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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 ANKARA 007069

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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
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2005


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Victory in Iraq Clear, Pullout Date Not - Hurriyet
Bush: US Pullout of Iraq Will Bring Disaster - Sabah
US Bribes Iraqi Dailies for Positive Coverage - Sabah
US Plants News in Iraqi Dailies - Vatan
Pentagon's `Information Operation:' US `Buys Off' Iraqi
Media - Milliyet
Rumsfeld: Iraqi Groups are Terrorists, Not Insurgents -
Vatan
Rice Pledges to `Look into' Torture Claims - Sabah
Merkel: No Automatic Membership for Turkey - Hurriyet
EU to Monitor Pamuk Case on December 16 - Aksam
3.5 Million Earthquake Victims Fight for Survival in
Pakistan - Vatan
CNN `a la Francaise' - Hurriyet
Catholic Church: Don't Marry Muslims - Milliyet
Benedict XVI: I Would Like to be in Istanbul - Hurriyet

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OPINION MAKERS
Bush: We Will Stay in Iraq - Yeni Safak
Bush Did Not Announce Timetable for Iraq Pullout - Zaman
`Handbook' of Victory in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
General Pace: White Phosphorus a Conventional Weapon -
Radikal
US Pays `Independent' Iraq Press for Positive Coverage -
Cumhuriyet
Peres Becomes Sharon's Man - Cumhuriyet
Russian Police Partly Responsible for Beslan Killings - Yeni
Safak
Chavez: Bush Guilty of Genocide, Terrorism, Human Rights
Violations - Cumhuriyet
Climate Change Conference: US Pollutes the World - Yeni
Safak
12.5 Percent of Americans Live Under Poverty Line -
Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

Mottaki Visits Ankara: Visiting Iranian Foreign Minister
Manouchehr Mottaki brought a message to Ankara from Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad for the strengthening of
bilateral ties, Turkish papers report. On Wednesday,
Mottaki met with the representatives of Turkish Union of
Chambers (TOBB). He said that Iran was interested in
Turkish privatization projects, particularly in the energy
sector. Mottaki added that trade between Turkey and Iran
will reach 5 billion USD this year, up from last year's 4.5
billion USD. Mottaki also pledged political support for the
activities of Turkish businessmen in Iran. Mottaki later
called on Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Gul complained
about problems seen in transporting Iranian natural gas to
Turkey, and Mottaki promised to send a delegation to discuss
the issue. Gul also advised the Iranian FM to cooperate
with the UN inspector on Tehran's nuclear program. Mottaki
said Tehran will kick off preliminary talks in two weeks
with EU countries over Iran's nuclear activities. On Iraq,
Mottaki said Iran supported Iraq's territorial integrity,
and urged for a gradual pullout of US troops from the

ANKARA 00007069 002 OF 006


country. He added that Iran did not support any ethnic or
religious group in Iraq. The two FMs also discussed
possibilities for enhancing cooperation in the struggle
against the terrorist PKK. Gul also drew attention to
problems encountered by Turkish mobile phone operator
Turkcell and construction company TAV in Iran, and noted
that such hardships scared other Turkish companies willing
to invest in the country. Papers say that during the
meeting, Gul also urged Iran and other Islamic countries to
carry out reforms for democratization and human rights.
Dailies note that Mottaki did not visit Ataturk's Mausoleum,
a requirement for official visitors, so his visit is not
considered official. Mottaki said yesterday in an exclusive
interview with the all-news broadcaster NTV that Tehran
regarded it unlikely that Iraq will be partitioned. `A
regional federation administration does not mean that Iraq
will be divided up,' Mottaki said. In line with the
constitution that was ratified by the Iraqi people, Mottaki
noted, Iraqis will decide on the use of their own natural
resources. With regard to the activities of the PKK in
Iran, Mottaki said that Tehran will not allow anything that
will damage bilateral ties with Turkey. On Tehran's nuclear
aspirations, Mottaki said that Iran merely wanted to make
civilian use of nuclear energy, recalling that Iran had
called for removal of all nuclear weapons in the Middle
East. He added that President Ahmadinajad's statement with
regard to Israel had been misinterpreted by Western
countries. On Thursday, Mottaki is expected to meet with
former president Suleyman Demirel and former prime minister
Bulent Ecevit, as well as the banned Islamist leader
Necmettin Erbakan.

