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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 006535

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
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2005

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
McEldowney: Turkey Must Deal With Iraq on PKK Issue -
Hurriyet
Blair: Coalition to Withdraw When Iraq Violence Ends -
Hurriyet
Israel Expects Ankara to Denounce Tehran - Milliyet
Cicek: Europe Not Honest in Combating Terror - Turkiye
UN Approves Syria Resolution - Hurriyet
China, Russia Save Syria - Milliyet
Annan Gives No Timetable on Cyprus - Milliyet
Bomb Attack in Basra Kills 20 - Sabah
Cheney to Testify on CIA Leak - Sabah
Popular Support for Bush Sinks to 39 Percent - Sabah
UNICEF: 17,000 Children Killed in Pakistan Quake - Turkiye

OPINION MAKERS
McEldowney: Cooperation between Turkey-Iraq Essential -
Radikal
McEldowney to Turkey: Improve Ties with Iraq - Cumhuriyet
McEldowney Points to Iraq for PKK Solution - Yeni Safak
Talat: Cyprus Solution to be Under UN Umbrella - Radikal
Blair Hosts Barzani - Radikal
Barzani Thanks Blair for Liberating Iraq - Zaman
Iraq Lies Shake Washington - Cumhuriyet
Republicans Pressure Bush to Change Staff - Radikal
Addington to Replace Libby - Radikal
UN Invites Syria to Cooperate - Zaman
US Strikes Iraqi Civilians Again: 40 Killed - Yeni Safak
Basrans Furious at British Troops - Yeni Safak
Israel, US Want Iran Denounced - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING

US Plans for Politicizing the PKK: "Cumhuriyet" claims that
the US is preparing to make the PKK part of the new
independent Kurdish state to be established in northern
Iraq. On September 13, Iraq President Talabani and
President Bush discussed plans in Washington to work out a
political solution to the PKK issue, the report claims. On
October 4, an American delegation accompanied by KDP
peshmerge reportedly went to the Kandil Mountains to meet
with PKK ringleader Cemil Bayik to persuade the group to lay
down its arms. Bayik demanded that the PKK be recognized as
a political party, and that its imprisoned leader, Abdullah
Ocalan, be set free. The report claims that the US
delegation promised to support the political activities of
the PKK if the militants agreed to lay down their weapons.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned the US at a party group
meeting on October 19 that Turkey expected effective steps
to eliminate terror groups in the region. Traffic among
Kurdish leaders and the US accelerated after Erdogan's
warning, the paper argues. Turkey, angered at the meeting
between Bush and `President' Barzani, has been told that
Bush urged Barzani to keep the PKK under control, protect
the Turkmen, and defend Iraq's territorial integrity. The
article claims that the US wants to `distract Turkey's
attention' while Americans work to accommodate the PKK into
the new Kurdish state.

Ankara to Review Iran Policy: "Cumhuriyet" reports that
Turkey is to review its Iran policy following a recent
statement by President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad that Israel
should be wiped off the map. The paper claims that Turkey
is preparing to adopt a stronger position toward Tehran, and
will support international resolutions to block Iran's
nuclear activities. Dailies also report that the Israeli
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom sent a letter to his Turkish
counterpart, Abdullah Gul, to express his disappointment
with the Turkish response to Ahmadinajad's remarks. The MFA
has given no response to Pinhas Avivi, the Israeli
Ambassador to Ankara, who had asked for an appointment to
convey the letter to Gul. Pro-government "Yeni Safak"
reports that US embassy officials had also raised the issue
at the foreign ministry, and had urged Ankara to make a more
forceful response.

