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


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

Kennedy: No Date Set for Bush-Erdogan Meeting - Sabah
Schroeder Urges Turkey to Continue EU Reforms - Aksam
Erdogan Gives Schroeder a Warm Welcome - Hurriyet
Rubin: US, Turkey Will Lose if Ties Deteriorate Further -
Iraqi Government Sworn In - Milliyet
Bair Running to Third Victory in British Elections - Vatan

Kennedy Issues Messages on Cyprus, Armenia - Radikal
Kennedy: Turkey, Armenia Can Find `Middle Way' - Cumhuriyet
Blair, Through With Iraq `Ordeal,' Close to Election Victory
- Zaman
Belusconi Changed Report Blaming US for Killing of Italian
Agent - Zaman
North Korea: Bush the Father of State Terror - Yeni Safak
Fundamentalist Jews Call for Prayers for Sharon's Death -
Yeni Safak
US F-18 Hornet Crashes in Iraq, Pilot Killed - Cumhuriyet
Lyndie England Admits Abu-Ghraib Torture - Radikal
Radical Clergy to Set Up Islamist TV Channel in Afghanistan
- Radikal


DAS Kennedy Visits Ankara: US Deputy Assistant Secretary
for European and Eurasian Affairs Laura Kennedy, referring
to the proposal by PM Erdogan for a joint committee of
historians to examine genocide claims and President
Kocaryan's call for intergovernmental dialogue, said that
`these proposals are not antithetical to one another and
could be reconciled.' `The two sides could find a middle
way,' she added. `Why couldn't both proposals be
implemented at the same time?' The Cyprus and Armenian
issues were taken up during Kennedy's visit to Ankara, which
included meetings at the Foreign Ministry, a discussion with
NSC Chairman Yigit Alpogan, and a roundtable with
parliamentarians. Following her meetings in Ankara, Kennedy
gave the following statements to journalists (as reported by
leftist-nationalist "Cumhuriyet"):

On Armenia: "We see Prime Minister Erdogan's proposal as
positive, and we support it. Recent developments give us
some hope. We hope that an agreement can be reached on
these proposals. Nobody in Armenia has territorial claims
on Turkey. I have asked this during my meetings in Armenia.
Foreign Minister Oksanyan has said that Armenia recognizes
the Kars Treaty. There are important efforts underway on
the Nagorno-Karabakh issue."

On Cyprus: "In order to start a new process to resolve the
Cyprus issue, the Secretary General has called on the sides
to submit their objections to the Annan Plan. There has
been no response from the Greek Cypriot Government. The
ball is in the Greek Cypriots court. We are also calling on
Papadopulos to submit his views. We are doing all we can to
ease the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. We have
approved $30.5 million in assistance. We have efforts
underway to develop trade and the economy. On direct
flights to Ercan Airport, we are still in the decision-
making process."

On Incirlik: "We are very pleased by the decision to allow
Incirlik to be used as a logistics cargo hub. We appreciate
Turkey's support in the Global War on terrorism, including
taking over the command of ISAF in Afghanistan."

On a Possible Erdogan Meeting with President Bush: "We view
Prime Minister Erdogan's recent statement on US-Turkish
relations as positive. There may be ups and downs in US-
Turkish relations, but the relationship will survive. As
far as I know, we still do not have a date for a meeting
between the Prime Minister and President Bush."

Erdogan Evaluates Visit to Israel, Palestine: Speaking to
ruling AK Party lawmakers yesterday, Prime Minister Erdogan
said that his recent visit to Israel and Palestine had been
necessitated by national, humanitarian, and regional
obligations, and not because `others' wanted it. Erdogan
weas responding to criticism that his visit to Israel was
motivated by his desire to get an appointment with President
Bush when he travels to Washington in the coming weeks.
Erdogan said that during his visit to the region, Palestine
seemed like an `open prison.' `Palestine should not be left
like that,' Erdogan noted, adding that Turkey should
encourage both parties to pursue peace and exert maximum
effort at the UN and with related countries to that end.

