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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 04 ANKARA 005540

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 23, 2005

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Ankara to Give Hadley Report on PKK Finances - Sabah
Hughes Due in Turkey to Restore Bush Image - Aksam
Erdogan: EU Counter-Declaration Full of Contradictions -
Hurriyet
Erdogan: Armenian Conference Ban Not Consistent with
Democracy - Milliyet
EU Sees Armenian Conference Ban as `New Provocation' - Vatan
US Gives 6 Million USD for Education of Turkish Children -
Sabah
3 PKK Terrorists Killed in Van - Milliyet
Rita Fear Evacuates Houston - Vatan

OPINION MAKERS
Hadley, Hughes to Visit Ankara - Radikal
Zebari Lashes Out at Syria for Lack of Cooperation -
Cumhuriyet
Bush: I Won't Pull Troops Out of Iraq - Yeni Safak
Shiites in Saudi Arabia Revolt against Riyadh - Yeni Safak
2 Turkmen Officials Killed in Mosul - Cumhuriyet
`Grand Coalition' Talks Continue in Germany - Zaman
EU Backpedals on Tehran's Nuclear Program - Cumhuriyet
1.3 Million Americans Flee Hurricane Rita - Radikal
Rita Stronger than Katrina - Zaman
US Rejects Cuban Aid Offer for Katrina Victims - Yeni Safak

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BRIEFING

Hadley Due in Ankara for Talks: Stephen Hadley, the
National Security Advisor to President Bush, will be in
Ankara today for a two-day visit to hold talks at the
Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) and the National Security
Council (NSC), papers report. Hadley will also meet Prime
Minister Erdogan and Chief of the Turkish General Staff
(TGS), General Hilmi Ozkok. Hadley will discuss the PKK,
Iraq, Iran, and Cyprus, according to press reports. "Sabah"
reports that Ankara has prepared an intelligence report
detailing financial sources and front groups of the PKK in
several countries, including the United States. The PKK has
an annual income of 150 million Euro, of which 50 million
Euro comes from drug and human trafficking, the report
claims. The report also suggests that financial flows to
the PKK are being handled by the Kurdish Employees
Organization (KARSAZ) in Germany, and the Kurdish Democratic
People's Forces (ERNK).

Hughes to Visit Turkey: US Undersecretary of State for
Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Karen Hughes, will
visit Turkey September 27-29 on the last leg of her regional
tour. Her stops in Ankara and Istanbul will follow visits
to Egypt and Saudi Arabia early next week. Hughes will meet
with senior government officials, university students, and
leaders of religious and non-governmental organizations in
Ankara and Istanbul. Hughes, a longtime advisor to
President Bush, will try to counter negative attitudes about
US policies in the Middle East on her first official trip
overseas. "Zaman" asserts that Hughes has been assigned by
President Bush to `polish' the image of the United States
around the world.

Court Suspends Bogazici University Armenian Conference:
Papers report that a Turkish court blocked on Thursday a
conference that was to have questioned Ankara's official
line on the controversial mass deportation and killings of
Armenians during the last years of the Ottoman Empire. An
administrative court in Istanbul accepted a complaint by a
group of lawyers who opposed the gathering. The conference,
entitled `Ottoman Armenians of an Empire in Decline,' was to
have opened on Friday at the prestigious Bogazici University
in Istanbul. The meeting was to have brought together about
60 researchers to examine the alleged atrocities committed
in eastern Anatolia between 1915 and 1918, as well as the
denial of genocide by the Turkish state. The conference had
already been canceled earlier this year after Justice
Minister Cemil Cicek characterized such a discussion as a
`stab in the back' to the Turkish nation. Bogazici
University had been asked to supply the court with
information on the case within 30 days. `It is not possible
for me to approve of this decision,' Prime Minister Erdogan
told the press: `I think that it is against democracy,
freedom, and modernity to obstruct such a platform when it
is not even known what will be discussed.' Foreign Minister
Gul reacted strongly to the court ruling as well, saying
that `there is no other country that harms its own interests
as much as we do.' Gul noted that he would `not be
surprised' to see other moves intended to damage Turkey's EU
drive on the eve of October 3, the opening date for talks on
Turkey's membership in the European bloc. The EU Commission
described the suspension of the conference as `a new
provocation,' expressing regret over the ruling that blocks
an `attempt to debate Turkish history freely.' The EU's
Joost Lagendijk said that the ruling showed that reforms in
Turkey must continue, and that the new Turkish penal code is
inadequate. "Milliyet" reported from Washington that the
suspension of the conference will deal a blow to Turkish
lobbying activities in the United States. Turkish diplomats
in the US had been citing the conference as an example of
tolerance in Turkey. US officials were disappointed with
the court ruling, which came amid attempts to block two
Armenian `genocide' bills in the US Congress, "Milliyet"
reports.

Ankara: EU Turkey Declaration One-Sided, Politically
Motivated: On Thursday, Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA)
Spokesman Namik Tan said that the EU declaration criticizing
Ankara's refusal to recognize Cyprus was `unjust, one-sided
and politically motivated.' The EU declaration said that
Ankara will have to recognize Cyprus before it can join the
EU. `We regret this counter-declaration. It has a style
which does not accord with the traditional spirit of
cooperation that has existed between Turkey and the EU over
a period of 40 years,' Tan said. He said the declaration
ignored the rights and expectations of the Turkish Cypriots,
describing this as a `serious injustice.' Tan called on the
EU to keep its promises to lift economic sanctions on
Turkish Cypriots, and to provide financial aid to the north
of the divided island. Prime Minister Erdogan said on
Wednesday that the EU counter-declaration contained
`contradictory' elements. `The negotiation framework
document matters more to us, and therefore we are following
that very closely,' Erdogan said. The EU declaration came
in response to an earlier declaration by Turkey in July,
which said that the extension of Turkey's customs protocol
with the EU to all new member states did not imply
recognition of Cyprus. Ankara then continued to block Greek
Cypriot vessels and aircraft from calling at Turkish ports
and airports. The EU declaration said that the EU expected
Turkey to fully implement the customs union and remove
`restrictions on means of transport,' noting that the EU
will `evaluate' full implementation of the customs union in
2006.

