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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 006939

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, DECEMBER 14, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Europe focuses on Turkey ahead of EU summit - Sabah
Ankara expects `clear' decision from EU - Aksam
Erdogan warns Europe will pay `heavy' price if Turkey is
turned away - Aksam
Schroeder: Trukey to be given a date with open-ended
negotiations - Hurriyet
Chirac holds the key before EU summit - Hurriyet
France stirs Armenian controversy - Sabah
FM Gul due in Israel early in 2005 - Milliyet

OPINION MAKERS
Europe focuseslocks on Turkey before December EU summit -
Zaman
Edelman offers Ankara Turkey-US-Iraq meeting on PKK -
Cumhuriyet
Edelman announces tripartite security meeting against PKK -
Radikal
France puts Armenian `genocide' pressure on Turkey -
Cumhuriyet
67 percent of French oppose Turkey in EU, 54 percent support
entry talks - Radikal
Netherlands asks Ankara for assurances on Cyprus - Radikal
Basra residents split over going to ballot box - Yeni Safak
Bill Clinton calls on world to help new Palestinian leaders
- Yeni Safak
Iran calls on US to comply with international law - Yeni
Safak


BRIEFING

Turkey optimistic on EU bid ahead of crucial summit: Deputy
Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener warned the EU after a
cabinet meeting in Ankara not to cross Turkey's `red lines,'
saying that such a move would be `unacceptable' for Turkey.
Dutch FM Bernard Bot responded by saying that Turkey cannot
impose `red lines' on the EU: `It's not the EU that wants to
join Turkey. We outline the plans, and Turkey will have to
accept or refuse them,' Bot stressed. Turkish papers expect
EU leaders to give a green light to open accession talks
with Turkey at the December 16-17 summit in Brussels, but
the decision will likely come with a set of conditions.
France wants Turkey to acknowledge the WW I massacre of
Armenians during negotiations on Ankara's EU claims, FM
Michel Barnier said on Monday. PM Tayyip Erdogan warned
that if Ankara is not granted a date to begin entry talks,
the EU would have destroyed a `bridge' with the rest of the
world. Leaders of Turkey, Germany and France will meet on
December 15 if Paris insists on inserting a second option
other than full membership into the draft EU summit
declaration. Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende,
representing the current EU President, voiced hope that the
EU will open entry talks with Ankara in the first half of
2005. `The goal is membership, but Turkey would also have
to look at the possibility that the talks will not lead to a
yes,' he said.

PM Erdogan meets with Ambassador Edelman: PM Tayyip Erdogan
met for one-and-a-half hours with US Ambassador Eric Edelman
at the prime minister's office on Monday evening. The
meeting brought a step forward with regard to the ongoing
PKK dispute between Turkey and the US when the two countries
agreed to hold a three-way meeting including the Iraqi
Government to discuss options for dealing with presence of
the separatist organization in northern Iraq. Edelman also
reminded Erdogan that the US has supported Turkey's EU
integration drive for 41 years, and noted that Washington is
pleased by recent developments and expects a positive
outcome from the December 17 summit. Secretary Powell has
been pressing the EU in favor of Turkey, Edelman reportedly
told Erdogan. The Ambassador discussed the criticism
directed against the US in the face of the Fallujah
operation. Edelman said that such `unfair' accusations give
rise to anti-American sentiment in Turkey, which can be very
dangerous. Ambassador Edelman characterized the meeting to
the press as `frank, constructive and thorough.'

