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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.

091352Z Dec 04

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ANKARA 006838

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
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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


HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Powell: Turkey did a `very good job' on EU criteria -
Hurriyet
Washington gives Turkey December 17 support - Milliyet
Erdogan believes EU will not raise Cyprus issue at 12/17
summit - Sabah
Ankara urges Putin to pressure Greek Cypriots - Milliyet
90 US nuclear bombs at Incirlik Airbase - Sabah
US troops: `Why don't we have enough armored vehicles?'--
Hurriyet
Wiretapping to become legal in US - Hurriyet
`Super-intelligence' reform in US - Milliyet

OPINION MAKERS
Powell praises Turkey - Radikal
FM Gul: Turkey won't accept anything but full membership -
Yeni Safak
FM Gul: No recognition of Nicosia before Cyprus solution -
Radikal
Papadopoluos angered by US pressure in favor of Turks -
Radikal
Greek Cypriots threatening veto - Yeni Safak
UN Seminar: Fear of Islam has become acute - Radikal
US soldier: All Muslims viewed as terrorists by US military
- Zaman
US kills reporters, doctors in Fallujah to contain news of
atrocities - Yeni Safak
US claims Iraqi resistance leaders are sheltered in Syria -
Cumhuriyet
Israel admits killing 148 civilians in West Bank this year -
Cumhuriyet
Former UK diplomats urge Blair to investigate civilian
losses in Iraq - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING

Rift growing between GOT-US Embassy: Turkish papers
speculate about a `rift' between the Turkish government and
the US Embassy in Ankara, which allegedly made the
government `uncomfortable' by referring to the Istanbul-
based Patriarch, Bartholomew, as the `Ecumenical Patriarch'
a title Ankara rejects. PM Erdogan reportedly made
Ambassador Edelman wait six weeks before granting him an
appointment that was requested by the Embassy in October.
MFA Spokesman Namik Tan said at his weekly press briefing on
Wednesday that `Turkey and the United States have been close
allies for more than 50 years and have a multi-dimensional
relationship based on mutual respect and common values.'
`Turkey and the US are determined to develop relations and
to continue current cooperation in the region and
internationally,' Tan noted. The MFA Spokesman also
criticized the Turkish press for resorting to personal
attacks against foreign diplomats (presumably American)
working in Turkey. The Erdogan-Edelman meeting will
reportedly take place on December 13. `Another strain with
the US is settled pleasantly,' a "Yeni Safak" report
comments.

Commentary on deputy PM Sahin's contacts in US: "Hurriyet"
columnist Sukru Kucuksahin claims that in a meeting with U/S
Marc Grossman and Homeland Security advisor Frances
Townsend, visiting Turkish deputy PM Mehmet Ali Sahin played
down the strong criticisms made by AK Party members with
regard to US conduct in Iraq. `What matters is the view of
the government rather than some individual statements,'
Sahin said, referring to parliamentary human rights
commission chairman Mehmet Elkatmis' recent remarks
characterizing the US military operation in Fallujah as a
`genocide.' `However,' Sahin noted, `the civilian
casualties and the images coming from Fallujah should not
have taken place.' `Your intention in coming to Iraq was to
establish democracy, and that is what you need to do,' Sahin
added. Sahin told "Hurriyet" that Americans should `learn a
lesson' from protest actions made by ordinary Turks, such as
posting `Americans are not allowed' signs in their shop
windows. `The attitude by the Americans that they can do
whatever they want anywhere in the world will cause a
counter-reation,' Sahin said. Columnist Kucuksahin regards
such statements by Sahin as an indication of tension in the
bilateral relationship. Kucuksahin also speculates that
Sahin's response to Grossman's call on Turkey to reopen
Halki Seminary is one that `would not make the State
Department happy at all.'

Powell praises Turkey in Brussels: Turkish papers report US
Secretary of State Colin Powell's comments on Wednesday that

SIPDIS
Turkey has done a `very good job' of meeting the Copenhagen
criteria required to begin EU membership talks. Powell said
it was not for him to suggest to EU leaders to set a date
for Turkish entry negotiations at the upcoming December
summit, but added that it would be `a good thing' if Turkey
were to be given a date. `I think it would be positive if
the EU agrees to grant Ankara a date on december 17. But of
course, that is up to the EU,' Powell said in remarks in
Brussels.

Turkey says if denied membership, it may not follow EU:
Turkish ambassador to the EU, Oguz Demiralp, warned on
Wednesday that the European Union should not expect Ankara
to remain in its `orbit' if it did not open membership talks
after the December 17 summit. Demiralp said it would not be
logical for Turkey to stay on a pro-EU course if EU leaders
deny Ankara a date for entry talks or offered some kind of a
partnership agreement arther than membership.

US keeps 90 nuclear bombs in Turkey: Citing a report by the
French daily "Liberation," the Turkish daily "Sabah" claims
that the US is keeping 90 of its 480 "B-61" nuclear bombs in
Europe at the Incirlik Airbase in southern Turkey.
Washington has reportedly allowed Turkey the use of 40 of
those bombs under US supervision. The report originated
with the US-based organization "Atomic Scientist."

