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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 006101

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, OCTOBER 7, 2005

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Rehn: Turkey Must Open Ports to Greek Cypriots - Milliyet
Borrell: Cyprus will be Resolved at UN - Milliyet
Erdogan: We Want Integration with EU, Not Assimilation -
Turkiye
PKK Ends Cease-Fire - Vatan
Terror Casts a Shadow on Kurdish Politics in Turkey -
Milliyet
Dubai to Invest 5 Billion USD in Istanbul - Turkiye
The Times: Iran Supports Iraqi Insurgents - Sabah
Amnesty International: Greece Violates Human Rights - Vatan
Bush: God Told Me to Invade Iraq - Hurriyet
Talabani: US Troops Must Stay in Iraq - Star
Franklin Was Israel's `Mole' at the Pentagon - Aksam
Al-Qaida Seeks `Editors' for its Webpage - Sabah

OPINION MAKERS
Rehn Outlines EU `Homework' for Ankara - Yeni Safak
Borrell: EU Has No Magic Formula for Cyprus - Radikal
Talabani: Early Coalition Pullout Would be `Disastrous' -
Cumhuriyet
Arab Capital Shifts to Turkey - Cumhuriyet
UK, Iran in `Intelligence War' - Yeni Safak
Blair Targets Iran - Radikal
Bush to Veto Law Banning Abuse of Terror Captives - Yeni
Safak
Israeli Court Bans Army from Using Human Shields -
Cumhuriyet
Abbas, Sharon to Met October 11 - Ortadogu
Hurricane Stan Killes 231 - Zaman


BRIEFING

Rehn Visits Turkey: European Union Enlargement Commissioner
Olli Rehn told Turkish officials on Thursday that Turkey
needs to ratify a protocol extending its customs union with
the EU to new member states, including Cyprus, and to speed
up political and human rights reforms following the launch
of Ankara's EU membership talks on Monday. `I have come to
encourage Turkey to focus all its energies on reforms and
the accession process from this point forward,' Rehn told a
press conference after meeting with Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul. Rehn said at a meeting with Turkish lawmakers
that the free movement for Turkish nationals in Europe could
be delayed until at least 2020, and could even become
permanent depending on labor market conditions in the EU.
Gul said that Turkey had some advantages over other
candidate countries because it had been in a customs union
with the EU for the past 10 years. Gul pledged that the
Turkish Government is ready to move forward with the reforms
on the long road to full membership. Rehn, in remarks seen
as a response to PM Erdogan signaling that Turkey will not
rush to extend its customs union to include Cyprus, said
that Ankara should ratify the protocol `without delay' and
fully implement it. He also called for a new push to reach
a comprehensive settlement between the two sides on Cyprus.
Rehn said that the EU paid `special attention' to charges
filed against acclaimed Turkish author Orhan Pamuk for
`denigrating the Turkish identity.' He also cited the need
for changes to Turkey's draft law on non-Muslim minority
foundations. Rehn emphasized that the Greek Orthodox Halki
Seminary in Istanbul should be reopened. `Turkey will be
under closer scrutiny from the EU, and especially from the
European public, member states' governments, and
parliaments,' Rehn stressed, warning that Turkey's
shortcomings will be included in the enlargement report to
be released by the EU Commission on November 9. Rehn also
met with Turkey's chief EU negotiator, Economy Minister Ali
Babacan, and traveled with Gul to the central Anatolian city
of Kayseri later in the day. Kayseri is the Turkish FM's
home town.

PKK Calls an End to Cease Fire: The PKK declared that it
had ended a two-month `suspension of operations' against
Turkey. In a statement to international media, the PKK said
that it is resuming its armed campaign against Turkish
security forces because they had `ignored the opportunity to
forge a lasting peace and had continued operations against
the organization,' killing 43 of its fighters during the
cease-fire. `With the start of EU accession negotiations,
the Kurdish problem is no longer Turkey's problem alone. It
is now a basic problem of the Union,' the PKK said in a
statement cited by the German-based Mesopotamia News Agency.

Turkish Cypriot Opposition Wants Turkish Troop Pullout of
Cyprus: The Turkish Cypriot opposition Peace and Democracy
Movement (BDH) chairman Mustafa Akinci announced a
`normalization package' which calls for a partial withdrawal
of Turkish troops from northern Cyprus and a smoothing of
ties with the Greek Cypriot side, "Radikal" reports. The
package envisages that the Turkish Cypriot `President'
should be allowed to assume the deputy presidency of Cyprus,
that Turkey should open its ports and airports to the Greek
Cypriots, that Maras (Varosha) should be opened to
settlement, and that Turkish troops should pull out from the
island in a way that will not cause a security problem.

Karamanlis Due in Turkey: Greek Prime Minister Kostas
Karamanlis is to visit Turkey October 21, "Sabah" reports.
Prime Minister Erdogan will join Karamanlis at the Christian
Democrats and Orthodox Church Dialogue Meetings organized by
the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul. The two leaders
are expected to issue messages about a `meeting of
civilizations' and `compromise among religions,' according
to the report.

Syria, Turkey Discuss Joint Economic Projects: A Syrian
delegation led by deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Dardari met
with the Turkish-Syrian Friendship Group in the Turkish
parliament yesterday, the semi-official Anatolian News
Agency reports. Dardari said the two sides discussed
cooperation in agriculture, oil, motorways, and
infrastructure, and called for the removal of obstacles to
bilateral investment. The Syrian delegation later met with
Energy Minister Hilmi Guler. Guler said after the meeting
that Turkey had drafted a memorandum of understanding (MOU)
for joint exploration of oil and natural gas in Syria by
Turkish Petroleum Inc. (TPAO) and Syrian partner company.
Guler said they also discussed the project for a dam to be
built on the Asi River in Turkey, as well as other
irrigation projects.

