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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 006513

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, NOVEMBER 22, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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


HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
FM Gul: Americans make mistakes in Iraq - Hurriyet
Gul warns Iraq's Sunnis - don't miss elections - Hurriyet
Gul: Kurds won't have final word on postponing local
elections in Kirkuk - Hurriyet
Two more Turks killed in Iraq - Turkiye
US strikes civilians again in Ramadi - Turkiye
Iraqi official: Elections to be held despite ongoing
violence - Aksam
NATO envoy Hikmet Cetin a `brother' for Afghans - Sabah
Cetin: Afghans want to make a living, not deal drugs - Sabah

OPINION MAKERS
Powell in Middle East to revive the peace process - Zaman
Powell presses for elections in Palestine - Cumhuriyet
Commanders order US troops to shoot `everything that moves'
- Cumhuriyet
Report: Fallujah operation a `postmodern genocide' -
Cumhuriyet
Turkish civilian losses approach British military casualties
in Iraq - Sabah
People of Mosul concerned about Kurdish peshmerge - Milliyet
Israel angered by EU's compromise with Tehran - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

FM Gul on Iraqi elections, US conduct in Iraq: Ankara
attributes the highest importance to upcoming Iraqi
elections, FM Gul told "Hurriyet" in an exclusive interview.
Gul stressed that some Sunnis are resisting the election
process, but said that Turkey's preference would be full
participation by all Iraqis. Gul added that he sees no
problem with Shiites, Kurds or Turkmen in terms of election
participation. `We must make the Sunnis leave aside their
anger and participate in the upcoming elections in Iraq,'
Gul emphasized. Gul said the best thing for the Sunni
insurgents to do would be to help the `election train' move
forward smoothly. Gul said that the timing of the Iraqi
elections is `not that significant.' `The elections may be
held a month earlier or two months later -- what matters is
holding an election with the widest possible participation.'
On Fallujah, Gul said that reports about resistance fighters
taking shelter inside mosques or turning mosques into arms
caches `may be true.' `But it is also true,' he added,
`that those shrines have deep symbolic meaning for the Arab
nation and the entire Muslim world.' Americans make big
mistakes, Gul said, because they are `strangers' to the
local culture and sensitivities. `This causes problems with
the way Americans are seen in the Muslim world, and even
with the future of America's relations with Muslims.' Gul
stressed that nobody in the Muslim world would benefit from
being in permanent conflict with the world's most powerful
country. Gul also welcomed US participation in the Iraq
conference to be held in Sharm-al Sheikh. `The US was
moving unilaterally in the beginning, but now it is
listening to other international actors and showing that
Washington is trying hard to resolve the Iraq problem
through participation by everyone,' he commented.

ATO issues strong Iraq warning in report: The Ankara
Chamber of Commerce (ATO) included recent events in Fallujah
in a report on the `history of genocide.' Sinan Aygun,
President of the ATO, said that Iraq has become an `open air
museum of genocide.' The report claimed that the
`postmodern genocide' being carried out in Fallujah is being
blacked out by US pressure on the media. `500 civilian
corpses have been left out to decay, and most of them are
being eaten by dogs,' the report claimed. According to the
report, more than 250,000 Fallujans have been exiled from
the city. Aygun characterized the occupation of Iraq as a
war crime and compared it with atrocities at Auschwitz.
`Democracy may eventually come to Iraq,' Aygun concluded,
`but there will be nobody left to see it.'

US allegedly uses `Napalm bomb' in Fallujah: According to
continuing reports in the Islamist-oriented "Yeni Safak," US
forces in Fallujah used napalm and chemical weapons in the
offensive to take control of the city. An Iraqi witness of
the `tragedy' in Fallujah said that the corpses of 73 Iraqis
were buried before they could be identified. Most of those
killed were women and children scorched by napalm bombs, he
said. The article claims that thousands have deserted the
town to avoid the fighting and are starving or suffering
from a lack of electricity, water and shelter in refugee
camps north of Fallujah. The US army has reportedly blocked
humanitarian aid access to Fallujah.

