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, JULY 29, 2005


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


Erdogan on PKK: There's a Limit to Our Patience - Milliyet
Turkey to Sign EU Adaptation Protocol Today - Milliyet
Kretschmer: Iraqi Government To Decide on Turkish
Intervention - Milliyet
European Countries Step Up Anti-Terror Measures - Sabah
Attacks Against Muslims on Rise in Britain - Aksam
IRA Gives Up Arms After 30 Years - Sabah
PKK Abducts Mayor in Southeast Turkey - Hurriyet
NASA Suspends Space Shuttle Flights Indefinitely - Sabah

Erdogan: We See No US Effort Against the PKK - Cumhuriyet
London Police Detain 9 Suspects, Including 3 Turks -
Turkish Tourists Cancel Reservations at Sharm al-Sheik -
IRA Bids Farewell to Arms - Radikal
London Attacks Have Not Shifted Americans' View of Islam -
Karadzic's Wife Urges Him to Surrender to The Hague -
No Surprise: Mubarak Runs for Egyptian Presidency Again -
Daniel Pearl Murder Suspect Caught in Punjab - Radikal


Ankara Prepares to Sign EU Adaptation Protocol: Although
Ankara is not happy with an EU blueprint outlining the
framework for entry talks with Turkey, it has refrained from
voicing a strong reaction in an effort to avoid a crisis
with the European bloc before membership negotiations begin
in October, Turkish dailies report. The draft framework
document has not yet been approved by EU countries. Greek
Cypriot President Papadopoulos said he has no objections to
the EU opening talks with Turkey, but has been pushing the
Europeans to pressure Turkey to open its ports and airports
to the Cypriots. Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis has also
signaled a shift in his positive attitude toward Turkey, and
is now trying to include disputes over the Aegean in the
framework document. Papers also report that Prime Minister
Erdogan has sent letters to his Belgian, Italian, German,
Dutch, and British counterparts expressing Turkey's
readiness to sign the EU adaptation protocol. Erdogan
called on EU leaders to honor their `December 17 commitment'
that the signing of the protocol will not amount to
recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration. Papers
view the letter as an effort to `soften' the EU reaction to
a declaration to be issued by Turkey once the protocol is
signed. The declaration will stress that the signing of the
protocol will not imply Turkey's recognition of Nicosia, and
add that Greek Cypriot vessels will not be allowed into
Turkish ports. "Milliyet" reports that, based on a
conversation with Prime Minister, it is clear that Turkey
will exclude `the service sector' from implementation of the
EU protocol. In practical terms, this would prevent the
Cypriots from using Turkish services at ports and airports.
Erdogan told PM Tony Blair during a visit to London earlier
this week that Ankara would issue the declaration, but
promised that it would be `constructive,' nor `provocative.'
Papers claim that Blair convinced Erdogan that the
declaration needs to be softened in order to head off a
possible reaction from the EU. Reports suggest that despite
significant efforts by UK officials in London and Ankara,
the Turkish Government has refused to share the text of the
declaration with the UK as EU term president.
Police Expect New al-Qaida Attacks in Istanbul: The deputy
chief of the Istanbul Police, Sammaz Demirtas, told "Vatan"
that the police have been keeping a close watch on some
1,000 al-Qaida suspects in Istanbul, monitoring their
activities before they have a chance to establish contact
with the terrorist organization. Demirtas said he expected
another major al Qaida-linked attack in Istanbul before
November. He said he did not expect attacks against
commuter buses or subway stations, stressing that al-Qaida
has most frequently targeted foreigners in Turkey. Demirtas
noted that the Turkish police have foiled five bombing
attempts by the PKK militants over the past month. The
PKK's targets were all in touristic areas, he said.

British Police Detain Three Turks in London Terror Probe:
Three Turks were among nine people detained on Thursday in
Britain in a roundup of suspects with possible connections
to the terrorists who tried to bomb trains and buses in
London on July 21. British Police took into custody 3 Turks
working in a cafe owned by a Turkish Cypriot in the south
London neighborhood of Tooting Broadway. The suspects were
detained for making frequent phone calls to suspected
`terror centers' in Birmingham and Manchester. The Turkish
suspects reportedly made the calls on cell phones, and
frequently changed phone cards to cover their tracks. The
reports also note that Turks in the neighborhood who were
acquainted with the three suspects said that they were
`moderates,' and did not appear to be terrorists.

EU Appoints Greek Cypriot Representative to Cyprus: The
European Union Commission appointed a Greek Cypriot
representative for Cyprus, "Zaman" reported from Brussels.
The new EU Cyprus representative, Themis Themistocleous,
currently works as the general director of the Cyprus News
Agency, which is affiliated with the Cypriot Government.
Both the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey believe that the
appointment is `inappropriate,' and that Themistocleus
cannot be impartial in representing the EU. Ankara's
official position with regard to the appointment will be
disclosed next week, "Zaman" claims.

