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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 001773

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
MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2005

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Washington Post: No Evidence Against Turkish Detainee in
Guantanamo - Sabah
Turk Kept in Guantanamo Not Guilty - Milliyet
Cheney's Daughter Organizes Syrian Opponents - Aksam
Palestine, Israeli Radios Play Peace Songs - Hurriyet 3/27
Kurdish Peshmerga Join Iraqi Army - Sabah
Bishkek a Ghost City - Milliyet 3/27
Akayev Under Putin's Protection - Aksam 3/27
Germans Want Berlin Wall Back - Milliyet
Annan, Depressed, May Resign - Hurriyet

OPINION MAKERS
Washinton Times: AKP Government Shifts to Nationalism -
Cumhuriyet
Washington Post: Turkish Detainee Kurnaz Not Guilty -
Cumhuriyet
Washington Post: Kurnaz Kept in Guantanamo for No Reason -
Zaman
Kurds, Shiites Agree on Peshmerga - Cumhuriyet
Torture in Iraq Wider Than Estimated - Yeni Safak
Allawi Warns Sistani to Stay Away From Politics - Zaman 3/27
US Administration Meets the Syrian Opposition - Radikal
Cheney's Daughter Meets Syrian Dissidents - Yeni Safak
Kyrgyzstan a Mess - Radikal 3/27
Tough Days Ahead for Kyrgyzstan - Yeni Safak
Chirac Shrugs Off US Warning, Reiterates Weapons Support for
Beijing - Zaman
Explosion in Afghanistan Kills 4 US Troops - Cumhuriyet 3/27


BRIEFING

Turkish Detainee Kept in Guantanamo For No Reason: Monday
papers give extensive coverage to a "Washington Post" story
reporting the conclusion reached by US and German
authorities that there was no evidence that linked Murat
Kurnaz, a Turkish German detained at Guantanamo Bay, to al-
Qaeda or other terrorist organizations. A US military
tribunal has determined that Kurnaz, seized in Pakistan in
2001, was a member of al-Qaeda and an enemy combatant.
Kurnaz has been detained at Guantanamo Bay since January
2002.

US General Jones in Istanbul: SACEUR General James L. Jones
arrived in Istanbul Sunday to join a conference at the War
Academy Monday, reports "Radikal" over the weekend. The
conference is closed to the press.

Study Shows Strong Prejudice Among Turks, Armenians:
According to an opinion poll conducted by Turkey's Economic
and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) and Armenia's
Sociological and Marketing Research Center (HASA) the people
of both countries have strongly negative opinions of the
other. Neither side knows about the political system of the
other, the study shows. 68 percent of Turks would not allow
their daughter to marry an Armenian, while 94 percent
Armenians say the same of Turks, says the study.

Shiite Leader Wants Sunnis in Iraqi Administration: Ammar
al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in
Iraq (SCIRI) said the council wants all sectors of society
to be represented in the new Iraqi government, weekend
papers report. Hakim, visiting Istanbul and Ankara for
talks last week, voiced the expectation that Sunnis will be
appointed to the posts of Speaker of Parliament and Vice
President.

Paper Claims Incirlik Airbase Prepared for Attacks Against
Iran, Syria: "Milli Gazete," mouthpiece of veteran Islamist
leader Necmettin Erbakan's Felicity Party (SP), publishes a
front-page report Saturday which quotes Recai Kutan, acting
chairman of the SP, as saying that a new $30 million
investment is being made in Incirlik Air Base as part of a
plan to carry out operations against Iran and Syria.

Syrians' `Black Money' in Turkey: "Yeni Safak" cites the
Kuwaiti daily "as-Siyasa" as reporting that leading names in
the Syrian army and intelligence units may have transferred
their money in Lebanese banks to Turkey. Fearing a collapse
of banks in Lebanon, Syrians have drawn $400 million from
Lebanese banks, says the report.

Ankara Agrees to Include Cyprus in EU Agreement: A
protocol, which will include Cyprus in Turkey's Customs
Union agreement with the EU, was sent to Ankara on Friday,
weekend papers report. Diplomatic sources said Ankara will
inform Brussels early this week that it has accepted the
final draft.

`TRNC's Talat Invites Greek Cypriots for Renewed Cyprus
Talks: Turkish Cypriot `prime minister' Mehmet Ali Talat
welcomed Greek FM Molyviatis's proposal for a solution to
the Cyprus problem through changes to the Annan Plan. `This
is a very positive development,' Talat said to a private
news channel last weekend, and called for international
pressure to convince the Greek Cypriots to the come to the
negotiating table. Talat voiced belief that he will win the
April 17 presidential elections in north Cyprus, adding that
his goal is to put an end to the old status quo.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Kyrgyzstan; US-Turkey Relations

"Hot Times in Central Asia"
Zafer Atay wrote in the economic-political "Dunya" (3/28):
"Being a neighbor of Iran, Afghanistan and Iran puts
Kyrgyzstan in a strategically very important location.
Akayev's leadership created a working balance between the
world powers surrounding the country, which has both an
American and a Russian military base. It was important that
security forces, just like in Georgia and Ukraine, did not
intervene in the street demonstrations in Kyrgyzstan.
Akayev did not use the option of asking Russia's help to
stop the incidents. Whether Russia would have been
responsive to such a request, had it occurred, is another
question. Given the current circumstances, it is very hard
to predict whether Kyrgyzstan will end up as a democracy.
Looting still overshadows efforts for normalization.
Everything seems to depend on the common sense of the Kyrgyz
leaders. Without that, the so-called `tulip revolution'
could get completely out of hand."

"Democracy in the Central Asia"
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in the conservative "Turkiye"
(3/28): "The countries that freed themselves from USSR's
merciless clutches now exert every effort to avoid falling
into a similar hell ever again. They tend to declare their
commitment to NATO or the EU openly. Those that haven't
reached that level yet are running to the streets in order
to bury their dilapidated regimes in the dirtiest pages of
history. That is what happened previously in Georgia and
Ukraine. Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan opened themselves by
presenting the US broad privileges and military bases in
their territory. Kyrgyzstan, the poorest among the Turkic
Republics, failed to adopt itself to the modern world in a
timely fashion. Moreover, it exerted efforts in order to
get closer to Beijing and Moscow. Democracy is a fire that
burns the ones who defy it, and now the people of Kyrgyzstan
have started to move in that direction."

"The US, the EU and the AKP"
Yasemin Congar wrote in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (3/28):
"It looks as if the ruling AKP has come up with several
steps to create closer bilateral relations with Washington.
Those steps include the Prime Minister's visit to Israel,
permission for the US to use Incirlik airbase on a
relatively flexible basis and Turkey's support for
democratization in the region. While these are fine steps
that will please Washington, a meaningful relationship with
the Bush administration requires a policy with real vision,
as opposed to measures to merely `save the day.' In this
regard, the words and the deeds of the AKP regarding its
long term policy interests vis--vis the West and the region
are the most important thing. . The current situation poses
some critical questions. Will the AKP government sincerely
embrace the democratization movement in the region? Will
the AKP realize that such a movement fully serves Turkey's
interests in the long run? Apart from high-level Turkish
visits to Israel to keep Washington content, will the AKP be
able to eliminate question marks in its Israel policy and
make it clear whether or not Ankara considers Israel a
terrorist state? Most important of all, will the AKP be
able to see that the US and the EU are not alternates to one
other. A determined stance by the AKP on the EU process
will directly and very positively effect Turkey's
relationship with the US."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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