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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 006742

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
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Greek Orthodox Americans visit FM Gul - Sabah
Bartholomeus complains about Turkey to Athens - Milliyet
Schroeder: EU-Turkey talks should lead to full Turkish
membership - Sabah
Chriac-Schroeder agree on full Turkish membership - Hurriyet
Ankara prepares `Bush-style' welcome for Putin - Aksam
12,000 more US troops to Iraq - Milliyet
Sharon looks for new coalition partners - Milliyet
Barghouti runs for presidency, al-Fatah may split - Aksam
Turkey backs Annan against corruption claims - Aksam

OPINION MAKERS
EU Dutch presidency says entry talks may not begin in 2005 -
Radikal
`TRNC' calls on Ankara not to recognize Nicosia - Radikal
Germany's Stoiber: Ukraine more European than Turkey -
Radikal
Growing insurgency makes US send more troops to Iraq -
Cumhuriyet
European Parliament Speaker Borrell in Ankara - Cumhuriyet
Sharon-Peres partnership - Yeni Safak
EU takes over in Bosnia - Zaman
12 percent of US population are immigrants - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING

Patriarch Bartholomeous criticizes Ankara: The Turkish
press, citing Greek sources, claims that Orthodox Patriarch
Bartholomew I slammed the Turkish government in his talks
with visiting Greek Tourism Minister Dmitri Avramopoulos
earlier this week in Istanbul. The Patriarch reportedly
complained that Turkey has failed to keep its promise to
reopen Halki Seminary and has persistently refused to
recognize the ecumenical status of the Patriarchate. `We
have repeatedly stated our reluctance to become a second
Vatican here in Istanbul,' Bartholomeous said, underlining
that he has never attributed a political meaning to the
title `Ecumenical.' `We cannot reject the Ecumenical title,
which was bestowed on us by history. We cannot deny our
identity,' the Patriarch emphasized.

`Archons' visit Turkey, honor Ambassador Edelman: The
`Archons' of the Orthodox Order of St. Andrew hosted a
reception and award ceremony in honor of US Ambassador Eric
Edelman on Thursday. Earlier this week, a `crisis' flared
between the GOT and the US Embassy over the use of the
`Ecumenical' title for Patriarch Bartholomew I. The ruling
AK Party government ordered all Turkish bureaucrats not to
attend the reception. However, FM Gul received the Archons
Thursday evening, just before the reception. Ambassador
Edelman voiced to Gul US distress with regard to the call
for a `boycott' of the event. The Archons, prominent
members of the US Orthodox community, urged FM Gul not to
restrict the activities of the Fener Patriarchate, and
called for more religious freedom in Turkey. Gul reportedly
told the delegation that Ankara has been seeking ways to
reopen Halki Seminary. Anthony Limberakis, on behalf of the
Archons, later told the press that the Ecumenical Patriarch
is the leader of over 300 million Orthodox Christians around
the world. Limberakis also noted that the Archons fully
support Turkey's EU aspirations.
Iraqi deputy president visits Ankara: Visiting Iraqi deputy
President Ibrahim al-Caferi told the Turkish press on
Thursday that the Iraqis agree with the Turks on the need to
eliminate the PKK presence in northern Iraq. However,
Caferi noted, it would be `unrealistic' to expect a military
operation against the PKK before 2006.
Attacks on Kurdish groups on the rise in northern Iraq:
"Cumhuriyet" alleges that five members of the PKK/Kongra Gel
council who were shot dead in Mosul in November 29 were the
organization's Syria coordinators. PUK, KDP and other
Kurdish groups have become uneasy over killings on Mosul,
which have reached 50 over the last two weeks. PUK
buildings, vehicles and peshmerge are under constant attack
for supporting the US, the report claims. The majority of
attacks are perpetrated by the Iraqi Al-Qaida Jihad
Organization run by al-Zarkawi, "Cumhuriyet" argues. The
paper speculates that Syrian intelligence may have been
responsible for the killings of the 5 PKK officials. Other
potential suspects, according to "Cumhuriyet," include rival
elements of the PKK and Arab-linked Al-Qaeda cells.

