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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.




E.O. 12958: N/A
FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2005


--------------------------------------------- -----


European Parliament Criticizes Turkish Police - Sabah
Kurdish-Shiite Alliance for Kirkuk - Hurriyet
Suicide Attack in Mosul: 50 Dead - Milliyet
Lebanese Comedy: Karami Assumes PM Post Again - Milliyet
US to Make Peace With Hizbullah - DB-Tercuman
Armenian Lobby in US Kicks Off Campaign Before April 24 -
Pentagon Clears Itself of Torture Charges - Sabah
Georgia to Close Russian Bases - Aksam

Chechen Attacks Expected After Maskhadov Killing - Zaman
Basayev Vows to Continue `Jihad' - Yeni Safak
`Cedar Revolution' Slows, US Signals Recognition of
Hizbullah - Zaman
US Winks at Hizbullah - Radikal
US to Hand Over Abu-Ghraib to Iraqis - Zaman
Armenians Launch `Genocide' Campaign in US - Cumhuriyet
Bush Puts Vienna Protocol into Trash Can - Radikal
Pentagon Strings Up CBS Anchorman Dan Rather - Yeni Safak
Vietnam Celebrates 30th Anniversary of US Withdrawal -
FBI `Crushes' Gambino Family - Radikal

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European Parliament Slams Turkey for Police Violence: The
European Parliament slammed Turkey on Thursday for police
violence against women demonstrators at a rally last weekend
in Istanbul, warning that such brutality had harmed Turkey's
image ahead of talks on Turkish accession to the European
bloc. EU parliamentarians voted overwhelmingly in favor of
a resolution on women's rights, strongly condemning the
violence, and called on the EU Commission to provide a
detailed report on the incident. Earlier this week,
television footage showed policemen using pepper gas and
batons against protesters in Istanbul on Sunday. The police
kicked some demonstrators, including women, in the head as
they lay on the ground. The crackdown shocked EU officials,
who were in Turkey to prepare the way for Turkey's
membership talks with the EU. PM Tayyip Erdogan accused the
Turkish media on Thursday of `exaggerating' the incident.
`It's as if the Turkish media are serving the Europeans from
here,' Erdogan told the press in Ankara Thursday before
flying to Madrid for an international security conference.
He said the protesters had `deliberately provoked' the
police, knowing an EU delegation was arriving in Turkey the
same day. "Radikal" reports that Turkey's missions in
several EU countries have sent messages to Ankara warning of
problems with the EU if the policemen who beat the women
demonstrators are not punished.

PM Erdogan to Meet Annan in Madrid: PM Erdogan, in Madrid
to attend an international conference on terrorism, will ask
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to declare that negotiations
for a settlement in Cyprus will be restarted only if a
positive result is guaranteed beforehand, "Zaman" reports.
By doing so, Turkey will have shifted the Cyprus problem to
the UN and will be able to avoid criticism by the European
Union before the opening of entry talks with the bloc in
early October.
Force Commander Warns Against PKK Infiltrations: Turkey's
Land Forces Commander, General Yasar Buyukanit, said that
the number of PKK militants inside the country has reached
the level that existing when PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was
captured in 1999, the all-news channel NTV reported on
Friday. Gen. Buyukanit spoke to the press at a reception
for the opening of this year's International Defense and
Aviation Fair in Ankara. Buyukanit claimed that most of the
militants in northern Iraq have infiltrated into Turkey, and
noted an acceleration in infiltrations over the past 4-5

Georgian FM Points to `Fragile' Relations With Russia:
Visiting Georgian FM Salome Zurabishvili told the press
after talks with FM Abdullah Gul that his country's
relations with Russia were at a `very fragile' stage, but he
expressed hope that the two countries would succeed in
resolving their disputes. `We have the support of Turkey on
the closing down of Russian military bases in Georgia, and
we hope that we will make some progress on that question,'
she said. Zurabishvili said talks with the Russian FM
Sergei Lavrov to resolve bilateral disputes would begin
soon, and would include Georgia's demands for the closure of
two Russian bases on its territory.

Armenian Lobby Pushes for `Genocide' Resolution: "Aksam"
and "Cumhuriyet" report that the Armenian lobby group ANKA
has sent a letter to President Bush urging the
Administration to recognize the Armenian `genocide.' A
"Cumhuriyet" reporter in Washington quotes a high-level US
official as saying that the Bush Administration will work to
prevent such a resolution from being passed. The official
cautions, however, that `our job this year is very tough.'
The official notes that statements by some AKP politicians
concerning US operations in Iraq have strengthened the hand
of the Armenian lobby and made it more difficult for the
Administration to defend Turkey in Congress.

