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.
041555Z Mar 05
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001168
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
FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2005
THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
EU's Turkey Representative Sees `Slippage' in Reforms -
European Commission: Turkey's Performance Not Sufficient -
FM Gul: EU Always Our Top Agenda Item - Milliyet
Shiites Warm to Talabani As Iraq President - Sabah
China Reacts to US Human Rights Report - Hurriyet
Karzai Assigns General Dostum to Chair Afghan Military
US Preparing for a Woman President - Aksam
US General Bell Visits General Buyukanit - Cumhuriyet
Kurds, Shiites Disagree Over Kirkuk - Cumhuriyet
Iraq's Caferi Voices Support for Kurdish Federation - Yeni
US Hires Ba'athist Generals for Iraqi Army - Radikal
Eurobarometer: 77 Percent of Turkish Cypriots Want EU
Membership - Radikal
Tough Warning for Syria: Withdraw From Lebanon - Yeni Safak
Arabs Also Ask Syria to Pull Out of Lebanon - Cumhuriyet
Two Seats Reserved for Turkish Cypriots in European
Parliament - Cumhuriyet
General Myers Sees No Problem in Ties With Turkey: US
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Myers,
said to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council that Turkey is
a close ally of the United States, "Hurriyet" reports,
citing a report from the Turkish consul general in Los
Angeles, Engin Aksay. `The Turkish parliament's rejection
of the deployment of US troops through Turkey in 2003 should
be viewed as the result of Turkey's democratic process,'
Myers said. He added that Turkey has displayed close
cooperation in US troop rotations and the use of bases by
American forces. Myers stressed that cooperation between
the two countries continues in both Iraq and Afghanistan,
Washington Shifts Funds for Turkey to Iraq Supplemental:
Washington has decided that a $1 billion financial package
approverd by the US Congress for Turkey in April 2003 will
be transferred to the $81 billion supplemental spending
package for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Turkish TV
reports. Turkey has not yet used the money, and Washington
believed that the government would not accept the money
because of conditions attached to the legislation.
General Bell Visits Ankara: USARMEUR Commander General
Burwell B. Bell paid a visit to Ankara on Thursday as the
official guest of Turkey's Land Forces Commander General
Yasar Buyukanit, "Cumhuriyet" reports. Before discussing
military issues with Buyukanit, General Bell pointed to the
historical partnership between the two countries and praised
both nations and their militaries for contributing to that
`Double Apologies' From US Ambassador to Yerevan: US
Ambassador to Yerevan, John Evans, corrected his previous
apology for a statement in which he had used the term
`genocide' to refer to the killing of Armenians by Ottoman
forces in 1915. The Turkish Embassy Washington warned the
State Department over the remarks, and Evans was forced to
post on the US Embassy Yerevan webpage a new correction that
omitted the word `genocide.'
US Human Rights Report Accuses TGS of `Racist' Statements:
The US State Department 2004 Report on Human Rights
evaluates Turkish General Staff (TGS) reaction in February
last year to press reports claiming Ataturk's adopted
daughter was of Armenian descent as `racist public
statements,' "Milliyet" reports. TGS claimed that the press
reports `violated the national values and feelings of
Ereli Denies Turkish Arms Transfer to North Cyprus: US
State Department Spokesman Adam Ereli on Thursday denied
again Greek Cypriot opposition claims that Turkey had
transferred US-origin weapons to north Cyprus. Asked by a
Greek Cypriot reporter why the US had not asked Turkey to
pull out of Cyprus as Washington has been pushing Syria to
leave Lebanon, Ereli said there is no parallel to be drawn
between the two situations.
Defense Minister on Turkish Troop Presence in Northern Iraq:
Turkey has 1,357 military personnel in northern Iraq,
Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said on Thursday. Responding
to a question posed in parliament by the opposition CHP,
Gonul said that Turkey has been exercising its right to hot-
pursuit of terrorists in the north of Iraq. `Turkish
military personnel there also work as liaison officers under
US forces in Kirkuk, Mosul and Tal Afar,' Gonul said.