Sezer, Guler to Georgia for BTC Ceremony: Turkish Energy
Minister Hilmi Guler said on Thursday that he will travel to
Georgia on October 12 to participate in the inauguration of
the Tbilisi leg of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil
pipeline project, papers report. Visiting Georgian Minister
of Energy, Nika Gilauri, discussed with Guler joint
endeavors such as BTC and the Shah Deniz pipeline project.
Guler said after the meeting that Georgia expected Turkey's
participation in the privatization of seven of the country's
power plants.
Talabani Warns against Early Iraq Pullout: Iraqi President
Jalal Talabani warned that an early pullout from Iraq by US-
led coalition forces would be `disastrous.' Meanwhile,
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that British troops
would stay in Iraq `for as long as necessary.' Talabani is
on his first official visit to Europe since taking office in
April. Talabani predicted at a joint news conference with
Blair in London that coalition forces should be able to
leave within two years once Iraq's own security force is
ready, but he did not set a timetable for a withdrawal. `A
timetable will only help the terrorists,' Talabani said.
Blair said that Britain's mission is to help the Iraqi
people create a peaceful democracy, free from violence. `We
intend to stay with you for as long as you need us,' Blair
stressed, and added: `After the December elections, there
will be a sovereign and democratically elected government in
Iraq. If they want us to stay to help them, then we will
stay.'

Dubai-Istanbul Investment Agreement: According to a
statement by the Istanbul Municipality, Dubai Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and the municipality signed a
5 billion USD real estate investment accord on Thursday.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan participated in the signing
ceremony.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Turkey and the EU

"Political Courtesy and the Delicacy of the Political
Situation"
Murat Yetkin wrote in the liberal-intellectual "Radikal"
(10/7): "The statements made one after the other yesterday
by EU Enlargement Commissioner Oll Rehn during his visit to
Ankara indicate that things are only going to beocme more
difficult as Turkey gets into the EU process. Perhaps the
Government would have preferred to have a few months to
catch its breath as it did after December 17, 2004. Rehn's
emphasis on human rights and social equality could bother
those who view the reforms with suspicion. But leaving
aside those whose interests will not be served by the
country becoming more free, both politically and
economically, the silent masses support the steps that have
been taken toward an improved living standard in Turkey.
This support is not just limited to the masses, however. I
spoke recently with three former ministers in the DSP-MHP-
ANAP government, all of whom told me they believe it was the
right decision for Turkey to begin the accession talks under
current conditions. The current leaders of Turkey's
opposition have started to draw their arguments in a
different direction. CHP leader Baykal says that, while he
supports EU membership, he doesn't believe the agreement
reached with the EU in Luxembourg can lead Turkey to full
membership. MHP Chairman Devlet Bahceli urged the
government not to begin the talks, and has warned that new
conditions on Cyprus and Armenia will make it impossible for
Turkey to continue the process in 2006. In fact, 2006 is
shaping up as a very difficult year for Turkey. The
increasingly serious situation in Iraq will probably lead to
an insurmountable crisis for the new Government of Iraq
early in 2006. The fear that Iraq will disintegrate and
that a Kurdish state will be established in the North may
become a reality. On the EU front, it is likely that the
accession talks will run into their first real hitches in
2006. This scenario has led some, both inside and outside
of Turkey, to believe there is the possibility of an early
election."

"The EU is as Lucky as Turkey"
Sami Kohen commented in the mainstream daily "Milliyet"
(10/7): "Among the messages I received from all around the
world after October 3, the shortest and most meaningful one
was from Helena Finn, a US diplomat who formerly served in
Ankara. Ms. Finn's message was as follows: `Many
congratulations. How lucky the Europeans are.' Turkey's
geo-strategic position will contribute to the EU's political
role. Developing the Turkish economy and Turkey's young
population will bring a dynamism to Europe. Moreover, as a
secular and democratic country with a Muslim population,
Turkey's access to the Christian community in the EU will
help the EU to understand the Islamic world better. There
is no doubt that becoming an EU member would be a great
advantage for Turkey. But as Helena Finn says, this is a
great chance for the EU as well."

"Turkey Needs the EU"
Erhan Basyurt wrote in the Islamist-intellectual "Zaman"
(10/7): "In the past Turkey has needed the EU to carry out
its democratic transformation. Today, Turkey needs the EU
as much as it has in the past in order to implement these
reforms. The EU process is also a guarantee for economic
stability. The Copenhagen criteria will ensure that the
Turkish people have a prosperous life with higher standards
of living. It is definitely Turkey and the Turkish public -
not the EU -- that will benefit from these reforms."

"We Owe US Gratitude"
Hasan Mesut Hazar wrote in the conservative/nationalist
"Turkiye" from Washington (10/7): "There are two economic
powers today that control the world economy -- the US and
the EU. But having a strong an important economy is not
enough to become a superpower. The EU has to enhance its
foreign policy capacity. That is why we have repeated many
times that the EU should not be seen as an alternative to
the US. Without the US, the EU has no influence in the
world. The EU and the US share many joint interests.
Turkey is an important strategic ally of both the US and the
EU. That is why the US acted so effectively in support of
Turkey's EU membership bid. Secretary Rice continuously
called EU leaders for three days to lobby on Turkey's
behalf. Undersecretary Nicholas Burns also supported Turkey
by sending the message that `Turkey belongs to Europe.' The
start of the EU negotiations is in the interest of Turkey,
Europe, and the whole world. We owe a debt of gratitude to
the US and all the other parties who supported us in our
efforts to get the negotiations started."

MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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