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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.

091450Z May 05




E.O. 12958: N/A
MONDAY, MAY 9, 2005


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

Bush, Putin Discuss Middle East - Turkiye
Putin Calls for Unity of NIS - Aksam
Iraqi Parliament Approves 6 Cabinet Ministers - Milliyet
Suicide Attack in Baghdad: 22 Killed - Milliyet 5/8
Blair Under Pressure to Resign - Sabah
British Press Believes Blair Should Quit - Milliyet 5/8

`Cold War' Winds Between Bush, Putin - Cumhuriyet
Schroeder Apologizes to Russians for Nazi Atrocities - Zaman
Duel Between Bush, Putin - Radikal 5/8
Moscow Uneasy With Bush Visit to Latvia - Yeni Safak 5/8
`TRNC' Government Receives Vote of Confidence - Cumhuriyet
Iran to Continue Uranium Enrichment Program - Yeni Safak
Bush Decides to Extend Syria Sanctions for a Year - Yeni
Safak 5/7
Muslim Brotherhood Leader Arrested in Egypt - Yeni Safak 5/7
Afghanistan Discusses Permanent US Bases - Yeni Safak 5/8
De Soto New UN Envoy for Middle East - Zaman 5/8

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Washington Ponders Appointing Jewish Ambassador to Turkey:
Monday's "Sabah" speculates on its front page that there are
three contenders to replace Eric Edelman as the new US
ambassador in Ankara: Former US Ambassador to Moscow
Alexander Vershbow, former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Ross
L. Wilson, and Assistant Secretary of State Anthony Wayne.
The report expects the new US ambassador to arrive in Turkey
some time this fall. There are concerns that the
appointment of a Jewish envoy to Ankara could subject the
new ambassador to anti-Semitism in Turkey, according to the
report. Unidentified US sources in Washington told "Sabah"
that if the post is not given to a Jew, it could be
perceived as a victory for anti-Semitism.

The Incirlik Decree: Saturday's "Cumhuriyet" publishes what
it claims to be the `secret decree' issued by the Turkish
government to allow the United States to establish a
logistical cargo hub at Incirlik Airbase. The decree no.
2005/8712, adopted by the councli of ministers on April 18
but not published in the Official Gazette, permits `friendly
and allied countries' to use some military bases, ports, and
other facilities in Turkey for logistical purposes related
to Iraq, including the transportation of military material,
equipment, and personnel. The Turkish cabinet decision
providing the US with new rights at Incirlik has led to
speculation that the constitution has been violated,
according to "Cumhuriyet." The government argues that
parliamentary approval was not necessary, as the
authorization was granted in accordance with UN Security
Council resolutions. Article 92 of the Constitution,
however, stipulates that the presence of foreign military
forces in Turkey is permissible only if it is approved by
the parliament, "Cumhuriyet" claims.

DAS Kennedy Visits North Cyprus: Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State Laura Kennedy told a press conference on Friday
following her meeting Turkish Cypriot `president' Mehmet Ali
Talat in Lefkosa that the Turkish Cypriots had openly
displayed the will for a solution, and said she hoped that
the UN Secretary General would continue his good will
mission and resume negotiations. Kennedy said that the
United States would continue to take steps to ease the
international isolation of Turkish Cypriots and eliminate
the economic inequality between the two sides of the island.
Kennedy expressed the belief that this would speed up
efforts for reunification. Talat said Kennedy came to
Cyprus to see the actual situation and hear what the sides
are thinking. Talat expressed belief that the United States
would launch concrete initiatives as soon as possible. He
added that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is thinking of
sending an envoy to the island. Talat urged the resumption
of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations.
Kennedy later met `TRNC Prime Minister' Ferdi Sabit Soyer.

Erdogan to Join COE Summit in Warsaw: Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan will attend the Council of Europe (COE) Heads of
State and Government Summit in Warsaw on May 16-17. The
summit is to discuss terrorism, organized crime, human
trafficking, the protection of minorities, money laundering,
the free movement of people, and migration and refugee
issues. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said Prime Minister
Erdogan may meet Armenian President Kocharian at the summit.

ECHR to Decide on Ocalan Retrial: The Turkish Foreign
Ministry (MFA) has advised the government to act quickly to
enact the necessary law to allow a possible retrial of
imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, saying that any delay
could harm Ankara's European Union bid, Monday's "Radikal"
reports. On May 12, the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR) is expected to rule on a retrial of Ocalan. Justice
Minister Cemil Cicek said that Ocalan can easily be retried
if the ECHR rules that he should be, but he called on the
media to treat the issue calmly and on the people to act
with common sense.

