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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 ANKARA 006607

SIPDIS

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 8, 2005


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

MASS APPEAL
President Bush Sends Message to Conference in Istanbul -
Milliyet
Paris Suburb Fury Spreads to Europe - Sabah
Ankara Concerned About Paris Riots - Aksam
EU: Turkish Village Guard System Must be Abolished - Aksam
OSCE: Azerbaijani Elections Not Free, Fair - Vatan
Azerbaijani Opposition to Take to Streets - Vatan
Chalabi: Iraq Must Not be a Haven for Terrorists - Sabah
UN Wants to Question 6 Syrian Officials - Milliyet
US, China to Sign Textile Agreement - Milliyet

OPINION MAKERS
Bush Praises Dialogue Efforts in Turkey - Zaman
Gul: We Want to See New, Democratic Iraq - Yeni Safak
Paris Suburb Riots Spill Over to Europe - Yeni Safak
`Intifada' in Paris Suburbs - Cumhuriyet
`Guerrilla War' in Paris - Radikal
`Emergency Rule' in Paris - Cumhuriyet
Simitis' Book Full of Praise for Erdogan - Radikal
Michael Rubin: Barzani Shelters PKK Terrorists - Zaman
US Supports OSCE on Azerbaijani Polls - Zaman
UN Wants to Interrogate Assad's Brother-in-Law - Zaman
Syria Ready for Cooperation with UN - Cumhuriyet
India Gives Nuclear Support to Iran - Yeni Safak
Husband Beats Afghan Woman Poet to Death - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

Bush Sends Message to Religious Tolerance Conference in
Istanbul: President Bush sent a message to the second Peace
and Tolerance Conference in Istanbul. The conference was
sponsored jointly by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and the
New York based Appeal of Conscience Foundation (ACF). In
his message read by US Charge d'Affaires Nancy McEldowney,
Bush praised Turkey as the `ideal' country to hold such a
gathering, and for being a `bridge between cultures.' Bush
said religious tolerance forms the basis for the United
States, and was the main reason why the country's founders
came to America from other countries. McEldowney said that
Islam and terror should not be linked to each other, adding
that terrorism perpetrated in the name of religion is
actually the greatest terrorism against religion. The head
of Turkey's Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Professor Ali
Bardakoglu, said that religious leaders should clearly
explain that religion does not justify violence. `We must
also make it clear that religion cannot be used by the
perpetrators of terrorism for their purposes,' Bardakoglu
said. UNSYG Kofi Annan, European Commission President
Barroso, and Pope Benedict XVI were among other leaders who
sent letters to the conference.

Erdogan on Paris Riots: Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told
Turkish journalists aboard his plane yesterday that the
riots in France proved the importance of the `alliance of
civilizations.' `We have told the European Union that
Turkey is very important from the perspective of cooperation
among civilizations, but we are having difficulty in
explaining this to some of our friends, especially to

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France,' Erdogan said. He claimed that the headscarf ban in
French public schools is one of the elements that incited
the riots. The PM reaffirmed that if Turkey is not admitted
to the EU, clashes among civilizations will continue and the
EU will become a `Christian club.' Later in the day,
Erdogan joined German Chancellor Schroeder at a dinner in
Cologne. Turkey's opposition parties voiced strong
reactions to the Prime Minister's comments. The main
opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said the remarks
of Erdogan could be perceived as a call to Turks in Europe
to join the protests. The True Path Party (DYP) described
Erdogan's statement as `dangerous.' The Democratic Left
Party (DSP) lashed out at Erdogan, saying that the headscarf
issue is the prime Minister's `main concern.' An anonymous
French official reportedly said that Erdogan was taking an
`opportunist' approach to the unrest in France. Papers
speculate that Turkish diplomats are uneasy about Erdogan's
remarks, because they have given the impression that Turkey
supports the rioters.

Erdogan on the `CIA Plane' that Allegedly Landed in Turkey:
Prime Minister Erdogan rejected yesterday press reports
claiming that a CIA plane had secretly landed in Turkey to
pick up terror suspects for transer to the United States and
subsequent interrogation. ` I have received no such
information. I have spoken with the Interior Minister, and
will also meet with the Undersecretary of the National
Intelligence Organization (MIT.) We have no confirmation
of these reports,' Erdogan said.