US Gives 6 Million USD for Education of Turkish Children:
US Charge d'Affaires Nancy McEldowney said that the United
States has apportioned 6 million USD in an effort to
encourage school enrollment for 10,000 Turkish children who
stay at home or are sent to work. `In this year alone, the
United States Government has contributed 15 million USD for
programs dedicated to helping the children of Turkey get the
education that they want and so richly deserve. A few
months ago we gave 9 million USD to help poor families keep
their children in school. Today, we are launching a 6
million USD program to help families working in agriculture
get their children out of the fields and into school,'
McEldowney said at a signing ceremony for the US grant, at
which Turkey's Education Minister Huseyin Celik and Labor
Minister Murat Basesgioglu joined the Charge on Thursday.
`The project will give Turkish children what we want to give
to our children - a helping hand and a chance to make their
lives better,' McEldowney said. The project will end in
September 2008, and will include school-age children in
Turkey's southeastern and eastern provinces of Gaziantep,
Sanliurfa, Mardin, and Elazig, and the capital Ankara.

Denmark Rejects Closure of Pro-Kurdish ROJ TV: Papers
report that Denmark has rejected Ankara's demands for the
closure of the television channel ROJ-TV, known to be close
to the PKK and the Kurdish cause. Danish authorities
considered an application by the Turkish embassy in
Copenhagen, but decided not to ban ROJ-TV, saying that the
station's broadcasts do not violate Danish law. In New York
last week for the United Nations summit, Prime Minister
Erdogan had complained about ROJ-TV to his Danish
counterpart. Meanwhile, the Turkish Embassy in Riyadh has
asked Saudi Arabia to suspend broadcasts of the `PKK
mouthpiece' ROJ-TV, which uses Saudi-based "Arabsat" to
reach the Middle East.

Farmers Demonstrate against Rising Costs: Turkish farmers
rallied in the western province of Manisa on Thursday to
protest against high oil prices and input costs, papers
report. About 80,000 angry farmers flocked to Manisa for
the rally, claiming that state incentives were not
sufficient to counteract increasing costs. The farmers
called on the ruling AK Party to honor its promises to
farmers and agricultural workers.

Five PKK Militants Surrender: Five members of the outlawed
PKK turned themselves in to Turkish jandarma at the Habur
border gate, sources told the press on Thursday. Meanwhile,
security forces seized 2 kg of C-4 explosives and 600 grams
of TNT at a house raid in Turkey's eastern province of Van.
The house belonged to two PKK terrorists arrested early
yesterday morning following a clash with security forces in
which three militants were killed.

Turkmen Killed in Attack in Mosul: Two Iraqi Turkmen Front
(ITF) officials were killed by armed assailants in front of
the ITF office in Mosul on Thursday morning, Turkish papers
report. A Turkmen guard was seriously wounded in the
attack. The Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) strongly
condemned the attack in an official statement.

110 Turks Killed in Iraq Since March 2003: "Yeni Safak"
reports that 110 Turkish businessmen, workers, and truck
drivers were killed, and 87 others abducted in Iraq since
March 1, 2003. The report cites statistical data provided
by the Habur border crossing.


EDITORIAL OPINION: German Elections; EU/Turkey

"The German Elections and the US"
Haluk Ulman wrote in the economic-political "Dunya" (9/23):
"There are many uncertainties in the aftermath of German
elections. Angela Merkel hopes to lead the coalition, but
it remains to be seen if she will succeed in keeping her
party leadership. Schroeder's position at the head of the
SPD is also shaky. Unless these two leaders agree on a
grand coalition formula, Germany will go through a period of
political uncertainty. Among the losers of the German
elections, we should also mention the US -- particularly in
connection with the Bush administration's Iraq policy. From
the beginning, Schroeder has stood against the US policy in
Iraq, and has not collaborated with President Bush. It is
no secret that President Bush does not like him. Merkel, on
the other hand, pursued a very pro-American stance.
Merkel's unsuccessful performance in the election is bad
news for Washington. . The EU should also be seen as a
loser. The uncertainty in Germany will bring more trouble
for the EU, especially following the rejection of the EU
Constitution by France and the Netherlands."

"The EU's Trouble Maker"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (9/23): "The
tactical games played by the Greek Cypriots during the
COREPER talks are only the beginning. Once the EU starts
negotiations with Turkey on October 3, we are sure to see
more tricks from the Papadopoulos government. Following the
COREPER talks, EU circles in Brussels have started grumbling
about the intransigence of the Greek Cypriots. But who is
to blame in this? Those very same circles last year
defended the inclusion of the Greek Cypriots in the EU, and
did not want to accept that they were importing trouble into
the Union. . It is certain that the accession of Greek
Cyprus to the EU has made the settlement of Cyprus problem
more difficult than ever before. The EU now must deal with
Papadopoulos' efforts to impose its own terms on the entire
European Union. . Given the current situation, it looks as
if Papadopoulos has chosen the EU as his battlefield.
Unfortunately, it was the EU that allowed this to happen."

MCELDOWNEY

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