`TRNC PM' Offers Joint Management of All Ports in Cyprus:
Mehmet Ali Talat, `Prime Minister' of north Cyprus, rejected
a proposal by Greek Cypriot President Papadopoulos to hand
over Maras (Varosha) to the Greeks in return for opening
Magusa (Famagusta) Port to international trade. `We cannot
allow Nicosia to extend its authority to north Cyprus,'
Talat said, blaming Papadopoulos for attempting to disrupt
the economy of the Turkish Cypriots. Talat said the Turkish
Cypriots are prepared to operate jointly all other ports in
Poll Indicates Popular Support for AKP: According to a
monthly opinion poll by the "TNS Piar" company conducted
2,000 Turks, 85.6 percent of respondents view the military
as the most trusted institution in Turkey. Politicians are
the least trusted group, gaining approval by only 21.3
percent of respondents. The poll shows increasing trust in
the ruling AK Party government, "Sabah" reports. 53.7
believe the economic policies of the AKP are `very good,'
according to the poll. Meanwhile, a poll by the State
Statistics Institute (DIE) among 6,714 Turks showed that
70.2 percent of respondents back Turkey's full membership
in the European Union, while only 16.2 percent are opposed.
Report Sees the AKP as `Political Islamist': In a report
called `Understanding Islamism' issued on March 2 by the
Brussels-based International Crisis Group, Turkey's AK Party
is put in the category of political Islam, "Cumhuriyet"
reports. The report describes Islamic movements in this
category as groups that operate within a constitutional
framework, refrain from violence, and adopt reformist
methods rather than revolutionary actions. The report
classifies Islamic movements in three categories --
`political Islam, missionary Islam, and Jihad.'
Turkish Jetfighter Crashes: A Turkish F-16 fighter plane
with two pilots on board crashed over Karabuk province in
the north of the country Thursday after taking off from
Ankara on a training flight. The cause of the crash was not
EDITORIAL OPINION: Syria: Post-Election Iraq
"Syria is doomed to lose"
Erdal Guven commented in the liberal-intellectual "Radikal"
(3/4): "The Hariri assassination has led to some
developments concerning the Syrian presence in Lebanon and
has enabled all Lebanese groups, with the exception of the
Shiites, to express their anger against Damascus. There is
no country in the region that supports a continued Syrian
presence. Therefore, Syria is isolated in Lebanon and seems
to be cornered internationally. The Syrian involvement in
Lebanon stems from both strategic and territorial
considerations. Syria's position is especially difficult,
because there will be no `prize' if and when Syria pulls out
of Lebanon, such as an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan
Heights or the lifting of the US embargo against Syria.
Furthermore, it is highly likely that the US will impose new
conditions on Syria in the event of a Syrian withdrawal.
Such demands could include political reforms or cutting off
ties with Iraqi insurgents and terrorist organizations. But
there is really no other option. If Syria declines to pull
out, US sanctions will likely turn into UN sanctions.
Damascus will be completely isolated. In either scenario,
Syria is doomed to be the loser of this game."
"A Trap for the Kurds"
Melih Asik argued in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (3/4):
"Looking at statements from the Kurds in Iraq and pro-
Kurdish figures in Turkey, one wonders if the Kurds
genuinely believe that the US really is fond of the Kurds
and supports their efforts to establish an independent
state. How can the Kurds be so nave as to not see the fact
that is so obvious to everyone else: The US wants to gain
control over Iraq by using the Kurds, and wants to have the
region's oil resources in order to secure Israel. Even with
American support, there is no way for the Kurds to establish
a truly independent state, but rather a kind of `satellite'
state. Such a satellite state is doomed to suffer, since it
will have to work completely for American interests in the
region. The Kurds are making a mistake by keeping their
distance from Turkey, the Turkmen, the Shiites, and the
Sunnis as well as Iran and Syria. They should know that
they can be left alone overnight if the US decides to `sell
them out' when circumstances require. . Collaboration with
the US in the Middle East might bring some encouraging
results in the short run, but those collaborators are doomed
to fail in the long run."