MFA on Direct Turkish Civilian Flights to Iraq: Turkish
Foreign Ministry (MFA) Spokesman Namik Tan rejected on
Wednesday press reports claiming a change in Turkey's Iraq
policy, stressing that the administration in the north was
part of Iraq. On the upcoming flights by the private
Turkish airliner, Fly Air, between Istanbul and Erbil and
Suleymaniye in northern Iraq, Tan said there was no obstacle
to Turkish Airlines to begin direct flights to Baghdad and
other Iraqi cities. Tan underlined that Turkey helped to
protect northern Iraq for over a decade, and that flights to
the region should be assessed within this context. Tan also
noted that Ankara considered the appointment of an Iraqi
Turkmen, Enise Avci, as the Iraqi deputy PM as an important
development regarding participation of Turkmen in Iraqi
politics.

MFA: Turkey Continues Humanitarian Aid to Iraq: Turkish
Foreign Ministry (MFA) Spokesman Namik Tan told a weekly
press briefing that Turkey decided to offer humanitarian aid
worth 1 million USD to Iraq, recalling that the first
consignment was sent to Tal Afar in November in a convoy of
16 trucks. He said the aid was distributed to Tal Afar
residents despite the fact that Turkish Red Crescent
(Kizilay) executives were exposed to harassment and gunfire.
Tan said 5 truckloads of goods were delivered to the Iraqi
Red Crescent to meet the urgent needs of people in several
regions of Iraq, adding that the second shipment containing
food and cleaning items, was sent to Dohuk on November 24.

Erdogan on Turkish Economy, Upcoming Visits by Merkel,
Zapatero: In a televised address to the nation on
Wednesday, Prime Minister Erdogan recalled that the Blue
Stream natural gas pipeline between Turkey and Russia was
officially inaugurated two weeks ago. Erdogan stated that
Blue Stream will make Turkey one of the most significant
energy corridors in the world, and thanked Russian and
Italian leaders, Putin and Berlusconi, for their support to

ANKARA 00007069 003 OF 006


the project. He noted that Turkey, a functioning market as
stressed in the EU progress report, will be a competitive
element in the European market as long as Ankara continued
structural reforms. The PM added that the latest report of
International Monetary Fund (IMF) once again confirmed the
successes that have been achieved in the Turkish economy.
`Now, our government is targeting a lower unemployment rate,
poverty and income inequality in Turkey,' Erdogan said.
Erdogan also said that, accompanied by a group of German
businessmen, Chancellor Merkel will visit Turkey soon, and
that Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero will come to Turkey in
the beginning of April. The PM also reiterated during his
address to the nation his pledge not to protect anybody
implicated in the incidents in the mainly Kurdish Semdinli
town in southeast Turkey. The blasts in Semdinli on
November 9 and ensuing protests by angry local Kurds that
left six people dead has drawn wide public and press
attention in Turkey, with covert state involvement being
suspected in the attacks. The Turkish parliament has
assigned an investigation commission to probe the incident
and the unrest following the blasts.

St Andrew's Day Celebrations in Istanbul: The Greek
Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul, the spiritual head of the
world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, yesterday
celebrated the November 30 feast day of St Andrew, papers
report. The ceremony at the Greek Patriarchate in the Fener
district of Istanbul was attended by Turkey's Armenian
Patriarch Mesrob II, the Greek deputy foreign minister
Panayotis Skandalakis, the Greek Ambassador to Ankara Yorgo
Yenimatas, Greece's Istanbul Consul-General Aleksandros
Aleksandris as well as representatives from Jerusalem
Orthodox Patriarchate and many Turkish nationals of Greek
heritage. Pope Benedict XVI was represented at the ceremony
by German Cardinal Walter Kasper. In a message to Patriarch
Bartholomew I read out at Wednesday's gathering, Pope
Benedict expressed hopes for `a deeper communion which will
overcome the obstacles remaining between the two churches.'
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I had invited Pope Benedict
XVI to attend the liturgy in Istanbul. Benedict XVI
accepted the invitation, but Ankara, believing that
Bartholomew I had overreached his authority, invited the
Pope to visit in 2006 instead. The Vatican has accepted
Ankara's invitation. Patriarch Bartholomew expressed hope
that Pope Benedict will visit the Patriarchate in Istanbul
in 2006. Bartholomew noted that no date had been fixed for
the visit yet. The Vatican said in a statement on Wednesday
that Pope Benedict XVI intended to be in Istanbul to attend
the ceremony, and that he still wanted to visit the
Patriarchate in Istanbul as soon as possible.