Karamanlis Visit to Turkey `Not Scheduled': Turkish Prime
Ministry Spokesman Akif Beki said yesterday that Greek Prime
Minister Costas Karamanlis' state visit to Turkey has not
been scheduled yet. `Erdogan and Karamanlis want to meet in
Turkey, but both leaders have busy schedules,' Beki said.
Greek government sources had said over the weekend that the
Karamanlis visit, the first such call by a Greek PM in
Turkey in 46 years, had been postponed indefinitely. Athens
wanted the visit to confirm good bilateral relations, but
this is not possible right now, the sources said, citing
three reasons: recent `counterproductive' statements by
Turkish officials, the demonstration held by the extreme
nationalist MHP-linked `Gray Wolves' against the Ecumenical
Patriarchate in Istanbul, and the leak of a document by
Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) reaffirming that
any attempt by Greece to extend its territorial waters in
the Aegean to 12 miles will be a cause for war. Turkish
diplomatic sources, however, told the Greek press that they
still expect the visit to take place by the end of the year,
and that the Greek government has given assurances to that
end. Prime Minister Erdogan told the Turkish press on
Monday that the Karamanlis visit will take place toward the
end of December.

Rubin on the PKK: Michael Rubin, an expert on Turkey and
the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI),
said that Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader
Massoud Barzani is protecting PKK terrorists, "Zaman"
reports. Rubin wrote in the "New York Sun" last week that
the struggle against the PKK has been a barometer for
American prestige in Turkey, and blamed the US
administration for not initiating an operation against the
terrorist group. Rubin said that the KDP was selling
support materials to PKK members who come down from the
mountains during the winter. Rubin charged that Barzani
protects the PKK and has been unable to provide security on
Iraq's northern border. He added that a US offer to offer
an amnesty if PKK accepts a ceasefire will ridicule the
President Bush's struggle against terrorism.

ANKARA 00006607 003 OF 005

PKK Recruits Members in Baghdad: Despite the fact that they
are opposed by US-led coalition forces and Iraqi
politicians, the terror organization PKK has intensified its
activities in Iraq, "Yeni Safak" reports. The report notes
that the PKK has opened a political liaison office in
Baghdad, and claims that PKK militants have started coming
down from the Kandil mountains to establish checkpoints and
recruit new members in parts of Suleymaniye province.

PKK Groups Fight over Extortion Money: Groups within the
PKK are divided by disagreements about how to share profits
they are collecting from extortion and drug smuggling,
"Hurriyet" reports. The Governor of Hakkari, Erdogan
Gunduz, said that the PKK had been transformed into a
`criminal network.' Gunduz said that the terrorist
organization is punishing businessmen in the region who pay
`taxes' to rival groups within the PKK, and cited this as
the main reason behind recent attacks in Turkey's
southeastern provinces. `The PKK is losing popularity,'
Gunduz said, adding that the organization is staging bombing
attacks to scare people and raise more funds.

US Supports OSCE Assessment of Azerbaijani Polls: "Zaman"
reports that the US is supporting the OSCE assessment
concerning irregularities in the November 6 parliamentary
elections in Azerbaijan. US State Spokesman Adam Ereli said
that despite some improvements over previous elections, the
US has `serious concerns' about charges of election fraud.
`The United States looks to President Aliyev's government to
take corrective action in the districts where impartial and
transparent investigations show that irregularities and
fraud affected the results. We call on all citizens of
Azerbaijan to address complaints about election violations
through legal and peaceful channels and to refrain from
violence. We urge the government of Azerbaijan to allow for
peaceful freedom of assembly and to exercise restraint in
responding to protests,' Ereli said.

MFA on Azerbaijani Polls: The Turkish Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFA) expressed satisfaction over the parliamentary
elections in Azerbaijan in a statement issued on Monday.
`We welcome the fact that the elections were held without
incident,' the MFA said, and expressed hope that calm and
stability will continue in Azerbaijan. Fifty-two Turkish
observers were present during the elections held in
Azerbaijan on Sunday.

Greek Cypriots Veto EU Money to Turkish Cyprus: Turkish
Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat said that the Greek Cypriot
administration does not want to see the economy of the
`TRNC' improved, the semi-official Anatolian News Agency
(AA) reported on Monday. `The Greek Cypriot administration
has been trying to prevent the TRNC from making use of EU
financial assistance,' Talat said, in reference to a veto
cast by Nicosia against a declaration by the EU regarding
the release of 259 million Euros in financial aid to Turkish
Cypriots. If the regulation is not approved before December
31, the `TRNC' will not receive the first tranche of
assistance.

Greek Diplomats Visit Ankara: A seven-member delegation of
Greek diplomats met with Mustafa Dundar, spokesman for the
Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, the semi-
official Anatolian News Agency (AA) reported on Monday. The
delegation came to Turkey within the context of cooperation
among Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) and foreign diplomatic
academies for training purposes. The Greek Foreign Ministry
has agreed to train Turkish diplomatic officials on EU-

ANKARA 00006607 004 OF 005


related matters.