DEHAP Official Sentenced to Prison: Bedri Firat, Erzurum
provincial chairman of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People's
Party (DEHAP), was sentenced to 10 months in prison for
making propaganda on behalf of the outlawed PKK. The
Supreme Court of Appeals (Yargitay) turned down Firat's
request to overturn an earlier ruling by a local court in
Erzurum, arguing that terror-related cases cannot be
suspended. The Erzurum court had accused Firat of referring
to the PKK's imprisoned leader as `the honorable' Ocalan,
and hanging posters of Ocalan in the lobby of the party

HRW Urges PKK to Halt Violence: The New York-based Human
Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the PKK leadership to halt
attacks against Kurdish dissidents, "Milliyet" reports. HRW
asked for information regarding the killing of Sipan
Rojhilat in northern Iraq, Atilla Kanda in Hakkari, and
Hikmet Fidan in Diyarbakir. It also urged `forces loyal to
the PKK' to comply with Turkish and Iraqi laws and
international law, and not to attack people who stay out of
the fighting.

Terror Attacks Did Not Change Americans' Opinion of Islam:
"Zaman" carries the results of a Pew survey, which show that
the terrorist bombings in London earlier this month have not
changed the way most Americans view Islam. 55 percent of
Americans have `positive feelings' with regard to Muslims
living in the United States, and only 25 percent voiced
negative views about them. 20 percent of respondents said
they are `undecided.' 60 percent of Americans think that
the terrorist attacks are being carried out by `small,
radical Islamic groups.' Almost half of Americans said they
little or nothing about the Holy Koran or Allah, according
to the survey. Meanwhile, papers report that 130 American
Islamic scholars issued a `fatwa' denouncing terror attacks
targeting civilians.

PKK Abducts Mayor in East Turkey: Militants from the
outlawed PKK allegedly kidnapped the mayor of Yayladere in
the eastern Turkish province of Bingol on Thursday, papers
report. The abducted mayor, Hasim Akyurek, is from the
ruling AK Party. Turkish security forces have launched a
large-scale operation in the region to find the mayor.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Turkey/Cyprus; US Landmines Policy

"US Priorities in Iraq"
Cengiz Candar commented in the conservative "DB-Tercuman"
(7/29): "Peter Galbraith, the number one US expert on the
Kurds, believes that the Shiites' constitutional draft
contains elements that could turn Iraq into an Islamic
Republic. . The Shiites' draft is anti-Semitic, according to
Galbraith, because it deprives Jews in Iraq of rights
granted to other groups. It also grants rights to Ayatollah
Sistani similar to those given to Khomeini in the first
decade of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Kurdistan leaders
are insisting on a federal structure, in which they will be
able to maintain a secular, western-oriented political
regime even if other parts of Iraq fall under the control of
religious parties. . Galbraith says that the Kurds see a
strong, autonomous Kurdistan as the best obstacle against
expanding Iranian influence in Iraq. The Kurds want to be
in a position to turn their back on a constitution that is
not liberal and is too centralized. Galbraith acknowledges,
however, that the Kurds are facing intensive pressure from
the Bush Administration to meet the constitutional deadline
of August 15. . It is clear that the Americans' priority in
Iraq is the Shiites, not the Kurds. This priority has a lot
to do with regional jockeying between the US and Iran."

"To Recognize or Not to Recognize"
Ismet Berkan observed in the liberal intellectual "Radikal"
(7/29): "Contrary to Nicosia's expectations, Ankara will
continue to prevent Greek Cypriot vessels and planes from
entering Turkish ports and airports. The opening of ports
will ultimately force Turkey to lift the unilateral
sanctions it has long imposed on the Greek Cypriots, while
getting nothing in return. Turkey is right in being
reluctant to lift the embargo on southern Cyprus without a
change in the conditions that brought about the sanctions in
the first place. . Essentially, the Greek side is seeking a
practical normalization of ties with Turkey in lieu of
official recognition.'

"Damned Landmines"
Umur Talu wrote in the mass-appeal "Sabah" (7/29): "The US
refuses to cooperate with the rest of the world regarding
greenhouse gas emissions that kill the atmosphere. It also
rejects removing landmines, death traps that kill the
environment. The US practice of planting thousands of
landmines and using cluster bombs in Iraq is no different
from the mentality of Saddam Hussein, who turned northern
Iraq into a minefield. Washington has stepped back from an
earlier initiative to join the worldwide anti-landmine
campaign. The US now boasts that it has developed Claymore
landmines, which can be detonated from a remote distance
using a laptop computer. The Americans even say that these
new landmines will protect civilians, and can assist in the
spread of democracy and freedom!"

© Scoop Media

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