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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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Gul Brings Together Iraqi Sunnis, Khalilzad in Istanbul -
Barzani Offers to Mediate between Ankara-Turkey's Kurds -
Turkey Persuades Sunnis to Enter Iraqi Elections - Hurriyet
Haaretz: Syria Improves Scud Missiles - Milliyet
Nazarbayev Elected President for the Third Time in
Kazakhstan - Hurriyet
Kazakh `Sultan' Nazarbayev - Milliyet
Ambassador Wilson: I Came Here to Improve Turkey-US Ties -
Milliyet 12/4
Ambassador Wilson Arrives in Ankara 6 Months Later - Aksam
Wilson, Former Musician Turned Diplomat - Sabah 12/4
Mehlis to Quit Hariri Investigation Over Threats - Sabah
Abbas Gives Palestine Passport to Pope Benedict XVI - Sabah
EU Warns US against Capital Punishment - Milliyet 12/4
New US Ankara Ambassador Speaks Turkish - Aksam 12/3
Bob Deutsch Warns Iraq to Block PKK from Entering elections
- Hurriyet 12/3
10 US Troops Killed in Fallujah - Sabah 12/3

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Iraqi Sunnis, Khalilzad Expect Active Turkish Role on Iraq -
Yeni Safak
Iraqis Want US Troops Out of Iraq - Cumhuriyet
CIA Planes Have Used British Military Airports 210 Times -
Yeni Safak
The Economist: Turkey Has an Image Problem - Radikal
Third Round in the `Saddam Show' - Radikal
Israel Strikes Gaza Again - Radikal
Bush Protested for Climate Change Policy in 32 Countries -
Yeni Safak
Chavez: Venezuelan Opposition a `Puppet' of US - Cumhuriyet
Amb. Wilson Arrives in Turkey 6 Months After Edelman Leaves
- Yeni Safak 12/4
Athens Urges Turkey to Recognize Ecumenical Status of
Patriarchate - Radikal 12/4
CIA Planes Flew Over Germany 437 Times - Zaman 12/4
Rice in Europe to Counter Charges on CIA Planes - Cumhuriyet
Egypt Debates How to Coexist with Muslim Brotherhood - Zaman
Al-Qaida Commander Rabia Killed on Pakistan-Afghan Border -
Zaman 12/4
Russia Wins Chechnya Elections - Yeni Safak 12/4
Pentagon Acknowledges Bribing Iraqi Press for Positive
Coverage - Cumhuriyet 12/3
Israel Successfully Tests Defense Missiles - Yeni Safak 12/3


Ambassador Wilson Arrives in Ankara: Newly appointed US
Ambassador to Turkey, Ross Wilson, arrived in Ankara on
Saturday, Turkish papers reported over the weekend. Wilson

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said in his arrival statement after a brief introduction in
Turkish that he is very pleased to be in Turkey. `I've
waited a long time for this. And I believe Turkey has
waited a little while as well for a new American ambassador.
I look forward to exploring Turkey, getting to know the
people of this wonderful country, and working with the
citizens of Turkey, and the leaders of this country to
further develop US-Turkish relations and cooperation on the
many common interests that we share, and the many areas in
which we need to work as allies, friends, and partners
together in the coming years,' Wilson said. Wilson is
expected to present his credentials to President Sezer in
the coming days.

Deutsch on Iraq, Upcoming Elections: Weekend papers report
US Deputy Coordinator for Iraq, Robert Deutsch as telling
the press after meeting with Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA)
Undersecretary Ali Tuygan that 2006 will be an important
year for Iraq to become a pluralist, federal and democratic
country. `Turkey contributes positively to this process,'
Deutsch said. The constitution written by the Iraqis will
cover issues such as the status of Kirkuk, Deutsch said. On
recent attempts by the PKK-linked parties to take part in
Iraqi election, Deutsch expressed determination that the
Iraqi electoral commission will not allow groups that pursue
violence to run in the polls. Deutsch added that he
believed the Iraqi elections would be fair, legitimate and
in line with international standards, adding that Turkey and
the international community continued supporting Iraq.

