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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 05 ANKARA 006480

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
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2005

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Rice: We Support Muslim World's Search for Democracy -
Milliyet
Ankara Discomfited Over `President' Barzani - Vatan
Barzani: Kurds Do Not Want Partition in Iraq - Milliyet
Iraqi Sunni Parties Enter into Election Alliance - Milliyet
Syria Under Pressure to Arrest Hariri Murder Suspects -
Sabah
Putin Backs Assad - Sabah
Ahmadinajad Claims Palestine will Destroy Israel - Milliyet
Iran Shelters bin-Ladin's Three Sons - Sabah
Lawyers Quit Saddam's Defense - Aksam
Shanghai Cooperation Group a Rival to NATO - Hurriyet

OPINION MAKERS
Ankara Angered at Barzani Visit to Washington - Radikal
Ankara Reacts to Washington Over Barzani Visit - Zaman
Talat Begins US Visit - Radikal
US to Syria: Cooperation or Isolation - Yeni Safak
Assad Promises to Catch Hariri Killing Suspects - Radikal
Assad Vows to Punish Hariri Conspirators - Zaman
Russia, China Oppose Sanctions for Damascus - Cumhuriyet
First `War Message' from Tehran - Radikal
Ahmadinajad: Israel Must be Wiped off the Map - Zaman
Gitmo Captive al-Odak Demands Euthanasia - Yeni Safak
Sucide Attack Kills 5 in Hadera - Yeni Safak
Islamic Jihad Attacks Israel Market: 5 Killed - Zaman
US to Evacuate Okinawa Airbase - Cumhuriyet

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BRIEFING

Ankara Discomfited over Bush-Barzani Meeting: Turkey has
been disturbed by the
`Presidential' reception given to Massoud Barzani by
President Bush, and conveyed its uneasiness to US
authorities in Washington and Ankara, papers report. The
Americans told the Turks that the Bush-Barzani meeting was
`normal' bearing in mind the fact that the US is working to
build a democratic, united Iraq. Ankara also told
Washington that the Kurdish flag at Habur border crossing
should be taken down. On Wednesday, Turkish Foreign
Ministry (MFA) U/S Nabi Sensoy conveyed to US Charge
d'Affaires Nancy McEldowney Turkey's annoyance over the
treatment Barzani was given at the White House. McEldowney
noted that Barzani is the `president' of the `Iraqi
Kurdistan region,' adding that the US attached importance to
Iraq's territorial integrity. While most Turkish dailies
claim McEldowney had been `summoned' to the MFA, "Zaman"
says the request for a meeting came from the Charge, and the
meeting focused other issues.

US to Establish "Muslim Peace Force" in Iraq: "Sabah"
editorialist Fatih Altayli claims today in a front-page
column that the United States is planning to withdraw from
Iraq soon, and to establish a "Muslim Peace Force" led by
Turkey, Egypt, and Pakistan to fill the void left by
coalition forces. Altayli claims that PM Erdogan was
informed about the plan during his visit to Washington in
June, and that the `main reason' Barzani was invited to
Washington was to discuss the deployment of the force. He
speculates that US officials are telling Barzani that he
should expect to see Turkish forces in Iraq relatively soon.
A Foreign Ministry official is quoted is saying that while
there is not yet a formal proposal from the United States,
the idea of a Muslim peace force is under active discussion.

Rice Hosts Iftar for Muslims in US: "Milliyet" reports that
Daniel Fried, David Welch, and Liz Cheney were in attendance
along with Muslim guests at a fast-breaking dinner hosted by
Secretary Rice for Muslim representatives in the United

SIPDIS
States. After the dinner, Rice talked about basic human
rights with references to her childhood in Alabama during
the time when racial segregation was widespread. Rice said
she has participated in many iftar dinners, and felt at each
occasion the message of peace given by Islam, according to
"Milliyet."

Talat in US: The Bush administration sent clear messages to
the two entities in Cyprus on the eve of Turkish Cypriot
leader Mehmet Ali Talat's meetings in Washington, "Milliyet"
claims. A senior US official told the paper that Talat will
not be received as a `president,' but will be welcomed as
the `legitimate leader of a democratic community' and as the
`most hard-working Turkish Cypriot leader seen so far.' The
official said that Talat had been invited in order to
display US support for the Turkish Cypriots' efforts for the
reunification in Cyprus. Several dailies speculate that the
US Administration also sent a message to Nicosia that the
Cyprus problem should be resolved on the basis of the UN-
sponsored peace plan. Dailies also say that during his
meetings in the US, Turkish Cypriot leader Talat will ask
for direct flights from the US to northern Cyprus, the
opening of a US representation office in northern Cyprus,
and investments by American companies in the tourism
industry. Meanwhile, Talat said that lifting sanctions on
Turkish Cyprus will contribute to efforts for a settlement.
`Our policy can be summed up as the reunification of Cyprus
through a resumption of talks between the two sides under
the supervision of UN,' Talat said in Ankara prior to flying
to the US late Wednesday.