Two more Turks killed in Iraq: Unidentified attackers
killed two Turkish truck drivers in Mahul, 20 km north of
Beyci in Iraq. "Sabah" notes that Turkish casualties are
now approaching the number of Britons killed in Iraq.
Britain has lost 74 troops, while Turkey has lost 66
civilians in Iraq since the war began.

Turkish government to establish fund for families of Turks
killed in Iraq: The GOT is to establish a fund for
financial assistance to the families of Turkish truck
drivers killed in Iraq, papers report. Turkish insurance
companies are refusing to insure local drivers shuttling
between the two countries. The MFA and Finance Ministry are
currently looking for funds to implement the proposal.

Columnist predicts killings that aim destabilization of
Turkey: "Cumhuriyet" columnist Emre Kongar claims today
that a partial amnesty granted by the former coalition
government headed by DSP's Bulent Ecevit allowed the release
from prison of many murderers, criminals and terrorists,
making Turkey more prone to `destabilization.' Kongar
opines on the significance of a statement by Islamist sect
leader Fettullah Gulen issued last week from Pennsylvania,
where he is currently residing. Gulen warned that new
assassinations would be carried out in Turkey, and that
Islamists would be held responsible for those killings. `It
is well known by Turks that such statements by Gulen are not
groundless,' Kongar wrote. Gulen's latest statement
coincides with the release of criminals, he notes. Whatever
Gulen's intention may be, Kongar writes, developments show
that Turkey is open to such attempts at destabilization.
Kongar expresses concern for the safety of his colleagues at
"Cumhuriyet," who, he claims, have been victimized by such
attacks in the past.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Rice; Iraq; Palestine

"What's Going to Change with Rice?
Yasemin Congar observed in the mass appeal "Milliyet"
(11/22): "Unlike Colin Powell, Rice is expected to pursue
more face-to-face diplomacy. She will probably be making
more trips abroad. She will certainly intensify her efforts
to rebuild America's bilateral relations with certain
capitals. It remains to be seen whether she will continue
to pursue a Powell-style diplomacy based on realpolitik or
actually turn the State Department into a mouthpiece for
Rumsfeld and Cheney. The answer to this question will also
be the determining factor in her success during foreign
trips. There are two tests ahead: the steps to be taken
for an Israel-Palestine peace settlement, and dealing with
the Iranian nuclear program. These two issues will require
creative diplomacy, something we haven't seen during the
four years of the first Bush administration."
"The Reasons of Terrorism"
Gungor Mengi commented in the mass appeal "Vatan" (11/22):
"The basic reasons for Islamic militancy lie in social and
economic problems. These problems are more prevalent in the
Islamic world. The economies of the Islamic world, from
Morocco to Indonesia, are in very poor condition.
Populations there are increasing rapidly. University
graduates are joining the army of the unemployed. As
unemployment increases and health and the housing problems
grow in the large cities, the gap deepens between rich and
poor. The ongoing fight against terrorism cannot be solved
by military power alone. The Greater Middle East Initiative
is an effort that gets its inspiration from these social and
economic issues. But the US, as a world power, should also
bring an end to the unfair treatment of Palestinians in
order to be more persuasive on the issue of democratization.
It should also establish a stable Iraq as soon as possible
and hand over the administration there to a democratic
authority."

"The Signs of Tension in Palestine"
Zafer Atay wrote in the economic-political "Dunya" (11/22):
"Things are not going to work smoothly in Palestine. That
much has become obvious in developments following Arafat's
death. Arafat used to be the sole representative of the
Palestinian leadership, and he never appointed a successor.
For the upcoming Presidential elections on January 9, Abbas
is among the strong candidates. Abbas is a reformist and a
moderate figure compared with Barguti, who is another
leading name in the race. Barguti is currently serving a
sentence in an Israeli prison, but is supported by
Palestine's militant youth. . As the time gets closer to the
elections, there will certainly be more names to emerge. I
may be wrong, but I expect this to be a very tense election
process that will also focus attention on speculation about
Arafat's secret bank accounts."

EDELMAN

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