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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 006648

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 30, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Sarkozy believes Turkey should not join EU - Sabah
EU puts Cyprus condition on Turkish membership - Milliyet
US Embassy: Charges of `genocide' in Fallujah baseless -
Milliyet
PM Erdogan elected `European of the Year' - Hurriyet
US threatens to take Iran's nuclear program to UN - Aksam
Zawahiri takes stage again - Hurriyet
Sharon to meet Palestinian leaders - Milliyet
Sarkozy a Blair fan and friend of US - Aksam

OPINION MAKERS
Sarkozy opposes Turkey joining EU - Radikal
With Sarkozy, Ankara's EU task harder - Cumhuriyet
Balir: EU should not discriminate against Turkey - Radikal
AKP wants presidential system for Turkey - Cumhuriyet
Minister Sahin to US to inquire about crisis management -
Yeni Safak
US, EU to launch new Cyprus initiative - Radikal
Zawahiri vows to continue fighting US - Yeni Safak
Hamas offers cease-fire - Yeni Safak
Hamas may join Palestinian administration, offers cease-fire
- Zaman
IAEA: Iran has suspended nuclear activities - Yeni Safak
Nuclear crisis with Iran shelved - Radikal
Western world concerned about split in Ukraine - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

US Embassy statement on Fallujah: A US Embassy statement,
in response to heavy criticism by parliamentary HR
commission chairman Mehmet Elkatmis over the fighting in
Fallujah, said that accusing US forces of committing
`genocide' in Iraq was `baseless, inflammatory, and
offensive.' `The recent operations in Fallujah were
conducted to free the people of that city from violent
insurgents who were terrorizing Iraqi citizens and murdering
Iraqis and foreigners, including Turkish truck drivers and
contractors,' said the statement. The Embassy also strongly
denied press claims that US forces have used chemical and
atomic weapons in Fallujah.

Some AKP lawmakers want relations with US `suspended': Some
lawmakers in the ruling AK Party want Turkey to suspend
relations with the US over the situation in Iraq,
"Cumhuriyet" reports. AKP Adana lawmaker Abdullah Caliskan
called on `hundreds of thousands' in Turkey to denounce the
US and demonstrate against recent incidents in Iraq. `Our
government should review cooperation with the US,
temporarily suspend relations with Washington, and instead
work with the countries around Iraq,' Caliskan said. AKP
deputy group chairman Sadullah Ergin said he respected the
sensitivity that has been displayed by demonstrators at a
rally in protest of the US military operation against
Fallujah. The rally was held by Turkey's banned Islamist
leader Necmettin Erbakan's "Saadet Party" (SP) in Istanbul
over the weekend.

EU to set conditions for opening entry talks with Turkey:
Turkey will have to recognize Cyprus in order to open EU
entry talks, according to a draft report being prepared for
the upcoming EU summit on December 17. The EU draft
considers the possibility of permanent curbs on free
movement of Turkish workers in the EU. The draft sets a
strict framework for negotiations, and stresses that
membership talks will not be concluded until the EU has
agreed on its post-2014 budget. `Such drafts frequently
change. These are tactics,' FM Abdullah Gul said in Ankara
before flying to the Netherlands for talks with EU and
Mediterranean countries. About the EU call for Turkey to
recognize Cyprus, Gul said the EU should first allow
accession talks to begin. `We will think about such things
as recognition of Cyprus afterwards,' Gul noted. Gul
reaffirmed that Turkey will only settle for negotiations
leading to full membership and is not interested in any
`special partnership.' PM Tayyip Erdogan said it is for the
Greek Cypriots to make a gesture now after they rejected the
Annan Plan.

Greek Cypriots to `photograph' hotels in north: In an
effort to damage tourism in north Cyprus, the Greek Cypriot
Administration will get satellite photographs taken of 93
tourism facilities constructed by Turkish Cypriots on land
owned by Greeks before 1974, "Radikal" reports from Lefkosa.
Nicosia will then send the photographs to prominent travel
agencies around the world, saying most of the hotels in the
`TRNC' are illegal. The Greek Cypriot Administration has
reached agreement with a company in the Middle East to do
the photographing.

