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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.

221325Z Dec 04

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ANKARA 007111

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
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Erdogan calls Bush: Find the killers in Mosul - Milliyet
EU wants UN `intervention' in Cyprus - Hurriyet
Boucher: No Cyprus solution except through the Annan Plan -
Turkiye
Rocket attack on US base in Mosul: 24 killed - Miliyet
Rockets hit US cafeteria in Mosul, 24 killed - Hurriyet
Bush: Situation in Iraq better now - Sabah
Blair pays surprise visit to Baghdad - Aksam

OPINION MAKERS
Erdogan asks Bush about Mosul - Cumhuriyet
Erdogan to Bush: Time to remove the PKK from Iraq - Zaman
Bush acknowledges `effective' resistance in Iraq -
Cumhuriyet
Poll shows Americans pessimistic on Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Freedom House report: Turkey is partly free - Cumhuriyet
Greek Cypriots, Denktas wage war against Annan Plan -
Radikal
Deadly strike at US base in Mosul - Radikal
UN condemns human rights situation in Iran - Cumhuriyet
FBI documents show torture at Guantanamo - Zaman
Putin calls for international help on Chechnya - Zaman
UN warns over 1 million refugees starving - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

PM Erdogan calls President Bush: PM Erdogan called
President Bush Tuesday and urged US cooperation in
investigating the deadly ambush of five Turkish security
guards in Mosul, papers report. The PM reportedly thanked
the President for actions taken by US forces during the
attack, and for US efforts to return the remains of the
victims to Turkey. Bush said that Washington is ready to
cooperate in an investigation. Erdogan voiced concern about
increasing clashes between US forces and Iraqi insurgents in
Mosul, and stressed the need to protect Iraq's territorial
integrity. Erdogan also suggested holding a trilateral
security meeting in Turkey among Turkish, US and Iraqi
officials to outline a plan for dealing with the PKK.
President Bush agreed that such a meeting would be useful.
The Prime Minister said that Turkey supports the election
process now underway in Iraq. President Bush congratulated
the Prime Minister on Turkey's getting a date for EU
accession talks, and credited Erdogan's `leadership' in
achieving that goal. The Prime Minister thanked President
Bush for US support during the EU process.

MFA on the terrorist attack in Mosul: In a written response
to a question on the killing of Turkish policemen in Mosul,
MFA Spokesman Namik Tan said that Turkey had asked
Washington and Baghdad to investigate the attack. Tan noted
that US forces in the region had intervened during the
incident and killed two of the assailants. He also said
that US forces took the injured Turkish security attache to
a hospital in Beled, and that Americans later helped to
transfer the remains of the victims to Turkey. `We are
thankful for the careful and sensitive approach of US
officials,' Tan noted.

US Official in Washington Says Unfair to Blame US:
"Hurriyet" reports that an unidentified US official in
Washington said that efforts to hold the US responsible for
the deaths of the five Turkish policemen in Mosul were
`unfair.' The official added that if Turkey's parliament
had approved the deal to send US troops to Iraq through
Turkey on March 1, 2003, `Turkey would have had tens of
thousands of troops on the ground in that region.' `We
should never forget that,' he concluded.
Minister Aksu Responds on Mosul Attack: "Yeni Safak"
reports that Turkish Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu
claimed that the group that attacked Turkish security
personnel in Mosul used a rocket to initiate the attack. He
claimed that the convoy had been ambushed `in one of the
most secure areas of Mosul.' Aksu reported that `15-20
terrorists' had been involved in the attack. Asked who may
have perpetrated the attack, Aksu noted that `Turkey has a
lot of enemies - the PKK, al-Qaeda. There are even people
leaving from Turkey to join these groups,' the Minister
added. Aksu said that the United States does not have
control of the security situation around Mosul and pointed
out that the US is having trouble protecting its own forces
and Iraqi security units. The Minister recalled that US
Ambassador Edelman had phoned him over the weekend to
express his condolences for the deaths of the Turkish
policemen.

Erdogan due in Syria: PM Erdogan will pay a two-day
official visit to Syria starting today. Erdogan, who will
be accompanied by more than 200 Turkish businessmen is to
sign two trade agreements with Damascus. The sides will
discuss Iraq, the Kurdish question, and the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict. Some recent press reports say a trip
to Iran is also on the Prime Minister's agenda, as well as a
possible visit to Israel. FM Gul will travel to Israel next
week. No dates have been mentioned for a possible visit by
PM Erdogan to Israel.