PCDK Rejects Ties with the PKK: Kurdistan Democratic
Solution Party (PCDK) chief in Kirkuk, Semsettin Hidir said
his party has engaged in good dialogue with all the Kurdish
parties, and rejected claims that the PCDK was established
by the PKK, Turkey's state-owned broadcaster TRT reported
Friday. Hidir noted that Kirkuk must be annexed to
Kurdistan, and blamed the Arabs and Turkey for
`exaggerating' the problem. Monday "Zaman" says that the
PCDK is set to run for Iraqi elections, with a target to win
at least 15 seats in 10 Iraqi cities, including Kirkuk.

Gul, Khalilzad, Hashemi Meet in Istanbul on Iraq Elections:
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay
Khalilzad, and Tareq al-Hashemi of a leading Iraqi Sunni
party met in Istanbul over the weekend as part of Turkey's
efforts to persuade the Sunnis to take part in the upcoming
Iraqi elections, Monday papers report. Khalilzad assured
Iraqi Sunnis that the US was determined to help maximize the
participation of Sunnis in December 15 elections. `Iraq is
going through a difficult transition process. For Iraq to
succeed, it needs the participation of all communities in
Iraq in upcoming elections,' Khalilzad told the press.
Khalilzad stressed that the US did not plan to have
permanent bases in Iraq, and that the country's natural
resources belonged to all Iraqis. Khalilzad also thanked
Turkey for helping Iraq. Tareq Al-Hashimi, the number two
in the Iraqi Islamic Party which was representing Sunni
groups in the Istanbul talks, underlined his community's
desire to participate in the elections and have a say in the
political process, but also voiced a number of concerns.
`We demand that massive military operations be ceased
immediately,' Hashemi said in reference to a series of joint
US-Iraqi operations against the insurgents in the western
province of Al-Anbar over the last several weeks. Hashemi
also asked for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.
Minister Gul said that Turkey has been in touch with `all
Iraqi elements.' `All elements of the Iraqi society must
join the elections. All we want is to end the pain in Iraq
and for a peaceful Iraq to replace it,' Gul said.

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Al-Mahdi Visits Ankara: Iraqi Deputy President Adil Abd al-
Mahdi told Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Ankara on Friday
following his visits to the US and Iran that everything will
be settled following the December 15 elections in Iraq,
weekend papers report. The Shiite politician told Gul that
changes will be made to the Iraqi Constitution. He added
that Iraq realizes the importance of the struggle against
terrorism and of Kirkuk. Al-Mahdi noted that all the groups
in Iraq were oppressed during the Saddam regime, and said
that Baghdad expects Turkey to display understanding towards
the groups in Iraq. Gul said that Turkey attaches great
importance to the political process in Iraq. Al-Mahdi is
seen as likely to assume the post of prime minister in the
wake of Iraqi polls.

Kurdistan Applies for IMO Membership: The president of
regional Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, in an effort to
strengthen the autonomy of Kurdistan, has applied for
membership in the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
despite the fact that Kurdistan has no shores, Monday
"Aksam" reports. The Norwegian oil company DNO was helping
Barzani to buy ten tankers with Greek Cypriot and Panama
flags. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari asked for a
seat in IMO for Kurdistan, drawing attention to the examples
of Hong Kong and Faroe Islands to back his application.
Kurdistan may participate as an observer at the IMO meeting
to be held in Turkey next year, says "Aksam."