Armenian Turks vs. the diaspora: Armenian Turks and
Armenians in the diaspora debated at a conference in
Marseilles, France over the issue of recognition of the
Armenian `genocide' by Ottoman forces in 1915, "Hurriyet"
reports. Turkish daily "Zaman" columnist Etyen Mahcupyan
warned that diaspora Armenians' efforts to block Turkey's EU
membership would work against the interests of both Armenia
and the Armenians living in Turkey. `Armenians in the
diaspora do not seek a solution, they seek vengeance,'
Mahcupyan told the diaspora representatives in the
Marseilles meeting. Turkey's only Armenian daily, "Agos"
editor in-chief Hrant Dink blamed Armenians outside Turkey
and Armenia for not `perceiving' the change in Turkey:
`Turkey's membership in the European bloc will provide
significant opportunities regarding the future of the
Armenian world,' Dink said, and warned that if such efforts
manage to halt Turkey's EU drive, all Armenians would be
negatively affected.

Putin to visit Turkey early December: Russian President
Vladimir Putin will visit Ankara on December 5-6 for talks
on bilateral relations and global issues. The two sides are
expected to discuss boosting cooperation in energy, tourism,
transport and fighting terrorism. They will also raise the
oil traffic in the Straits, through which over a quarter of
Russian oil is shipped. Putin postponed an earlier trip in
September due to a school siege in the southern Russian town
of Beslan, in which hundreds were killed. Putin's will be
the first official visit to Turkey by a Russian head of
state since 1972.


EDITORIAL OPINION

"Criticizing The United States"
Yilmaz Oztuna observed in the conservative-mass appeal
"Turkiye" (11/30): "The Fallujah incidents have damaged the
US global image. Although criticism at every level takes
place in the media, experienced press members are usually
careful about what they write. Politicians should also be
very careful about what they say. The Parliament is the
highest body in politics. In every democracy, political
parties and parliamentarians can argue, fight, and debate in
the parliament. However, words that can negatively affect
the state's interests should never be used. Good politics
entails the use of logic and wisdom, and does not resort to
raw personal feelings. It is only natural to criticize the
US' Iraq policy in parliament. However, insulting the US
with this criticism will only harm Turkey. Obviously, the
US will respond clearly and harshly to this criticism
because, as a superpower, it is capable of doing that. How
ugly it is to mention Hitler, Mussolini, and genocide. The
US has been Turkey's ally and a good friend for over half a
century. If the US violates human rights and international
agreements, Turkey can warn the US about this. But
insulting statements can open big wounds. Besides, Turkey
is reacting more harshly than the 20 Arab countries on the
Iraq and Palestine issues. Don't you think this is rather
strange?! Is it only Turkey's responsibility to act as a
champion of human rights in Iraq? This editorial is meant
as a caution. Turkey entered the Balkan war and the First
World War after the rulers provoked the public to revolt.
We should never repeat the same mistakes. Special care
should be given not to engage in acts that will be
interpreted as an investment in future votes."

"With or Without the Elections"
Prof.Dr. Haluk Ulman opined in the economic-political
"Dunya" (11/30): " Even though they are well aware that
stability will not be established in Iraq after the
elections and the US occupation will not end in the near
future, participating countries in Sharm-Al-Sheikh carefully
avoided offending the US. It is not yet clear that the
resistance spreading towards Mosul and Kirkuk will be
stopped. In fact, it is doubtful that the elections will
ever take place. Even if they are held, the Sunnis are
determined to boycott. Since 30 per cent of the Iraqi
population are Sunnis, it is hard to see how these elections
can be considered legal and representative. Sunni leaders
in Iraq are continuously calling for the cancellation of the
elections. Viewing the issue from this angle, a civil war
between the Sunnis and the Shiites/Kurds in a post-election
Iraq is unavoidable. If a Shiite-centered government comes
to power in Iraq, that will be the end of the dreams
President Bush had for the Middle East. Kurds won't be
happy with a Shiite government either, because Shiite
leaders have already clearly said they won't leave Kirkuk
and Mosul to the Kurds. Therefore, whether there are
elections or not, a civil war in Iraq would not be very
surprising. Such a developing could draw in neighboring
countries as well. Let us see how President Bush will react
then."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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