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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 005421

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
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2005

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Erdogan to PBS TV: US Must Not Pull Out of Iraq - Milliyet
Talabani to Erdogan: We Are Ready to Cooperate against the
PKK - Milliyet
Erdogan to UNGA: Let's Seek Peace, Freedom Not War, Violence
- Aksam
Erdogan: We Must Help the Destitute to Win the War against
Terror - Milliyet
Erdogan: Terror Our Common Enemy - Sabah
Karayilan: US Preparing for Operations in Kandil Mts.-
Milliyet
President Sezer Invites Pope Benedict to Turkey in 2006 -
Hurriyet
Nicosia: Turkey Should Follow Israel's Example, Pull Out of
Cyprus - Aksam
Sharon: Palestinians Deserve Freedom - Hurriyet
Berlusconi, Putin to Visit Turkey in November - Sabah
PKK Landmines Kill 2 Soldiers in Hakkari - Hurriyet

OPINION MAKERS
Erdogan: Let's Globalize Freedom, Not War - Yeni Safak
Erdogan-Putin to Inaugurate `Blue Stream' in November -
Cumhuriyet
House Foreign Relations Committee Approves Armenian
`Genocide' Bills - Cumhuriyet
Violence Aims War between Sunnis-Shiites in Iraq - Zaman
Clinton Gathers Leaders in New York to Discuss Global
Problems - Zaman
Zarkawi Provokes Civil War in Iraq - Radikal
Chilling Scenario: Civil War in Iraq - Yeni Safak
Ahmedinajad Denounces `Interventionist' Policies by the West
- Yeni Safak
Denmark's Moller New UN Envoy for Cyprus - Radikal


BRIEFING

Erdogan in New York: Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan met
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on the sidelines of the UN
Summit in New York yesterday, papers report. Talabani
condemned the activities of the PKK, telling the press after
he met with Erdogan for some 50 minutes that Iraq will exert
every effort to combat the terror organization, which was
actually working `against the interests' of the Kurdish
people. Erdogan said Turkey will wait and see the
`implementation' of the pledges made by Talabani. Erdogan
also had a meeting with Iraqi PM al-Jafari. Following the
meeting, al-Jafari said that Turkey and Iraq agreed that the
territories of the two countries should not be used for
attacks against neighbors. He added that the two countries
also discussed the draft Iraqi constitution, operations in
Tal Afar and Iraq's rebuilding. Erdogan also had a chance
to hold brief talks with the presidents of Russia and
Romania, and the prime ministers of Britain and Italy at a
lunch hosted by UNSG Annan in honor of world leaders.
Erdogan agreed with Putin to hold the inauguration of the
`Blue Stream' natural gas pipeline in the first half of
November, say papers. Erdogan later addressed the UN
General Assembly, touching on the `injustices' regarding the
distribution of income and the race for armaments around the
world as the greatest obstacles against the happiness and
prosperity of nations. `Without wasting time, we must
explore ways to globalize peace instead of war, prosperity
instead of poverty and rights and freedoms instead of
oppression and violence,' Erdogan emphasized. The draft
joint communiqu will constitute an important step forward
by the international community toward fulfilling commitments
to achieve the millennium development goals, Erdogan said,
voicing hope that the structural reforms will be implemented
during the term of the 60th General Assembly. `The main
reason for us in submitting Turkey's candidacy for the 2009-
2010 UN Security Council is to contribute to the efforts for
global peace and prosperity,' he noted. On Thursday,
Erdogan also had a one-hour one-on-one with Charlie Rose on
PBS TV. During the interview, Erdogan called on the US to
heed Turkey's `sensitivities' with regard to Kirkuk and
called for `concrete steps' forward to handle the PKK
problem. The PM also stressed that US forces must not pull
out of Iraq before the Iraqi security forces are `trained
well enough to take over the control of the situation in
Iraq.'

US Uses Iskenderun Port to Ship Military Materials to Iraq:
The United States continues to transfer military vehicles
and munitions into Iraq through Turkey's eastern
Mediterranean port of Iskenderun, though US plans for its
use as a naval base during the Iraq campaign were rejected
in a vote in the Turkish Parliament, "Cumhuriyet" reports on
its front page. In the first seven months of this year the
US has shipped 4,046 military vehicles and 3,404 tons of
explosives into Iraq via Iskenderun. The US military
materiel was ferried to the nearby Incirlik Airbase before
being transferred into Iraq. Customs officials at the port
told "Milliyet" that both the Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA)
and the Turkish General Staff (TGS) had permitted the
offloading of US military cargo. MFA officials said that
the transfer of US military equipment into Iraq was allowed
under a `secret' decree by the cabinet of ministers in 2003
that was extended on April 18 of this year. `Transfer of US
equipment into northern Iraq was allowed following
instructions from the TGS under a framework of logistical
support. Transfer of military explosives is out of the
question,' MFA officials said.