Ansar al-Sunna threatens to kill a Turk abducted in Iraq:
The Al-Qaeda linked fundamentalist group Ansar Al-Sunna
threatened in an Internet video that it would soon kill a
Turkish hostage it said was working for a company serving US
forces in Iraq, Turkish papers report. The video said that
businessman Fattah Narjess, who came to Iraq from Turkey
aided by Massoud Barzani's KDP, will be executed by Ansar al-
Sunna.

US soldiers in Iraq hire workers from Incirlik, Turkey: US
soldiers in Iraq and some foreign contractors prefer to hire
manpower from the town of Incirlik in southern Turkey, home
to the Turkish airbase near Adana. 3,000 Turks have been
taken to Iraq by to work for the Americans, thus eliminating
the unemployment problem in Incirlik, "Radikal" reports.
Some 20 shop owners who had been running souvenir shops in
Incirlik before have now opened shops in Iraqi areas where
US troops are deployed, according to the report.

Erdogan opens 'Garden of Religions': PM Tayyip Erdogan
pledged Wednesday that his government would remove all
obstacles to religious freedom in Turkey as he opened a
complex of Muslim, Christian and Jewish worship sites in
Belek near Turkey's coastal city of Antalya. The "Garden of
Religions" includes a mosque, a church and a synagogue.
Speaking at the ceremony, Erdogan said that religious
tolerance was a heritage of the Ottoman Empire. `Owing to
this historical experience, Turkey is today the guarantor of
peace and brotherhood in its region,' he said. Turkey's
Jewish, Orthodox Christian, Catholic and Armenian community
leaders, as well as visiting Dutch European Affairs Minister
Atzo Nikolai, whose country currently holds the EU
presidency, attended the ceremony.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Turkey-US-Europe Relations

"Is There Any Problem in Turkish-American Relations?"
Nuray Basaran observed in the mass appeal-sensational
"Aksam" (12/9): "Since the US and Turkey developed what is
often referred to as a `strategic partnership,' there has
been a parallel campaign underway to undermine that concept.
Turkey-US relations began to intensify for the first time
after 1944. The US had the war ship `Missouri' anchored in
the straits after the USSR had claimed Kars and Ardahan from
Turkey. With that incident, a military-based relationship
began with the US. Over time, social, political and
economic relations were also established and started to
improve. With Turkey's membership in NATO, US-Turkey
relations were reshaped as Transatlantic relations. As a
result of the first Gulf war, these relations were extended
to the Middle East as well. That is where the problems
began. From 1990 onwards, problems on the military side of
the Turkish-American relationship gradually escalated over
developments in the Middle East and Iraq. Even though
Turkey had received its most important logistical and
intelligence support from the US in its fight against PKK -
support that peaked in 1999 with the capture of Ocalan --
the nationalist reflex caused Turkey to maintain distance
from elements of the United States security structure. The
very close relations that had been established between
Turkish and Israeli security forces allowed Turkish security
elements to move away from the US. Problems in the dialogue
between the US and Turkey carried the bilateral relationship
to a crisis level. No one will benefit from either ignoring
the problems in our relations with the US or closing
Turkey's doors to dialogue with the Americans. In short, if
we want to continue our relations with the US, we have to
take urgent action to redefine what that relationship means.
But if we don't value our relationship with the US and plan
to move in different directions, then our leaders should
announce this openly so that we won't exert our effort for
nothing."

"The End of Defiant Diplomacy"
Chief Editor Ertugrul Ozkok wrote in the mass appeal
"Hurriyet" (12/9): "Yesterday's headline in most Israelie
papers was this: `Egypt encourages Kuwait and Egypt to take
more decisive steps in the peace process.' It's
interesting, isn't it? An Arab country encouraging two
other Arab countries to move closer to Israel. You probably
also noticed this statement by Egyption President Mubarak
earlier in the week: `Sharon is a chance for peace between
Palestine and Israel. This chance must be used.' So an
Arab leader views Sharon not as a `butcher' but as a man who
can help bring peace. At the same time, we see a completely
opposite picture in Turkey's relationship with Israel.
Tayyip Erdogan's statements last May raised tensions between
the two countries. Although those tensions now appear to be
`under control' (in fact, Foreign Minister Gul may travel to
Israel before the January elections in Palestine), the
political relationship still doesn't correspond to the
enormous growth we have seen in Turkey's economic and
tourism ties with Israel. Now let me come to the final
piece of the puzzle - the open alliance between the US and
the EU with regard to the Ukrainian elections. These two
great powers have shown that their common values on an issue
like this are very important. Now let me repeat what I said
last weekend: This is not the time to engage in unilateral,
defiant behavior. This is not the time to be more
Palestinian than the Arabs. This is the time to show
solidarity with the powers that can solve the big problems
in our region. This applies also to the government, which
has recently used this kind of `defiance' as a diplomatic
tool. It also applies to (the opposition) CHP mayors who
are hanging posters in the streets that say `we are all
Fallujans.'"
EDELMAN

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