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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.

061404Z May 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 002645

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
FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2005


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

MASS APPEAL
Kennedy Presses Papadopoulos on Annan Plan - Hurriyet
PKK Suicide Bomber Caught in Diyarbakir - Milliyet
Hamas Gets 30 Percent of Vote in Gaza Polls - Sabah
UN Unanimously Confirms Dervis to Head UNDP - Aksam
Election Victory a Birthday Gift for Blair - Milliyet
Vietnamese PM Due in US on First Official Visit - Sabah

OPINION MAKERS
Papadopoulos: Turkish Troop Pullout a Prerequisite on Cyprus
- Birgun
Papadopoulos Says Settlement in Cyprus Unlikely Before
October 3 - Yeni Safak
Insurgent Attacks Target Security Forces in Baghdad -
Cumhuriyet
Bulgaria to Pull Out of Iraq Late This Year - Cumhuriyet
Another Turkish Truck Driver Killed in Iraq - Radikal
400 Muslim Brotherhood Members Detained in Egypt - Zaman
Britain Decides to Continue With Blair - Cumhuriyet
Mysterious Blast at UK Consulate in New York - Cumhuriyet
Pentagon Expert Blamed for Leaking to Israel Information -
Zaman


BRIEFING

Erdogan's Upcoming Visit to US: Mass appeal "Hurriyet"
reports from Washington that Prime Minister Erdogan's recent
visit to Israel has enabled the White House to give a `green
light' for a meeting with President Bush during his upcoming
trip to the United States. An unidentified high-level US
official in Washington said that Erdogan will arrive there
in late May. `Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to Israel, and
his recent speech defending US-Turkish ties have been good
developments,' the US official said. The official noted
that the Turkish government's decision on expanded US access
to Incirlik Airbase did not fully meet the American request,
but would still be helpful in making the military operation
run more smoothly. Leftist-nationalist "Cumhuriyet"
reports that President Bush has not yet responded to
Erdogan's request for a meeting which, "Cumhuriyet"
believes, is an indication of the `chilliness' in relations
between the two countries. The paper reports that the
Turkish prime ministry has in mind June 26-30 for Erdogan's
call on President Bush.

DAS Kennedy Visits Cyprus: Deputy Assistant Secretary of
State Laura Kennedy, during a stop in Nicosia as part of her
current tour of the region, encouraged both sides in Cyprus
to take forward steps for restarting the UN-backed peace
talks. Kennedy urged the Greek Cypriot Administration to
submit to the UN its proposed changes to the Annan Plan so
that the talks can be resumed. She expressed US readiness
to facilitate an agreement, but stressed that the initiative
will have to come from the Cypriots themselves rather than
from outsiders. Kennedy is to meet on Friday with Turkish
Cypriot `president' Mehmet Ali Talat in the north of the
divided island.

Erdogan-Kocharian to Meet in Warsaw: Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul said that Prime Minister Erdogan may meet with
Armenian President Kocharian at the upcoming Council of
Europe meetings in Warsaw. Erdogan is willing to meet
Kocharian in Warsaw in an effort to show European leaders
that he is ready for dialogue with Armenia, "Cumhuriyet"
comments. "Vatan" expects Azerbaijani President Ilham
Aliyev to join Erdogan and Kocharian in Warsaw.

Gul Visits Bishkek: Accompanied by lawmakers, businessmen
and journalists, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul arrived in
the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek Thursday for official
meetings. The first batch of humanitarian aid brought by
the delegation contains 380,000 USD worth of medicines. The
Turkish delegation brought to Bishkek 2.5s ton of medical
supplies and humanitarian aid worth 380,000 USD. Turkey is
also planning to send doctors and military experts, reports
claim. Gul is to meet with Kyrgyz acting President and
Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev and other officials on
Friday.

Turkish-Arab Economic Forum: Syrian Minister for Economy
and Trade Amir Husni Lutfi said on Thursday that there are
many opportunities for Turkish businessmen to invest in
Syria. Lutfi, in Istanbul to attend the Turkish-Arab
Economy Forum, voiced Damascus' willingness to join
international platforms and speed up economic reforms. He
said Turkey's membership to the European Union would be in
the interests of the Arabs as well. Turkish State Minister
Kursat Tuzmen told the forum that Turkey had the potential
to attract some 10 billion USD in Arab capital annually.
Tuzmen noted that Turkey has 20 billion USD in annual trade
with Arab coutnries, a figure that is expected to rise to 25
billion USD in 2005. Tuzmen said he expects the number of
multinational companies investing in Turkey to increase.

