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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.

031545Z Oct 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ANKARA 005949

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 30, 2005


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Gul: Turkey Won't Show Before Seeing EU Framework - Sabah
Blair: Turkey Can Be Bridge Between Europe, Arab World -
Hurriyet
Blair: Britain's Iraq Pullout Depends on December Polls -
Hurriyet
Patriarch Bartolomew: Turkey is Part of Europe - Hurriyet
Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II to EU: Do Not Exclude Turkey -
Vatan
Ties between Turkey, EU at Breaking Point - Aksam
Vienna Barrier on Turkey's Road to EU - Milliyet
`Kurdistan Airlines' Flies Over Turkish Skies - Milliyet

OPINION MAKERS
Michael Rubin: Timing of Hadley, Hughes Visits Symbolic -
Zaman
Washington Post: Turks Challenge Hughes on Iraq - Radikal
Talabani Wants Cooperation with Turkey - Yeni Safak
Minister Salih: Iraq Takes Turkey's Terror Concerns
Seriously - Cumhuriyet
Athens: We Support Turkey's EU Membership - Yeni Safak
Triple Bomb Attacks Kill 85 in Iraq - Zaman
Local Elections Held in West Bank - Yeni Safak
US Removes Part of Arms Sanctions on Libya - Cumhuiryet

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BRIEFING

Hughes Loved Istanbul: US Undersecretary of State for
Public Diplomacy, Karen Hughes, toured tourist areas during
her free time in Istanbul on Thursday, "Milliyet" reports.
Hughes said she had been `enchanted' by Istanbul. `Turkey
and the Turks have fascinated me. People here are
incredibly welcoming and hospitable. Istanbul is a place
that has to be seen. It's a feast of marvelous views,'
Hughes said after touring Istanbul's famous tourist
attraction Covered Bazaar (Kapalicarsi.) Hughes said she
would come back as soon as possible to do some shopping for
her house. Hughes said she will prepare an extensive report
for President Bush on Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. She
departed Turkey for the US on a private plane yesterday
afternoon.

Undersecretary Joseph in Ankara: The Bush Administration
has stepped up efforts to gain Turkey's support for US
policies with regard to Syria and Iran, "Radikal" reports.
US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and
International Security Affairs, Robert Joseph, the third
high-level US official to call on Turkey following official
visits by Presidential National Security Advisor Stephen
Hadley and Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes, will hold
meetings in Ankara today to discuss `nuclear tensions' in
the region. Ankara had warned Hadley and Hughes that an
intervention against Syria may prove to be riskier than
Iraq. Ankara is cautious, and has also hinted to the
Americans that it does not have full confidence in the UN-
led investigation into the Hariri assassination. The paper
claims that Washington is expecting a `clear Turkish
contribution' on the issue.

Hughes Visits Patriarch Barholomew: Undersecretary Hughes
called on the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate on Thursday before
departing from later in the day, papers report. Hughes said
after meeting with Bartholomew I that the Patriarch was a
`great and prominent' religious representative. A statement
by the Patriarchate in Istanbul said that Bartholomew had
told Hughes about the importance of reopening Halki Seminary
for the education of clergy for the Orthodox Church.

EU Fails to Agree on Framework Document for Turkey:
European Union ambassadors failed again on Thursday to agree
on a negotiating framework document for the opening of
accession talks with Turkey next week, papers report. EU
term president Britain summoned ministers to an emergency
meeting on Sunday. EU diplomats said that the 24 other
countries had been prepared to accept the draft negotiating
framework, but that Austria had demanded substantial
changes. `Turkey will not go Luxembourg if we don't see the
negotiating mandate beferohand,' Foreign Minister Abdullah
Gul said on Thursday. `Both the EU presidency and the
member states know there are some elements that cannot be
accepted by Turkey. There is a heavy agenda in front of us.
But we still have time to resolve the problems,' Gul said.
PM Erdogan said that he does not believe that the current
impasse represents a `serious problem' for Turkey.
Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc said that no one should
expect the Turkish assembly to approve Turkey's accession
protocol before October 3, stressing that the matter will be
discussed by the parliament after membership talks with
Ankara are kicked off.

Salih Visits Ankara: Visiting Iraq Planning and Development
Minister, Dr. Barham Salih, said yesterday that he had
brought goodwill messages expressing determination to
improve ties with Turkey from President Talabani and Prime
Minister Jafari to Ankara. `Iraq takes Turkish concerns
over the PKK seriously. My government will not tolerate
armed attacks against any of Iraq's neighbors. The
governments of Iraq and Turkey need a wider exchange of
intelligence to achieve greater security in the region,'
Salih told the all-news channel NTV. Salih met with Energy
Minister Hilmi Guler and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on
Thursday. Guler said after meeting with Salih that Ankara
and Baghdad will work on measures to ensure the regular oil
flow through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. `We see occasional
interruptions in the oil flow in the pipeline. We want to
change the route of the pipeline to ensure a more regular
flow,' Guler said. The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline has a
capacity of approximately 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd),
but output has averaged only around 200,000 bpd since 2003
because of sabotage attacks.

Turkmen Party Official Claims Rape of Iraqi Women by US
Soldiers: Iraqi Democratic Turkmen Party Chairman Kasim
Omer told the semi-official Anatolian News Agency that 25
Iraqi women had been raped by US forces over the past month
during coalition operations in Tal Afar. Omer said that one
of the women who was raped later became a suicide bomber and
blew herself up, killing six others in Tal Afar on
Wednesday. Omer showed some photographs to the press, and
claimed that US forces had killed scores of innocent
civilians, including pregnant women. The US Embassy issued
a written statement Friday afternoon characterizing Omer's
remarks as `highly inaccurate' and highlighting the effort
being made to repair the damage in Tal Afar and return
people to their homes.

