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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 007190

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 28, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Tsunami Hits 2,950 Turks in South Asia As Well - Aksam

SIPDIS
M. Dobbs of Washington Post: It Was Like Noah's Flood -
Sabah
Iraqi Sunnis to Boycott Upcoming Elections - Aksam
Papadopoulos Defends Greek Cypriot Rejection of Annan Plan
Israel Releases 159 Palestinians in Goodwill Effort - Aksam
First Israeli Withdrawal From Gaza - Sabah

OPINION MAKERS
FM Gul to pay first foreign visit to Israel next week -
Radikal
146,971 Turkish Cypriots to Vote at Early Polls - Yeni Safak
US Troops Sell Iraqi Corpses' Organs - Yeni Safak
Assassination Attempt Against El-Hakim - Yeni Safak
Bin Ladin Calls For Boycott of Iraqi Elections - Radikal
West Wins in Ukraine - Yeni Safak
US Will Continue to Lead Global Economy in 2005 - Radikal


BRIEFING

Thousands of Turks Reportedly Missing in Southeast Asia:
Turkish papers estimate 3,000-3,500 Turks were caught up in
the earthquake and tsunami in southeast Asia, which claimed
at least 30,000 lives. Ankara has sent a plane to the
Maldives to fetch around 300 Turkish citizens who are
stranded there. The press reports that 30 Turks have not
been accounted for after the disaster.

FM Gul Due in Israel: FM Abdullah Gul will visit Israel and
Palestine January 4-5 for consultations with top leaders in
the two countries, papers report. Tel Aviv, looking forward
to the Gul visit, will tell the Turkish FM that the Israelis
would like to host PM Erdogan as well, "Zaman" claims. In a
goodwill gesture, Israel has released 159 Palestinian
prisoners on the eve of Palestine presidential elections.

US Troops Involved in Organ Trafficking: The Islamist-
oriented "Yeni Safak" cites a report in Saudi Arabia's
official daily "Al-Vatan" claiming that `systematic
involvement in organ trafficking by US troops serving in
Iraq.' The report is based on `secret European military
sources.' Syria's influential daily "Tesrin" also carried
the report, "Yeni Safak" notes. US military doctors in
Iraq allegedly help American soldiers to transfer organs
from Iraqi corpses to the American market. US doctors
immediately carve out organs of Iraqis killed or wounded for
transfer to the US, the report claims, adding that some
corpses have also been decapitated. US teams pay Iraqis $25-
40 to inform about the location of the heavily wounded or
killed Iraqis, according to the report. The "Al-Vatan"
story also claims that some inmates who have died at Abu
Ghraib prison have undergone similar `operations' to remove
their organs.

Five Turks remain in Abu Ghraib Prison: "Yeni Safak" also
reports that five Turkish nationals are still being held at
Abu Ghraib prison for allegedly supporting insurgents in
Iraq. The report is based on comments attributed to Iraq's
Human Rights Minister, Bahtiyar Muhammed Emin.

Abducted Turkish Worker Still Alive in Iraq: A Turkish
national who has been missing in Iraq for one month has been
seen alive in footage posted on the internet by insurgents,
papers report. Faith Nergiz, 30, was reportedly working for
a US company in Iraq when he was abducted.

US Troops Raid ITF Bureau: Turkey's "Dogan News Agency"
(DHA) reports from Kirkuk that US troops raided and
destroyed the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) office in the town
of Yayci, near Kirkuk. The ITF is demanding an apology,
according to the report, which was first seen on Turkmen-
controlled television.

Kurds Flock to Kirkuk to Escape Killings; Few Fallujans
Return Home: Papers carry "Reuters" wire reports claiming
that over 500 Kurdish families have recently moved to Kirkuk
in an attempt to escape deadly attacks on Kurds in the
northern Iraqi town of Havica. Meanwhile, about 8,000
Fallujans have returned home, only to leave again after
seeing that their houses have been destroyed in the
fighting, "Aksam" reports. Only a few people from the town
have decided to stay, according to US General Erv Lessel.