McEldowney: A US Team Met with Turks on the PKK: The US
Charge d'Affaires Nancy McEldowney said after meeting with
Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) Assistant U/S Nabi Sensoy
yesterday that a team of US `specialists' had arrived in
Turkey to meet their Turkish counterparts earlier this week
to discuss combating the PKK, the all-news channel NTV
reported Friday. McEldowney said that the US team was
working to identify and ban organizations outside Turkey
that support the PKK. Commenting on the statements of Murat
Karayilan, McEldowney advised the terror organization to end
violence. The Charge said she had no information with
regard to any meeting between US officials and the PKK, and
noted: `As you know, we do not talk with terrorists.'

CHP Calls for Extraordinary Parliamentary Session on Terror:
Turkey's parliament is to hold an extraordinary session on
Monday to discuss the rising separatist terror and counter-
rallies by Turkish nationalists following a request by the
main opposition CHP, Speaker Bulent Arinc said on Thursday.
Following Arinc's call for an extraordinary session on
Monday, AK Party deputy group speaker Salih Kapusuz held a
press conference, saying that the timing of the
extraordinary session was `completely wrong.' Kapusuz said
that such a session would give the impression of ongoing
major developments in Turkey. The AKP will attend the
meeting only if the CHP manages to gather the 184 deputies
necessary for holding an extraordinary convention, he said.
The CHP has 158 seats in Parliament and will need the
support of other parties and independent lawmakers for a
quorum.

Karayilan Concerned about US Military Operations against the
PKK: PKK ringleader Murat Karayilan said the US was
preparing for a military operation against his group in the
Kandil Mountains, "Milliyet" reports. Karayilan accused the
US of plotting attacks against the PKK officials and urged
Americans to discuss problems directly with the PKK.
Karayilan threatened the KDP and PUK, saying that the
northern Iraqi Kurdish parties would be held responsible for
attacks against the PKK. If expelled from northern Iraq,
Karayilan said that he will move into `northern Kurdistan'
(Turkey) with his militia to continue their struggle, which
will further escalate the fighting in southeast Turkey, says
"Milliyet."

Sezer Invites Benedict XVI to Turkey in 2006: The Turkish
Foreign Ministry (MFA) said yesterday that President Sezer
officially invited Pope Benedict XVI to visit Turkey in
2006, papers report. Benedict XVI had accepted an
invitation from the Istanbul-based Greek Orthodox Patriarch
Bartholomew I to celebrate Saint Andrew's day in Istanbul on
November 30 to advance the dialogue between the two
churches, but was also waiting for the Turkish government to
approve the trip. MFA Spokesman Namik Tan said that the
visit will contribute to the pontiff's efforts to enhance
dialogue between religions and mutual understanding between
civilizations globally. Ankara was uncomfortable with the
Pope's previous opposition to Turkey's bid to join the EU,
but opposing the visit would have hurt Turkey's image in
Europe, especially in Catholic countries such as Austria and
France already worried about Ankara's EU aspirations, papers
comment. Diplomatic sources said that Turkey feared that
the Pope may criticize Ankara's treatment of its non-Muslim
minorities, including its refusal to reopen the Greek
Orthodox Halki Seminary in Istanbul. Ankara also fears that
Benedict may refer to Patriarch Bartholomew as `ecumenical,'
a title Turks are wary of for giving the Patriarch a much
greater political clout.

Turkey to Hold Interfaith Summit: Turkey's Religious
Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) is to host a meeting of the
representatives of different religions in the southern
province of Hatay from September 25-30, papers report.
Prime Minister Erdogan will open the meeting supported by
the Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA). Pope Benedict XVI will
send his senior clerics Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata,
Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN Francesco
Brugnaro, the overseer of the Roman congregation Ambassador
Mario Sciabja and Vatican Treasurer Franco Craci to the
Hatay convention. The Armenian Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan,
the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew, Chief Rabbi Isak
Haleva and Syrian Orthodox Patriarch in Antakya Ignatius
Zekka I will also participate in the meeting to be observed
by the ambassadors of 37 countries in Turkey. Academics
from Turkey, the US, France, the UK, Germany, Bosnia-
Herzegovina, Russia, Canada, Switzerland, Pakistan, Belgium,
Iran, Greece, Egypt and Morocco will release 45
proclamations at the meeting, which is to be broadcast live
by Al-Jazeera, according to reports.

