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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 006498

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
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2005

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Bush to Barzani: Iraq's Territorial Integrity Must be
Protected - Hurriyet
Bush Warns Barzani on PKK, Kirkuk, Turkmen - Milliyet
Bush Pressures Barzani to Solve PKK Problem - Aksam
Barzani: We Want Security, Not Sovereignty - Turkiye
Talat Asks for Direct Flights to northern Cyprus - Milliyet
Erdogan: I Invite Iran to Political Moderation - Hurriyet
Wilson Bush's Ambassador to Ankara - Sabah
Bush Says `Wilson' for Ankara - Milliyet
World Leaders Tough on Ahmadinajad - Sabah
Reactions to Ahmadinajad Grow - Aksam
Israeli Missiles Strike Gaza: 7 Killed - Turkiye

OPINION MAKERS
EU Leaders Disagree on Globalization - Cumhuriyet
Reactions Continue against Ahmadinajad - Cumhuriyet
US: Teheran's True Face Revealed - Yeni Safak
West Furious at Ahmadinajad - Radikal
Rafsanjani: Ahmadinajad is Unsuccessful - Yeni Safak
Damascus Invites US to Dialogue - Yeni Safak
As-Sadr Enters into Election Alliance with Sunnis - Yeni
Safak
Shiites-Sunnis Clash in Iraq: 23 Killed - Cumhuriyet
`Peace Mother' Sheehan is Detained - Cumhuriyet
Sheehan the New Rosa Parks - Yeni Safak

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BRIEFING

US Gives Clear Messages to Barzani: President Bush urged
the `regional president of Kurdistan' Massoud Barzani to
seek good ties with Turkey, and stressed the importance of
Iraq's territorial integrity and the fight against PKK
terrorism, Turkish papers report. An unidentified US
official told "Hurriyet" that Bush and Barzani share the
same view with regard to Iraq's territorial integrity. The
official said that Turkey had been given detailed
information about the talks with Barzani: `We know Turkey's
concerns, and we respect Turkish views. We have not
forgotten Turkey's position during our discussions with
Barzani.' "Turkiye" writes that Secretary Rice gave Barzani
a similar warning. "Milliyet" quotes a Turkish diplomat as
saying that despite the fact that Barzani was given a
`presidential' welcome, Turkey had been pleased by the
messages given to the northern Iraqi Kurdish leader by US
officials. When asked about the PKK issue yesterday in
Washington, Barzani said that the issue should be resolved
`in a peaceful and democratic way.' He added that `if
Turkey were to make such a decision, we would do everything
possible to support it. Turkey is our friend and neighbor.
We will not do anything to harm Turkey's interests.'

White House Announces Intention to Nominate Wilson: Most
papers report a White House statement yesterday announcing
President Bush's intention to nominate Ross Wilson as thte
new US ambassador to Turkey. Several papers note that
Ankara had previously given its concurrence to Wilson's
nomination.

Erdogan Attends EU Summit in London: Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan said that Turkey will not open its ports and
airports to Greek Cypriot vessels and aircraft unless the
sanctions imposed on the Turkish Cypriots are removed.
Erdogan, in London to attend a gathering of EU heads of
government, told a press conference on Thursday that EU
leaders had pledged to take action to end the isolation of
northern Cyprus. Erdogan recalled that the Greek Cypriots
entered the EU just a week after they rejected a UN-
sponsored peace plan for the reunification of the divided
island. `Turkey will immediately do what is necessary if
they end the blockade. We have always been the constructive
side. Now we expect a positive approach from them,' Erdogan
emphasized. Turkey had already proposed a simultaneous
lifting of restrictions imposed on the Turkish and Greek
parts of Cyprus. Asked about the timeframe for approval of
Turkey's extension of its customs union additional protocol
by the parliament, Erdogan said that Ankara had not yet made
a decision on the issue. `Discussions continue, and we will
make a decision later after talking with EU Commission
officials,' Erdogan said.

Erdogan Opens Turkish Center at LSE: On Thursday, Prime
Minister Tayyip Erdogan opened the new Turkish Studies
Center at the London School of Economics (LSE). Erdogan
thanked all who contributed to the establishment of the
Center, noting that he believed it would contribute to
compromise and dialogue among civilizations. `We may have
different historical experiences and belief systems, but we
are all living together on the basis of humanity. Violence
and a clash of cultures threaten the world,' Erdogan noted.

Erdogan on Ahmadinajad's Israel Remarks: Speaking at a
press availability on the sidelines of the EU Summit in
London on Thursday, Prime Minister Erdogan, asked about
comments by Iranian President Ahmadinajad that Israel should
be `wiped off the map,' warned Tehran not to meddle in other
countries' ties with Israel. `I invite them to political
moderation' Erdogan said, and added: `Every country has the
right to carry out its relations with others in the way it
deems necessary. Other countries do not have the right to
interfere. It would be better for them to consider their
own affairs.' The Iranian President had lashed out at
Muslim countries that recognize Israel for `hoisting the
flag of surrender,' adding that such countries will face the
`wrath' of their people. Erdogan also strongly denied
Turkish press reports claiming that the US Administration
plans to establish a Muslim peacekeeping force in Iraq,
saying that this is `a colossal lie.'

