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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 006428

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
NOVEMBER 17, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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


HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Bush assigns Rice: They are all `hawks' now - Milliyet
Victory for `hawks.' -- Aksam
`Toughest' lady for US State Department - Posta
The same direction - Iraq a second Vietnam? - Hurriyet
US soldier: `This bastard's playing possum!'
Friend: Well. he's dead now' - Hurriyet
Document of a war crime: after Abu-Ghraib, US is cornered
again - Milliyet
Killer Yankee's execution moment - Sabah
Just one among 100,000 killed -- marine kills unarmed Iraqi
in mosque - Aksam
Execution in the mosque --- Tercuman
US commits a war crime - Tercuman
Al-Jazeera claims Margaret Hassan dead, won't air footage --
Milliyet
Margaret Hassan, who gave years to Iraq, is killed -- Aksam
Porter Goss `earthquake' at CIA - Aksam
`Cleaning House' at CIA - Aksam

OPINION MAKERS
Rice new State Department boss - Radikal
US State Department entrusted to `warrior princess' - Birgun
Rice to occupy `moderate' Powell's chair - Referans
Leaders mourn for Powell -- Radikal
Rice expected to pursue `aggressive' policies at State -Yeni
Safak
Bullets for The Heavily Wounded --- Radikal
Fallujah Streets Full Of Children's Corpses---Yeni Safak
Even a beast wouldn't do this -- Christian terrorism -
vakit
Murder rather than war - Cumhuriyet
Caught in the very act of murder - Yeni Safak
Massacre In The Mosque - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING

Fallujah assault: Turkish papers give detailed coverage to
the killing of an unarmed Iraqi fighter by a US marine in a
mosque in Fallujah. Many papers liken the footage of the
killing to a 1968 Pulitzer-winning photo depicting the
shooting of a civilian by a south Vietnamese officer, and
note that Iraq will become another Vietnam for the US. All
papers regard the video footage of the killing as proof that
war crimes have been committed in Iraq. Representatives of
human rights organizations said the killing must be punished
as a war crime. Papers say the video had shown the death of
only one from among 100,000 civilians allegedly killed in
Iraq. An NBC camera caught the US `red-handed,' reports the
Islamist-oriented "Yeni Safak." Reports say that US
officials may come up with a formula to refute accusations
of a war crime. All papers carry photographs of Iraqi
insurgents' corpses inside mosques in Fallujah. Wednesday's
"Zaman" reports that the US has launched an offensive
against Mosul after having completed its mission in
Fallujah.

Prime Minister Says Iraq `Casts a Shadow' Over Holiday:
Speaking before an audience at the Marmara University
Department of Theology in Istanbul on Sunday, Prime Minister
Erdogan said that events in Iraq had `cast a shadow' over
the Ramadan holiday in Turkey. The full text of Erdogan's
remarks about Iraq is as follows: `The events right beside
us in Iraq cast a shadow over our holiday. We see that
hundreds of people have been martyred. Our desire would
have been not to go through a Ramadan holiday in this
atmosphere. As the powers in the world continue to impose
their dominance in a ruthless way, those who need to join
forces against this - first and foremost the Muslims -
continue to fight among themselves. Even within Iraq, they
(i.e., the Muslims) can't achieve this. I would like Turkey
to take a leading role. First, may unity, cooperation,
harmony, and order be established in Turkey. Then, may
Turkey, as an example to the Islamic world and to all of
humanity, draw people into the framework of peace.'

British aid worker Margaret Hasan reportedly killed: The
Iraqi-English aid worker Margaret Hasan was allegedly shown
being killed in a videotape, all papers and TVs report. An
officer from the British Embassy in Baghdad said they
believe the tape to be authentic. Al-Jazeera TV said they
will not broadcast the tape.

US begins Palestine work: US Secretary of State Colin
Powell is to visit Israel and Palestine November 22-23 in an
effort to set up an administration that would be
`acceptable' for Israel, "Yeni Safak" reports. Both Hamas
and Islamic Jihad have announced their intention to boycott
the presidential elections in Palestine.

Israel's `interest' in Iraq: Ankara believes that Israel is
supporting a `separate formation' in northern Iraq, and is
trying to shape the Baghdad administration by using Barzani
and Talabani, today's "Cumhuriyet" reports. Israel is
reportedly buying land and buildings in Kirkuk, Erbil and
Mosul under the pretext that Kurdish-origin Jews are living
in the region. The report adds that Israeli activities in
the region have been going on since 1993. The paper
speculates that Israel would not want to see a Turkish
military intervention in Iraq.