Barzani Attracts Kurds in Southeast Turkey: The president
of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani's rising popularity on
the international arena attracts the Kurds in southeast
Turkey to northern Iraq, Sunday "Cumhuriyet" says in a news
commentary. Pictures of Barzani hang on the walls of
businesses and homes in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.
Barzani's book, `Barzani and the Kurdish National Freedom
Movement' is being distributed in region. Barzani is giving
scholarships of 100 USD per month to 250 Turkish students
admitted into the Selahaddin University. It is claimed that
young Kurdish Turks in the region are given Kurdish
passports, with the hope of using them someday. The PKK is
not pleased with the gradual rise in the support for
Barzani. The non-violent policies of Barzani have a
positive impact on the people in southeast Turkey. The
Iraqi KDP is emerging as a serious, and perhaps the only,
alternative here. The turmoil within the PKK is also
contributing to `Barzanism.' The executions inside KONGRA-
GEL, the murder of Kurdish dissident Hikmet Fidan, the
efforts of the terrorist organization to exert influence
over the other Kurdish movements in Iran and Syria, and the
killings of prominent figures from these movements, such as
Kemale Sor and Shapur Badoshiva, have given rise to serious
campaigns against the PKK. Following the murder of Fidan,
rumors of a 250-person death list have sped up the shift
toward Barzani. The PKK is now being referred to in the
region as a `one-man movement.' Every Kurdish step toward
becoming a state in northern Iraq brings the people of
southeast Turkey closer to Barzani. Barzanists charge that
the PKK has moved away from its initial ambitions, that it
now rests on empty words, and that it has reduced its
struggle merely to freeing Ocalan, says news commentary in
"Cumhuriyet." The co-chairman of the newly-founded pro-
Kurdish party, Ahmet Turk told "Radikal" on Monday that the
PKK factor cannot be ignored in Turkey. The Kurdish problem
can be solved by preserving Turkey's unitary structure, Turk
said, adding that Ankara had to pass constitutional
amendments to recognize Kurdish identity.

Turkish Airliner to Launch Flights to Northern Iraq:

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"Zaman" reported on Sunday that a private Turkish airliner
Fly Air said they have turned down a request to transport US
troops on the flights to Erbil and Suleymaniye in northern
Iraq, slated to be launched in December. Fly Air said that
they only considered transportation of civilians to other
countries via Istanbul. However, according to unconfirmed
reports, US troops will be sent to the United Arab Emirates
and the Netherlands for short vacations. According to its
schedule, Fly Air planes will fly from Istanbul to Erbil and
Suleymaniye via Dubai, while departures from Dubai will end
in Amsterdam via Erbil, Suleymaniye, and Istanbul.

Israel Denies Activities in Northern Iraq: Israeli Foreign
Ministry has sent `soothing' messages to Turkey over press
reports claiming that retired Israeli military officers have
been training the northern Iraqi Kurdish peshmerge, Monday
papers cite the leading Israeli daily "Yedioth Ahronot."
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that some Israeli
companies had acted on their own initiative, and that the
Israeli government did not operate in the mentioned regions.

KDP Commander a Former PKK Member: Aziz Veysi, the
commander of Kurdistan Special Forces in northern Iraq is a
former member of the outlawed PKK, "Hurriyet" reports on
Monday. Veysi has joined the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic
Party (KDP) after being charged with treason by the PKK. He
was later promoted to command the Kurdistan Special Forces
in the region.

Nicosia Blocks EU Support to Turkish Cyprus: Monday
"Milliyet" reports on its front page that the European Union
is punishing Turkish Cypriots for approving a 2004
referendum on a UN-backed plan to reunite the divided
island, shelving a project to establish direct trade with
the Turkish enclave in the north of the island because of
Greek Cypriot objections. Nicosia blocks the EU project,
demanding that Maras (Varosha) be given to Greek Cypriots.

Turkish Columnists Sued for Insulting Judiciary: A
prosecutor filed charges against five journalists for
comments they made on a conference about the World War I
mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces, weekend papers
report. The five respected columnists -- Murat Belge, Hasan
Cemal, Ismet Berkan, Erol Katircioglu and Haluk Sahin --
face between six months and 10 years in jail if found guilty
of the charges of `insulting state judicial organs.' The
trial of the columnists is scheduled to begin on February 7.
Four of them write for the liberal "Radikal," and the fifth,
Sahin, for the centrist "Milliyet" daily. The journalists
had criticized efforts by prosecutors and nationalist
lawyers to ban a September academic conference in Istanbul
dedicated to the massacre of Armenians by Ottomans. The
five columnists had branded the court ruling as an attack
against academic freedom, and a travesty of justice.