EU urges `all sides' to move on Cyprus: Dutch PM Jan Peter
Balkenende, speaking as current EU President, called on
Greek and Turkish Cypriots to resume peace efforts sponsored
by the UN. Balkenende noted that Turkey must extend its EU
cooperation and customs accord to cover the bloc's ten new
member states, including the Republic of Cyprus. He
reiterated that such a step would not amount to Turkish
recognition of Cyprus. Nicosia says it will not accept the
Annan plan, which the Greek Cypriot people overwhelmingly
rejected at a referendum last April.

Turkey supports small businesses in Palestine: Turkey
donated 900,000 USD to the Palestinian Authority for the
development of small and medium-scale enterprises. FM Gul
called on all sides to help resume the Middle East peace
talks. Gul also called for fair and transparent elections
in Palestine. He voiced hope that the upcoming elections in
Palestine, the government reshuffle in Israel, and President
Bush's second mandate in the US will bring about significant
opportunities in the peace process.

"Freedom House" report: An annual report issued by "Freedom
House" describes Turkey as a country that is `partly' free,
"Cumhuriyet" reports. Compared to last year, Turkey has
made progress in expanding civil liberties thanks to reforms
carried out as part of Ankara's effort to meet EU criteria.

Turk "Migros" new partner of "Wal-Mart": Turkey's "Migros"
chain of supermarkets will undertake a partial merger with
US retail giant "Wal-Mart," the economic-political daily
"Referans" reports. "Migros," an outlet of the Koc Holding
group of companies in Turkey, is to sell part of its shares
to "Wal-Mart." The new partnership will operate mostly in
the Russian market, "Referans" claims.
Committee investigates mass grave: A parliamentary
committee investigating a mass grave discovered recently in
Kulp, near Turkey's mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir,
reports that the remains found there likely belong to 11
villagers who went missing after being detained by Turkish
security forces in 1993. The investigators rejected claims
that the remains were the result of an internal clash within
the PKK. The committee has called for a legal investigation
of the issue. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
earlier ruled that compensation must be paid to the victims'
families.

EDITORIAL OPINION:

-- Attack Against Turkish Personnel in Mosul
-- Relations with the United States
"The Ambush and Preventive Measures"
Fikret Bila observed in the mass appeal "Milliyet (12/22):
"Losing our five policemen in a violent attack near Mosul
hurt us all very deeply and pointed out the need for every
institution of the State to take preventive measures for
future travel to Iraq. While Ankara is working on some new
precautions, including travel by military plane, the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs has intensified its diplomatic
efforts in Ankara, Washington and Baghdad to ensure that the
attackers are found and tried. The same request was
presented to the US Embassy and the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara.
Anka ra continues to gather information about the incident
through military and civilian offices. Ankara is pleased by
news that a nearby US military unit that saw the attack from
a watchtower intervened and killed two of the terrorists.
US troops also transported the wounded Turks to the US
military hospital immediately, and their help in
transporting the remains to Turkey have been noted
positively by Ankara. Security units in Ankara believe that
the Zarkavi group is responsible for the attack. However,
they don't rule out the possibility that those who planned
the attack and those who carried it out could be different
people. Developments in Iraq continue to increase Ankara's
concerns. Iraq remains at the top of the agenda for Turkish
security officials."

"Who Did This in Iraq?"
Melih Asik wrote in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (12/22):
"First, Prime Minister Erdogan referred to those killed in
Fallujah as `martyrs.' This angered the United States.
Then Ambassador Edelman had to wait six weeks to get an
appointment with the Prime Minister. The Americans were
beside themselves. Then we protested the U.S. Embasy's
using the term `ecumenical' in reference to the
Patriarchate. Washington `took note' of this. Then, at
that very moment, five of our security personnel were drawn
into an ambush and killed.As General Tolon said, we `took
note' of this. Now who do you think it was that who may
have killed our five policemen?"

"Do We Trust the US?"
Halit Kakinc wrote in the conservative-sensational "Star"
(12/22): "Unfortunately, I can not trust the United States.
My concerns about a second Bush term are being proven
correct. And my mistrust is increasing every day. The
words `sensitivity' and `kindness' have no place in Bush's
policies. Basically, Bush has two aims. One is to control
the world's oil single-handedly in the 21st century. The
second is to become the single power in the region to have
energy supply lines. Washington has kept Turkey out of Iraq
and ignored the PKK presence there. The new powers that the
US considers as its collaborators are Barzani and Talabani.
At this point, as a strategic partner, Turkey must answer
the question about whether or not the US should be trusted.
Is the US trying to establish stability in Iraq, or is it
trying to achieve a different aim? Will Turkey continue to
be a strategic partner even if the US is pursuing different
goals? What does Turkey want in Iraq? Do we have any plans
to prevent the establishment of a Kurdish state in Northern
Iraq? These and many other questions came to my mind during
the funeral for our five policemen who were killedin Mosul
last week. I can't imagine what our state officials were
thinking."

DEUTSCH

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