Turkey Occupies Part of Cyprus: Britain's deputy Prime
Minister John Prescott said after meeting with President
Papadopoulos earlier this week that Turkey is `occupying'
part of Cyprus, and warned that Ankara is obliged to
recognize all EU member countries, Turkish papers report.
Prescott's remarks have revealed the limits of British
support for Turkey on the Cyprus issue, according to
"Cumhuriyet."

Greeks Wiretap Turkish Cypriots: "Cumhuriyet" claims that
spying activities in northern Cyprus have escalated since
Turkish Cypriot authorities opened the border with southern
Cyprus. Greek Cypriot intelligence is wiretapping Turkish
Cypriot officials, and the information acquired is being
given to the Greek General Staff, according to the report.
"Cumhuriyet" points to detailed press reports of phone
conversations between Talat and Turkish officials with
regard to Turkish military activities in northern Cyprus.

Erdogan on Terror, EU, Turkey/Israel: Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan, in Yemen on a state visit, responded to press
questions after meeting his Yemeni counterpart Abd al-Qadir
Bajamal in Sanaa on Wednesday. Erdogan said the two
countries signed agreements on the elimination of double
taxation and on partnership in environmental projects. The
PM said that bilateral trade between the two countries
should be increased from the current level of 215 million
USD. Bajamal stated that Yemen supports Turkey's EU
accession, and voiced hope that Turkey will be a bridge
between Europe and the Arab world. Asked about the
possibility of Turkish-Yemeni cooperation in combating
terrorism, and whether the terrorist attacks in Istanbul
were staged by al-Qaida and Turkish fundamentalists, Erdogan
said that al-Qaida was responsible for the bombings. `We
never accept associating Islam with terrorism. There cannot
be Islamic terrorism. None of the great religions permit
the killing of people. Moreover, our religion is a religion
of peace and love,' Erdogan said. On the outcome of the
referendum on the Iraqi constitution, Erdogan said that
despite some shortcomings, the Iraqi referendum held on
October 15 is an important democratic step forward. `This
constitution should be one that blocks the hegemony of
ethnic groups or sects against each other. It should also
be a constitution that ensures the participation of all
Iraqi groups in the administration. Kirkuk should not be
put under the domination of a single ethnic group. It
should be a city where different groups and cultures live
together. Otherwise, serious problems will be seen in the
future,' Erdogan emphasized. Erdogan moved on from Yemen to
the UK, where he will attened a meeting of EU heads of
government at Hampton Court.

Wilson Appointed New US Ambassador to Turkey: Former US
Ambassador to Baku Ross Wilson has been appointed as the new
ambassador to Turkey, "Yeni Safak" reports. Ankara granted
`agrement' to Wilson, who is expected to take up his new
post in Turkey just after the new year after gaining
approval by the US Senate.

MFA on Iraq's Transition to Democracy: `Turkey welcomes the
important phase of the ongoing political process advancing
toward transition to a democratic structure by preserving
the territorial integrity and political unity of Iraq,' the
Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) said in a statement released
on Wednesday. The upcoming general election in Iraq in
December is important, the MFA said, adding that the polls
should take place in a fair and transparent way, without any
manipulation. The statement emphasized that Turkey will
maintain its support for the Iraqi people in their search
for peace, stability, and democracy.

MFA Denies Hariri Killing Suspect Hiding in Turkey: On
Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) Spokesman Namik
Tan denied press reports claiming that Ahmad Abu Adess, a
suspect in the assassination of former Lebanese PM Hariri,
is hiding in Turkey. Tan said the UN report on the Hariri
killing said that four e-mail messages sent by Adess had
originated not Turkey, but from Damascus and Lebanon. The
UN report also said that Syria bears responsibility
regarding the whereabouts of Adess, Tan noted.

EU Enlargement Report on Turkey Due Out on November 9: The
EU Commission's enlargement report on Turkey to be released
on November 9 will highlight shortcomings in protecting the
cultural rights of Turkey's Kurds, "Cumhuriyet" reports.
The EU had been encouraged by Prime Minister Erdogan's
promises during a visit to Diyarbakyr in August to handle
the Kurdish issue by `boosting democracy, welfare and
respect for law.' The EU report will criticize Erdogan for
his failure to meet the pledges made in Diyarbakir, point to
the cancellation of a controversial Armenian conference in
Istanbul, and criticize charges filed against novelist Orhan
Pamuk and Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink.
Shortcomings in the law on foundations, the press law, and
abuse of mental patients are also mentioned in the report.
"Sabah" says that the EU report will call on Turkey to
remove restrictions on education in mother languages, saying
that Kurdish schools in southeastern cities had been closed
due to restrictions rather than a lack of interest. The
report lauds Turkish efforts to meet the Copenhagen
Criteria, and notes that there is a functioning market
economy in Turkey.

