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 005507
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
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2005
THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
Rice: PKK a Matter of Timing, Not Principle - Sabah
Fried: US, Turkey Agree to Increase Pressure on PKK -
Gul at UN: Northern Iraq a Terrorist Training Base -
US Asks for Time on the PKK - Aksam
PKK Extends `Suspension of Operations' to October 3 - Sabah
Talabani: We Need US Troops in Iraq - Vatan
CSIS Report: Iraq a Base for Islamic Militants - Sabah
Karamanlis to Visit Turkey in Late November - Hurriyet
3 PKK Terrorists Killed in Van - Sabah
US Waiting for the `Right Time' for PKK - Cumhuriyet
Gul: UN Cannot be By-Passed on Cyprus - Radikal
Zabari Gives Assurances on PKK - Yeni Safak
MFA: No Recognition Without Cyprus Settlement - Cumhuriyet
Saudi FM: US Deepening Sectarian Divide in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Saudi FM: US Surrendering Iraq to Iran - Yeni Safak
CSIS Report: 30,000 Insurgents in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Hamas Open to Compromise with Israel - Radikal
Israel, Iran Spar at UNGA - Zaman
Russia Supports Iran at UN - Yeni Safak
Kaddafi to Pay Surprise Visit to Israel Soon - Yeni Safak
UN: Vatican Protects War Criminals - Yeni Safak
Rice, Gul Meet in New York: At a meeting Foreign Minister
Gul in New York yesterday, Secretary Rice signaled that US
action against the PKK presence in Iraq is `a matter of
timing, not a matter of principle.' Unidentified Turkish
officials told journalists that the US side `expressed a
greater willingness to talk about things that could be done'
than in the past. A Turkish diplomat said that `both sides
were pleased' by the Gul-Rice meeting. The sides also
exchanged views about developments in Iraq, including
`sensitive' issues such as Kirkuk and Tal Afar.
Fried: US, Turkey Agree to Increase Pressure on PKK: The
following is a summary of an interview with Daniel Fried,
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian
Affairs, that was carried today in "Milliyet:"
`We know how concerned the Turkish government and people are
about the PKK issue. The Foreign Minister expressed these
concerns very openly and honestly with Secretary Rice. We
have agreed with the Turks that we need to step up the
pressure on the PKK and its affiliates in Europe. This
doesn't solve the problem, but it is an important step
forward. Our goal is to eliminate the PKK wherever it has a
`There are many security threats in Iraq that we are working
to eliminate. We cannot counter all threats at the same
time. This does not mean we don't care -- we do. We think
this is very important. Foreign Minister Gul made the
Turkish position very clear to us. He left no room for
misinterpretation. Secretary Rice understood what he meant.
There are things that we may be able to do, and we are
working on them.'
`We are not in a position to meet the most dramatic
expectations of the Turkish people. We are not in a
position to launch a military operation. You must remember
that Iraq is a sovereign country. The real communication
channels should be between the governments of Turkey and
Iraq. This is a matter of concern not only the US, but for
Iraq as well. But we are determined to step up the pressure
and do whatever we can.'
`Our policy is the elimination of terrorists from Iraq.
What the Turkish people should understand from this is that
we want the PKK removed completely from Turkey and Iraq.
They must be eliminated wherever they are seen.'
`Tripartite cooperation among Turkey, the US, and Iraq has
improved, both rhetorically and in terms of joint action.
Turkey and the US share common strategic goals in Iraq. We
want a peaceful, secure and democratic Iraq that remains as
a single state. We want the constitutional arrangements to
strengthen Iraq, not to divide it. The US and Turkey
totally agree on the kind of Iraq we want to see. Of
course, this new Iraq should be an Iraq without the PKK.'
`We understand and sympathize with Turkey's concerns
regarding the Turkmen in Kirkuk and Tal Afar. This recent
operation in Tal Afar has avoided some of the issues that
were raised during operations year. We also know well
Turkeys' concerns regarding Kirkuk, and we understand them.'
`We have never believed in a division of Iraqi territory.
We want the status of Kirkuk to be determined in a way that
will serve the interests of all Iraqis.'
Gul Addresses UNGA: On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Abdullah
Gul delivered a speech at the 60th session of the UN General
Assembly in New York. Gul offered the condolences of the
Turkish people to the American people for the tragic loss of
life and large-scale destruction caused by Hurricane
Katrina. Gul said that a democratic Iraq at peace with its
neighbors can only be created by the inclusion of all Iraqi
groups in a coalition. He stressed that the existence of
different ethnic and religious groups must not be a force
for division in Iraq: `On the contrary, a multicultural
society would make Iraq stronger. If a multi-cultural Iraq
does not live up to its expectations, this will generate
conflict and instability instead of hope and inspiration for
the region.' Gul claimed that Turkey, in cooperation with
the UN, had been at the forefront of efforts for political
and economic rehabilitation in Iraq. `The Neighbors of Iraq
Forum, pioneered by Turkey, has been an effective platform
to support the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.