American Families Help Iraqi War Victims: Families of US
troops killed in Iraq have donated $600,000 to Iraqi war
victims who who were forced to leave their homes in
Fallujah, reports Turkey's all-news channel "NTV." Some
members of US victims' families told the press how terrible
they felt after seeing the desperation of Iraqis fleeing
their hometown that had to be destroyed by the American
army. `We want to show the war victims in Iraq that
somebody cares for them,' said one American mother.

Kissinger Suggests Possible Division of Iraq: Former US
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told CNN-International

SIPDIS
that the United States should accept the division of Iraq
along ethnic lines if a Shiite theocracy emerges from the
January 30 elections. In that case, the US may decide to
allow all competing groups in the country to establish their
own governments, Kissinger said. Kissinger also advised the
US administration to seek help from countries like Turkey,
Russia, and India in its efforts to stabilize Iraq.


EDITORIAL OPINION:

? ASIAN QUAKE
? UKRAINE
? CYPRUS/IRAQ

"The Power of Nature Cannot Be Overcome, But."
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (12/28): "The
devastating earthquakes and tsunamis in South Asia once
again reminded us of the colossal power of nature and the
helplessness of human beings. There is no way to stop
natural disasters like this, but there are ways to arrange
early warning systems that could reduce the number of
casualties. Unlike in North America and the Pacific, South
Asian countries do not have an early warning system that
might have helped to save lives in this disaster. . South
Asia grieves and tries to heal its wounds, but still suffers
from insufficient health services and a lack of food. The
international community is sending condolences and promises
of assistance. When Iran experienced the terrible
earthquake in Bam that claimed 30,000 lives, the
international community promised a billion dollars in aid,
but in the end only 17 million dollars was given. Oddly
enough, when it comes to arms, billions are spent without
any hesitation."

"Who is next?
Erdal Safak commented in the mass appeal "Sabah" (12/28):
"Yushchenko has declared victory, and this has brought the
hopes of Yanukovic to an end. The same goes for Putin, who
strongly supported Yanukovic. The election victory for
Yushchenko is like a Christmas gift for Europe, but it may
be somewhat of a poisoned chalice. The supporters of
Yushchenko, including Poland, Lithuania, and Italy, have
started pushing the EU for a promise of membership for
Ukraine. Brussels does not seem ready to deal with the
accession of Ukraine to the EU for fear of a backlash in
Russia. . Close ties between Ukraine and the EU also remind
us of the fact that Russia is losing ground. We first saw
this in Serbia, then in Georgia and and now Ukraine. But
this won't be the last."

"The Cyprus-Iraq Connection"
Cengiz Candar wrote in the conservative "DB Tercuman"
(12/28): "In recent days, CHP leader Deniz Baykal has
described the most important `formula' for putting the
Cyprus issue on the road to a solution and taking away the
`diplomatic cards' that could be played by Greek Cypriot
leader Tassos Papadapoulos. Baykal gave clues to the most
realistic way out of the Cyprus deadlock. He noted that the
US could be very influential in this process. `Let the
Americans send a ship from the sixth fleet to a port in
north Cyprus, and let them fly planes directly to Ercan
Airport - then the Greek Cypriots will understand how
serious the situation is,' he said. Baykal is 100 percent
right. But this assumes that Turkish and American foreign
policy are held on the same wavelength. Otherwise, official
calls for help from Turkey may be met in Washington with
nothing more than raised eyebrows. Yasemin Congar laid this
out in yesterday's "Milliyet," when she described how some
US officials believe that Turkish public opinion has been
`poisoned' against the United States through anti-US
statements on issues ranging from Tal Afar to Fallujah to
the attack against Turkish security personnel in Mosul. The
AKP needs to clarify its policy. If it is going to stake
out anti-American positions on Iraq together with Iran and
Syria, it won't be able to develop a joint position with the
EU and the US on the Cyprus issue. The AKP must define its
priorities. If the priority is to start EU accession talks
on October 3, 2005, and, within that framework, to launch a
new Cyprus initiative, then other aspects of foreign policy
must be made consistent with that goal. The government will
not be able to pull out what it needs on the Cyprus issue by
continuing its anti-American trend on Iraq."

DEUTSCH

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