Erdogan to Visit US in Second Half of June: Ruling AK Party
sources denied reports that President Bush will decline to
meet Prime Minister Erdogan during his upcoming visit to the
United States. The sources told Turkey's private all-news
channel NTV on Tuesday that Erdogan's visit to the US will
take place in the second half of June. The sources claimed
that President Bush told Erdogan at the funeral service held
for the late Pontiff John Paul II that Erdogan's visit had
been put on the program at the White House.

Iraqi Military Officials Meet With PKK: Mass-appeal
"Hurriyet" cites the northern Iraq Kurdistan Democratic
Party (KDP) official website "Peyamner" as reporting that
Iraqi military officials met with PKK militants in the
Kandil Mountain to discuss issues related to border
security. The same report also cites the "Media" daily in
Erbil as claiming that an Iraqi military delegation met with
PKK representative Ali Haydar Kaytan on April 29.

Columnist Warns Against PKK Attacks in Cities: "Hurriyet"
columnist Fatih Altayli warned for the second consecutive
day that PKK militants have smuggled significant amounts of
C-4 explosives into Turkish cities and tourist areas and are
planning attacks there during the tourist season. Altayli
claimed that a bomb made from C-4 and placed under a bridge
across the Golden Horn in Istanbul last week was part of the
PKK effort (responsibility for the Istanbul bomb was claimed
by the "Kurdish Liberation Hawks").

US Troops Block Turkmen Humanitarian Aid from Entering Tal
Afar: Islamist-oriented "Yeni Safak" reports that Iraqi
Turkmen Front (ITF) leader Faruk Abdullah Abdurrahman and
his delegation were denied access to Tal Afar by US troops
and Iraqi and Kurdish guards in the northern Iraqi town
after a car bomb attack which claimed 40 lives at the
funeral of a Kurdish politician. Abdurrahman was reportedly
taking humanitarian aid to Tal Afar. The Iraqi police
questioned Abdurrahman and his men for three hours in Mosul,
according to the report. The report claims that `confusion
has reigned' in Tal Afar for the past three days.

Schroeder in Turkey: Accompanied by 600 businessmen, German
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder arrived in Ankara Tuesday
evening on a state visit. On arrival, Schroeder voiced
support for Turkey with regard to the EU, Cyprus, and
Armenia issues. At a dinner last night with Prime Minister
Erdogan, Schroeder said he welcomed the PM's initiative to
form a joint committee of historians to study Armenian
`genocide' claims. The Chancellor also urged Erdogan to
sign the EU accession protocol before October 3. The PM
reportedly said that `Turkey has done all it can for EU
membership. Now it's your turn.' The German Chancellor is
to meet President Sezer and the Prime Minister again on
Wednesday before moving on to Istanbul later in the day,
where he will pay a visit to the Greek Orthodox
Patriarchate. "Cumhuriyet" notes that the term `ecumenical'
is used in Schroeder's program to refer to Patriarch
Bartolomew. German diplomatic sources told the paper that
by doing so, Schroeder displayed support for the
`ecumenical' title of the Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey.
They said the `ecumenical' reference was an effort to
underline the importance of protecting the rights of non-
Muslim minorities in Turkey.

DEHAP Officials Jailed in Bitlis for Kurdish Songs:
"Milliyet" reports that 7 leaders of the pro-Kurdish DEHAP's
provincial party board in the southeastern city of Bitlis
were sentenced to five months in prison for playing Kurdish
songs and chanting slogans at a May 2003 party conference.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Turkey-US Relations; Iraq