New Iraq Abuse Photographs Scandal: Turkish media report
that a pornographic website provided free access to some
30,000 US troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in exchange
for photos of the troops with Iraqis or Afghans they had
killed. The US military said that it could not verify the
authenticity of the photographs, or whether they had been
sent by US troops. The military said it saw no reason for
further official investigation into the charges. However, a
federal justice in the US ruled that the pictures should be
made public. The Pentagon has objected to the ruling,
arguing that such disclosure will further damage battered US
image abroad.

Police Detain Hizb-ut Tahrir Members: A man and his son
were arrested for faxing a statement to military units in
Istanbul on behalf of the fundamentalist `Hizb-ut Tahrir'
organization, papers report. The four-page statement,
entitled `a call on devout officers in the Turkish military
to take urgent action,' was faxed from an electronics shop
in Istanbul's conservative Fatih district. An Arabic
magazine and two hand-drawn maps were found in the suspects'
home. Meanwhile, a man believed to be the head of the Hizb-
ut Tahrir in Turkey was detained in Adana yesterday. The
suspect is believed to have instigated an unauthorized
demonstration by the group during the summer, in which
demonstrators called for an end to the Turkish Republic and
criticized Ataturk.

Independent Lawmaker Joins ANAP: An independent lawmaker
from Turkey's eastern province of Erzurum, Ibrahim Ozdogan,
joined the opposition Motherland Party (ANAP) on Thursday,
increasing the number of ANAP seats in the parliament to 18.
ANAP, which is chaired by former Tourism Minister Erkan
Mumcu, needs just two more deputies to form a party group in
the parliament. The current distribution of seats in the
parliament is as follows: AKP 355, CHP 157, ANAP 18, DYP 4,
SHP 4, HYP 1, Independent 7, and Vacant 4.

Kurdistan Airlines Fly between Frankfurt and Erbil:
"Milliyet" reports that northern Iraq's `Kurdistan Airlines'
is now flying between Frankfurt and Erbil over the Turkish
air corridor under the name of `Hamburg International'
airlines run by Germans. Turkish officials said the flight
over Turkey is probably permitted because Kurdistan Airlines
is not written on the plane, and that Turkey cannot legally
prevent a flight requested by Germans for commercial
purposes.

Two PKK Members Surrender: Two PKK terrorists surrendered
to Turkish security forces in Silopi, in the southeastern
province of Sirnak yesterday. The militants complained
about the `enormous' pressure on members of the
organization, and the `inhuman treatment' they had been
subjected to. They said that many more PKK militants are
planning to surrender to Turkish authorities. Meanwhile,
security forces killed a PKK member during fighting near
Bitlis, Diyarbakir on Thursday.

Turkish Businessman Detained in Iraq: Cuneyt Bozbeyoglu
(53), Chairman of the Ankara Industrialists and Businessmen
Association (ASIAD), was detained by Iraqi police while
trying to enter Turkey from Dohuk. Bozbeyoglu is reportedly
being held responsible for the unpaid debts of an ASIAD-
member Turkish construction company working in Iraq,
"Milliyet" reports. Bozbeyoglu is being kept in the Saray
police station in Suleymaniye. The Turkish businessman is
suffering from high blood pressure, has a history of heart
problems, and needs constant medication.


EDITORIAL OPINION:

"Maybe This is Best for Everyone"
Murat Yetkin commented in the liberal-intellectual "Radikal"
(9/30): "Foreign Minister Gul's statement yesterday gave a
clear indication of Turkey's position on the EU talks.
Prior to the EU membership negotiations, Turkey faces many
problems. Gul could not go into detail on these problems,
but there is a `big risk' that many of the conditions are
unacceptable for Turkey. It was good for Gul to release
this statement yesterday, because some EU countries had been
dismissing press reports that Turkey might walk away from
the table. I would like to draw attention to a potential
trap that Turkey should be aware of. Austria is insisting
on a `privileged partnership' clause in the framework
document. Other countries have promised Turkey that such
language would not be acceptable. But a de facto
`privileged partnership' could be presented to Turkey in
this document in other ways. The `permanent limitations'
mentioned in the final document on December 17, 2004 was
essentially a `privileged partnership' in other words. In
the past, EU policy has led to confusion and a need for last-
minute solutions. For this reason, Turkey should remain
calm, and not send its delegation to Luxembourg before EU
leaders reach an acceptable compromise on the framework
document. Otherwise, Turkey could face grave consequences."

"Bush's Image Maker Carries a Message from Gul"
Ferai Tinc wrote in the mass appeal "Hurriyet" (9/30): "US
Under Secretary Karen Hughes told me yesterday that she is
taking a message from Foreign Minister Gul to President
Bush. She said that Gul's message had made a big impression
on her. Hughes said that Gul had explained to her the
different attitudes that the Turkish people and the American
people have about Iraq: The US considers Iraq, Iran, and
Syria as remote countries, while Turkey views them as
neighbors. Hughes stressed that she will emphasize these
remarks in meetings that determine State Department policy.
Hughes added that the purpose of her visit had not been to
improve the US image, but to listen to its important allies
and ensure that these views are reflected in US policy."

MCELDOWNEY

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