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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.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 ANKARA 004513

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
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2005

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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


HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
US, Turkey, Iraq Security Summit in Washington Today -
Hurriyet
Gul: Turkey Closely Monitors PKK Activities in Iraq -
Hurriyet
Gul: EU Must Keep Its Promise, Start Entry Talks with Turkey
- Vatan
Blair Invites Talat to London - Hurriyet
`Silent' Funeral for King Fahd - Posta
Al-Qaida May Strike US on Hiroshima Anniversary, August 6 -
Sabah
Iran-EU Nuclear Standoff - Sabah
Iraqi Airlines to Resume Turkey Flights - Milliyet

OPINION MAKERS
US: We're in Close Cooperation with Turkey on PKK - Yeni
Safak
World Leaders Meet at King Fahd's Funeral - Yeni Safak
Non-Muslims Barred from King Fahd's Funeral - Cumhuriyet
`Wahhabi' Funeral for King Fahd - Radikal
France Pressures Turkey to Recognize Cyprus - Cumhuriyet
Karamanlis Postpones Turkey Visit - Zaman
Sudan Tense over Sudden Death of Garang - Zaman
Chaos in Khartoum: 42 Killed - Yeni Safak
Crisis with Iran at Doorstep - Radikal
EU Draws Near US against Iran - Cumhuriyet

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BRIEFING

Spokesman Casey on PKK, Turkey: Dailies report US State
Department acting spokesman Tom Casey as saying Tuesday that
meetings with Turkey and Iraq about the PKK continued, and
that this joint effort would continue until the PKK
terrorism was sorted out. The US considers the PKK a
terrorist organization and works in close cooperation with
the Turkish government with regard to that issue, Casey told
a daily press briefing. Casey noted that the US worked with
Turkey and Iraq to see that the PKK does not have a safe
haven or an ability to operate out of northern Iraq, adding
that Washington would continue to work with Turkey and Iraq
until security goals are reached. Responding to a question
claiming the US has assumed a `certain' attitude regarding
the PKK terrorism in an effort to `wear out' the Turkish
army, Casey said that Turkey was a good friend of the US, a
NATO ally and that the US had extraordinarily good relations
with Turkey. Casey stressed that the US wouldn't in any way
harm the authority of the Turkish government or its
institutions.

US-Turkey-Iraq Security Talks: On Wednesday, Turkish, Iraqi
and US officials will meet in Washington at their second
three-party security talks, papers report. The two-day
talks will focus on measures regarding extradition of PKK
leaders to Turkey. The Turkish delegation is comprised of
representatives of the Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA),
Turkish General Staff (TGS), the intelligence service MIT
and the Interior Ministry. Deputy Assistant Secretary Matt
Bryza will head the US delegation. The US side will give
the message that coalition forces in the region will support
joint Iraqi-Turkish efforts against the PKK, "Hurriyet"
comments. Papers expect the Turks to suggest joint Turkish
and Iraqi military operations against the PKK on the border.
Turks want the Americans to support such operations. The
Turkish delegation will point to the links between the PKK
and political parties as seen in the party buildings with
PKK flags in Kirkuk and will warn the Americans that moves
aiming at politicization of the terror organization should
be prevented, reports speculate. Turks will ask the Iraqis
to close the PKK's Mahmur camp, and hand over members of
illegal organizations in line with a judicial cooperation
accord signed between the two countries in 1965. "Radikal"
expects the Turkish delegation to tell Americans that annual
gains of the PKK amounted to 300 million USD. PKK uses 20
million USD of this money to finance TV broadcasts,
according to "Radikal."

PKK Flag in Kirkuk Not Removed: The PKK flag on top of a
party building in Kirkuk has not been removed despite
Turkish applications to the Iraqi authorities and the US,
papers report. Reports say that checkpoints had been set up
around the PKK office in Kirkuk in an effort to block
possible attempts at removing the PKK flag.

