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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 ANKARA 006585

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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
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2005


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Elections a Democracy Test for Azerbaijanis - Sabah
Unrest in Baku - Milliyet
Azerbaijani Opposition Claims Fraud - Sabah
Aliyev Pledges Reforms - Aksam
Paris in Fklames - Turkiye
Paris Unrest Costs 7 Million Euro - Posta
Tehran to Make Up with Baghdad - Aksam
Iran, Italy Duel over Israel - Vatan
Annan Puts Off Iran Visit - Vatan 11/6
Bush Staff to Take Ethics Training - Sabah
Carter: Bush Deceived Americans - Vatan 11/6
Bush Returns from Americas Summit Empty-Handed - Sabah
Chavez, Maradona Steal Show at Americas Summit - Posta 11/6

OPINION MAKERS
Iran Opens Military Facility to UN Inspectors - Yeni Safak
Muslim Youth Besiege Downtown Paris - Yeni Safak
Migrants Furious in France, Europe on Tenterhooks - Radikal
Tensions in France Spreads - Cumhuriyet 11/6
French Muslim Community Demands an Apology - Yeni Safak
US Warns Americans against Traveling to Paris - Zaman 11/6
Shiite Family Killed in Iraq - Radikal
Coalition Forces Launch New Operation on Syrian Border -
Cumhuriyet 11/6
Support for Bush Sinks to 35 Percent - Cumhuriyet 11/5
Wilkerson: Cheney Ordered for Torture of Prisoners - Radikal
11/5
Taliban Urges Afghans to Join Fight against Americans -
Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

Azerbaijani Elections: "Cumhuriyet" on Sunday reported that
opposition parties in Azerbaijan had their offices raided
and representatives arrested following an election campaign
that took place in an atmosphere of tension. `The elections
in Azerbaijan, where corruption is rife and some 40 percent
of the population lives in poverty, are being closely
monitored by international oil companies, the United States,
and Russia,' the report says. The article quotes State
Department Spokesman Sean MacCormack on the importance of a
fair election which, he stressed, would strengthen ties
between Baku and Washington. The Azerbaijani election
commission told the press on Sunday that the ruling party
had won more seats than any other party, but added that many
seats had also been won by independent candidates. Monday's
reporting suggested that the new parliament would be
dominated by supporters of President Aliyev, and highlighted
opposition claims of voting fraud. The reports claimed that
the opposition may call for people to take to the streets on
Tuesday.

Turkish `Secret Constitution' on Iraq, Iran, Syria, Cyprus:
"Hurriyet" reported on Saturday that Turkey's National
Security Policy Document, the so-called Turkish `secret
constitution' discussed at the latest National Security
Council (NSC) meeting, includes the following statements

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about Iraq and Iran: `The protection of Iraq's territorial
and political integrity is important for all countries in
the region. Long-term steps toward the establishment of an
independent Kurdish state will cause serious problems.
Tehran's continuation of its nuclear program beyond
humanitarian purposes will pose a threat to Turkey. Iran's
work on the Shahab 4 and Shahab 5 missiles following the
production of Shahab 3 with a range of 1000-1300 km is
noteworthy.' The Document also says that developments in
Syria are being `monitored.' On Cyprus, the document
underlines the importance of finding a `lasting and feasible
solution' that will be `acceptable for both sides' on the
divided island. The document also states that Cyprus is of
`first degree' importance to Turkey's security, adding that
Ankara will not renounce its rights over the disputed
island.

Edelman Allegedly Involved in the Libby `Scandal': "Yeni
Safak" on Saturday carried a story by Turkey's Ihlas News
Agency (IHA) from Washington, alleging that former US
Ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman, may have met with Lewis
Libby in 2003, when Edelman was an advisor to VP Cheney,
about the leaked identity of a CIA operative. Edelman told
a Congressional hearing earlier this year that he had no
involvement in the issue, but the report suggests that
Edelman's testimony may have been based on advice from
`other authorities.' The report notes that there have been
no accusations made against Edelman.

PKK Opens Office in Baghdad: The PKK has opened an office
in Baghdad despite opposition by Iraqi President Jalal
Talabani and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Massoud
Barzani, weekend papers report. The office, which is
protected by 15 PKK militants, was opened under the guise of
the Iraqi Democratic Solution Party. A grainy photograph
carried by may papers shows an Iraqi flag at the office
flying side by side with what is alleged to be a PKK flag.

