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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.

240548Z Nov 04

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 006541

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
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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


HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Outgoing Powell's peace efforts in Palestine - Sabah
Palestinian elections Powell's main agenda item - Aksam
`New Blood' needed in Palestine administration - Milliyet
FM Gul: US has lost support of the Turkish people - Sabah
Egypt summit a last chance for Iraq - Turkiye
`Fallujah killer' shot wounded Iraqi, voiced regret to NBC
cameraman - Aksam
20 `slaughterhouses' found in Fallujah - Sabah
EU says EU-Turkey entry talks an opportunity for Kurds -
Milliyet
EU to Kurds: Whoever uses violence will lose - Milliyet
EOKA member confesses to killing, raping Turks in Cyprus in
1974 - Hurriyet
Secretary Snow: Wish US could vote for Turkey at EU summit -

SIPDIS
Hurriyet
Washington orders tighter security for flights to US from
Russia, Turkey - Milliyet

OPINION MAKERS
Powell: US committed to Mideast road map - Cumhuriyet
Mideast bids Powell farewell - Radikal
Sharm-al Sheikh meetings a last chance for Iraq - Yeni Safak
Fallujah a mass grave - Yeni Safak
Iraqi, British officials: Iraq's occupation may go on for
years - Cumhuriyet
Iran officially halts uranium enrichment program - Zaman
Former EOKA member admits state-backed killings - Zaman
US urges Turkey, Russia to take tighter security measures on
flights to US - Yeni Safak

BRIEFING

Iraq's neighbors meet at Sharm-al Sheikh: Iraqi interim
government (IIG) FM Hosyar Zebari said the insurgency in
Iraq has become a growing threat that forced the government
to launch security operations before the upcoming elections
in January. `We have fought against terrorists, not
civilians, in Fallujah,' Zebari stressed. Zabari added that
Iraq is seeking border agreements with Turkey and Iran that
would include measures to prevent the infiltration of
foreign fighters into Iraq. A group of four representatives
of the Iraqi insurgents were blocked by the US and the IIG
from attending the conference, papers report. On Tuesday,
Turkey's FM Abdullah Gul is expected to convey to Secretary
of State Colin Powell Ankara's sensitivities with regard to
Iraq. Gul and Iran's FM Kemal Harrazi met briefly
yesterday. The two foreign ministers view Iraqi Kurdish
demands for postponing the elections as `unacceptable.' On
Monday, Gul told Turkish journalists while en route to Egypt
that the US has not asked again for Turkish peacekeepers in
Iraq. Gul said that US participation in the Sharm-al Sheikh
conference was a significant development. The FM charged
that the United States ignored Turkey's advice before the
war. If that advice had been heeded, Gul said, `we wouldn't
have this chaos.' Specifically, Gul claimed that Turkey had
advised US officials against disbanding the Iraqi army.
Responding to a question on the PKK, Gul asked `how much
longer can the US delay action against the PKK?' He said
that America's failure to move against the terrorist
organization has caused the US to `lose' the Turkish people.
`We are not the ones saying this,' Gul added, `just look at
the opinion polls.'

TGS Confirms Flares Fired From Turkish F-16s: The website
of the Turkish General Staff confirmed that Turkish F-16
pilots fired warning flares after Greek fighter jets `locked
on' to the F-16's with their radar. The TGS website noted
that the flares were a `natural' response to the Greek
action and were `not a mistake.'
Powell's peace efforts in Palestine: All Turkish papers and
TV gave extensive coverage to Secretary Powell's efforts to
mediate between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Reports
quote Sharon and Israeli FM Shalom as pledging help in an
effort to facilitate the upcoming elections in Palestine.
After meeting new PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas, Powell announced
US support for the elections, signaling a `softening' of
policy on Palestine, papers commented.

EU holds conference on Turkey's Kurds: The London-based
"Kurdish Human rights Project," under the auspices of the
EU, a conference on the Kurdish situation. Some former DEP
lawmakers, current DEHAP chairman Tuncer Bakirhan,
International Human Rights Federation deputy chairman Akin
Birdal, Turkish journalists, and representatives of several
other NGOs attended the conference in Brussels on Monday.
The conference voiced support for Turkey to be granted a
date for accession talks, and said Ankara's EU entry process
would provide a significant opportunity for the Kurds.
Former DEP lawmaker Hatip Dicle said the Kurds in Turkey are
gradually moving toward a solution based on dialogue without
necessarily changing the borders of the Turkish state. `The
search for a solution has shifted from `kill or be killed'
mentality to `live and let live,'' Dicle told the
conference.

