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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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DE RUEHAK #6824/01 3221511
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1314
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 6690
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 9067
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 9988
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 4933
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 4632
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1244
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/CDRUSAE IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39OSS INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 523 IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 006824

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
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2005


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Blue Stream Officially Opens- Hurriyet
Tense Funeral in Yuksekova - Hurriyet
Edinburgh Recognizes Armenian Genocide - Hurriyet
FIFA Convicts Turkey Without Trial - Sabah
Turkey Briefs US After Gul's Damascus Visit - Sabah
US Urges Denmark to Close Roj-TV - Milliyet
Blue Stream Turns Dream to Reality - Turkiye
Dogan Group Takes Over Star TV - Star
Funeral Under Shadow of F-16s in Yuksekova - Posta
Gul: I did not Carry Third Country's Message to Syria -
Vatan

OPINION MAKERS
Energy Summit in Samsun - Radikal
Gul Says Syria Visit was to Discuss Regional Issues -
Radikal
Scottish People Recognize Armenian Genocide - Radikal
Gul: I went to Syria to Discuss Stability - Cumhuriyet
US Base on Romania's Black Sea Coast - Cumhuriyet
Turkey to become World Energy Center - Yeni Safak
US Offers Turkey Cooperation in Black Sea - Yeni Safak
New Pipeline Offer from Putin - Zaman
Majority of Americans Approve Torture during Interrogation -
Zaman


BRIEFING

Gul's Visit to Syria: Foreign Minister Gul denied media
reports yesterday that he had conveyed Washington's message
to Assad during his visit to Damascus earlier this week.
Gul said that it is Turkey's responsibility to prevent
regional issues from becoming chronic. FM Gul said that
`the UN Commission plans to carry out its investigation in
the Hariri assassination. There have been some problems in
this regard. I shared Turkey's view on this issue with
Assad, but I made no demands. Turkey will fulfill its
duties, but we believe that the main task falls to UN
officials.' "Sabah" reports that Turkey briefed the US on
the visit following the Foreign Minister's return. After
being briefed by Turkish officials, US Charge McEldowney
told a group of reporters that the US wants to see concrete
steps that indicate the Syrian regime is addressing the
requirements of the international community - full
cooperaton with the UN report, support for regional
stability, ending support for terrorism, and progress on
democratic reform.

Tensions in Hakkari: All papers give extensive coverage to
the funeral for three protestors who died on Tuesday in
Yuksekova during clashes with security forces. Around
50,000 attended the funerals, and many chanted slogans in
support of the PKK and imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah
Ocalan. Two F-16 fighter jets and a military helicopter
flew over the crowd as a precaution against PKK militants
trying to cross the border. "Hurriyet" notes that security
forces did not leave their barracks during the ceremony in
order to avoid tension. "Sabah" reports that security at

ANKARA 00006824 002 OF 003


the funeral was provided by 2,000 activists from pro-Kurdish
DEHAP.

Blue Stream Pipeline Officially Opens: All papers covered
the ceremony held yesterday to inaugurate the Blue Stream
pipeline that carries natural gas from Russia to Turkey via
the Black Sea. Prime Minister Erdogan hosted Russian
President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi in Samsun for the opening ceremony. In his
remarks, PM Erdogan urged that the project be expanded so
that the gas can be transported all the way to the
Mediterranean port city of Ceyhan, and from tehre to Israel
through an undersea pipeline or on tankers as liquefied
natural gas (LNG). Erdogan also urged the Russian leader to
support a Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline project that would
transport Russian and Kazakh oil to international markets by
bypassing the overcrowded Bosphorus Straits. Erdogan argued
that Turkey's becoming an important energy corridor will
contribute to regional peace.

Europeans Criticize PM Erdogan: A high-level European
official told "Sabah" that PM Erdogan's comments criticizing
Denmark for allowing a Danish newspaper to publish cartoons
of the Prophet Mohammed were `worrying and discriminatory.'
`What is holy to some is not to others,' the official noted.
`Should we outlaw cartoons depicting women without
headscarves just because they might offend people from Iran
or Saudi Arabia?' Meanwhile, EU Enlargement Commissioner
Olli Rehn expressed support for Danish PM Rasmussen on the
issue of Roj-TV. "Milliyet" reports that Rehn said there
has been no evidence presented to suggest that Roj-TV has a
connection to the PKK. Rehn criticized PM Erdogan's
decision to walk out of a a joint press conference in
Copenhagen because of the presence of a Roj-TV reporter: `In
this case, the Prime Minister should have tried to look at
the issue more as a European leader,' he said.