Greek PM Karamanlis Puts Off Turkey Visit: Greek Prime
Minister Costas Karamanlis has put off his visit to Turkey
that had been planned for November, weekend papers report.
Citing Greek press reports, the media claims that Karamanlis
will not visit Turkey in November, but will reschedule his
visit for `an appropriate time.' Greek papers speculated
that the visit was postponed due to Turkey's policy against
the recognition of Cyprus and statements by Turkish
officials on that issue. The Greek press also speculated
that Ankara's stance against Greek Orthodox Patriarch
Bartholomew I had been influential in the decision to
postpone the visit. Turkish diplomatic sources told
"Kathimerini" that they still expect the visit to take place
before the end of the year, claiming that they have received
assurances to that effect from the Greek government. The
sources implied that Turkey would be extremely displeased by
an indefinite postponement. Karamanlis would be the first
Greek Prime Minister to visit Turkey in the last 46 years.

Bryza Reiterates US Support for Lifting of Sanctions on
North Cyprus: In an evaluation of Turkish Cypriot president
Mehmet Ali Talat's visit to the US at a conference at
Washington's Georgetown University, Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State Matt Bryza said the way forward is the

SIPDIS
reunification of Cyprus through the removal of sanctions
against Turkish Cypriots, Turkish wire services report on
Monday.
Bryza said that Talat's visit to the US in late October had
been `a very big step forward.' Bryza described Talat's
meeting with Secretary Rice as `constructive, strategic, and
visionary.' `Let's move beyond the slogans. We should do

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our best to integrate the Turkish Cypriots into Europe and
the world,' Bryza said.

Talat Displeases Ankara: Weekend papers report that Turkish
Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat displeased Ankara by
scrapping the tradition of celebrating the Ramadan holiday
with a joint reception with political and military
representatives from Turkey. Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces
Commander Hasan Memisoglu declined to take part in Talat's
program, and held a separate celebration attended by former
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas. Asked about his
decision to hold the reception alone, Talat said that "it
would be wrong to create the impression that this country is
not actually ruled by elected officials but by others. This
would be detrimental to our cause. We must show the rest of
the world that there is democracy in Turkish Cyprus.'

Constitution Gives the PKK Asylum Rights in Iraq: Ahmet
Muratli, Ankara representative of the Iraqi Turkmen Front,
wrote a letter to President Sezer claiming that Article 22
of the recently accepted Iraqi Constitution gives the PKK
the right to seek political asylum in Iraq, Sunday's
"Hurriyet" reported. Article 22 forbids asylum-seekers from
being forcibly deported which, according to Muratli,
prevents PKK terrorists from being extradited to Turkey if
they are captured in Iraq. Muratli also voiced doubt that
the Iraqi Turkmen will preserve their identity if an
independent Kurdish state is formed.

Barzani Flies to US via Turkey: Friday's "Vatan" reported
that Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Massoud
Barzani flew to Washington via Turkey after US officials
decided that Turkey would be the safest route for the
Kurdish leader. The report claims that a small plane
carrying Barzani landed at Incirlik Air Base on October 23,
and that he was treated as a guest for a short time by
Turkish soldiers at the base before departing for Washington
on a largeer US military plane. The report notes that in
2002, Barzani refused to attend a gathering of Iraqi
dissidents held in the United States because he would have
had to fly via Turkey.

MP Asks If Turkey Handed Over Terror Suspects to the US:
Ahmet Guryuz Ketenci, a lawmaker from Istanbul, asked Prime
Minister Tayyip Erdogan in a statement whether some
individuals were handed over to the CIA without
interrogation, dailies reported over the weekend. Ketenci
said that a report broadcast by Swedish State Radio claimed
that Turkish security captured terror suspects sought by the
United States in operations inside and outside of Turkey,
and turned them over to the CIA without an interrogation.
`It is known that a CIA plane that took off from Istanbul
Airport on March 7, 2005 and flew to the US after stopping
at Copenhagen and Reykjavik. The plane stayed on the ground
for 23 hours at Copenhagen Airport. In addition, "The
Washington Post" alleged that the US has set up secret
prisons in some east European countries. Turkey may face
very serious charges in international platforms in the
coming days,' Ketenci said. Ketenci added that he will
submit a motion in parliament requesting an explanation from
PM Erdogan. Ketenci asks if the CIA plane that landed in
Istanbul on March 7 picked up any `passengers' from Turkey,
and if Turkish security agencies acting as `subcontractors'
of the US captured individuals and handed them over to the
CIA.

Cicek Criticizes Denmark for Not Banning Kurdish TV:
Justice Minister Cemil Cicek strongly criticized Denmark for
not canceling the license of Copenhagen-based Roj TV, the

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Kurdish broadcaster that Turkey claims is a mouthpiece of
the outlawed PKK organization. `Denmark has been stalling
on our request to close a TV station that supports ethnic
terrorism. This contravenes EU legislation,' Cicek charged
during a visit to Stockholm. Ankara says that Roj TV has
been inciting hatred and fear by expressing support for the
PKK in broadcasts that began in March 2004. A Danish radio
and TV watchdog ruled earlier this year that Roj TV programs
did not violate Danish law, but added that it had asked
police to look into alleged ties between the broadcaster and
the PKK. Turkey has previously succeeded in ensuring the
closure of two other Europe-based Kurdish TV stations
believed to have links to the PKK. MED-TV had its license
revoked in the UK, while France refused to grant a license
to its successor, MEDYA-TV.