Greek Vessel Docks at Turkish Cypriot Port: A Greek cargo
vessel, "Etzian San," docked at the closed Magosa
(Famagusta) port in Turkish Cyprus to empty cargo it carried
from Britain, "Zaman" reports, based on an article in the
Greek daily "Alithia." "Alithia" said the incident was a
blow to Nicosia's efforts to block direct trade with
`occupied zones' in the north. `The problem that was
expected to be caused by US or British ships has instead
been caused by a Greek ship,' the Greek paper reported. The
ship's captain said that he had been misguided into the
northern Cypriot port.

Iran Approves Mobile Phone Deal With Turkcell: Iran
approved a $3 billion contract to operate the country's
second private mobile phone license awarded last year to a
consortium led by Turkey's GSM operator Turkcell, papers
report. The deal is the largest outside the oil and gas
sector since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. The
Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) reportedly said the
deal will be signed between the Iranian government and the
consortium next month after all legal procedures have been
finalized. Turkcell had earlier said it would decide
whether to continue with the deal once the final contract
had been approved by the Iranian parliament.

Rally Protests US Troop Presence in Incirlik Airbase: A
group of university students and leftist parties rallied
over the weekend in Turkey's southern province of Adana to
protest against the US military presence in Turkey. The
group called for the expulsion of US troops from Incirlik
Airbase. Police took security measures around the US
Consulate in Adana, but no significant incidents took place.

42,000 Children Live on the Streets in Turkey: Government
figures show that some 42,000 children are living on
Turkey's streets or being employed in child labor, an
increase of 9,000 in just one year, "Cumhuriyet" reports.
37 percent of these children are from Turkey's eastern and
southeastern provinces. 42 percent of the street children
have had no education, and 52 percent use drugs, according
to the report.


"President Bush's Self-Defined Mission"
Yasemin Congar wrote in the mainstream "Milliyet" (5/9):
"President Bush's trip to Europe has given certain
indications about his foreign policy priorities as well as
the diplomatic style we can expect during his second term.
During his first term, Bush focused primarily on the fight
against terrorism in the post-9/11 atmosphere, using this
issue as a main justification for toppling Saddam Hussein.
In the second term, Bush is seemingly broadening the concept
of the struggle against terror. Both the war on and the
administration's Iraq policy are combined with a mission to
expand freedom. .. This priority can be seen in almost
every foreign policy statement or remark by President Bush.
He highlights that `freedom is the natural right of all
people,' and urges `support for democratization instead of
appeasement for the sake of stability.' . President Bush's
recent speech in Riga contains both the essence of his self-
defined mission for freedom and the US expectation from its
allies on this issue."

"Have We Taken The Lessons from World War II?"
Yasin Dogan wrote in the Islamist-opinion maker "Yeni Safak"
(5/9): "The anniversary of the end of WWII should remind us
that this was one of the worst disasters of humanity, and
that it resulted from an imperialist policy. The US used
atomic bombs against Japan, another indication of the
horrifying aspects of imperialism. . WWII also marked the
end of fascism, the force that had turned both Germany and
Italy into war machines. The primary actors in World War II
distorted the notion of civilization, and neither side
showed respect for humanistic concepts. . With the end of
WWII, humanity took this lesson to heart by establishing the
United Nations and drawing up the International Declaration
of Human Rights. Yet today, the world has drifted far from
this spirit. World politics is moving toward the formation
of a world system based on the interests of superpowers.
Despite the commemorations of the tragedy of WWII, it seems
that little effort is being made to prevent such events from
happening again."

"Elections in the United Kingdom"
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in the conservative "Turkiye" (5/9):
"Britain has always been considered as the center of
democracy in the world. This is the first time in the
country's history that the Labor Party has won elections for
the third time in a row under the same leader. Eight years
of Labour rule has naturally caused some Britons to become
weary of the current government. That should be considered
as the main reason for the decreased number of Labour votes
and seats in the House of Commons. The result shows that
despite all the problems, the public in Britain supports the
US in its initiative on the Broader Middle East and Northern
Africa. The voters decided that the US project is also in
the British national interest. This project can be seen as
an effort to secure the energy resources of the 21st
century. This is a first-come-first-served initiative that
will benefit those who support it by improving the national
industry and the prosperity of its people."


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