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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, APRIL 15, 2005


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

Sezer: I Stressed to Syria the Need for Lebanon Pullout -
Chirac Launches a `Yes' Campaign for EU Constitution -
Chirac: We Cannot Exclude Turkey From the EU - Sabah
The Guardian: Ottomans' Legacy Will Make Europe `Sick' -
Twin Attacks in Iraq: 18 Killed, 36 Injured - Sabah
Sharon: International Community Should Deal With Iran's
Nuclear Program - Milliyet
21 PKK Members Killed in Southeast Turkey - Milliyet

Sezer: My Syria Visit a Contribution to Peace - Radikal
Rubin's Analysis of US-Turkey Ties: A Comedy of Errors -
`Hawkish' Rubin Slams US After AK Party - Zaman
Rubin: Barzani Provides Passive Support to PKK - Yeni Safak
The Guardian: Europe to Become a `Sick Man' if Balkan
Countries Join EU - Cumhuriyet
3 Suicide Attacks in a Day in Iraq: 22 Killed
Wolfensohn US, EU, Russia and UN's Palestine Envoy - Radikal
Rumsfeld Discusses With Bishkek Future of US Bases in
Kyrgyzstan - Zaman
US Protects `Cuba's Bin-Ladin' Carilles - Radikal

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President Sezer Returns From Syria: Turkish President Ahmet
Necdet Sezer said on Thursday he had urged Syria to pull all
its forces out of Lebanon during a state visit he made to
Damascus. `We stressed the importance of pulling back
Syria's soldiers from Lebanon under UN Security Council
resolutions,' Sezer told a news conference on his return to
Ankara. `I'm pleased that Syria declared political will on
this issue,' he said. Sezer said that he was given
exceptional hospitality by President Assad and Prime
Minister Otri during his stay in Damascus. According to
Sezer, relations between Turkey and Syria are promising
despite some rough times in the recent past. `We are very
happy to see that the business communities of both nations
are interacting very firmly. Our ties with Syria will
contribute to regional peace and stability,' Sezer noted.
Turkish papers report State Department Spokesman Boucher as
commenting on the visit: `Anybody who's talking to Syria
about how it could play a more harmonious role in the region
brings the right message,' Boucher said, adding: `The
question is not the message. The question is how it's
received and how it's acted on.'

US Invites Muslim Groups to `Political Cooperation':
Islamist-oriented "Yeni Safak" gives extensive coverage to
the `US-Muslim World Forum' held in Doha, Qatar on April 10-
13. Some 200 participants discussed issues like ties
between the US and Middle East and the Islamic world,
elections in Palestine, regional security, human rights and
media at the forum. The forum witnessed calls for dialogue
and positive attitudes, and international media reports
mostly focused on the dialogue attempts by the United States
with Islamists, "Yeni Safak" comments. US officials have no
objection to participation of radical organizations like
Hamas and Hizbullah in the reform process in the Middle East
as long as they `play by the rules,' which means compliance
to democratic and legal procedures, says the report. "Yeni
Safak" cites Richard Holbrooke, Martin Indyk, James Rubin,
and Scott Carpenter among other participants to the

Students Protest US Anti-Terror Speaker Pratt: Nick Pratt,
the director of Program on Terrorism and Security at the
College of International and Security Studies at the George
C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany,
was protested by students during a presentation yesterday at
Kocaeli University in Turkey's Kocaeli province. Pratt, in
Istanbul for a public affairs program on anti-terrorism held
by the US Istanbul Consulate, was stopped by students who
threw eggs and shouted slogans during his presentation on
terrorism. The university and security guards took Pratt to
safety, papers report.

Erdogan Proposes Yerevan to Form Working Group on
`Genocide': In a letter to Armenian President Robert
Kocharian, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described the 1915
events between Armenians and Ottoman Turks as `painful
memories,' reports "Milliyet." `Turkish and Armenian
peoples have not only shared a common history and geography
in a sensitive part of the world but they also lived
together for many years,' said the letter. Erdogan invited
Yerevan to form a group of historians and specialists from
both countries to investigate the developments in 1915 in
the archives of Turkey, Armenia and third countries, and to
report their findings to the international community. The
letter was sent to Kocharian via Tbilisi, Georgia due to
lack of diplomatic relations between Ankara and Yerevan,
says the report.

Bill on Return of Non-Muslim Minorities' Properties: The
state foundations directorate has drawn up a bill expanding
the grounds for returning non-Muslim minorities' properties
sold or seized by state, "Radikal" reports on its front
page. The EU and Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)
find the bill as a good-intentioned attempt but
`insufficient,' according to the report. EU and minority
groups in Turkey expect reparation fees to be paid for
properties sold to third parties, says "Radikal."

Turkish Troops Kill 20 PKK Members: Turkish security forces
killed some 20 PKK militants in a clash in southeast Turkey,
and three soldiers died in the fighting on Thursday, papers
report. Three security forces and a village guard died in
the firefight which took place in Sirnak and Siirt provinces
in southeastern Turkey.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Turkish President to Syria

"Sezer, Syria and the US"
Mehmet Ali Kislali argued in the liberal-intellectual
Radikal (4/15): "The US is an important country for
Turkey's international relations. Yet it is similarly
important for Turkey to evaluate the foreign policy
considerations of its other relationships, especially the
ones that are important for Turkey. Sezer's visit to
Damascus is an indication of this policy. The US openly
opposed to this visit, but the visit was in Turkey's
interest. Syria currently pursues a friendly policy toward
Turkey, and stands against the PKK. The welcoming
ceremonies held for the Turkish president were symbolic but
significantly nice. Turkey gained prestige with this

"The Damascus Trip"
Zafer Atay commented in the economic-politic Dunya (4/15):
"Ambassador Edelman went beyond his diplomatic capacity by
asking Sezer not to go to Syria. The visit of President
Sezer to Damascus has given the final answer in the debate.
. On the other hand, Syria does not have a clean record.
The comforting thing is that President Assad does not seem
to be defying the international community. Syria has
already started a pull out from Lebanon. As for the Hariri
assassination, the Syrian involvement is only matter of
speculation because there is no hard proof yet. And Turkey
should not be expected to shape its policy with other
countries based on `maybe' kind of arguments. The visit of
President Sezer provided an opportunity for Turkey, a member
of NATO as well as of the Islamic Conference Organization,
to express the international community's concerns directly
to the Syrian regime."

"After Syria"
Ahmet Tasgetiren argued in the Islamist Yeni Safak (4/15):
"The argument about Turkey needing to be flexible and adapt
itself to American policy does not make any sense. The
defenders of this argument believe that it is a must due to
realpolitik, and they also imply some consequences if Turkey
does not comply. . Since we don't have an `export of
regime' type of crisis with Iran to Turkey and the issue of
Syrian support for the PKK is over, this is the proper time
for Turkey to establish a warm relationship with its
neighbors. In this atmosphere, both Iran and Syria are
labeled as the axis of evil by the US, and they are the
most likely the targets of a US operation to reorganize the
Middle East. . Turkey should realize that redesigning Syria
and Iran is only a part of the big plan which will include
Turkey eventually."


© Scoop Media

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