Two more Turks killed in Iraq: Two more Turkish truck
drivers have reportedly been killed north of Baghdad,
raising the toll of Turkish drivers killed to 68. On
Thursday, PM Erdogan expressed his desire for an end to
these attacks in talks with Iraqi Deputy President Ibrahim
Caferi in Ankara.

PM Erdogan to open Armenian museum: PM Tayyip Erdogan will
open an Armenian museum in Istanbul this Sunday to show that
Turks and Armenians lived mostly in peace together in
Ottoman times, "Milliyet" reports on its front page.

Putin due in Turkey: Ankara is to welcome Russian
Federation President Vladimir Putin for a two-day visit
beginning this Sunday, December 5. In the first visit to
Turkey by a Russian president in 32 years, Putin will meet
with President Sezer and PM Erdogan and sign seven bilateral
agreements. Putin will discuss with Ankara the tanker
traffic in the Bosphorus, economic and military cooperation,
and the problems in the Caucasus. Security forces will take
tight measures to protect the Russian leader, with more than
3,000 policemen deployed in Ankara. The visit, which comes
on the eve of the December 17 EU summit, is expected to
remind the Europeans of Turkey's `strategic scope,' "Zaman"
writes.

EP Chairman Borrell visits Turkey: European Parliament (EP)
speaker Josep Borrell said that Turkey will certainly get a
date from the EU on December 17. Speaking before departing
for Turkey for a three-day visit, Borrell noted that Cyprus
continues to be `a problem waiting for a solution.' The
start of negotiations `in a real sense' depends on Turkish
recognition of Nicosia, Borrell said. EU-Turkey Joint
Parliamentary Commission Cochairman Joost Lagendijk will
accompany Borrell on his trip to Turkey. The EP Speaker
said the EU Turkey report indicated strong support by the EP
for launching entry talks with Ankara. However, he warned
that changes are possible to the Turkey report at the
General Council. Borrell will meet with President Ahmed
Nejdet Sezer, Speaker of the Turkish Parliament Bulent
Arinc, FM Abdullah Gul, and opposition CHP leader Deniz
Baykal during his visit.

`Bridges TV' on air in US: "Bridges TV," a TV channel set
up for combating prejudice against Muslims in the US
following 9/11 is now on the air, "Aksam" reports. The
channel has 50,000 subscribers.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/Campaign Against Terrorism

"Which Terrorism to Fight Against?"
Mustafa Balbay commented in the social democratic-opinion
maker "Cumhuriyet" (12/3): "The situation in Iraq will
continue to shape the nature of Turkish-American ties in the
future. The US seems to be remaining blind to Turkey's
sensitivities on the Iraq issue, including the presence of a
terrorist organization in northern Iraq. The US does not
seem to mind, because the terrorist activities there do not
pose any harm to the US. . On the other hand, the US prefers
to define its operations overseas as a fight against
terrorism. Yet the US fight against terrorism seems to
apply only to those terrorists who threaten the US and
American interests. Other terrorists do not interest the
US. Turkey should have been in a good position to raise
this argument. Instead, the Turkish government remains
silent and watches developments while the US is almost
making a deal with the terrorist organization in northern
Iraq."

"The Continuation of a Dirty War"
Ali Bayramoglu argued in the Islamist-opinion maker "Yeni
Safak" (12/3): "Things have entered a crazy phase in the
post-September 11 era. It is now very obvious that
September 11 served as a means for the US to extend its
hegemony overseas. Today Iraq and Afghanistan are not the
only countries listed by the US as posing a threat to US
interests. The US aim goes beyond Iraq and Afghanistan and
now covers the whole world. . In the post-9/11 period, the
US has established a new security policy and is forcing
other international actors to be involved in its
implementation. The new policy has brought three
consequences: The peaceful approach to solving global
problems has been replaced by a war mentality. The basis
for national security has become military rather than
political. The whole concept of human rights has changed
due to the supremacy of security concerns. Overall, US
hegemony has become a reality, and the US reliance on its
military has become stronger than ever. Tomorrow will not
be a better day than today. New tremors are highly likely
along the `fault line' between Islamic civilization and the
West."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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