McEldowney on the PKK, Cyprus, Ambassador Wilson: US Charge
d'Affaires Nancy McEldowney told the press on Monday after
her visit to the Anatolia Contemporary Education Foundation
that President Bush, at a meeting at the White House last
week, reiterated to Massoud Barzani and his delegation the
need to take action against the PKK in northern Iraq.
McEldowney said President Bush has explained to Barzani that
Iraq should be preserved as a unified, democratic, and
federal entity, stressing again the importance the US places
on strong, positive ties between Iraq and Turkey. `What we
want to do is establish democracy and stability in the
region. Making such an endeavor a reality depends on strong
ties between Iraq and Turkey. This is the only way to
overcome the problems in the region, including the PKK,'
McEldowney said. She noted that the US is working to ease
the isolation of Turkish Cypriots, and to reach a fair and
lasting solution of the Cyprus problem. McEldowney also
said that Ross Wilson, President Bush's nominee as the new
US envoy to Ankara, is a very experienced and skilled
diplomat. She added that Wilson's nomination to Ankara
indicated the importance the United States gives to Turkey.
The Charge emphasized that Wilson's appointment must be
approved after a hearing at the US Senate, and she declined
to predict when the new US Ambassador will arrive in
Ankara.

Turkey Slams Belgium for not Trying Erdal: On Monday the
Turkish government strongly criticized Belgium for deciding
not to try terror suspect Fehriye Erdal for offences she
committed in Turkey, papers report. The Belgian court had
decided previously that Erdal's offences in Turkey,
including the alleged murder of Turkish businessman Ozdemir
Sabanci, would not be classified as `terror crimes,' but
that she would be charged with carrying firearms,
participating in the activities of an outlawed terrorist
organization, and using forged identity cards. Erdal, a
member of the leftist terrorist group DHKP-C, is suspected
of killing Sabanci and his two aides on January 9, 1996 with
the help of two other DHKPC members. Erdal was captured on
September 26, 1999 in Belgium for carrying a forged
passport. Belgium rejected Turkey's demand to extradite
Erdal, and also rejected Erdal's application for asylum.
Turkish government spokesman and Justice Minister Cemil
Cicek recalled that Turkey had asked Belgium to extradite
Erdal to Turkey. `They refused our demand, citing the
existence of capital punishment in Turkey. However, when we
abolished capital punishment they pledged to try her for
crimes committed in Turkey. Now, it seems they will try her
just for the offences committed in Belgium,' Cicek said
after the council of ministers meeting in Ankara yesterday.

Turkey's Objections to EU Partnership Accession Document:
Ankara is uneasy with EU demands for giving Greek Cypriots
access to Turkish ports, allowing official education in
Kurdish, linking the Turkish General Staff (TGS) to the
Defense Ministry and solving border disputes, "Cumhuriyet"
reports. Diplomatic sources say that Turkey will voice
objections to these demands lined up in the accession
partnership accord prepared by the EU. Turkey will reject
EU calls to normalize ties with Nicosia and opening Turkish
harbors to the Greek Cypriots as long as the isolation of
north Cyprus continues. Ankara says that private Kurdish
language schools opened in various provinces had been closed
due to low interest. Ankara also underlines the fact that
the state-owned TRT television was already broadcasting
programs in Kurdish. Ankara says that it bears no
responsibility regarding border disputes with Greece and
Armenia. International agreements offered a solution to
disagreements with Greece, according to Ankara. Turks
reject the EU proposal to link the TGS to the Defense
Ministry in the short term, saying that new adjustments were
needed to meet EU demands on the subject. Turkish officials
said that Ankara kept in touch with Brussels to make the
necessary changes to the document, says "Cumhuriyet."

EU Progress Report on Turkey: "Vatan" reports that in an 18-
page progress report sent to the European Union (EU), Turkey
refers to Kurdish was `a dialect, not a language,' and adds
that the state broadcaster TRT is airing programs in Bosnian
and Arabic as well as Kurdish dialects. The report points
to the civilianization of the National Security Council
(NSC) and to judicial reforms. It notes that information
regarding the Alevis had been added to schoolbooks. The
report notes that 127,000 out of 360,000 displaced people
have returned to their villages in the southeast. The
report also claims that the Turkish government has given a
positive response to requests to clarify the legal status of
the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul. The government
says it plans to release a regulation with regard to the
functions of the Patriarchate.