Talat Calls for a `Joint' State with Greek Cypriots:
Visiting `TRNC President' Mehmet Ali Talat met with
President Sezer and Prime Minister Erdogan on Tuesday.
Sezer told a joint news conference after meeting Talat that
there were `two separate nations and states' in Cyprus. `A
new partnership between two equal sides should be set up in
Cyprus, and a settlement should emphasize the bi-zonal
necessity and the balances on the island,' Sezer said.
Sezer accused the Greek Cypriots of being reluctant to
accept a political settlement based on equality and
partnership. Talat said the existing international law
cannot define the condition of Turkish Cypriots and called
on the international community to make a reassessment of the
Cyprus question. `The first step of this reassessment
should be lifting of sanctions,' Talat said. `We have
offered a hand for peace to the Greek Cypriot
administration, and if they hold it, we are ready to
establish a joint state based on equality,' Talat stressed
in remarks seen by "Radikal" as contradictory to Sezer's
call for two separate states and nations in Cyprus. Talat
also said that the Turkish Cypriot voters had opted in favor
of politicians supporting peace in the last two elections in
north Cyprus. "Sabah" says that during their meeting, Sezer
expressed his anxiety over an offer by Talat to give the
unpopulated Maras (Varosha) city to the Greek Cypriots. The
Turkish military had also been upset by the offer, claims
"Sabah." In a meeting with Erdogan later in the day, Talat
has been assured that the Greek Cypriots would not be given
access to Turkish ports and airports before a settlement is
reached on the divided island, say reports. Meanwhile,
"Hurriyet" reports that Talat had received an unofficial
invitation from the British PM Blair to visit London in fall
for talks. During a state visit to London in early July, PM
Erdogan had urged Blair to invite Talat to Britain, says
"Hurriyet."

EU: Recognition of Cyprus Not a Condition for Entry Talks
with Turkey: Turkish papers report `conflicting voices'
coming from the European Union. "Radikal" says that while
France and Austria ask Turkey to recognize EU member Cyprus,
the European Commission says recognition is not a condition
for starting accession talks. French PM Dominique de
Villepin said it was `not conceivable' that a negotiation
process of any kind can start with a country that does not
recognize every member state of the EU. But EU term
president Britain and the European Commission made it clear
that Turkey's recognition of Cyprus was not a precondition
for talks to begin. "Cumhuriyet" says that Turkish Foreign
Ministry (MFA) sources have dismissed the Villepin remarks
as being a violation of EU commitments made to Ankara. FM
Gul said that Turkey had fulfilled its responsibilities and
expected the accession negotiations to start on October 3.

Turkey and Iraq Disagree on Location of New Border Crossing:
Turkish and Iraqi delegations could not agree on the
location of a second border crossing between the two
countries at talks in Ankara, "Milliyet" reports. Iraq's
Ambassador to Ankara, Sabah Cemil Umran, reportedly told the
Turks that the second crossing should be opened 5 km west to
the Habur border gate. Turks insisted on Ovakoy for the
second gate along the border, a location that will by-pass
the Kurdish region in Iraq, and the talks ended without an
agreement, says the report.

US Confirms Killing of American Journalist in Basra: The US
Embassy in Baghdad has confirmed the killing of American
journalist Steven Vincent in Basra yesterday, "Zaman"
reports on its webpage. Vincent, a freelancer for The New
York Times and The Christian Science Monitor, was shot to
death by a gunman in Basra Tuesday night. US Embassy
Baghdad said it has contacted the Iraqi and British
officials in Basra to find the killer.

US to Use Nuclear Weapons against Iran: "Cumhuriyet" quotes
former CIA employee Philip Giraldi as claiming that VP
Cheney had ordered the Pentagon to develop plans to strike
Iran with nuclear weapons. Giraldi told The American
Conservative that some 450 strategic underground nuclear
targets in Iran cannot be destroyed by conventional weapons.
`It's no secret that those who are responsible for the war
with Iraq are now preparing to do the same to Iran,' Giraldi
said.

ECHR Fines Turkey over Missing HADEP Officials: The
Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has
found Turkey guilty of violating 6 articles of the European
Convention on Human Rights in the case of pro-Kurdish HADEP
officials Serdar Tanis and Ebubekir Deniz and ruled that
240,000 Euros of compensation be paid to their families,
"Zaman" reports. Tanis and Deniz had gone missing after
being detained by jandarma in the southeastern township of
Silopi in 2001. Their families had applied to the ECHR
claiming that Tanis and Deniz were killed in detention.