Talat in the US: Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat
told a meeting held by the Brookings Institute and the
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in
Washington that the most appropriate step to end the
isolation of Turkish Cypriots would be to renew efforts on
the basis of the UN-sponsored peace plan. He added that
removal of the blockade against Turkish Cypriots would also
help relations between Turkey and Greece. Talat said the
Turkish Cypriots wanted arrangements that will encourage
trade rather than monetary assistance, stating that the
release of the 259 million Euros pledged by the European
Union was `not that important' for the `TRNC.' Talat
praised the `very positive attitude' displayed in the visits
by US Congressmen and businessmen to northern Cyprus. Talat
noted that the invitation made by Secretary Rice for him to
visit the United States was `encouraging.' He stressed that
direct US and international flights to and from Ercan
Airport in northern Cyprus will help a great deal in ending
the isolation of the `TRNC.' Talat also urged Washington to
open a representation office in northern Cyprus.

MFA Criticizes Prescott for Calling Turkey an "Occupier" in
Cyprus: The Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) said that
British Deputy PM John Prescott's remarks describing Turkey
as an `illegal occupying force' in Cyprus had been
`unfortunate,' papers report. An MFA statement said
yesterday that the deputy PM of a country with a guarantor
status in Cyprus had made remarks that `distorted the
truth.' Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat had earlier
criticized Prescott for not being familiar with the Cyprus
issue.
Logoglu Urges Kurds to Stay Committed to a Unitary Iraq:
Turkey's Ambassador to the US, Faruk Logoglu, said on Friday
that the US should urge the Iraqi Kurds, who have announced
their commitment to the idea of a united Iraq, to keep their
promise. `What is important is the declaration by the Iraqi
Kurdish group, published in "The Washington Post," that it
is committed to a united Iraq. Everybody, and particularly
the US, should urge the Kurds to keep this promise,' Logoglu
told a meeting held by the Turkey-US Chamber of Commerce in
Washington.

MFA Condemns Hadera Attack: The Turkish Foreign Ministry
(MFA) condemned on Friday the terrorist attack that killed 5
and wounded more than 10 in Hadera, Israel, saying in a
statement that this attack aimed at blocking efforts to
bring peace and stability to the region. `We expect the
sides not to allow the opponents of peace to achieve their
goal, to behave in a moderate way, and to refrain from acts
that may fuel violence,' the MFA said.

138 Turkish Companies Accused of Illegal Trade with Saddam
Regime: A UN report revealed that 138 Turkish firms
illegally profited from illicit trade that bypassed
sanctions against Iraq under Saddam Hussein as part of the
UN oil-for-food program, "Hurriyet" reports. 2,000
companies around the world, including 138 Turkish
businesses, are accused of paying millions of dollars to
Saddam in an effort to secure oil deals, according to a new
report released by an independent UN commission. Six
Turkish companies including Tupras, Delta, Tekfen Foreign
Trade, Erdem Holding, Seta Construction, Petroleum and
Transportation, and Emin Foreign Trade are accused of paying
a total of 6.3 million USD in kickbacks to Saddam's regime.
The report says that the recently privatized Turkish
Petroleum Corporation (Tupras) paid 1.9 billion USD to Iraq
for 10 oil deals, and claims that Tupras gave 470,000 USD in
illegal payments to the regime. UN Secretary-General Annan
has asked UN member states to impose sanctions on the
implicated companies. A UN report released in September had
claimed that Turkey, along with Jordan and Syria, had
breached the embargoes imposed by illegally importing oil
from Iraq.

Child Abuse at Malatya Orphanage: Revelations about the
mistreatment of children at an orphanage in the eastern city
of Malatya sparked outrage when footage aired on Tuesday
night on "Star TV" showed orphans being badly beaten and
humiliated by the state-run orphanage staff. The
parliamentary human rights committee has assigned a
delegation to investigate the case. Psychiatrists said they
detected symptoms of depression among the children. Papers
highlight that Prime Minister Erdogan said the abuse of
helpless orphans is a `crime against humanity,' adding that
those responsible will be punished. Five women have been
arrested on charges of mistreating children, and are
expected to be tried for torture. They could face prison
sentences of 8-15 years. Papers say that torture is common
not only in Malatya, but in most orphanages around Turkey.
They further note that child abuse is also common in many
homes, underlining widespread domestic violence in Turkey.
"Radikal" says that problems in orphanages had been
highlighted in several reports prepared by state officials
in the past. State Minister Nimet Cubukcu and her
predecessor, Guldal Aksit, had been warned about the
problems, but measures for solving these problems have been
delayed. "Sabah" faults the AKP government, saying that the
specialists in charge of the Malatya orphanage had been
removed, and replaced by persons close to AKP. A column in
"Sabah" says that the AKP government's efforts to make
partisan appointments had paved the way to `Abu Ghraib-type
horrors' in Malatya orphanage. Dailies criticize the fact
that State Minister Cubukcu, who is responsible for
orphanages, had not bothered to cut her trip to the UK short
to return to deal with the scandal in Malatya. "Milliyet"
calls for the resignation of the officials responsible for
the incidents in Malatya. The paper asks whether `only the
nurses will pay the price for torture, or will the
government punish all who are responsible for the scandal?'
"Milliyet" warned that the abuse scandal had become an
important test for Turkey's progress toward the EU.