Prosecutor Demands Closure of AKP: A Turkish prosecutor
referred the ruling AK Party to the Constitutional Court on
Wednesday for breaking the law, reviving memories of the
AKP's Islamist predecessors, Welfare Party (RP) and the
smaller Felicity Party (FP) closed down by authorities for
breaching Turkey's secular code in 1998 and 2001.
Prosecutor Nuri Ok charged that some of the AKP party
regulations breached the law governing political parties,
and called on the Constitutional Court to demand that the
AKP revise its rules. Ok noted that changes in the AKP's
regulations had given too much power to the party leader,
Prime Minister Erdogan. `Following the changes in the
internal rules, the leader has become the only person who
can elect members of the party,' Ok said in his court
filing. The court has the right to shut down a political
party if it is deemed to have broken the law, but observers
doubt that the AKP is in serious danger.


ANKARA 00007069 004 OF 006


Supreme Military Council to Discuss Security: The regular
biannual meeting of the Turkish Supreme Military Council
(YAS) is to be held on Thursday. The meeting will be
presided over by Prime Minister Erdogan. Erdogan is
expected to be briefed on the recent terrorist activities
and regional security issues. YAS convenes twice a year, in
August and December. The first convention of the year
discusses promotions and retirements in the Turkish
military, whereas the amendments of regulations and the
needs of the military are the major points discussed in the
second meeting in December.

EU to Monitor Novelist Pamuk Trial: A European Parliament
delegation headed by Dutch lawmaker Camiel Eurlieng will
attend the upcoming trial of novelist Orhan Pamuk on
December 16, papers report. Dailies comment that the
delegation wants to see if Turkey is abiding by EU standards
in human rights, and whether constitutional reforms are
implemented in Turkey. "Vatan" reports that the Greek Group
in the EU Parliament will send a separate delegation to
Turkey for the trial. The head of Turkey-EU joint
parliamentary commission, Joost Lagendijk, and German
lawmakers Daniel Cohn Bendit and Helga Trupel will come to
Istanbul for the trial.

Gul Remarks on Turkish Judiciary: Turkish Foreign Ministry
(MFA) Spokesman Namik Tan said yesterday that Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul meant that Turkish judges acted more
in line with our judiciary system when the FM said in a
recent interview with Financial Times (FT) that the
`judiciary in Turkey is conservative, and the prosecutors
are even more conservative.' `It was a technical
description, and did not include any ideological aspect. We
have carried out reforms together with the judiciary. FM
Gul's words should be understood within this context,' Tan
said. Gul had also told FT that it was difficult to `spread
the spirit of liberal reform' through the Turkish judicial
system.

Bush Orders Torture of Terror Suspects: Turkish dailies
cover an ABC news report on torture of terror suspects by
Americans, citing a 2002 document signed by President Bush
as well as then-National Security Advisor Rice and then-
Attorney General Ashcroft.

36 Million Americans Live Under Poverty line: Dailies
report newly released US statistics showing that 12.5
percent, i.e. some 36 million, Americans live below the
poverty line. Mississippi leads the US states in terms of
poverty with 18.3 percent of people living under the poverty
line. The poverty line in the US is 16,600 USD for a family
of four.