"Ambassador Wilson's Difficult Task"
Washington-based Ali Aslan wrote in the Islamist-
intellectual "Zaman" (12/5): "Recently, two important
changes in Ankara and Washington happened almost
concurrently. The US assigned a new Ambassador to Ankara,
and Turkey is sending Ambassador Nabi Sensoy to Washington
in the near future. There is no doubt that, as highly
experienced diplomats, both Ambassadors will establish a
good working relationship. Even though full agreement on
every issue might not be achieved, a dialogue will be
possible on the most critical issues. Evidently, such a

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communication link has already been established in both
capitals on the issue of Iraq. Turkey and the US have
realized that they cannot be successful in the region
without each other's support. The major test on this issue
will come if a civil war or a process of division begins in
Iraq in the aftermath of a gradual US pullout. At this
point, Ankara should see the Kurdish political reality in
Iraq, while Washington should be taking more responsibility
in dealing with the separatist terrorism issue in Turkey.
Reducing differences on Syria and Iran will be another
challenging task for the two ambassadors. Despite Turkish
efforts to paint a rosy picture, the US doesn't approve of
Turkey's policy of engagement with the Syrian regime.
Foreign Minister Gul's recent visit to Syria caused a
serious disturbance in US policy circles. The US doesn't
want to interfere with Turkey-Syria cooperation on economic
and terrorism issues. But the US does not want Turkey to be
politically engaged with the Asad regime while Washington is
trying to isolate Syria. In other words, Turkey should not
act like the weak link in the global lockout of Damascus.
On the Iran issue, the recent radical rhetoric from Tehran
and the Iranian nuclear program have helped the US to
establish an international consensus. This has reduced the
risk of a major disagreement between Turkey and the US in
the near future. Regarding Cyprus, it seems there is no
political or bureaucratic will in Washington to force a
restart of the UN peace process. It appears that the US
will continue to chip away at the isolation of the Turkish
Cypriots and then will pass the ball to Europe. These are
the main tasks ahead of Ambassadors Sensoy and Wilson. May
God help them both."

"Iraq Messages From Bush"
Washington-based Yasemin Congar wrote in the mainstream
"Milliyet" (12/5): "President Bush's recent speech outlining
his `Victory Plan' did not provide anything new for those
who are following developments related to the Iraq war. The
new element in the speech was that for the first time Bush
acknowledged differences between planning in Washington and
implementation on the ground in Iraq. President Bush
responded to his critics by saying that the administration
is not reluctant to learn from its mistakes, but is
constantly revising its plans. Some commentators have
interpreted the remarks as a recognition that there will be
more blood and wasted resources. But still, it was
refreshing to hear some facts about the Iraq war from
President Bush. As "The New York Times" pointed out, for
the first time in two years the description of the war by
President Bush matched those of his generals on the

"The US, Iran and Turkey"
Yilmaz Oztuna opined in the conservative "Turkiye" (12/5):
"In the aftermath of Undersecretary Nick Burns's strong
accusations against Iran, the Iranian Foreign Minister
visited Turkey. Some senior Turkish officials who met
Foreign Minister Mottaki provided him with valuable advice,
but he seems unlikely to pay much attention to it. It is
interesting to see the change of rhetoric in regimes such as
Iran and Syria when they feel strong pressure from the
outside world. The Syrian effort to butter up Turkey is
almost comical. The similar attitude we have seen from Iran
only indicates that there are some serious dangers ahead. .
Iran has the intention to produce nuclear weapons -
something that Tehran has not denied in a clear way. Iran
claims that it is acting in `self-defense,' but the Iranian
President has also talked about wiping Israel from the world
map. Washington considers military intervention as a last
option, but it is also aware of the fact that diplomatic

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pressure is unlikely to produce a tangible result. An Iraq-
style invasion is unlikely. The US intention is to divide
Iran, just as it has divided Iraq. As for Iran, there is no
sign of goodwill or intention to return to good terms with
the US. For Iran, Turkey is seen as a rival and a
collaborator with imperialist powers. Both the Syria and
Iran issues are part of US national policy. Turkey should
not make the mistake of seeing these as the personal
policies of President Bush. If such a mistake is made, the
consequences could harm Turkey as well."


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