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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.

051352Z Jul 05




E.O. 12958: N/A


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

Bush: US Interests Come First - Milliyet
Turkmen Rally for Rights in Kirkuk - Turkiye
`Skinheads' From Europe to Gather in Greece Against Turkey -
Spain Begins Talks With Separatist ETA - Sabah
Boston Globe: 2005 the Bloodiest Year for US - Aksam 7/4
Suicide Attack Kills 17 in Baghdad - Milliyet 7/4
Woody Allen: September 11 `Insignificant' - Hurriyet
Live-8 Unites Nations Against Hunger - Sabah 7/4
Bush: US `Generous' in Foreign Donations - Hurriyet 7/3

Erdogan: Turkey-Greece Gas Pipeline a Strategic Step Forward
- Zaman 7/4
Papadopoulos Proposes Changing the Annan Plan - Zaman 7/3
Egypt's Ambassador to Baghdad Abducted - Zaman 7/4
US Troops Kill 17 Innocent Civilians in Afghanistan - Yeni
OSCE: Guantanamo Should be Closed - Yeni Safak
Africa Summit in Libya Aims to Pressure G-8 - Zaman
China-Kazakhstan Strategic Partnership - Cumhuriyet
Nazarbayev to Run for Kazakh Presidency Again - Radikal

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Erdogan Due in US: Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan departed
for the United States on Tuesday for a three-day unofficial
visit to participate as the keynote speaker in the Sun
Valley Conference in Idaho. Erdogan is also scheduled to
attend meetings of the `World Affairs Council of Northern
California' and the `Commonwealth Club.' He will also meet
with Turkish businessmen and other Turkish-American
representatives on July 7. Responding to press questions
before leaving for the US today, Erdogan said that Turkey's
`close ties of alliance' with the US are continuing. `Ties
between Turkey and the US, two countries that share
universal values such as democracy, freedom, the rule of
law, and free-market economy, have acquired a stronger and
more multi-dimensional aspect since the end of the Cold
War,' Erdogan said. He also noted that Turkey attached
great importance to increasing trade with the US. Erdogan
is being accompanied by State Minister Ali Babacan, Finance
Minister Kemal Unakitan and several AKP lawmakers.

USS Mitscher Visits Turkish Port: The American destroyer
USS Mitscher hosted a reception during a port visit to the
coastal town of Marmaris in southwest Turkey, "Milliyet"
reports on Tuesday. Commander of the US Navy in Europe
Admiral Harry Ulrich and Turkey's Naval Forces Commander
General Ozden Ornek participated in the reception. Admiral
Ulrich told the Turks and Americans gathered at the
reception that he and Admiral Ornek would `soon retire soon
to make room for the younger generation of officers, who
will see the friendship between the US and Turkey strengthen
so that our grandsons in both countries will live in peace.'
Admiral Ornek said he was aware of the `tough mission'
carried out by US troops around the world. `Americans
sometimes face difficulties in finding safe harbors in the
Mediterranean. All of our ports are always open to them,'
Ornek said. He added that despite the `ups and downs' in
relations between politicians in Turkey and the United
States, relations between the navies of both countries have
always been `excellent.' `Good relations between our navies
contributes positively to relations between our
politicians,' Ornek stressed.

Ankara Sends Iraq Delegation to US: Turkey's special Iraq
envoy Ambassador Osman Koruturk and Foreign Ministry (MFA)
Middle East desk director Safak Gokturk traveled to the US
on Monday for discussions on the Iraqi constitution process,
"Radikal" reports today. The Turkish delegation will ask
the Americans to ensure that Kirkuk retain a `special
status,' and that the return of Iraqis displaced by the
former regime should not be exploited in favor of the Kurds.
The PKK issue will also be discussed. If the Turkish
delegation returns with positive impressions, Ankara will
send military and intelligence experts to the US for further
discussions on Iraq, according to "Radikal."

US Armenian Lobby's Initiative to Reopen Turkey-Armeni
Border: A bill drafted by Congressman Adam Schiff (D) calls
on the US Government to put pressure on Turkey to open its
border crossing with Armenia, Monday's "Zaman" reports. The
draft bill claimed that keeping the border closed amounted
to a violation of international standards, and stressed that
it increased the transport cost of goods imported by Armenia
by 30-35 percent. Another Democrat, Frank Pallone, claimed
that he had received assurances from committee chairman
Henry Hyde (R) that the draft will be discussed at a sub-
committee meeting of the House Foreign Relations Committee
in July.