PKK Targets AKP Government: Kurdish author and journalist
Umit Firat told "Zaman" that the rising PKK terror
activities under directions from the organization's
imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan damaged Kurds in Turkey
the most. Firat believes that the recent terror campaign by
the PKK indicated manipulation by `secret' circles
attempting to block EU reforms in Turkey and put the ruling
AK Party government in a difficult position. The PKK has
been careful not to criticize the Turkish General Staff
(TGS), according to Firat. `Influence of the military on
politics has increased in Turkey in recent months, and
democratic reforms were halted. Today, you cannot see in
Turkey optimistic expectations which were visible 15 months
ago. This is not for the good of the Kurds,' Firat
stressed. Firat claims that PKK's call for peace is aimed
solely at freeing Ocalan. PKK does not represent the Kurds,
said Firat, and added that a serious opposition has formed
against the organization.

Judge Scalia Lectures at Summer School in Istanbul: US
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, President Bush's
`favorite' judge, has lectured to 26 American and 20 Turkish
law students at Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, "Radikal"
reports. Scalia compared legal systems and individual
freedoms in the US, UK and Turkey for the students during
the summer school in July. Scalia said allegations of
`genocide' of Armenians by Ottoman forces in early 20th
century should be examined by historians. He added that the
events of 1915-17 should be seen as fighting between persons
during a relocation, rather than as `genocide.' Scalia also
explained how the US Supreme Court functions, reports
"Radikal."
Blasts Wound 6 in Antalya: Six people, including a tourist,
have been injured in two separate explosions in Turkey's
Mediterranean resort of Antalya, papers report. Two blasts
occurred in trash bins in separate districts of the tourist
hub yesterday. It is unclear at this stage whether the
blasts were caused by bombs.

Baghdad-Istanbul Flights to Resume: Turkish papers report
that Iraq Airlines will resume flights between Baghdad and
Istanbul as of today. The flights will be twice a week and
will be increased in due time.


EDITORIAL OPINION: PKK/Iraq; King Fahd

"The PKK Flag in Kirkuk"
Cuneyt Ulsever commented in the mass appeal "Hurriyet"
(8/3): "It seems that Turkish-American relations is moving
toward the worst possible option, which is an open conflict
of the two countries' interests. Turkey is rightfully very
concerned about the PKK issue in Iraq, but this has not
become a central issue for Washington. . Following the March
1 outcome, the US relegated Turkey to a secondary category
when shaping its policy for the Middle East. The reason is
that the US does not consider Turkey as its most reliable
partner in the region. Washington does not give Turkey's
concerns very much weight as it formulates its policies.
Regarding the PKK issue, the US rhetoric can be summed up in
two diplomatic messages. The PKK is a terrorist
organization, and any issue related to the PKK should be
brought to the attention of the Iraqi Government. .
Unfortunately, the PKK flag in Kirkuk and related
developments have the potential to create a deep impact on
Turkish public opinion. It seems likely that the ruling AKP
will find itself trapped between security considerations
coming from the Turkish military, and diplomatic
considerations in its relations with the US. The US, on the
other hand, is primarily interested in creating a smooth
process in Iraq, particularly the completion of work on the
constitution by August 15, and the holding of a general
election in December. In this process, the Kurds in
northern Iraq are considered the closest allies of the US.
Therefore, the last thing the US wants to do is to turn the
Kurds against it while it is trying to deal with the Sunnis
and Shiites. The current situation brings a question to
mind: By taking no action against the PKK, is the US trying
to put the AKP is a difficult position domestically, or is
the US really helpless in trying to control the situation in
Iraq?"

"The Death of King Fahd"
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in the conservative "Turkiye" (8/3):
"The Saudi dynasty is top-heavy compared with other
dynasties we have seen throughout history. The Saudis
wealth comes from the country's oil resources, which are the
world's largest. Saudi Arabia remains the biggest oil
exporter in the world. The oil drilling business in Saudi
Arabia belongs to American companies. Although the Sauids
have had close relations with the US since the country was
established, they have now, for the first time, entrusted
the kingdom to their first anti-American monarch. Because
of his brother's illness, King Abdullah has been the de
facto ruler of Saudi Arabia for some time. Despite his anti-
American inclinations, it would be unrealistic to expect
Abdullah to pursue a policy that is truly independent from
the United States. He will no doubt continue to cling to
President Bush. It is obvious that the US will not allow
such an oil rich country to make a clean break from US
influence."
MCELDOWNEY

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