Erdogan on Ethnic Unrest in France: Monday papers report
that Prime Minister Erdogan said that unrest in France had
been triggered by the headscarf ban enforced in French
schools. `A year and a half ago I warned the French that
they were fueling divisions between Christians and Muslims.
I stressed that Turkey's EU entry is the only way to prevent
a possible clash of civilizations. Unfortunately, our
warning was ignored,' Erdogan said. Erdogan emphasized that
the unrest in France has demonstrated the importance of the
need to build an `alliance of civilizations.'

Report on Displaced People in Turkey: A report by the
Turkish Foundation for Economic and Social Research (TESEV)
said that the number of displaced people in Turkey had
reached on million, and that many migrant families force
their children to work for survival, Monday's "Radikal"
reports. The academics that prepared the report said the
population of the mainly Kurdish southeastern cities of
Hakkari and Diyarbakyr had increased more than two-fold as a
result of migration, underlining the fact that the cities
had failed to cope with the rapid increase. They noted that
projects seeking to encourage a return to villages are not
advancing smoothly, and that state support is not sufficient
to revive life in evacuated villages.

Economic Situation Deteriorating in Southeast Turkey: In
2005, 246,000 people requested assistance form the
Governor's Office in Diyarbakir, the mainly Kurdish
southeastern province which has been turned into a `city of
refugees,' "Radikal" reported on Saturday. Ongoing
fighting, unemployment, and economic problems in the
southeast over the last 15 years have forced the people to
live on public assistance. A substantial proportion of the
population of Mardin, Hakkari, Batman, Bitlis, Sanliurfa,
Adiyaman, Sirnak, and Siirt lives on assistance received
from governor's offices and municipalities. Official
figures indicate the unemployment rate in Diyarbakir is 14
percent, though other indicators show that the real figure
is probably closer to 50 percent.

Minority Assets in Turkey: The EU Commission Accession
Partnership Document on Turkey to be released on November 9
contains recommendations that would open the way for
minorities to claim their properties in Turkey or to ask for
compensation, Monday papers report. Papers claim that the
inclusion of this subject in the accession partnership
document will constitute a legal ground for Greeks to demand
compensation from Turkey for confiscated property.


EDITORIAL OPINION: France

"The Paris Lesson"

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Gungor Mengi wrote in the mass appeal "Vatan" (11/7): "There
is concern that the flames in Paris might create a chain
reaction and spread throughout all of Europe. In fact the
reasons behind the rage felt by minority groups in France
are equally valid in other European nations such as Germany,
Belgium, and Holland. . The West, which has caused anger and
violence in occupied Iraq, is now seeing a similar situation
erupt in Paris. As Eric Marliere, a French sociologist,
noted, a reaction becomes inevitable when no jobs and
services available and discrimination exists. The European
Commission's report on racism has already concluded that
there is discrimination against immigrants. In other words,
the current uprising is not a surprise. . French Interior
Minister Sarkozy is not responsible for these events, but he
will be the one who gets the blame if he refuses to step
down. A gesture from the French goverment would be
sufficient to get the immigrant to stop the violence. If
the French system isists on protecting Sarkozy, it will
only hel the radical Islamist organizations that are
dreaming to abuse the feelings of the Muslim minority."

"Paris and 1968"
Rahim Er commented in the conservative "Turkiye" (11/7):
"Paris is not only an international fashion center. Paris
can also be a center for events that spread around the
world, like the events of 1968. Although Paris is one of
the major centers of western civilization, this civilization
is currently producing anger and poverty that speaks to the
serious economic divide in France. . Paris has its
Africans, New York has its blacks, and London has its
Pakistanis. This list could be expanded, but it is enough
to illustrate the gap that exists between glamor and
poverty. The West is preparing itself for a conflict of
civilizations."

"Paris Ablaze"
Zafer Atay wrote in the economic-political "Dunya" (11/7):
"The residents of the areas where the unrest began are
mainly Muslim immigrants from northern Africa and the former
colonies of France. The unemployment rate in these areas is
30 percent -- three times higher than the national rate.
People live in poorly constructed housing blocks, many
without running water or heating. They suffer continuous
electricity cuts. Their garbage is not collected. The
schools their children attend are far below French
standards. The youth in this area have two choices - to
sell drugs or join criminal gangs. . While they attack
Turkey at every opportunity for violations of human and
minority rights, French parliamentarians haven't even
stopped by Clicy-Sous-Bois, where the violence started. We
don't believe that Madame Mitterand, who criticized Turkey
so harshly in the past, even knows the way to the suburbs of
Paris. Already, some are characterizing these incidents as
a civil war and expecting the French military to intervene."

MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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