Erdogan due in Luxembourg: PM Erdogan is due in Luxembourg
on Monday as the official guest of Prime Minister Jean
Claude Juncker. "Sabah" notes that Luxembourg is to take up
the rotating EU Term Presidency on January 1, 2005. Erdogan
said before his departure that the two men would discuss
Turkey's EU entry drive before the upcoming summit in
December. Erdogan has urged the EU to adopt a decision to
begin accession talks with Turkey without delay. Problems
such as the Armenian issue and the reopening of Halki
seminary will not be taken up before 17 December, Erdogan
said.

Karamanlis in Nicosia: Greek PM Karamanlis paid a weekend
visit to Cyprus in an effort to shape a joint strategy with
the Cypriots for the December 17 EU summit. Although
Karamanlis indicated that Greece would not veto the opening
of EU accession talks with Turkey, he noted that Turkey's
responsibilities to the EU require Ankara's recognition of
the Republic of Cyprus. Turkish papers cite the Greek
Cypriot press as reporting that American Airlines (AA) has
`endorsed' flights to Ercan Airport by introducing the
airport code `ECN' for international flights. Papers say
that Athens will not link Turkey's EU accession drive to the
Cyprus issue at the summit on December 17. Sunday's
"Milliyet" claims that Karamanlis did not raise the
possibility of a veto during his two-day visit to Cyprus.
Karamanlis said that Athens would always support the Greek
Cypriots, but without blocking Turkey's EU accession drive.
Greek Cypriot officials toned down their demands from Turkey
in advance of the December EU summit.

Ankara turns down dialogue call by Nicosia: On Monday,
Greek Cypriot FM George Iacovou issued a call for direct or
indirect dialogue with Turkey. He said that the dialogue
could begin before the EU summit on December 17. He added
that a `reliable' official from the EU Term President the
Netherlands, EU Enlargement Commissioner Gnter Verheugen,
or EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana could mediate
between Turkey and the Greek Cypriots. Turkey rejected
Iacovou's call for dialogue, Sunday's "Zaman" reports.
Ankara will not agree to bargain with the Greek Cypriot
leader, the paper notes. Ankara believes that the aim of
the Greek Cypriots is to extract as many concessions as
possible before the EU summit.

EDITORIAL OPINION
Condoleezza Rice;
Fallujah Assault


"The Murder in Fallujah and Condoleezza Rice"
Oral Calislar commented in the social democrat-opinion maker
"Cumhuriyet" (11/17): "The scenes from Fallujah are an
indication of tough times ahead for the whole world during
the next four years. By appointing Condoleezza Rice to
replace Powell, and by cruelly bombarding the city of
Fallujah, President George Bush has given a new message to
the world: everything will be worse than before."

"Rice replaces Powell"
Tulin Daloglu observed from Washington in the sensational
"Star" (11/17): "Even though Powell had differences on the
Iraq war with the `hawks' in the Bush administration, these
differences stemmed from tactics rather than ideology. .
Regarding American domestic politics, the most interesting
part of the Powell story is the fact that he was not asked
to remain in the job. Powell would have stayed in the job
had Bush asked him, yet Bush's choice was Rice."

"The End of Common Sense in the Bush Administration"
Zafer Atay opined in the economic-political "Dunya" (11/17):
"The appointment of Rice to replace Powell is a strong
indication of a crisis for the world. The US is at war, and
given the current circumstances the resignation of Powell is
not an ordinary event. Rice has not been a brilliant
adviser in her position in the NSC. All she did was to
collaborate with the war-mongers instead of working for
peace. . Turkey has also lost a close friend in the Bush
administration. When Turkey decided not to allow US troops
to come through Turkey on their way to Iraq, some in the
administration started to attack Turkey. During this tough
period, Powell exerted sincere efforts to ease the tension
in a friendly way."

"A Pyrrhic Victory"
Oktay Eksi opined in the mass appeal "Hurriyet" (11/17):
"The US media, even those that try to pursue objective
journalism, are using the same rhetoric in their coverage of
Fallujah coverage. For instance, a CNN International report
about the ongoing operation claimed that Fallujah was about
to be `liberated' by American forces. This is an odd
report, since the liberator is also the occupying force.
This occupation force is apparently trying to `save' a city
from its own habitants. The recent event in a Fallujah
mosque represents another success in `saving' the city. The
soldier who shot a wounded Iraqi to death in a mosque was
`called back' from his unit -- a very grave (!) punishment.
. The overall reaction to the Fallujah operation might lead
to a boycott of the upcoming Iraqi elections by Sunni
groups. If that happens, US plans for Iraq's future will be
turned completely upside-down, as the control of Iraq will
fall entirely into the hands of Iraqi Shiites and Kurds.
Given the situation, the Fallujah outcome should be
considered a Pyrrhic victory for the United States."
EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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