Iraq has unfortunately become a training ground for
terrorists. We are concerned that terrorism emanating from
Iraq may affect other countries, including Turkey. It is
our joint duty to prevent such an outcome,' he added. Gul
also discussed the Middle East, noting that recent
developments in the peace process and in Lebanon had raised
hopes. He welcomed the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza
Strip, and called for a similar process for the West Bank.
`Israeli settlement activities in occupied territories must
come to an end. The sanctity of the holy sites in Jerusalem
must be respected. The roadmap should be revived and fully
implemented,' Gul said, stressing that terrorism should not
be allowed to derail the peace process this time. `The
reforms in the Palestinian National Authority must move
forward, particularly in the area of security. Efforts to
improve living conditions of the Palestinians should be
intensified,' the Turkish FM said. With regard to Cyprus,
Gul denounced attempts to `move the issue away from the UN.'
`We regard efforts to undermine the role of the UN as a most
disturbing paradox,' Gul said. He noted that `although the
Annan Plan did not fully meet expectations, the Turkish
Cypriots, for the sake of compromise, approved it with an
overwhelming majority. The rejection of the Annan Plan at
the referenda held last year was a blow to the international
community.' Gul added that it is difficult to believe that
the Turkish Cypriots continue to live under restrictions,
cut off from the outside world. The FM called for the
lifting of all restrictions on northern Cyprus, and
suggested the need to enable the free movement of people,
goods, and services. On the fight against terrorism, Gul
condemned the `chain of attacks' across the world.
`Combating terrorism should be a global, collective
struggle, and the UN should continue to play a prominent
role,' he said. Gul emphasized the right to peaceful uses
of nuclear energy, and underlined the requirement for
countries to maintain full and transparent cooperation with
the International Atomic Energy Agency. `The establishment
of WMD-free zones, particularly in the Middle East, would be
an important contribution to international peace and
security,' Gul said.
Gul Meets with Zebari: Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime
Minister Abdullah Gul met with Iraqi Foreign Minister
Hoshyar Zebari in New York yesterday. According to
diplomatic sources, the draft Iraqi constitution, recent
developments in Tal Afar, and the PKK presence in northern
Iraq were discussed. Zebari said that Iraq had been doing
everything in its power, and pledged to `do something' more
on the PKK issue.
Gul on the PKK, EU Counter-Declaration, Cyprus: On
Thursday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told journalists
from NTV that Turkey said that nobody should doubt that
Turkey has the power to use `every means necessary' to fight
the PKK in northern Iraq. Gul claimed that the failure of
the US to take steps against the PKK has caused a `loss of
prestige' for the US in Turkey. `Turkey hopes to see
visible signs that the US is taking steps together with Iraq
on this issue,' he emphasized. Regarding the EU counter-
declaration issued yesterday in the face of Ankara's refusal
to recognize Nicosia, Gul noted that the EU accession
document had yet to be approved by the European Parliament.
`The issue is being assessed, and we will then make a
statement,' he said. Gul also criticized the Greek Cypriot
administration for trying to `lure' the EU into efforts to
resolve the Cyprus problem. Gul said that Turkey opposes
efforts to move the issue away from the UN.
EU Counter-Declaration on Turkey: Dailies quote Turkish
diplomatic sources as saying that the EU counter-declaration
for Turkey `went too far,' whereas EU Enlargement Commission
Olli Rehn described the document as `reasonable and
balanced.' `The agreement paves the way for the adoption of
the negotiating framework, and thus the opening of entry
talks with Turkey on October 3,' Rehn said. `This proposal
takes due account of all concerns and provides a solid basis
for rigorous and fair negotiations with Turkey. I look
forward to its rapid adoption by EU member states,' Rehn
noted. Papers claim that the Greek Cypriots had managed to
get concessions from the EU by threatening to delay the
approval of the counter-declaration. Most commentaries
suggest that the EU did not press for the immediate
recognition of the Greek Cypriot state, but signaled that
Turkey will not be allowed to delay recognition until the
final stage of the accession talks. The EU also wants
Turkey to remove `all obstacles' to the free movement of
goods, including a ban on Greek Cypriot ships and planes
calling at Turkish ports and airports. The EU said the bloc
will review progress on the opening of Turkey's ports and
airports in 2006.
Iskenderun Port Halts Shipments to Iraq: "Cumhuriyet"
reports that Turkey's Customs Undersecretariat has decided
to halt the transfer to Iraq of 120 vehicles and 71 crates
offloaded from the Egyptian flagged "Egyptian Pride" at
Turkey's Mediterranean port of Iskenderun. Iskenderun
Maritime Trade Chamber chairman Bulent Kavsak said that the
military vehicles brought to the port in Iskenderun could
not be classified as `combat vehicles,' but are intended for
logistical and humanitarian support.