Court Rules against Closure of Egitim-Sen: The teachers'
union Egitim-Sen won a legal battle against closure on
Thursday when a court ruled that the union will remain open
after it removed from its statutes references to `education
in languages other than Turkish,' papers report.
Prosecutors had demanded the closure of the left-leaning
union on the grounds that its statutes, which refer to
`education in mother tongues,' conflicted with the Turkish
Constitution. Egitim-Sen said it viewed the verdict as a
positive step toward democratization.

EU to Urge Turkey to Allow Education in Mother Tongues: The
European Commission will urge Turkey to allow instruction in
Kurdish in schools through constitutional changes,
"Cumhuriyet" claims. At present, schoolchildren are taught
only in Turkish. The EU Commission's Turkey progress
report, to be released on November 9, will push Ankara to
change a constitutional provision barring the use of
languages other than Turkish in schools, stressing that EU
harmonization will not be possible without amending this
provision. The EU draft report says that Turkey had made no
progress in protecting cultural rights, and points to
restrictions in education in mother languages. The report
also criticizes bureaucratic obstacles encountered by
Kurdish language schools, according to "Cumhuriyet."

US Soldiers Vacation in `Occupied' Cyprus: The Greek
Cypriot daily "Filelevtheros" carried a story yesterday
claiming that US soldiers who serve on bases in Turkey
vacationed in the `occupied areas' of Cyprus last year. The
US soldiers fly to the `occupied areas' directly, according
to the reoprt. This move is part of a US policy to `upgrade
the occupation regime,' and was decided after last year's
twin referenda. Diplomatic sources said that the soldiers
spend their holidays in Cyprus at their own initiative,
visiting Cyprus as tourists or private individuals.

AKP Lawmakers Will Boycott Republic Day Reception: "Vatan"
says that AKP lawmakers invited to attend the annual
Republic Day reception at the presidential palace without
their wives were planning to boycott the event. President
Sezer invited university rectors to attend the reception
with their spouses, while Prime Minister Erdogan, AKP
lawmakers and cabinet ministers with wives wearing
headscarves have been invited to attend the reception alone.
"Vatan" claims that AKP lawmakers will return their
invitations to Sezer. "Yeni Safak" reports on its front
page that Hayrunnisa Gul, wife of Foreign Minister Abdullah
Gul, is planning to give a `lesson in civility' to Sezer by
inviting him to attend a Republican Ball to be held on
November 8 together with his wife.

Commuter Bus Set on Fire in Istanbul: Unidentified
assailants tossed fire bombs toward a commuter bus in
Istanbul's Kucukcekmece district on Thursday, the semi-
official Anatolian News Agency (AA) reported. Four masked
attackers then stopped the bus and forced the passengers to
dismbark before pouring gasoline and setting the bus ablaze.
All four attackers escaped after the incident.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/Rove and Libby Case

"Bush is Trying to Avoid the Scandal"
Ferai Tinc stated in the mass appeal "Hurriyet" (10/28):
"You may wonder about the reasons for the presence of
Barzani in the White House. Turkish Foreign Ministry
officials were even wondering if the next step for Bush
would be to meet with every provincial leader of Iraq in
Washington. The fact is that President Bush and his aides
are trying to change the political agenda in order to take
the sting out of a serious domestic scandal. Barzani's
visit to the White House as president of Iraqi Kurdistan is
part of this scenario. . The White House is trying to
influence public opinion at a time when support for the war
has sunk to about 30 percent. The message being given to
the public is about the success of the Iraq operation, the
strong support from Iraqis for the US presence, and the fact
that Iraq has been saved from a bloody dictator. The
approval of the constitution, the upcoming elections, and
the trial of Saddam are also part of the message targeted at
the American public. The Bush administration is trying to
highlight these messages by ignoring its past argument about
weapons of mass destruction as the main reason for the war.
This is because of an ongoing investigation in Washington
that is soon to be concluded, and it proves that the Bush
administration distorted the facts in order to justify the
occupation."

"A Civil War has started in Iraq"
Erdal Guven observed in the conservative-sensational
"Tercuman" (10/28): "As expected, a civil war has erupted
in Iraq. At least 23 people died in clashes between the
Sunni and Shiite insurgents. The number of casualties grows
every day. What will happen next? As US support for the
Kurds grows, the unrest in Iraq grows even faster. The US
cannot protect Iraq's territorial integrity with this kind
of approach. . As we will see in the future, the unrest and
clashes will spread all over Iraq in a very short period of
time, and the US administration will request Turkey's help
in order to end the violence. It is not possible for the US
to control this region on its own. No matter how fervently
the US supports the Kurds, peace in Iraq cannot be
established. The Iraq issue cannot be solved without
Turkey."

MCELDOWNEY

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