Turkey Trains Iraqi Diplomats: On Monday, Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul told the opening of a training course for young
Iraqi diplomats by the Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) that
Iraq will become a peaceful country by protecting its
integrity, adding that Turkey will continue to support the
Iraqi people. `Iraq is going through a difficult transition
period, and all its neighbors consider helping Iraq as a
duty,' Gul noted. The training program,l to be held from
November 7 - December 16, aims at assisting with the
reorganization of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

Turkmen Journalist Killed in Mosul: "Yeni Safak" reports
from Baghdad that unidentified masked gunmen killed a
Turkmen journalist, Ahmad Hussein al-Maliki, during a raid
on an internet cafe in Mosul. Al-Maliki was the editor of
the daily "Tal Afar", according to the report.

Naval Exercises in the Aegean, Mediterranean: Turkey's
Minex-2005 and Eastern Mediterranean-2005 naval exercises
will be carried out in the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea
simultaneously from November 8-18, the Anatolian News Agency
(AA) reported. The Turkish Naval Forces Command said on
Monday that Turkish Minex-2005, the naval exercise held
annually to develop training and cooperation against mines,
will be conducted in the Aegean. Turkey, Bulgaria, France,
Italy, Germany, Spain, and Greece will participate in the
exercise. The Eastern Mediterranean exercise will be held
in the Eastern Mediterranean with the participation of
assault boats, submarines, and logistic support vessels from
Turkey, Germany, France, and Spain.

Novelist Pamuk Awarded `Prix Medicis Etranger': Acclaimed
Turkish author Orhan Pamuk will be awarded the Prix Medicis
Etranger in France for his most recent novel `Snow,' papers
report. On October 23, Pamuk received the Peace Prize given
by the German Booksellers Association. Pamuk is due to face
trial in Istanbul on December 16 for `insulting the Turkish
identity' in an interview with a Swiss daily, where he said
that 1,000,000 Armenians and 30,000 Kurds had been killed in
Anatolia, and that nobody in Turkey has the courage to say
so. The Pamuk case is seen by the EU as a test of Turkey's
progress on human rights and freedom of expression.

48 Protesters Detained in Rally to Protest YOK: Police
detained 48 protestors among a large group of university
students rallying on the November 7 anniversary of the
establishment of the Higher Education Board (YOK) on Monday
in Ankara. Students from Istanbul and other provinces
chanted slogans against the YOK, and demanded that the Board
be abolished. Riot police intervened and sprayed pepper gas
after the students threw stones at them. Fifteen Molotov
cocktails were seized at the demonstration.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Azerbaijan Elections; FTAA; France

"A Post-Election Test"
Sami Kohen commented in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (11/8):
"Most foreign observers and journalists agree that some
irregularities and violations occurred in Azerbaijan during
the election campaign and on voting day. But it is not
unusual to see shortcomings in a country like Azerbaijan,
where the democratic process is relatively new. At least we
can say that democratic progress has been made compared with
the previous two elections in 2000 and 2003. . The ruling
party claims that all is well, while the opposition alleges
vast irregularities from beginning to end. At this point,

ANKARA 00006607 005 OF 005


Azerbaijan should be able to put all claims about election
wrongdoing into the hands of its judiciary. Whether Azeri
politicians will be able to demonstrate this kind of mature
attitude remains to be seen. This response is an even more
important test than the election itself."

"To What Extent is the US a World Power?"
Ilter Turkmen opined in the mass appeal "Hurriyet" (11/8):
"One of the main impacts of the Iraq war is the creation of
anti-Americanism around the world. The most recent example
was the Summit of Americas in Mar del Plata. It was
interesting to see that President Bush remained calm despite
Chavez's provocative anti-American remarks. President Bush
apparently did not want to risk American oil investments in
Venezuela, so he kept his cool. This is another indication
that American power has its limits. . Currently, a majority
of Latin American countries either oppose the US-proposed
Free Trade Agreement or are showing no interest in it.
Although the US will remain the only global power for many
years to come, it no longer has the power to intervene all
around the world and to get its way on every issue. Even in
its own backyard, American authority is in decline. While
it might be emotionally satisfying to be pleased by the
weakening of the US, it is also useful to consider that this
development could bring chaos to the world's political and
strategic balances."

"France Pays for its Racist Policies"
Hakan Celik commented in the mass appeal/tabloid "Posta"
(11/8): "France has never treated its immigrants from
Northern Africa as its own citizens. On the contrary,
France forced them into ghettos. While the UK has managed
to integrate foreigners successfully, France has
continuously excluded them from public life. ... Referring
to the protesting immigrants as `looters,' Interior Minister
Sarkozy reflects this same racist approach. In the past, he
has also been outspoken in his campaign to exclude Turkey
from the EU. France's power is in continuous decline
because it cannot keep up with this century's pace of change
on political, social, and economic issues."

MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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