Hopes growing for peace in Israel: "Milliyet" reports about
a series of seminars held by the American Jewish Committee
(AJC) for nine Turkish journalists in Israel, during which
the Turks had a chance to talk with various Israeli and Arab
media and political figures. In an act of goodwill action,
the Sharon government has agreed to release about 200
Palestinian prisoners on the eve of the January 9 Palestine
presidential elections, "Milliyet" reports. Several figures
with whom the journalists met in Israel believe that Israeli
Jews have never been closer to peace with Palestine
following the death of Arafat, whom they regarded as the
`chief terrorist.' Barry Rubin, Chairman of the Global
Research Center for International Affairs, said that Israel
is ready to cede land for peace. An Arab academician
criticized Arafat's uncompromising attitude. Israel's
leading journalist, Yossi Klein Halevi, said that ideals
espoused by the extreme right in Israel regarding expansion
in Gaza and the West Bank have brought a nightmare to
Israel. Opposition lawmaker Ran Cohen is hopeful that
everything will be much easier now that Arafat is gone.
"Milliyet" also reports that Turkish FM Abdullah plans to
pay a three-day visit to Israel and Palestine right before
the January 9 elections in Palestine. Both Israel and
Turkey consider the visit to be an important part of efforts
to reduce recent strain in bilateral ties caused by Turkish
leaders' accusations that Tel Aviv is carrying out `state
terrorism' in Palestine.

Iraqi businessman says Fallujah has become a `Vietnam' for
US troops: Islamist-oriented "Yeni Safak" reports a
description of the fight in Fallujah by a `leading Iraqi
businessman,' Nazzal el-Ani, who believes the US has been
dragged into a `swamp' in Iraq. El-Ani, a professor of
English who reportedly moved to Turkey's southern province
of Mersin, lashes out at US troops for `shooting at
everybody, mostly civilians,' while fighting insurgents in
Fallujah. Those who have blamed Saddam for his mass-grave
atrocities are digging ten times more graves in two years in
Iraq, el-Ani claimed. El-Ani also accused US forces of
using phosphorus bombs and nuclear weapons in Fallujah.

Paper speculates on possible No:2 at State Department:
"Yeni Safak" asks in a news-commentary who would become the
Number 2 figure at the State Department for incoming
secretary Condoleezza Rice. Eric Edelman, John Bolton,

SIPDIS
Elliot Abrams and Arnold Kanter are the candidates for now,
the paper speculates. Elliot Abrams, a `hawkish' figure
working on the Middle East at the National Security Council
(NSC), stands closer to Dr. Rice, according to "Yeni Safak."


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/US-Turkey-Kurds

"With or Without America"
Ahmet Tasgetiren observed in the Islamist-opinion maker
"Yeni Safak" (12/14): "Due to the growing reaction among the
Turkish public and within official circles to the crimes
against humanity in Iraqi cities, Washington has started
wondering if Turkey is changing its direction. Washington
is pressuring Ankara to get a clean answer to the following
question: Is Ankara planning to use the EU as an alternative
to its relations with the US? The ruling AKP tried to ease
the tension by assuring that `all is well' as far as Turkish-
American bilateral ties are concerned. In fact, all is not
so well. There are two major problems that need to be
addressed. First of all, the Turkish public is furious, and
rightfully so, about the abuses and murders carried out by
the US in the Islamic world. No government can afford to
ignore this fact. . Second, the US operations in Iraq are
bringing some serious consequences to the region and to
Turkey. Turkish airspace is available for US military
flights, and even that is a potential problem. . The Bush
administration is made up of a combination of Jews and neo-
cons, and it poses a threat to the whole world. Most of the
main risks are in the Islamic world - the Middle East -- and
are of direct concern to Turkey."

"The Kurds and the West"
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in the conservative "Turkiye"
(12/14): "In Turkey, everyone is treated equally if they do
not rebel on the basis of ethnic claims. The degree of
equality in Turkey creates envy even in Europe. People who
claim that they are not Turks, but rather Muslims and Kurds,
have always been viewed with suspicion. This is the State
of Turkey, and no one has the power to break this state
into pieces. Despite this, some countries, including the
United States, are involved in an effort to establish new
borders. The US is about to draw new borders by offering
better pieces to certain countries. The US and France have
always wanted a medium-sized Turkey. They are exerting
efforts to keep Turkey, which has a great potential fo
development, in check. That is why they are working on
their Kurdistan and Armenia projects, so that Turkey will
get bogged down in these issues and therefore not have time
to extend its influence further in the region. As anti-
American feelings and the sens of being `more Arab than the
Arabs' increases in Turkey, the rules of traditional
politics could lose their validity."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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