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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 006428

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
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2005

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Talabani Urges Ankara to Declare PKK Amnesty - Hurriyet
Sunni al-Anbar Province Rejects Iraq Constitution - Hurriyet
Iraq Constitution's Fate Depends on Mosul Votes - Milliyet
Journalists' Hotel Bombed in Baghdad: 20 Killed - Hurriyet
Haaretz: Hamas Militants Trained in Istanbul - Sabah
Bernanke the New Boss for US Dollar - Sabah
Dowd: Miller Went to Jail for Fame - Aksam
Hurricane Wilma Pounds Florida Shores - Turkiye
Wilma Spares US, Kills 13 in Haiti - Posta

OPINION MAKERS
McEldowney: The US Does Not Meet with Terrorists - Zaman
Talabani: Barzani's Visit A Recognition of Kurdish Identity
- Radikal
Talabani Calls for Amnesty for PKK - Yeni Safak
One Million Syrians Rally to Protest UN Hariri Report - Yeni
Safak
Syrians: We Won't Become Another Iraq - Cumhuriyet
`Revolution' Unlikely in Azerbaijan - Cumhuriyet
Wolfensohn Blames Israel for Cutting Talks with Palestinians
- Cumhuriyet
Israel Kills Islamic Jihad Commander Saadi - Yeni Safak
Miller Quake Jolts The New York Times - Radikal


BRIEFING

McEldowney: US Doesn't Meet with Terrorists: US Charge
d'Affaires Nancy McEldowney denied weekend press reports
claiming that American officials had met with members of the
outlawed PKK in northern Iraq: `The US government does not
meet and will not meet or will meet with terrorists,'
McEldowney said. `The US, a true friend and ally of Turkey,
backed Ankara in dealing with problems including the fight
against the PKK,' she continued. `President Bush and US
government representatives are urging Iraqi officials to
work in cooperation with the US and Turkey to put an end to
the terrorist activities of the PKK,' McEldowney said during
a visit to a charity bazaar set up by the Altindag
Municipality in Ankara in an effort to help the needy during
Ramadan.

NSC Lists Terrorism as Primary Threat to Turkey: Turkey's
National Security Council (NSC) reached agreement on the
National Security Policy document at its regular meeting on
Monday, papers report. The new National Security Policy
Document will be decisive in shaping Turkey's internal and
external security policies. The document lists separatist,
fundamentalist, and radical leftist movements as `primary
domestic threats.' The NSC had postponed discussing the
document during two previous meetings, when military members
of the Council expressed concerns about several parts of the
draft. The National Security Policy Document, seen by some
analysts as the `secret constitution' of Turkey, will be
submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval. The NSC
also discussed Turkey's EU drive, and stressed in the
statement issued after the meeting the importance of the
protection of Turkey's national interests during the
accession process. The Council also raised the need for
effective use of the country's water resources, and advised
that construction of new dams on the Tigris and Euphrates
rivers should be completed as soon as possible.

EU to Ask Turkey to Open Ports to Greek Cypriots: The
European Union will ask Turkey in the Accession Partnership
Document to be issued on November 9 to open its ports and
airports to Greek Cypriot aircraft and vessels and normalize
ties with Nicosia, papers report. Turkey earlier proposed a
simultaneous lifting of sanctions imposed on the Turkish and
Greek parts of Cyprus. The EU blueprint will also urge
Turkey to seek ratification of the customs union protocol in
the parliament.

EU Report Lists Shortcomings in Turkey's EU Drive: A
monthly report released by the EU Commission draws attention
to escalating terrorism in Turkey, and says that the growing
violence may have been manipulated by opponents of reform in
the military and the police, "Cumhuriyet" reports. The EU
Commission report notes that heated debates between Kurdish
activists and Turkish nationalists are adding to tensions.
The report says that rising violence has strengthened the
position of hardliners in the country, who are now
advocating tough anti-terror measures. Nationalism is on
the rise in Turkey and political tensions are mounting, the
report claims, adding that the bureaucracy's continued
support for the status quo will cause serious trouble for
the Turkish government during the EU accession process. The
report warns that the government has not met EU expectations
with regard to constitutional reforms, and draws attention
to differences in police treatment of Kurdish activists and
Islamist demonstrators.

Talat in Ankara Before Flying to US; Turkish Cypriot leader
Mehmet Ali Talat is due to visit Ankara to meet with Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul before leaving for the US on
Wednesday, where he will be received by Secretary of State
Rice in Washington. While in the US, Talat will also meet
with former US Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston,
UNSYG Kofi Annan, and UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis.
Talat is scheduled to meet Congressman Henry Hyde, the
Republican head of the US House International Relations
Committee, and other key committee members. He will address
an event to be held jointly by the Brookings Institution and
the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS),
two Washington-based think tanks.

Dissident Kurdish Activist Killed by the PKK: Dailies
report that Veysi Akgonul, a Patriotic Democratic Party
(PWD) member detained in connection with the murder of
Kurdish politician Hikmet Fidan in July, has admitted that
he and several colleagues handed Fidan over to the PKK after
he rejected pressure from the terrorist organization to
leave the PWD, a dissident Kurdish political grouping
founded by PKK defectors led by Osman Ocalan. The PKK
reportedly had ordered Fidan to join the Democratic Society
Movement, led by former Kurdish parliamentarian Leyla Zana.
Another suspect in the case, Firat Karahan, said that Fidan
had been murdered to silence PWD activities in Diyarbakir.
`Following the murder, Osman Ocalan decided to leave the
PWD,' Karahan said. Papers say that Fidan's killer had been
identified, and was now hiding in rural areas of Diyarbakir
with other PKK militants.