US Supports Turkey on Roj-TV Issue: Several papers and the
all-news channel CNN-Turk report that the United States has
intervened with Denmark to support Turkey's request that the
Danish Government close down Roj-TV, which the Turks claim
has ties to the outlawed PKK. US Charge McEldowney told
reporters yesterday that `the US has an initiative to try to
cut off PKK financing, propaganda, and front groups by
working with our European friends.' Turkish sources
revealed that the US initative included support for Turkey
on the specific issue of Roj-TV.

Assistant Secretary Flory Proposed Black Sea Cooperation:
Islamist-oriented "Yeni Safak" claims that Assistant
Secretary of Defense Peter Flory proposed during last weeks

SIPDIS
high-level defense talks that the US and Turkey establish a
`security net' in the Black Sea. The report asserts that
the arrangement would include a coordination mechanism
between Incirlik Air Base and US base in Romania, Bulgaria,
and Georgia. The aim of the project would be to strengthen
efforts to counter terrorism and trafficking in persons,
weapons, and drugs. It would also strengthen security in
the Black Sea and provide a platform for rapid intervention
in the Balkans and the Caucasus. The initiative would
entail additional US ships going into the Black Sea, and
joint military exercises in the region. "Yeni Safak" claims
that Turkey gave `provisional approval' to the idea within
the framework of the Montreux Convention that regulates the
use of the Bosphorus Straits.

Supreme Court Prosecutor Warns on Statements Against
Constitution: Nuri Ok, Chairman of the Turkish Supreme
Court (Yargitay) said yesterday that the Court is

ANKARA 00006824 003 OF 003


`continuously following the activities' of Turkey's
political parties. He urged the parties to `avoid targeting
the constitutional system, the secular state, and modern
values.' The media widely interpreted Ok's comments as a
warning to the Prime Minister, who reportedly commented that
`only the Islamic religious community' has the authority to
pass judgment on the headscarf issue. Asked specifically
about Erdogan's comments, Ok said that `statements regarding
the European Court's decision about the headscarf ban must
remain within the bounds of the law.'


EDITORIAL OPINION: Syria

"The US and Damascus"
Mustafa Balbay argued in the leftist-nationalist
"Cumhuriyet" (11/18): "Frustrated by the deadlock in
Baghdad, the US has started looking for an exit strategy
that goes through Damascus. The transition to democracy in
Iraq has only led to growing violence, and the US is in need
of a `success' at all costs. . Shortly after the Hariri
assassination, the US named Syria as the killer. Now the US
is trying to make that accusation stick. It seems that the
plan is to link the Hariri murder investigation and trial to
an effort to `democratize' Syria. This would involve a
process of occupying, toppling the regime, and establishing
a new one, and the US seems to be looking for a reason to
start. . The US statement about the Turkish Foreign
Minister's sudden visit to Damascus asserted that Turkey and
the US `share the same views' on Syria. Adding Syria to the
list of problems in our neighborhood will not serve Turkey's
interest at all. We should be very careful about offering
Turkey to play the role of messenger."

"Syria"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative "Turkiye" (11/18):
"The Middle East cannot endure a war in Syria after what has
happened in Iraq. This argument is theoretically sound, but
the fact of the matter is that the US is the only one who
can make that decision. On the other hand, Turkey should
not engage in any effort to present itself as the `savior'
of Syria, as this would put Ankara and Washington on
opposite sides of the issue. The Baath administration in
Syria is one of the cruelest regimes in recent history. In
the past, it was Syria that trained and sheltered terrorists
to destabilize Turkey. For now, Damascus has abandoned that
policy. But we still haven't seen an apology. Syria has
not made any attempt to correct its maps that show certain
parts of Turkish territory as if they belonged to Syria.
Our policy in Iraq was a failure, and as consequences of
that we now face a new state of Kurdistan, the resurrection
of PKK terrorism, and the denial of the existence of the
Turkmen. Turkey cannot withstand the consequences of
another `March 1 disaster' (editor's note: reference is
being made to the Turkish parliament's refusal to allow US
troops to pass through Turkey and into Iraq in 2003). Syria
should make every effort to adapt itself to the modern world
and work on radical reforms as quickly as possible."

MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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