Murdoch Wants to Bring Fox-TV to Turkey: International
media barons have been waiting for changes to Turkish radio
and television regulations before making investments in
Turkey, Tuesday's "Aksam" reports. The paper claims that
Rupert Murdoch will discuss with PM Erdogan at the Sun
Valley Conference his intention of bringing Fox-TV to
Turkey, and will urge Erdogan to change legislation
restricting foreign ownership of Turkish media. Current
laws stipulate that foreign media investors are allowed to
acquire a maximum of 25 percent of Turkish media concerns.

Moscow Ready to Mediate Between Ankara, Yerevan: Russian
Ambassador Petr Stegny told Tuesday's "Yeni Safak" that
Moscow is ready to mediate between Ankara and Yerevan to
achieve a settlement of their long-standing dispute. Stegny
said that historical issues should be discussed by
historians and should not be politicized. "Yeni Safak"
deems Stegny's remarks important, as he is an historian who
has studied Ottoman history.

Buyukanit Lashes Out at Europe for backing PKK: Dailies
quote Land Forces Commander General Yasar Buyukanit as
telling Turkey's Defense and Aviation Magazine that demands
put forth by the PKK under the guise of human rights in
parallel with its armed activities in the southeast threaten
Turkey's territorial integrity. `Unfortunately, some
circles in Turkey and some EU member countries have not
reacted adequately to such demands. On the contrary, they
are almost supporting them,' Buyukanit said. Buyukanit
emphasized that the PKK has benefited from the turbulence in
northern Iraq, where it has found political support.
Buyukanit claimed that the PKK has been able to find
shelter, weapons, ammunition, training, and medical
treatment through aid it receives from European countries.

Turkey-Greece Gas Pipeline Construction Kicked Off: The
prime ministers of Greece and Turkey met at their countries'
common border on Sunday to inaugurate the construction of a
natural gas pipeline that will link the two neighbors,
Monday papers report. The pipeline will carry Caspian Sea
natural gas to Italy through Turkey and Greece. The two
leaders were welcomed warmly on both sides of the border.
During the inauguration ceremony on the Greek side of the
border, Karamanlis underlined the project's geopolitical
importance, and stressed that the Greek and Turkish peoples
can cooperate as neighbors. Erdogan said the inauguration
marked an `historic' moment, and that it would help dissolve
rumors regarding a downturn in relations between the two
countries. Karamanlis reportedly accepted an invitation by
Erdogan to visit Turkey before October 3. it would be the
first official visit by a Greek Foreign Minister to Turkey
in 46 years.

Far-Right Festival in Greece: Right-wing extremists are
planning a `festival' in Greece to protest against Turkey's
EU candidacy, Turkish papers reported on Tuesday. Fascist
political parties such as the National Democratic Party
(Germany), Forza Nuova (Italy), La Falange (Spain), and
Golden Dawn (Greece) are to attend the gathering in the
Greek city of Meligala from September 16-18. The Jewish
community in Greece is alarmed by the gathering, and has
called on the government to block the meetings. The Greek
government said it cannot restrict a peaceful meeting.

Suicide Bomber Killed in Ankara: A suicide bomber who tried
to enter the Justice Ministry on Friday was killed by
police, weekend papers report. The bomber, identified later
as Eyup Beyaz, a member of the outlawed leftist group DHKP-
C, was unable to detonate the explosives strapped to his
body after he was detected by a security scanner at the
entrance to the ministry. Police shot Beyaz dead when he
attempted to escape and detonate the bomb. Beyaz had been
sought by police for planning a suicide attack during the
wedding of Prime Minister Erdogan's son in August 2003, and
for plotting the assassination of Justice Minister Cemil

Train Bomb Blast Caused by PKK Kills Five in Turkey: Five
railroad security guards were killed and 15 wounded on
Saturday when a mine derailed a postal train in eastern
Turkey, weekend papers report. The attack was followed by a
second attack against another train that was bringing
assistance to the vicitms. The PKK claimed responsibility
for the bomb attacks. Papers report that Damascus condemned
the killings, the first such condemnation by the Syrian
regime against a PKK attack.

French Ambassador Condemns Terrorist Killings in SE Turkey:
French Ambassador Paul Paudade said during a visit to
Turkey's mainly Kurdish Diyarbakir province that growing
terror in the Southeast is damaging Turkey's image during
the EU entry process, Tuesday papers report. Paudade met
Diyarbakir mayor Osman Baydemir, and condemned last week's
mine blast that derailed a passenger train and killed five
security officials in the eastern province of Bingol. `The
killers should not be left unpunished,' the ambassador said.