Talat Seeks New UN Cyprus Initiative: Turkish Cypriot
leader Mehmet Ali Talat said on Monday that the European
Union (EU) was not the party to solve the Cyprus problem.
Talat argued that the United Nations has established the
only legitimate basis for handling the issue. `The EU is
not impartial,' Talat said in an evaluation of Greek Cypriot
policies to push the EU to the foreground in efforts to seek
a settlement. `During talks with UNSYG Annan, we reaffirmed
our conviction that the lifting of isolation will contribute
to the solution of the problem, and that it will provide for
unification, not division. We hope that the UN Secretary
General will assess these developments and launch an
initiative,' Talat said after meeting with Annan in New
York. Talat noted that the UN Secretary General will engage
in a new peace process only if it can be successful. `It is
common knowledge that Annan is not willing to initiate a new
negotiation process before preparing the groundwork. He
believes that Cyprus is a serious problem that may affect
Turkey's accession to the EU, causing instability in the
region. An initiative will be made, but its time, place,
and conditions are unknown,' Talat stated.

Athens on Turkish Protests against Ecumenical Patriarchate:
A spokesman for the Greek Government said on Monday that
Education and Religious Affairs Minister Marietta Yiannakou
and Deputy Foreign Minister Panayiotis Skandalakis had
spoken to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in the wake of
a protest last weekend by some 150 Turkish extreme
nationalists outside the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in
Istanbul, the government-affiliated Athens News Agency (ANA)
reports. A statement by the Greek Foreign Ministry
reiterated the Greek government's strong support for
Patriarch Bartholomew I and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Turkey to Buy 120 Jetfighters: "Milliyet" reports that
Turkey has invited bids to buy 120 new generation fighter
planes worth 5-8 billion USD. Turkey is seeking bids from
Alenia Aeronautica, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing. Turkey's
move to buy jetfighters is seen as a search for an
alternative to the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) project of the
US, Britain and Italy.
Terror Suspects Arrested: On Monday, Istanbul Police Chief
Celalettin Cerrah said that eight suspects had been arrested
in two operations launched against the outlawed PKK. Cerrah
said that six PKK were arrested for the explosion that
occurred at a gas station in Istanbul's Maslak neighborhood
on October 15. He noted that two other suspects were
arrested in an operation against a religiously-motivated
terrorist organization. Meanwhile, four terrorists,
including a woman, surrendered to security forces in Silopi,
in southeastern city of Sirnak.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iran; Syria

"New Signs of Danger"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (11/1): "The
recent remarks of the Iranian president provide some insight
into the Iranian stance on certain issues. Ahmedinejad's
harsh remarks against Israel and his insistence on
maintaining Iran's nuclear program indicate that Tehran
plans to increase its regional influence and is ready to
stand against international pressure to protect its nuclear
program. . In fact, nobody believes that Iran is going to
declare war against Israel. But the Tehran regime has the
intention of weakening Israel by increasing support for
organizations such as Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, and others.
Iran's position on this sensitive issue and the pressure
from the international community mean that tension in the
region and the potential for conflict will remain high.
Iran seems to be a candidate for being the `axis of danger'
in 2006."

"Iran's Satellite"
Fikret Ertan commented in the Islamist-intellectual "Zaman"
(11/1): "Iran is exerting extraordinary efforts to develop
its space program while continuing to improve its
conventional military power. The latest example of these
efforts is the first civilian Iranian satellite that was
launched into space in coordination with Russia. This
satellite has already caused a major disturbance among many
countries, especially Israel. As a matter of fact, it has
been reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov,
during his visit to Israel on the same day the Iranian SINA-
1 satellite was launched, had to face Israeli deputy Prime
Minister Simon Perez's questions on this issue. Of course,
the main worry for other countries is whether Iran will
continue with military satellites after launching civilian
ones. If it does, we need to look at what the
characteristics of such satellites would be, such as their
range and capacity."

"A Sequel to `The Godfather': Damascus"
Cengiz Candar commented in the tabloid "Bugun" (11/1): "The
Mehlis report is actually an interim report, because the UN
investigation has not yet been concluded. Completion of the
investigation requires Syria's cooperation. This is a
problem, because both the Syrian president's brother and his
uncle are suspects in the killing. President Assad's
personal role has also yet to be clarified. The minority
dictatorship in Syria is moving toward implosion. The
Syrian investigation is already on the UN agenda, so an
American intervention against Syria seems unlikely. In
fact, it is not necessary at all. The Syrian regime may
well collapse after going through a period of internal
conflict. The Mehlis report paves the way for that."
MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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