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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 004955

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
TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2005

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2005
HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
PKK: Will Not Lay Down Arms Unconditionally - Hurriyet
50 Kurdish Writers, Artists Support Erdogan's Kurdish policy
- Milliyet
Chuck Hagel Likens Iraq to Vietnam - Aksam
Insurgents Hang US Collaborators in Iraq - Sabah
US Preparing to Open Embassy in Libya - Sabah
Workers Around the World Unite Against Wal-Mart - Aksam
Syrian Terrorist from PKK Killed in Northern Turkey - Vatan

OPINION MAKERS
US to Send Bryza and 2 Generals to Discuss PKK - Yeni Safak
No Agreement on Iraqi Constitution - Radikal
Republicans Lash Out at Bush on Iraq - Radikal
PKK Transfers Militants to Iran - Zaman
Governmen, Unions Disagree on Salary Hikes - Radikal
Muslim Brotherhood Opposes Boycott of Egypt Polls - Yeni
Safak
Indonesia to Pull Out of Aceh - Yeni Safak
China, Russia, India Form Tripartite Alliance Against US -
Yeni Safak
The Castro and Chavez Show - Radikal

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BRIEFING

National Security Council to Discuss Terror in Southeast
Turkey: Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) is
expected to discuss the anti-terror law drafted by the AKP
government, and the upsurge of violence in the southeast at
its monthly meeting on Tuesday, papers report. The NSC
Secretariat General advised in a report against the

SIPDIS
implementation of emergency rule in the region. It said
that the PKK had been forced to resume terrorist attacks in
May 2005 in an effort to prevent a disintegration of the
organization, which is suffering from leadership problems.
A separate report by the military stressed that the problem
is not merely an ethnic one, but one that had economic and
social roots as well. The military members of the NSC will
caution PM Erdogan for acknowledging a `Kurdish problem' in
Turkey, warning that statements made without consulting the
related state institutions may prove to be harmful in the
ongoing fight against terror. The NSC will also discuss
Iran, Iraq, Cyprus, and the EU.

Cicek on Terror, Kurdish Issue, Armenian Conference:
Justice Minister and Government Spokesman Cemil Cicek said
after Monday's Council of Ministers meeting that those who
have proposals for the government with regard to the
struggle against terror must first accept Turkey's unitary
structure. Cicek said that the Council of Ministers
evaluated PM Erdogan's statements about the `Kurdish
problem' in Diyarbakir earlier this month and the criticism
it has drawn from opposition parties. Erdogan's remarks in
Diyarbakir were assessed from a political standpoint, Cicek
said, noting that Turkey's Constitution guaranteed that
nationals enjoy equal rights and freedoms. Asked the
controversial Armenian conference that will be held in
Istanbul on September 23, Cicek said that he had not been
informed about plans for the gathering. `We will see who
will say what at the conference,' Cicek said. On the other
hand, 46 Kurdish intellectuals and artists released a
declaration Monday voicing support for Erdogan's statements
on the Kurdish issue.

Edelman Brings Balance to Pentagon: Turkish papers carry an
article from the Washington Post which argues that Eric
Edelman and Gordon England, who are replacing Doug Feith and
Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon, have brought `less ideology,
and more balance' to the Defense Department. The article
expects the two figures to be more attuned to Congress than
their predecessors. England, the Pentagon's number two, is
described as a very good `technocrat,' and Edelman comes
with a reputation as a `skilled career diplomat' with an
`easygoing personality' who does not engage in ideological
battles.

Graham, Hagel Criticize US Policies on Iraq: Dailies report
US Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Chuck Hagel as
criticizing American policies in Iraq on "Fox News" over the
weekend. Graham said the United States would have a huge
problem if the Kurds are given independence from Iraq, a
development which will turn Iraq into a `center of anarchy.'
Hagel claimed that Iraq was becoming another Vietnam. `The
last two-and-a-half years have shown that we are not winning
in Iraq,' Hagel said, advising the US to develop an exit
strategy from the war-torn country.

Bryza, Abizaid, Jones Due in Ankara: Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State Matt Bryza is to visit Ankara August 25-

SIPDIS
26 to discuss the PKK, Cyprus and EU, "Yeni Safak" reports.
The paper also says that US generals John Abizaid and James
Jones are expected in Ankara in early September.

Karayilan Says One-Month Cease-Fire is Enough: Murat
Karayilan from the PKK leadership told "Roj TV" that one
month of suspension of operations is enough for Turkey to
take `confidence-building measures,' and that the unilateral
cease-fire will be extended if such measures are
implemented. Karayilan called for an end to Turkish
military operations and to the isolation of Abdullah Ocalan,
and for dialogue with the elected representatives of the
Kurdish people. `There is a confusion in Turkey, with many
different voices being heard. The position of certain
circles is unclear. Will they carry on military operations,
or will they try to ameliorate the situation?' Karayilan
asked.