MFA, NSC to Organize Armenian `Genocide' Symposium: The
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National
Security Council (NSC) are organizing a meeting of Turkish
and foreign historians and other experts in Ankara on May 28
for an impartial discussion of Armenian genocide claims,
"Milliyet" reports. Three Armenian researchers have been
invited to the meeting. Professor Halil Berktay, who has
blamed the Turks for the forced emigration of Armenians by
Ottomans in 1915, will not be invited.

Another Lawmaker Quits AKP: Another lawmaker quit the
ruling AK Party on Thursday, the sixth in the last three
weeks, bringing the number of seats held by the AKP down to
361 in the 550-seat parliament. Mehmet Sait Armagan, who
resigned from AKP yesterday, is known to be close to former
Culture and Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu, who is expected to
assume the leadership of the Motherland Party (ANAP) in
coming days.


US-Turkish Relations
The Turkish Media and the Prime Minister

"How Can Turkey Improve Relations With the US?"
Mensur Akgun observed from Washington in the economic-
political "Referans" (3/11): "The main problem in Turkish-
American relations is that the US doesn't consider Turkey's
interests and expectations before it takes action. Turkey
is right in its expectations and demands. On the one hand
the government is trying to please the Turkish public, and
on the other hand it is trying to defend its interests and
continue its relations with the US. Unfortunately, in
trying to satisfy the public, the Turkish government has
damaged the bilateral relationship with the US. But in the
end Turkey needs the US. It is a must that Turkey have the
US on its side at the UN, in NATO, in the IMF and the World
Bank, and in many other fora. But at the same time we don't
want the US to create instability in our region. Therefore
we have to try different methods in dealing with the United
States. We have to learn to look at problems from beyond
our narrow window. We can't be afraid of going out to learn
about the way others looking at these problems. We will get
nowhere by cutting ourselves off. Turkey must have relevant
policies for global problems. We can defend our interests
only if we have something to say on global issues and can
participate sensibly in the transatlantic debate. This fact
becomes clearer when you see these issues from Washington's
point of view."
"Analyzing the US"
Mehmet Ali Kislali commented in the liberal-intellectual
"Radikal" (3/11): "Some of my American friends who know
Turkey well objected strongly to my comment that `the US has
started a campaign against Turkey'. They object because
they are unaware of developments in Turkey. Former Foreign
Ministry undersecretary and NATO Ambassador Onur Oymen
evaluated the situation in this way: `if you read the
Pollock article, the Feith remarks, and Rubin's article, you
can start to see that the US has started a campaign against
Turkey through the public. Don't we all know who is passing
the information to these journalists and authors? An
American journalist stays in Turkey for two days and writes
details about Turkey in his column that none of us are aware
of. That means that a US official has given him all this
information. The US is stressing that the military in
Turkey should not interfere in politics while at the same
time criticizing the Turkish military for not supporting the
March 1 resolution. Another issue Turkey finds odd is that
the US characterizes Turkey as a `moderate Islamic country'
when Turkey has been a secular country for the last 80
years. Also, the US claims that the Patriarch is ecumenical
and invites people to a dinner party given in his honor.
The US is following developments closely in Ankara and other
parts of Turkey through its huge staff. But even with this
large number of experts, it is not possible for them to see
their mistakes.' Onur Oymen stresses that Turkey holds many
valuable cards and, because of its strategic location, is a
very powerful country and a regional power. Oymen notes
that the important thing is not only to hold valuable cards
in your hand but to know when and where to use them.
Turkish diplomats say that in democracies nothing is given
without receiving something in return. These same diplomats
remind us that the US, during the last few years, has made
continuous demands from turkey without giving anything in

"What is the Crime of the Turkish Media?"
Fatih Altayli writes in the mainstream daily "Hurriyet"
(3/11): "The Prime Minister has now accused the media of
`espionage,' charging that the media has brought to Turkish
television screens the scenes of police beating up
demonstrators in Istanbul last week while ignoring similar
incidents in Europe. But the Prime Minister is obviously
misinformed. The other day on `Kanal D,' for example, we
reported that `what was done is wrong, but the Europeans
have made similar mistakes.' We also gave specific examples
from events in Italy, Ireland, France, and Sweden. We
showed scenes in which Italian police shot and killed a
demonstrator and then a police car ran over his body. I
wrote about the same thing in my column the other day. To
correct a mistake, the nature of the mistake must first be
shown to the public. Since the Prime Minister has accepted
that the police behavior was wrong, he shouldn't be bothered
when it is reported on television. Tayyip Erdogan has
received a great deal of praise for his efforts to make
Turkey an open and democratic society. I wonder if the
Prime Minister now regrets those efforts? He has leveled a
number of charges against the press in recent days. I know
from experience that when politicians start blaming the
press, it means they have started to lose their confidence.
If this is what is happening to Prime Minister Erdogan, it
has started to happen rather early."


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