McEldowney Announces US Grant for Education of Needy Turkish
Students: Turkey's leading national daily, "Hurriyet,"
carried an op-ed by US Charge d'Affaires, Nancy McEldowney,
in which the Charge expressed US support for the education
of Turkish children. `In Turkey, many families in rural
areas are unable to send their children to school, and
instead have them stay at home or work in the fields,'
McEldowney wrote, noting that the US government has
contributed 9 million USD to a Turkish project under which
cash payments are made to poor families so that they can
keep their children in school. `The project has been
particularly successful in helping Turkish girls get to
school - and stay there,' McEldowney said. The Charge wrote
that this effort will be advanced further with another US
grant of 6 million USD. `This program, called `From the
Field to the School,' will help children throughout the
country engaged in seasonal agricultural labor leave the
fields and enroll in school,' she wrote. McEldowney
concluded that `by working together on these collaborative
programs, Turkey and America stand very tall and very proud.
Together we will build a better future for all our
Baydemir Suggests Democratic Debate Will Help Solve Kurdish
Problem: Papers report that Diyarbakyr Mayor Osman Baydemir
told the European Parliament that violence will return in
Turkey if democratic channels for solving the Kurdish issue
are blocked. Baydemir was in brussles to address a
conference sponsored by the EU-Turkey Civil Commission to
discuss the Kurdish issue. He said that the main reason for
Turkey's failure to solve the Kurdish issue thus far is the
absence of democratic debate. Responding to questions from
the press, Baydemir said that Turkey must create a suitable
milieu in which democratic discussions can be held.
`Otherwise, the violence will continue,' Baydemir said, in
remarks seen by some commentators as a `threat' for the
reemergence of PKK violence. Some papers chareg that
Baydemir has been acting as a mouthpiece for the imprisoned
PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.
Ankara Forum Holds Fourth Meeting in Istanbul: The third
gathering of the `Ankara Forum' was held in Istanbul
yesterday with the participation of the Palestinian Chambers
of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture, the Israeli Economic
Foundation, and the Turkish Union of Chambers (TOBB). The
sides said in a joint press statement that the Ankara Forum
is focused on the Palestinian Free Industrial Zone, the
development of small and medium-scale enterprises,
construction, and financing. The Forum's fourth meeting
will take place in Tel Aviv in November. TOBB Chairman
Rifat Hisarciklioglu said that a budget of 3 billion USD has
been allocated to help the development of Palestinian
economy, and he called on Turkish entrepreneurs to
participate in rebuilding a new Palestine. "Sabah" says
that the Palestinian Free Industry Zone, which will be
established between Turkey and Palestine through the efforts
of TOBB, will help Turkish businessmen to surmount US quota
restrictions. The US, Russia, the EU, and the UN have
agreed to extend 3 billion USD in financial support to
Palestine over the next three years. They also agreed to
set up a special industrial zone in Palestinian territory.
Goods produced in that special zone and exported to the US
will be exempt from quota restrictions. The zone will be
run by TOBB. "Sabah" expects businessmen from the region
and from Turkey to rush to Palestine to benefit from these
Three PKK Terrorists Killed in Van: Security forces killed
three PKK militants in Turkey's eastern city of Van late
last night, papers report. Two militants were wounded in
the clash, and two others escaped.
EDITORIAL OPINION: German Election/Future of EU/Turkey
"The Final Junction"
Soli Ozel wrote in the mass appeal "Sabah" (9/22): "The
result of the German election provides some clues for
understanding the current situation within the EU. The fact
is that the European Union will very likely be in a state of
political deadlock, if not political crisis, over the next
four years. Due to the choice made by the German people,
the German economy will continue to slow down in the period
ahead. . The possibility of a solid and strong EU is
further clouded when the crisis in Germany is combined with
the identity crisis that exists in France. All of this
points toward a looser EU along the lines preferred by the
United Kingdom. In any case, the EU's need to work toward a
joint foreign policy, to improve its competitiveness, and to
address its security concerns has not diminished."
"It is not Binding, But."
Sami Kohen opined in the mainstream daily "Milliyet" (9/21):
"At first glance, the counter-declaration issued by the EU
could be considered as a one-sided statement that does not
contain binding obligations for Turkey. Although it is true
that, just like Turkey's July 29 declaration, the counter-
declaration has no legal value, it does reflect the joint
determination of EU countries on the controversial issues of
Turkey's recognition of Cyprus and the opening of its ports
to the Greek Cypriots. This EU approach is in direct
conflict with the view that Turkey is defending. There is
no doubt that this declaration also has political
importance. The declaration laid out the expectations the
EU has of Turkey during the upcoming EU. Even though the
language in the declaration was rather soft, it is not hard
to guess that some EU countries, especially the Greek
Cypriots, will remind Turkey of these expectations at every
opportunity. But it wouldn't be right for Turkey to use
this declaration as an excuse to walk away from the table on
October 3. Now the most important issue is the finalization
of the framework document for negotiations , which is
binding and thus even more important."