Mobs Attack Suspected Terrorists: An angry crowd attempted
to lynch suspected supporters of the outlawed separatist
group PKK in two separate incidents, one in the Aegean port
city of Izmir and another in the Black Sea town of Trabzon,
papers report. Security forces killed a PKK militant and
wounded another in clashes in Trabzon. The terrorist who
was killed was of Syrian origin. The police had to fight
off an angry mob attempting to lynch the wounded terrorist.
In Izmir, five people from southeast Turkey were detained
for shouting slogans in favor of imprisoned PKK leader
Abdullah Ocalan after getting involved in an argument with
local shopkeepers. An angry mob of 1,500 people attempted
to lynch the southeasterners, but security forces dispersed
the crowd by shooting into the air.

CHP MP on Return of Displaced People to Southeast Turkey:
The main opposition CHP Diyarbakir lawmaker Mesut Deger said
that 125,539 displaced villagers have returned to their
homes in 14 provinces under the `Return to Villages'
project, revealing information he received from the interior
ministry, the Mesopotamia News Agency reported. Data by the
interior ministry showed that 355,803 people from 58,368
homes in 2,958 settlements were forced to leave their homes
during violence in the southeast in the 1990s. `All houses
have been destroyed in these villages. There are no
stables, roads, water or electricity. It is impossible to
resolve this problem by sending the villagers to empty land
without providing support to them in some way,' Deger
stressed, urging the state to prepare the necessary ground
to make the return home project a reality.
New Parties On The Way: Kurdish activist and former MP
Leyla Zana invited the former mayor of Gaziantep, Celal
Dogan, to join the Democratic Society Movement (DTH) during
a meeting on Monday, papers report. Papers claim that Zana
and her colleagues are trying to win over social democratic
voters to supplement their Kurdish base. Dogan reportedly
told Zana that the DTH should pursue policies that cover all
of Turkey, not only the southeast, and that democratic
principles should be observed in the DTH, which is expected
to turn itself into a political party in September.
Meanwhile, Dogan invited Zana and other Kurdish politicians
to join the new party he is about to establish. "Aksam"
claims that Rifat Hisarciklioglu, chairman of the Turkish
Union of Chambers (TOBB), and Sinan Aygun, chairman of the
Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO), are preparing to establish
a democratic nationalist party targeting the votes of social
democrats. Meanwhile, papers report that the Chief
Prosecutor's Office has launched an examination of
statements by former DEP lawmakers, including Leyla Zana,
who are involved in the DTH. Legal action may be taken
against the DTH if the prosecutor decides that a ban on
propagating regional movements was violated.

Significant Increase in Kurdish Satellite Broadcasts:
"Milliyet" carries a report detailing a significant increase
in Kurdish broadcasts via satellite from Iraq, Iran, and
Europe to Turkey. A seventh Kurdish channel began test
transmissions along with six others, of which two are
supportive of the PKK, one is an Iranian state channel, and
the others belong to Kurdish groups in northern Iraq. The
Kurdish broadcasts reach 72 countries across Europe, the
Middle East, and Africa as well as Turkey. The broadcasts
can also be received in America via satellite. The channels
are as follows:

1. Roj TV: Broadcasts in Kurdish, Arabic and Turkish from
Brussels and follows the PKK line. It broadcasts for 12
hours starting at 1000 GMT. Roj TV, known as `PKK
television,' airs news, political discussions, music, and
children's programs.

2. Mesopotamia TV (Me-TV): Close to the PKK cause, Me-TV
broadcasts cultural, educational and music programs in the
morning and evening timeframe. Me-TV was allegedly set up
as insurance against a possible closure of Roj-TV.

3. Kurdistan TV: Broadcasts from the city of Selahaddin in
northern Iraq. Kurdistan TV is controlled by the Kurdistan
Democracy party (KDP) and broadcasts news, political talk
shows, musi,c and children's programs 24 hours a day. It
also offers news in Arabic.

4. Kurd-Sat TV: Broadcasts from the city of Suleymaniye in
northern Iraq. Controlled by the Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan (PUK), Kurd-Sat TV broadcasts news, political
discussions, music, and children's programs 24 hours a day.
It also has some programs in Turkish and Arabic.

5. Zagros TV: Began broadcasting from northern Iraq a
short while ago. Known to be close to the KDP. Zagros TV
broadcasts news, discussions, and music programs in Arabic
during the day and in Kurdish in the evening.