Erdogan Addresses Forum Istanbul 2005: Prime Minister
Erdogan told `Forum Istanbul 2005' meetings in Istanbul that
Europe can overcome the difficulties it faces in global
competition by admitting Turkey into the European bloc. He
said that by 2023, Turkey will be a global power extending
its influence from Europe to Afghanistan and the Middle
East. Erdogan added that Turkey, as a member of European
Union, will set balances in the region. The PM claimed that
Turkey has drawn 45 billion USD in investment through the
end of 2004. He also noted that Microsoft's Bill Gates will
help Turkey in building a `Silicon valley.'

UN Confirms Dervis for UNDP Post: The UN General Assembly
on Thursday confirmed by unanimous vote former Turkish
finance minister Kemal Dervis as the new head of the UN
Development Program (UNDP). Dervis is expected to assume
office on August 15. Dervis is the first UNDP chief to come
from a nation that receives UN development aid.

Police Detain Alleged PKK Bomber: Turkish police
apprehended a woman suicide bomber with alleged ties to the
outlawed PKK in Turkey's mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir,
papers report. The woman was allegedly preparing for an
attack against police headquarters in Diyarbakir with 1.5 kg
of C-4 plastic explosives wrapped around her waist. The
explosive device was to be detonated using a mobile
telephone. In April, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks -- a group
thought to be affiliated with the PKK -- claimed
responsibility for a bomb blast in Turkey's western seaside
resort of Kusadasi that killed one policeman injured several
others.

Another Turkish Truck Driver Killed in Iraq: A Turkish
truck driver, Salih Gulbol, was killed on Thursday in an
armed attack near the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Gulbol, was
married with two children, was working for a Kuwaiti
transportation company in Iraq. The tabloid "Posta" reports
that Gulbol's killing brings the total number of Turkish
drivers and workers killed in Iraq to 90.

EDITORIAL OPINION:

"New Happenings on the Northern Front"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mainstream-opposition "Milliyet"
(5/6): "All hopes that a post-election Iraq would be more
stable and secure have been dispelled with the latest wave
of violence. It is very worrying to see these incidents
spreading more widely, including into Northern Iraq. The
bloody activities of the Army of the Ansar-al-Sunni
militants, who are closely connected to Al-Qaeda, is proof
that the insurgents have opened a `second front' in the
North. The motivation behind this move was laid out by an
announcement by Ansar claiming that `the Kurds bowed down to
the Crusaders and fought against Islam together with the
Americans.' Although the new government in Iraq looks like
a coalition with 37 members, in fact real power is in the
hands of the Shiites and the Kurds. Unfortunately, the
political situation in Iraq is characaterized by chaos, and
the militants are taking advantage of this. The growing
violence in Northern Iraq is a big concern for Turkey as
well. The Turkish Foreign Ministry's harsh condemnation of
the Erbil bombing reflects this concern. It is a very
dangerous sign that the violence is spreading northward."

"Renewing Ties With Israel"
Erdal Guven commented in the liberal-intellectual "Radikal"
(5/6): "PM Erdogan's visit to Israel brought to an end the
corrosion in the Turkish-Israeli strategic relationship. If
only for this reason, the visit carries great importance.
There are many beneficial results of the visit, but the most
important one is that Turkey has reestablished stability in
its Middle East policy. The needle on the compass been
pulled back to the center, and away from the Iran-Syria
angle. The history of the last 20 years in the Middle East
shows that Turkey can best defend its national interests by
keeping plenty of room for maneuver in a complex region.
This is only possible with stable and rational policies."

"What Will Change if Ocalan is Retried?"
Fatih Altayli observed in the mass appeal "Hurriyet" (5/6):
"There has already been so much reaction to the possibility
of a retrial of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. The MHP in
particular have raised the alarm about a possible European
Human Rights Court decision in the case. But when Ocalan
was sentenced to the death penalty, it was the same MHP
(then in the ruling coaltion) that blocked the
implementation of a capital sentence. The European Court
would not be singling out Turkey if this is its decision.
The court also demanded, for example, that the French retry
the famous terrorist Carlos `the Jackal.' Retrying Ocalan
doesn't mean he will be freed. If it becomes necessary,
Ocalan could be retried and sentenced to his appropriate
punishment. The whole issue would then be behind us for
good. If certain circles ever ask for more on the issue,
then the Turkish Government would be well within its rights
to tell them to `get lost.' Presenting Ocalan's retrial as
tantamount to freeing him, and trying to use such cheap
policies to score political points will not be to Turkey's
benefit."


EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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