide any hope, because they have
failed even to say `no' to the Iraq war. . US voters have
approved Bush's war-mongering policy by reelecting him.
This will only help radical Islam to grow. This is like a
vicious circle that feeds on itself. The 9/11 attack is
helping the American war industry to grow, and the
occupation of Iraq is helping radical Islam to grow. The
threats from Bin Laden gave a boost to the Bush campaign.
Fearful of terrorism, Americans have given the terrorists a
precous gift - an election victory to George Bush."

"The Second Bush Era and Turkey"
Cengiz Candar commented in the conservative "Tercuman
(Dunden Bugune) (11/4): "The argument about whether the
second Bush administration will serve Turkey's interest is
pointless. The Turkish-American bilateral relationship will
remain the same as it has been, which means a good working
relationship between two allies. However, the future course
of the relationship could be tested by possible differences
based on developments on Iraq."

"A Black Day for the World"
Ali Bayramoglu wrote in the Islamist-opinion maker "Yeni
Safak" (11/4): "The current international system is
dysfunctional, and both the UN and NATO are ineffective.
Only a change in American security policy can return these
international institutions to health. There is no sign of
hope on this score for the next four years. George Bush
not only won an election victory, but has managed to get the
approval of the American people to legitimize his world
order -- i.e., the `Pax Americana.' This is a black day for
the history of the world."

"Meaning of Election Support for Bush"
Fehmi Koru noted in the Islamist-opinion maker "Yeni Safak"
(11/4): "The reelection of George Bush does not seem to be
good news for the world. It is possible that the new Bush
administration will interpret the election victory as an
endorsement its flawed policies. If that is the case, there
will be no trace of common sense in Washington during the
next term. . We can only hope that since President Bush is
smart enough to have himself reelected, he can be smart
enough to change and begin acting with common sense."

"A Message for the Bad Guys: Bush for 4 more years"
Asli Aydintasbas commented in the mass appeal "Sabah"
(11/4): "The American countryside and its conservative
communities see the current situation, from Iraq to
Afghanistan, as a war of civilizations between good and
evil. They believe the US will not exist unless this war is
won. This is the emotional psychology that helped to
reelect President Bush. This emotion stems from the 9/11
attacks. . Under the sway of this psychology, the American
voters preferred a warrior instead of a philosopher."

"Risks and Hopes"
Gungor Mengi commented in the mass appeal "Vatan" (11/4):
"If Kerry had won the election, as Graham Fuller had said,
his administration may have been less insistent and more
cooperative in the international arena. However, even in
that case the US policy to spread its hegemony would
continue -- only the trappings would have changed. The most
important issue now is how President Bush will use his
opportunity. In the past, the second and final terms of US
presidents have been used to create positive change and
burnish the image of the incumbent. The fact is that Bush
was the alternative for Turkey that carried less risk.
While he continues to support Turkey's EU ambitions, will he
be successful in pulling the world out of swamp in Iraq?
Will he strongly support a resolution to the Palestine-
Israel issue to eliminate the injustice there? To answer
these questions, we have to wait for Bush to establish his
new administration and name his top advisors."

"The US Election Result Must Have Pleased Bin Laden"
Mehmet Ali Birand opined in the mass appeal "Posta" (11/4):
"A new four year term begins with enormous difficulties. It
is very unlikely that Bush will change his policies. The
general picture is not very good. The world should be ready
to witness the same kinds of bloody incidents in Iraq and
Palestine. Those most pleased by the election results will
be fundamentalists such as Bin-Laden and others who fight
against Western values."

"Bush's Relations With Turkey Will be More Sincere"
Hakan Celik commented in the mass appeal "Posta" (11/4):
"In this new four year period, Bush will begin a new era
with Turkey. President Bush's primary aim will be to
implement his plan to bridge the divide with Islamic
countries, including Turkey. He will also seek more
cooperation in Iraq."

"Electing A President"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative-mass appeal
"Turkiye" (11/4): "President Bush's victory came as good
news for the Republicans, as they also gained additional
seats in the Congress. Therefore, during his second term
Bush will work more comfortably with a Republican Congress.
Even if Kerry had been elected, American policy in Iraq
would not have changed. It will be interesting to watch US
policy toward Syria and Iran in this second Bush
Administration, when President Bush will be stronger
politically than before."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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