6. Ishtar TV: Has begun test transmissions. The content
and broadcast policies to be adopted by Ishtar TV, which is
close to Kurdish groups in northern Iraq, is not yet clear.

7. Sahar TV: Iranian state television. Broadcasts two 30-
minute Kurdish news and commentary programs every day.

Women from Southeast Turkey Receive Leadership Training in
US: "Zaman" carries a report that 62 women from southeast
Turkey received 10-days of training in Ohio under a `women's
leadership' program funded by the US State Department. The
program aims to make Turkey a `model country' in women's
leadership opportunities. True Path Party (DYP) lawmaker
Mehmet Eraslan submitted a motion to the parliament asking
the AKP government about the goal of the US program and the
number of participants. State Minister Nimet Cubukcu said
that the program, a joint project of Turkey's Southeastern
Anatolia Project (GAP), Kent State University in Ohio, and
Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, was kicked off in
November 2004. Cubukcu also said that George Soros' `Open
Society Institute' is to donate 300,000 USD to the program,
which aims to turn women in southeast Turkey into business
owners.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Turkey's Kurdish Issue; Israel

"The AKP Government Has No Kurdish or Middle East Policy"
Cuneyt Ulsever wrote in the mass-appeal "Hurriyet" (8/23):
"Turkey will not be able to resolve the PKK problem without
clarifying its policies on Iraq and the Middle East. Prime
Minister Erdogan and his advisors are so confused on the
Middle East that they cannot solve the Kurdish problem, but
could proceed down a dangerous path. . It is unclear what
the PM meant when he referred to a `democratic republic,' a
term used by Ocalan to define a republic founded by two
separate but equal entities under the same roof. . Only
about 600 people listened to Erdogan at a recent rally in
Diyarbakir, the province where the AKP received 34 percent
of vote in the last election. Couldn't Erdogan's advisors
have predicted that after such tumult, the PM would be put
in a difficult position and the PKK would collect the gains?
Why was the AKP provincial office only able to turn out a
crowd of 600? PKK leader Ocalan, the lone inmate of Imrali
prison, has made public 101 written notes through his
lawyers since he was jailed in 1999. Does the PM have
anything in mind to prevent this? Finally, since the PM has
acknowledged a Kurdish problem in Turkey, comments demanding
that Ocalan be accepted as an interlocutor have started to
receive more attention in the press."

New Voices From Diyarbakir
Oral Calislar wrote in the leftist/nationalist "Cumhuriyet"
(08/22): The PKK announced a ceasefire for a one-month
period. That is unacceptable. We need to create greater
public pressure so that they will never touch their weapons
again. We need to do what those who support violence do not
want us to do. We need to strive for a new initiative that
will completely destroy the atmosphere for violence.
Compared with two months ago, we are at a very positive
stage now. Evaluating this new situation, Sezgin Tanrikulu,
President of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, said this:
`The time when problems were solved through violence has
passed. In this light, I do not think it is right for the
PKK to use violence as a method. At this point, the Kurdish
problem can be solved not through violence, but by enhancing
freedoms in a democratic environment through tolerance and
compromise. That is why the PKK should not declare a
ceasefire for one month, but renounce violence as a method
altogether.' The voices rising from Diyarbakir are proof
that we have reached a new stage in terms of the region and
the Kurdish problem. Now is the time to say "stop" to those
who wish to take Turkey back to the old days. If the
process that started with the 151 signatures becomes
permanent, it will mark a turning-point in Turkey's path to
the European Union.

"Sharon as a Deterrent Example"
Mim Kemal Oke opined in the conservative/nationalist "Halka
ve Olaylara Tercuman" (8/23): "It was Ariel Sharon who
settled the Israeli fundamentalist, racist, and fanatical
masses in the Gaza Strip in a bid to safeguard the region.
He came under heavy attack by Jewish extremists for
evacuating Gaza. Sharon defined the extremist settlers who
resisted Israeli troops as `Jewish terrorists' and
`barbarians.' Sharon now says in a postmodern, neo-liberal,
urban manner that you cannot achieve security through the
use of force. This shows that human beings can be tamed by
history. Palestinians, who claim the Gaza pullout has been
a victory won by resistance groups like Hamas, should learn
from Israel's experience that they cannot advance too far
with such a mentality. You can capture a country by
violence, as seen in Iraq, but you cannot keep it. Sinn
Fein is striving to disband the IRA, and the US is
exhausting itself to win the global war against al-Qaida, a
group the Americans had propped up for use in the Afghan
war. Those who will write the history of Israel will devote
a chapter to Sharon. Reading it is not so important. What
matters is to take a lesson from it."

MCELDOWNEY

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