Hejaz Railway to be Reactivated: Turkey, Syria, Jordan and
Saudi Arabia will work together to reactivate the `Hejaz
Railway' which was linking Damascus to Medina, demolished
during World War I, the semi-official "Anatolian News
Agency" (AA) reports. Turkish State Railways (TCDD)
officials said on Wednesday that the railway, built between
1900 and 1908, will be reactivated. A Jordanian delegation
led by project director Abdul-Razzaq came to Ankara on
Wednesday to hol talks on the project until December 5.
The railway will strengthen cooperation among regional
countries in many areas. Turkey attributes importance to
the project as the railway will connect Europe to Middle
East, and will also revive historical ties among regional
countries, says the AA report.

Report on Street Children, Domestic Violence in Istanbul: A

ANKARA 00007069 005 OF 006


report by the Istanbul Governor's Office shows that nearly
80 percent of children living rough on the streets of
Istanbul are under 15 years old, "Radikal" reports.
According to the report, the reasons for the increase in the
number of homeless children are family disagreements (20.7
percent), domestic violence (20.6 percent), and forced labor
(17.1 percent). 10.5 percent of homeless children are 5 to
9 years old, 28.5 percent are 10-12, 40.3 percent are 13-15,
and 20 percent are 16-18. The report says that many girls
have left their homes to escape harassment and abuse, but
faced more violence and exploitation on the streets. On
problems of women, the report says that social welfare
institutions established to give support to battered women
were not sufficient. In 2005, 227 women have applied to the
office of Istanbul Governor for help, and 29 other have made
phone calls to seek help from authorities. The applications
are generally related to domestic violence or abuse, or
violence at the work place.

Interior Ministry Releases Alcohol Circular: Turkish
Interior Ministry released a controversial circular
regarding restriction of alcohol sales, "Milliyet" reports.
The circular released by the Interior Ministry in October
says that municipalities had to reserve special areas for
the sale of alcohol. The circular had been disclosed amid
press reports lashing out at AKP municipalities for
attempting to ban alcohol consumption, says "Milliyet."

Police Report on Narcotics Operations: According to a
report by the Turkish Security Department on the fight
against narcotics smuggling and organized crime, Turkish
police seized 9.3 tons of hashish, 8.8 tons of heroin, 4.7
tons of base morphine, 126 kg of cocaine, 85 kg of opium,
and 9.4 million Captagon pills and 845,390 ecstasy pills in
2004, papers report. Police arrested 14,009 suspects in
6,749 drug operations carried out across Turkey last year.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Kyoto; Iraq

"Time to Act for Kyoto"
Derya Sazak commented in the mainstream "Milliyet" (12/1):
"The entire world is standing up to show its awareness of
global warming. The Montreal meeting is also an effort to
break the US and Australian resistance to the Kyoto
protocol. Interestingly enough, global warming and its
consequences pose the most serious threat to developed
countries such as the US and Canada as seen during the
recent hurricane. However, the US, one of the worst
polluters, continues to decline to sign the protocol. The
US is acting against reports from American institutions as
well as the Pentagon warning about the danger of climate
change. Canadian officials have already described climate
change as a problem more dangerous than terrorism. Turkish
environmentalists will join the international forum on
December 3 and organize local demonstrations to warn against
global warming. We support their drive to urge the US to
sign the Kyoto Protocol and work for clean energy."

"Recognition of Kurdish Fact in Iraq"
Cengiz Candar commented in the tabloid "Bugun" (12/1): "With
elections coming in two weeks, Iraq is getting ready for a
new era as the transition period comes to an end. In 2006,
Iraq will either continue its current existence with a
confederation-like structure or face a process of division
following a civil war. Even though the international
community, Turkey included, favors the former option, given
Iraq's internal and regional circumstances the latter option
is not off the table yet. The Turkish Foreign Ministry gave

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its okay for flights between Turkey and Erbil, the center of
the Kurdistan regional administration. This signals an
important step toward changing traditional Iraq policy.
However what Turkey should do as well is recognize and
establish official contact with Barzani as the president of
the Kurdistan regional administration. There is no other
conceivable way to address the situation, as Barzani has
already been received at high levels in London, Washington,
Berlin and the Vatican."

MCELDOWNEY

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