Secretary Snow voices support for Turkey's EU drive in

SIPDIS
Berlin: US Treasury Secretary John Snow told Turkey's state
minister for economy Ali Babacan in Berlin over the weekend
that Turkey's admission to the EU would cause significant
global changes. `I wish the US could vote on behalf of
Turkey at the EU summit in December,' Snow reportedly said.
In a separate meeting with Babacan, World Bank President
Wolfenshon said a negative answer by the EU on Turkey's
prospects for full membership would be an enormous mistake.

AKEL leader will not object to 50,000 Turkish immigrants
staying in north Cyprus: Dimitris Hristofyas, leader of the
Greek Cypriot Communist Party AKEL, told "Cumhuriyet" that
the Cyprus problem should be resolved on a `bi-zonal and bi-
communal' model before the EU kicks off entry talks with
Turkey in 2005. When Turkey becomes a full EU member, there
won't be any need for Turkish or Greek troops in Cyprus,
Hristofyas emphasized. Both the fascist Greek junta and
EOKA-B virtually `invited' Turkey to intervene in Cyprus in
1974, he said. Turkey had pledged a troop pullout after
order was established on the island, `but now they have
overstayed,' Hristofyas asserted. `We are not against
guarantor agreements by third countries, but we prefer that
Turkey not have the right to intervene again.' The AKEL
leader said he would accept a maximum of 50,000 immigrants
from the Turkish mainland to remain in the north.
Responding to a question, Hristofyas said he was ready to
discuss with Mehmet Ali Talat possible changes to the Annan
Plan for reunification of the divided island. A meeting of
with Talat would help Turkey's EU drive, but would not
change EU conditions established for Turkey, he underlined.
Hristofyas claimed that if Ankara had recognized Nicosia, he
would have launched an EU tour in support of the Turks' full
membership to the European bloc.

Former EOKA militant acknowledges killing Turkish Cypriots:
A former member of the EOKA (secret organization that worked
for the unification of Greece with Cyprus), Andreas Dimitriu
(67), confessed to the Greek Cypriot daily "Alithia" that he
and his comrades had killed 89 Turkish Cypriots and raped
women in "Taskent" (Tohni) village in north Cyprus on August
14, 1974. `We did it together with the legal forces of our
state,,' Dimitriu disclosed.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq

"How Much Will the US Listen"
Sami Kohen opined in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (11/23):
"Twenty countries and organizations, including the G-8 and
China, the UN, and the Arab Union, are among the
participants in the Iraq conference in Egypt this week.
Given the unilateral US policy in Iraq to this point, US
participation in such a broad platform increases the
meeting's importance. But how much will the American
participation actually affect US policy in Iraq? How much
will the Bush Administration care about the voices that will
be heard in Sharm-al-Sheikh? President Bush's statements
show that he has no intention to change his policies, but
this conference reflects growing international pressure on
Washington. The basics of the communique that will be
announced at the end of the conference have already been
shaped. The resolution highlights the political transition
process in Iraq, and supports further steps for success.
The elections in Iraq will be held on January 30, a new
government will be established, and the elected parliament
will give the final shape to the constitution. The
communique also insists that participation in the elections
be wide enough to confer democratic legitimacy. There is no
doubt that this is the general hope. But will people really
be able to go to the ballot box in areas where the fighting
continues? Will Sunni leaders stop protesting against the
elections? What will the international committee do to
guarantee free elections with broad participation? The
communique also includes concerns about the duration of the
US-led occupation. It says that the US military presence in
Iraq should not be `open-ended.' This seems rather non-
committal. France insisted on a definite date for a US
pullout, but the Bush administration had no intention to
give a definite date for withdrawal. In light of this
language, it is worth asking how much this statement will
affect Washington's military plans."

"Iran or Syria?"
Yilmaz Oztuna averred in the conservative "Turkiye" (11/23):
"At this point it requires blinded optimism to believe that
the US will give up harassing Iran and Syria.
Realistically, this is the time to think about the timing
and the means of a US attack against those two. The
election process in Iraq is the current focus for the US.
However shortly after the elections -- probably in February
-- the US will begin imposing certain conditions upon Iran
and Syria. . Syria is expected to be cooperative in meeting
the US demands, because it cannot afford a situation like
Afghanistan or Iraq. . Things for Iran are not going to be
easy. Some cosmetic measures such as postponing nuclear
research will not be enough for Washington. The US might
launch an attack against Iran in the end, but an Iraq-style
invasion is unlikely. The US most likely will station
itself in strategic locations around the Gulf region and
start pushing for the division of Iran."

EDELMAN

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