Torun Lashes Out at US for `Immoral' Actions in Tal Afar:
Cavit Torun, an AK Party lawmaker from Turkey's mainly
Kurdish southeastern province of Diyarbakir, said in an
article he wrote for the local daily "Diyarbakir Olay" that
US forces and the accompanying `mean apes disguised as
soldiers' were bombing everything that moved in Tal Afar,
using `napalm bombs' against the Muslims living in the
northern Iraqi city, "Milliyet" reports. `Those who are at
war should not be involved in immoral actions against
unarmed innocent civilians and women and children. US
troops have sown the seeds of mischief on top of all values
deemed sacred by local people, and they think that they can
grow it with their excrement. When you look at the
revolutions and wars in this geography, you will see that
the US and its flatterer Britain have either been the
perpetrators of such actions or protected those who commit
them,' Torun wrote.
`Islamists' Lead among Turkish High School Students: A
survey sponsored by the EU showed that a significant number
of Turkish high school students called themselves
`Islamist,' "Milliyet" reports. This number rises to as
high as 64.7 percent in theology high schools (Imam-Hatip,)
where future Muslim clergy are educated. The overall
percentage of Islamists in all high schools is 30.4 percent.
Forty-seven point six percent of all students defined
themselves as `nationalists,' 16.1 as `rightists,' and 11.1
as `extreme rightists,' according to the research. The
survey was conducted among 4,545 high-school students in 12
provinces. The survey displays the striking gap among the
state, private, vocational and theology high school
students, says the report.

PKK Moves News Agency to the Pacific: "Yeni Safak"
publishes a front-page report which says that the PKK has
relocated the "Mesopotamia News Agency" (MNA) from Germany
to the Tokelau Islands in the Pacific after the German
government's decision to ban the PKK-affiliated Kurdish news
agency. The Turkish Foreign Ministry asked New Zealand
authorities to ban the MNA from operating from the Tokelau
Islands.

PKK Landmines Kill 2 Soldiers in Semdinli: Landmines
believed to have been planted by PKK militants killed two
troops and injured six others in Semdinli near the
southeastern province of Hakkari, papers report. On Friday,
one PKK militant was killed by jandarma in the same region.
Security forces seized 3 kg of C-4 plastic explosives, hand
grenades and ammunition in the terrorists' hideout, say
reports.


EDITORIAL OPINION: United Nations; Iraq

"The Powerful Ones Seek More Power"
Fehmi Koru argued in the Islamist-opinion maker "Yeni Safak"
(9/16): "The UN restructuring was designed by the Bush and
Bolton duo, and generally it seems that the demands of the
powerful were addressed. The text proposing UN
restructuring does not indicate good intentions behind the
effort since it contains much rhetoric that can easily be
distorted or misused. .. In the agreed upon text, new
authorizations will be provided and new units will be
established; both of them have loopholes for misuse. The US
did not get what it wanted from the UN during the Iraq
crisis, and this time its efforts are designed to shape the
UN according to American interests."

"Iraq Goes Where?"
Erdal Guven wrote in the liberal-intellectual "Radikal"
(9/16): "From now on it is very hard to rule out the
possibility of a civil war in Iraq. Despite Robert Fisk's
argument in The Independent, civil war is more than a remote
possibility in Iraq. Factors related to the Shiites and the
Kurds indicated the potential for a civil war in Iraq after
the first Gulf War. Today the Al-Qaeda factor must be added
to those conditions. Al-Qaeda has asymmetrical power in
Iraq and is using it very effectively. Al-Qaeda has no
shortage of human beings who are ready to die. It is
obvious that both American and Iraqi forces are incapable of
eliminating Al-Qaeda's power and influence in the country."
"Turkey's Obligations on Iraq"
Cengiz Candar commented in the conservative, sensational
"Bugun" (9/16): "The upcoming referendum in Iraq is very
important because it has the potential to impact the future
of the region, including Turkey. Turkey has repeatedly
mentioned its sensitivity regarding Iraq's territorial
integrity. There are three obligations that must be
fulfilled if Turkey truly cares about the territorial
integrity of Iraq. Turkey must exert every possible effort
for the approval of this constitution and must pay special
attention to persuading the Sunnis. Turkey should be ready
for the `loose federation' concept in Iraq, which is the
alternative to a chaotic and divided Iraq. And under any
circumstances, Turkey must establish a warm and close
relationship with the Iraqi Kurds."

MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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