US Official on Pamuk Case: An unidentified high-level US
official told "Milliyet" in Washington that the charges
filed against renowned Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk was not
compatible with the democratization steps taken forward by a
Turkey that aspires to the EU. `Seeing what Pamuk has been
facing, it is difficult to talk about freedom of expression
in Turkey. It is very difficult to understand the logic
behind such lawsuits,' the official said. "Milliyet" says
that Washington also `took note of' 20 people being fined in
the southeastern province of Siirt for using Q and W,
characters not found in the Turkish alphabet, on placards
during a celebration last year. The US official said the
Pamuk case and the penalties meted out for using non-Turkish
characters undoubtedly pleased those in Europe who oppose
Turkey's membership in the European bloc.

EU Greens Invite Pamuk to Strasbourg: The European
Parliament Greens Group has invited Orhan Pamuk to address
their general committee meeting in Strasbourg in November,
papers report. `Pamuk is not a politician, but a writer.
Consequently, our discussions regarding the shape and form
of the meeting to which we are inviting him continue,' said
Turkish-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission Co-Chairman and
Green Group member Joost Lagendijk. Lagendijk noted that a
five-member EU parliamentary delegation including Cem
Ozdemir and Daniel Cohn-Bendit from the EP Green Group will
be in Istanbul on December 16 for the first hearing in
Pamuk's trial on charges of denigrating the Turkish nation.

Maltreatment of Orphanage Children Cause Widespread
Resentment: Beatings and maltreatment of children ages 0-6
at an orphanage in the eastern province of Malatya sparked
outrage and prompted the firing of eight workers, Turkish
media report. An inspector was appointed to investigate the
abuse, and three of the child minders have been arrested.
The incident has caused an uproar all around the country. A
group of local residents gathered at the orphanage yesterday
evening after seeing the footage of children being beaten.
The parliamentary commission for human rights sent a team to
Malatya to investigate the scandal. Press reports
concerning the beating of orphans came in the aftermath of
charges of abuse of mental patients in Turkey, "Radikal"
notes. A Motherland (ANAP) party deputy from Malatya
claimed that the abuses began after the AKP Government
removed professionals from the facility and replaced them
with unqualified AKP supporters.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/Saddam Trial/Barzani in the White
House

"The Backlash of the Saddam Trial"
Semih Idiz commented in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (10/27):
"The trial of Saddam has been a cause for joy in certain
countries such as Israel, Kuwait, and Iran, for obvious
reasons. However, a majority of the Arab world does not
share this joy. . Yemen is a good place to check the pulse
among Arabs regarding the trial of Saddam. A recent public
opinion poll in Yemen gave some interesting conclusions that
Washington will not be happy about. The majority of
Yemenis, regardless of economic class, consider the current
set-up of Saddam's trial as an insult to the Arab world.
The only exception is the small intellectual elite of Yemen.
. The Yemeni example is a good lesson about the serious gap
between the rulers and the people in this region. Bearing
this in mind, Sadam's efforts to turn the court process into
a stage actually carry a certain logic. Apparently, Saddam
Hussein believes that regardless of the court's ruling, he
will be remembered as being as important as Saladin for
Arabs."

"Baghdad's Justice"
Zafer Atay wrote in the economic-political "Dunya" (10/27):
"One has to accept that even three years after Saddam's
Baath regime came to an end, the people of Iraq have still
not gotten rid of the negative effects of this regime. More
than 40 witnesses who were called to the court have refused
to attend because they were too frightened. One of the
lawyers has already been killed by supporters of Saddam.
Right from the first day of trial, debate has been ragin
over the fairness of the court tha is trying Saddam and his
men. As a matter fact, this is the destiny of all courts
that deal with war crimes. Because regardless the ruling,
some people will see a process that was imposed by the
winners of the war. . The fact that the chief justice is
of Kurdish origin and the other members of the court are of
Shiite origin has cast a shadow over the proces. The cool
and respectful attitude of the chief justice was noted by
everyone. But during the final stages of the proceedings,
neither the chief justice nor the prosecutors will be able
to avoid coming under fire."

"Bush Recognizes Barzani as President"
Cuneyt Ulsever observed in the mass appeal "Hurriyet"
(10/27): "Two very important visits for Turkey are happening
this week in Washington, namely the visit of Talat,
president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and
the visit of Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional
Administration. The timing of the visits carries an
important message regarding the state of Turkish-American
relations. Turkey should read this message well. . The
first visit is about a reality that Turkey is trying to make
the US to accept. The other visit is about a different
reality that Turkey will have to accept. . In the current
situation, two tribal figures of the old Iraq are now
sitting in very different positions. Talabani has become
the president of Iraq and, now that Iraq's constitution has
been approved, Barzani has become the president of Kurdistan
Regional Administration. This meanst that Kurdistan is a
reality whether we like it or not. There is another reality
about Iraq: with the approval of the constitution, Iraq has
been psychologically divided. This may not seem like a
division based on legal or political considerations, but it
is very real."

MCELDOWNEY

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