"What Did We Give Away at Incirlik?"
Kemal Yavuz commented in the sensational-mass appeal "Aksam"
(5/4): "On April 24, the Turkish government extended the
agreement on the US use of Incirlik air base for one more
year. According to US and Turkish officials, the US was
given new prerogatives along with the extension of the
agreement. What did we give at Incirlik? It is difficult
to say, as this decree was never published in the official
gazette. Although FM Gul said that `there is no secret
here' and assured us that `we have not given a blank check,'
the Turkish public will never know the details of the
decree. Former US Ambassador to Turkey Mark Parris recently
wrote an article in `Turkish Policy Quarterly' on Turkish-US
relations. In his column, Ambassador Parris said that `the
US is very much interested in the region around Turkey.
This US interest, naturally, is going to affect many of
Turkey's major interests. Moreover, Washington will realize
in time that it is much easier to do business with Turkey
than to try to do business by ignoring Turkey.' Ambassador
Parris added the following question to his comments: `If the
request for to use Incirlik as a logistics hub isn't proof
of this fact, then what else could it mean?' Isn't this an
interesting observation? The picture at Incirlik looks
quite different when viewed from this angle. There is one
other sensitive issue we should be careful about -- that
every single prerogative that is given to the US at Incirlik
will bring new responsibilities and new dangers to Turkey.
Diplomacy is supposed to be a give-and-take process. But we
have to make sure to take what we need in return for what we
give. If Turkey has given new prerogatives to the US at
Incirlik in return for the US not passing an `Armenian
genocide' resolution, then this can not be considered good

"Relations Between the AKP and the US"
Oral Calislar wrote in the leftist-nationalist "Cumhuriyet"
(5/4): "The AKP is caught between requests by the United
States (including the wider use of Incirlik Air Base) and
the views of Turkish society. More than 80 percent of the
people do not support US policies in the region. The AKP
needs to take this into account. The US wants to keep
Turkey on its side, but the AKP is not willing to take such
a position openly. It is caught between two fires. It is
being criticized by some for cooperating with the United
States and by others for damaging relations with the United
States. There are even those who warn that deterioriating
relations with the US could spell the end for this
government. This situation has no doubt played a role in
the growing tension and numerous provocative events we have
seen in recent days. Some believe that certain circles have
seen that the United States is upset with the AKP and have
therefore felt emboldened to oppose the AKP government more
directly. They are, in effect, narrowing the areas over
which the AKP has control. One group is saying: `see, we
told you to comply with US requests or else you would face a
crisis.' As a result, the AKP feels itself cornered by the
United States and forced to accept US views on certain
issues. The other dimension of the problem relates to the
European Union. Those in Turkey who have opposed Turkey's
membership in the EU and the process of democratization are
pleased by the tension between the US and the AKP. The
recent anti-EU statements by the AKP leadership have been
music to the ears of these people. The AKP is now trying to
improve its relations with the US. As part of this effort,
it is continuing to make statements that will be used by EU
opponents in Turkey. Some are saying that Turkey, as it
tries to get relations with the US back on track, is
distancing itself from the EU. It's hard to say how much of
this speculation is true. But we can say this much for
sure: the AKP's problems in dealing with the EU and the US
have been growing since December 17. Even if we accept that
some of the reasons for this are beyond the control of the
AKP, the lack of maturity shown by the party leadership in
dealing with these problems and their angry reactions have
only inflamed the situation. We are going through a
convoluted period."

"They Call Their Colony A Democracy"
Nuh Gonultas wrote in the conservative "Dunden Bugune
Tercuman" (5/4): "Elections have taken place in Iraq. Now
the Iraqi Security Forces are dealing with the insurgents
there, as US troops work to realize their plan to turn Iraq
into a US colony. While 85 percent of the population are
Arabs, Jelal Talabani - a Kurd -- was elected as the
President. This gives veto rights to the Kurds for all
kinds of laws and the constitution. Until the next
election, the elected Iraqi government will not be able to
do anything but carry out hundreds of orders given by the
United States. These hundreds of orders, originally
presented by Iraq's former governor Paul Bremer, will put
Iraqi infrastructure up for sale to US companies. The US
has not given give a date for a its withdrawal from Iraq.
The occupation of Iraq is no longer covered by the Western
media. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the
other day that US Ambassador to Afghanistan Khalilzad has
been assigned as the new Ambassador to Baghdad. Khalilzad
was an advisor to Wolfowitz, Cheney, and Perle. He had
proposed the occupation of Iraq in the 1990s for its oil
resources. Khalilzad became famous as a `colonial
Ambassador' in a very short period of time. Two years after
the occupation, Iraq has become a terrible place to live."


© Scoop Media

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