Gul to Join Commemoration of Srebrenica Killings: Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul will participate in an international
ceremony to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the mass
killings of Bosnian Muslims by Serbian troops in Srebrenica
in July 1995, Tuesday's "Zaman" reports. British Foreign
Secretary Jack Straw will also attend the ceremony,

representing the European Union as its term president.
Bosnian women will walk the 130 km from Sarajevo to
Srebrenica in memory of the 8,000 Bosnians killed in the
massacre. A battery factory in the region where the
Bosnians were killed will be turned into a museum to
commemorate the event.

Parliament Adopts Bill on Security Wiretapping: The Turkish
parliament approved a bill allowing the Turkish Intelligence
Organization (MIT), the police, and the jandarma to tap
telephones on a written order by their superiors. The
police and jandarma may listen to and record any telephone
and electronic communications of suspected terrorists, drug-
traffickers, or members of organized criminal groups. The
monitoring may only be carried out with a warrant issued by
a judge or by the written consent of the head of police
intelligence, the jandarma commander, the MIT
undersecretary, or an authorized official when swift action
is necessary. The monitoring will be conducted from a
single center to be set up by the prime minister, who will
be responsible for the supervision of intercept operations.
Unauthorized monitoring will be subject to prison sentences
of up to three years.

Homeless Children, Forced Child Labor in Istanbul: Thirty-
five percent of children living on Istanbul's streets are
drug addicts, while 12 percent of them are addicted to
heroin or pills, the leftist/intellectual "Birgun" reported
on Tuesday. The majority of homeless children are from
families who migrated from the mainly Kurdish southeastern
and eastern Turkey, according to a survey conducted by the
Istanbul Governor's office, social aid institutions, and
police among 665 homeless children in the city. The survey
also showed that 8,944 children were forced into labor in
Istanbul, and 296 young girls were sexually abused.


"It's Time for the Supers to Talk"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (7/5): "The
Live 8 event provided a platform to raise public awareness
about the need to aid African countries. This event will
push G-8 leaders to think about taking some steps on this
issue. In fact, sending money is only one of many
approaches to ending the tragic destiny of black Africa.
The cancellation of African debt, improved terms for
bilateral trade, and projects to address the immediate needs
of Africans are some other steps that could be taken. In
fact, the host of the G-8 summit, Tony Blair, has prepared a
proposal along these lines. But other leaders, including
President Bush, obviously have some reservations. In the
end it is all about how much the rich states are prepared to
spend on the African continent. But when we talk about rich
states, we should bear in mind that all of the potential
sources of assistance are not in the G-8. What about the
oil-rich states? How can we explain the fact that they have
kept their distance from this issue?"

"The G-8 summit will not produce anything"
Omer Madra commented in the leftist "Birgun" (7/5): "The G-8
summit convenes with two major agenda items: poverty in
Africa, and global warming. Yet it would be too much to
hope that the summit will provide solutions to these issues.
Even before the meeting, there is already a growing
speculation about disagreement in both areas. Most likely,
the G-8 summit will conclude with nothing but a final
communiqu filled with diplomatic niceties but lacking any
concrete details. Unfortunately, the areas of disagreement
are on vital questions such as the cancellation of African
debt and an increase in aid to the African continent. As
far as global warming is concerned, the G-8 summit will not
go beyond stating the obvious - the globe is heating up."

"The Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change, and the Floods"
Ismail Kapan commented in the conservative "Turkiye" (7/5):
"President Bush clearly has clearly stated that his
participation in the G-8 summit is intended neither to
support the Tony Blair's campaign to help Africa, nor to
sign the Kyoto protocol. He is determined to defend his
country's interests. With such remarks, Bush has indicated
that American interests come ahead of hunger and poverty in
Africa. His unwillingness to sign the Kyoto protocol stems
from his belief that the treaty would damage the American
economy. But while Bush makes such comments, the world
climate continues to change in a negative direction. The US
is already at the top of the list of world polluters,
producing 36 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. No
sound solution to the climate change problem can be found
unless the US supports global measures. Every region in the
world is suffering from the negative effects of climate
change. Some regions suffer from excessive heat, others
are experiencing drought and floods. Let's see how long
this will continue, and when the US will agree to sign
Kyoto. It doesn't seem likely that this will happen in the
near future."


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