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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.

031459Z Mar 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001128

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, MARCH 3, 2005


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Greece's Perception of Threat Scales Terror Up, Turkey Down
- Hurriyet
Turkey Not Prime Threat for Greece - Sabah
Four Turkish Truck Drivers Killed in Iraq - Milliyet
Saddam's Judge Executed - Hurriyet
EU, Regional Countries Call for Syria to Leave Lebanon -
Sabah
Moscow: Syria Must Pull Out of Lebanon - Milliyet
Iran Blocks IAEA Investigation of Military Facility - Sabah
British Judiciary Approves `Hijab' in Schools - Hurriyet

OPINION MAKERS
Greece's Fear of Turkey Subsides - Zaman
Abizaid to Turkey: Don't Worry About the Kurds - Radikal
General Bell Due in Ankara Today - Cumhuriyet
Pressure on Syria Gives Rise to `Cedar Revolution' - Zaman
Demonstrations in Syria Demand President to Quit - Yeni
Safak
Syria Under Attack From All Directions - Radikal
Turkish Truck Drivers Targeted in Iraq Again - Radikal
Turkish Truckers Killed While Ferrying Goods to US Army in
Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Israel Threatens Abbas - Yeni Safak
Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Opposes Attack
Against Iran - Yeni Safak
William Rivers Pitt Predicts End of the US `Empire' -
Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

Wolfowitz Praises Turkey: US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul
Wolfowitz called Turkey an `example' for the Islamic world,
"Cumhuriyet" reports from Washington. In Senate testimony
in support of the Bush Administration's 2006 defense budget,
Wolfowitz said that if Indonesia can strengthen its
democratic institutions, it will become, along with Turkey,
another model of success in the Muslim world. `I hope that
Afghanistan, Iraq, and others will follow that example,'
Wolfowitz reportedly said.

Secretary Rice Pledged Solution of PKK Problem - Ambassador

SIPDIS
Logoglu: Turkey's Ambassador to United States, Faruk
Logoglu, told defense writers in Washington that Secretary
of State Rice pledged during her visit to Ankara that the
problem of the PKK would be `solved,' reports "Milliyet."

General Abizaid Gives Assurances on Kurds: Papers carry a
dispatch from Washington by Turkey's official "Anatolian
Agency" in which General John Abizaid is reported as saying
that all Iraqis, including Kurds, want to keep their country
intact. `There is no need for Turkey to be concerned about
Kurdish sovereignty in northern Iraq,' Abizaid said.
Abizaid blamed Iran for trying to exercise political
influence in Iraq, but noted that he does not believe that
the Shiites, the winners of the Iraqi election, will try to
establish an Iranian type regime in the country, say
reports.

DEHAP Says Kirkuk Is a Kurdish City: Turkey's pro-Kurdish
party DEHAP said in the final declaration of a party meeting
held February 28 that Kirkuk in northern Iraq should be seen
as a Kurdish city, "Milliyet" reports. DEHAP Chairman
Tuncer Bakirhan said those claims were made on the basis of
the January 30 election results in Kirkuk.

Turkish Truck Drivers Killed in Iraq: The Al-Qaeda-linked
`Army of Ansar al-Sunna' claimed in a statement posted on an
Islamist website Wednesday that it had killed two Turkish
truck drivers ferrying supplies to US forces in Iraq. `On
February 25, two trucks on the Kirkuk-Tikrit road carrying
cement to US forces were burned along with their cargo, and
the rule of God was then implemented against the two
drivers, the statement said.

Greece Scales Down Threat From Turkey: Athens has scaled
down the threat that Turkey is considered to pose to its
security for the first time in over 30 years in its annual
defense report. The primary threats for Greece now include
terrorism, arms dealing, international crime, and
instability, said the report. The report cited improved
bilateral ties with Turkey and notes Greece's support of
Ankara's drive to join the European Union. It also said
that Turkey has not shifted its policies regarding the
territorial integrity of Greece, thus a sufficient deterrent
force must be maintained.

MFA Denies Transfer of Weapons to North Cyprus: Turkish MFA
spokesman Namik Tan denied at a press conference Wednesday
Greek Cypriot claims about the transfer of weapons from
Turkey to the `TRNC.' The Department of State also made a
statement regarding the claims and denied such a transfer of
weapons,' Tan noted. Kyriakos Mavronicolas, defense
minister of the Greek Cypriot administration, recently sent
a letter to defense ministers of 24 EU member countries and
complained that Turkish troops in the TRNC were given new
weapons systems.

Turkey a `Bridge' for Refugees - Study: A study conducted
by the Turkish human rights organization "Mazlum-Der" and
other NGOs of 5,000 refugees in camps in several provinces
says Turkey has become a `bridge' for thousands of
immigrants from Asia and Africa who aim to move to Europe,
reports "Yeni Safak." Mazlum Der said the majority of the
refugees were people who had to flee their countries due to
ethnic, ideological, or religious pressure. The study says
that Turkey is being used by refugees from Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia,
Algeria and Sudan as a transit country before they move to
countries such as the US, Canada, and Australia. It notes
that 94,514 illegal immigrants were apprehended in Turkey
last year.

Brussels Sees No Progress in Turkey's EU Work: A war of
words between Turkey and Brussels continues, papers report.
Ankara says the EU, not Turkey, is dragging its feet on
preparations for the launch of entry talks on October 3.
Brussels recently said it has seen no progress in Turkey
since December. Hansjorg Kretschmer, head of the European
Commission's delegation to Turkey, told a news conference
Wednesday: `We maintain our view that in the area of
political reforms not much has happened since December 17.'
`I'm not only looking at the issue of new legislative
proposals but also at the issue of implementation,'
Kretschmer stressed.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Human Rights Report

"Occupation Democracy"
Nuray Mert commented in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(3/3): "The concept of democracy has never been so
denigrated. Even the leftist British paper `The Guardian'
used the title of `the first democratic elections in 50
years' for the elections in Iraq which were arranged by its
occupiers and their Iraqi collaborators. Iraq did not exist
in the past. The US has created it for its own purposes.
Now, the presence of Iraq disturbs the US and the US tries
to break it up. Of course, you cannot say this openly, but
at least don't call it a `democracy'. Leave the few
political values and concepts still unstained for the people
who are trying to defend their countries. Otherwise, the
bloodshed will continue."

"What Kind of Shamelessness is This?"
Ibrahim Karagul wrote in the Islamist-opinion maker Yeni
Safak (3/3): "After seeing the US 2004 Human Rights report,
I couldn't stop saying `what kind of shamelessness is this?'
I am not going to debate the content of the report. In its
Turkey section, there is no new discovery other than the
`Yarsanists'(cult of angels). Many of us heard this word
for the first time when we read the report, and a prize
should be given to the US diplomat who discovered this cult.
It is shameful that the US still publishes the Human Rights
Report. As a serious violator of human rights, how can the
US talk about freedom and the human rights. There are the
examples of Guantanamo, Iraq, many prison camps, and many
torture cases. Than there is the massacre in Fallujah.The
spokesman of the Iraq Health Ministry, Dr. Halid el-Sigali,
at a press conference, which was attended by the Washington
Post, stressed that the US used chemical weapons, mustard
gas, and nerve gas in the Fallujah attacks. Now there are
hundreds of dead animals on the streets of Fallujah. Why
does no one pay attention to this news? Which human rights
you are talking about? What right you have to publish a
human rights report? What kind of shamelessness is this?"

EDELMAN

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