New Kurdish Party to be Founded: The Democratic Society
Movement (DTH), formed by former DEP lawmakers Leyla Zana
and her colleagues, is preparing to launch itself as a
political party named the Democratic Society Party (DTP)
during the movement's two-day meeting in Ankara this week.
Former Kurdish lawmaker Selim Sadak said that during
Turkey's EU accession process, basic rights such as freedom
of expression will be strengthened, and that the Kurdish
problem will be solved within a democratic atmosphere
created by the EU. Sadak urged the EU not to allow Turkey's
membership process to advance before the Kurdish problem is
resolved, and said that the process must not be solely
focused on economic issues. Papers say that legal
restrictions prevented Leyla Zana from becoming the official
party leader, and that another former Kurdish
parliamentarian, Ahmet Turk, and Abdullah Ocalan's lawyer,
Aysel Tugluk, will co-chair the DTP.
Trial of 4 Policeman for Southeast Killings Begins in
Eskisehir: The trial of 4 policemen charged in the shooting
deaths of a Kurdish man and his 12-year-old son in the
southeastern city of Kiziltepe (Mardin) earlier this year
got underway yesterday in Eskisehir under tight security.
12 people were detained in skirmishes outside the
courthouse, and lawyers for the victims' family walked out
of the courtroom to protest what they termed the `oppressive
atmosphere' of the hearing. The defendants claim that the
victims were armed at time they were shot, but several human
rights groups who later visited Kiziltepe cast doubt on that
assertion. The trial will continue in December.

Reinhard on the Image Problem of US: Keith Reinhard, the
President of the global advertising giant DDB Worldwide,
said the image problem of the United States has reached an
`alarming' level. Reinhard, in Istanbul for the anniversary
of a DDB Worldwide partnership with a Turkish company, told
the press that Australia, Canada, the UK, and Germany have
surpassed the United States as a destination country for a
bright future. Reinhard said the US loses billions of
dollars every year from students shifting to Canada or the
UK due to hardships in obtaining US visas. `In Germany, a
close US ally for many years,' Reinhard said, `European
brands are preferred over American ones, and even 37
percent of British intellectuals say they will not buy
American brands.' A column in "Hurriyet" says that few US
Senators had been interested in Reinhard's views when he
addressed the Congress as head of Business for Diplomatic
Action (BDA). Reinhard now has the tough task of making the
Bush Administration acknowledge that the US has an image
problem before he begins `educating' ordinary Americans.
Reinhard said he told the Congress that McDonald's and Coca-
Cola have spent 2.4 billion USD on their image last year,
much more than the US Government spent to win friends around
the world.

Pope Benedict to Visit Turkey in 2006: Pope Benedict XVI
has accepted Ankara's invitation to visit Ankara and
Istanbul in 2006, papers report. The Greek Orthodox
Patriarchate had earlier invited the Pope to attend the St.
Andrew's Feast Day on November 30 in Istanbul, but Ankara
advised the Vatican to schedule the visit for 2006 in a
maneuver to prevent participation by the Pontiff in the St.
Andrews' services. The visit, during which Pope Benedict
XVI will meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, is
seen as a significant effort by Christians to boost dialogue
among churches. By allowing such a dialogue, Ankara aims at
toning down the Vatican's opposition to Turkey's EU
membership.


Hijaz Railway Project: Minister of Transportation Binali
Yildirim told a ceremony on the 100th anniversary of the
Hijaz Railway at Haifa Eastern Train Station in Israel that
Turkey is ready to join efforts to reactivate the railroad,
which was destroyed during World War I, the semi-official
Anatolian News Agency reported yesterday. The Hijaz Railway
operated between Haifa and Damascus, and work continues to
renew the route all the way to Saudi Arabia. Haifa Mayor
Yona Yahav also asked Yildirim to ensure direct flights
between Haifa and Turkey.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Syria

"Before the Syrian Crisis Grows"
Sami Kohen commented in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (10/25):
"The international community's efforts to exert pressure on
Syria will have an impact on relations between Ankara and
Damascus as well. Things might become difficult for Ankara,
as its bilateral relationship with Syria reached a
significant phase during the last two years. Turkey
continued its rapprochement with Syria even when the US was
pressuring the Assad regime. . The involvement of the
United Nations in the Syrian issue and the new process
toward Damascus are incompatible with Turkish diplomacy's
wish to develop bilateral ties with Syria and to remain in
step with the international political consensus. . In fact
Turkey, by using its special status in the region, can play
a role to minimize the potential impact of the Syrian
crisis. Turkey is capable of giving conciliation messages
to both the Assad regime and the international community,
and by doing so lowering tension in the region. Turkey's
message to Assad could address several topics, including
that the regime must take the UN stance seriously and not
defy the international community, and that it must end
support for militant groups and insurgents and accelerate
the domestic reform process. Turkey's message to President
Bush and the West in general could include the need to avoid
taking any military action, not being so harsh on Assad,
being patient by using diplomatic measures, and being
careful about the possible backlash of economic sanctions
against Syria. The time is perfect for Turkey to check the
atmosphere for a diplomatic initiative like this."

"The Hariri Report"
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in the conservative-nationalist
"Turkiye" (10/25): "The ruling Baath party organized
demonstrations in several Syrian cities yesterday to protest
the UN report, but this will only strengthen the US thesis.
Syria will not bow its head easily. But many countries,
including Turkey, are examining the report carefully.
Secretary Rice stated that in the 21st century,

SIPDIS
assassinations take place only in places where there are
anti-democratic regimes. This statement echoes the tone of
the US mission to bring democracy to Syria after Afghanistan
and Iraq. Washington wants to coordinate with London,
Israel, and possibly even Ankara to carry out this mission.
If Ankara acts against the principles of the strategic
partnership and remains aloof from the US initiative, then
the US will take Armenia and Kurdistan as its partners."

MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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