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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 ANKARA 007158

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, DECEMBER 6, 2005


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Rice: We Have Protected Europeans from Terror Attacks -
Sabah
Rice Defends US Terror Policies - Star
John McCain: Turkey Won't Accept a Kurdish State in Northern
Iraq - Sabah
Rumsfeld Blames Turkey Again - Milliyet
Gul Urges EU to Keep Pledges on Turkish Cyprus - Milliyet
Saddam Turns into a Militant at Court - Milliyet
Saddam Show, Part 3 - Vatan
Baradei: Tehran Can Produce Nukes in a Few Months - Aksam
Suicide Attack in Netanya: 5 Killed - Sabah

OPINION MAKERS
Rice: Europe Knew about Transfer of Suspects - Radikal
Rice: CIA Intelligence Saved European Lives - Yeni Safak
CIA Tortures Suspects to Death on Planes - Yeni Safak
Poll: European Businessmen Want Turkey in EU - Yeni Safak
`Moderate Islam' Summit in Mecca - Cumhuriyet
Saddam's Counsel Leaves Court Room - Zaman
Ramsey Clark: Saddam Trial Will Divide Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Russia to Sell 1 Billion USD of Weapons to Iran - Cumhuriyet
Nazarbayev Wins Kazakh Presidency by 91 Percent of Votes -
Yeni Safak


BRIEFING

US: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate is Ecumenial: The US
administration declared on Monday that they consider the
Istanbul-based Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to be
`ecumenical,' and see Patriarch Bartholomew I as `a
religious leader of global standing,' papers report. US
State Spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement that the
US took very seriously the issue of religious freedom in
Turkey. `As illustrated in the 2005 International Religious
Freedom Report, concerns highlighted in the report are
issues related to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including the
reopening of the Halki seminary, as well as issues related
to other religious minorities in Turkey,' McCormack said.
McCormack added that President Bush had urged the reopening
of Halki Seminary during a meeting with Prime Minister
Erdogan in June. Halki Seminary on Heybeli Island in the
Sea of Marmara was founded in the 1700s to train orthodox
clergymen, and was closed in 1971 during a Turkish military
takeover, following a Constitutional Court decision to
nationalize all private religious high schools.

Sunnis to Join Iraqi Politics: "Milliyet" reports that
Sunni groups are expected to join the new administration of
Iraq after December 15 elections in an effort to strike a
balance against the Shiites and Kurds. The paper expects
this move by the Sunnis to help block separatist demands in
Iraq. Ankara arranged a meeting of Iraqi Sunni groups in
Istanbul over the weekend. US Iraq Ambassador Zalmay
Khalilzad joined the Sunnis' meeting on Sunday. Sunnis
asked the US to suspend operations, release prisoners and
announce a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. The two
sides agreed that elections will be monitored by

ANKARA 00007158 002 OF 005


international and Sunni observers. Sunnis will be
represented in election commissions and among ballot
observers and Iraqis living abroad will be allowed to join
the legislative election this month. Ankara expects the
compromise reached in Istanbul to reduce the power of the
Shiites and Kurds in the Iraqi parliament and in state
institutions, comments "Milliyet."

Sinop Radar Facilities Reactivated: The US radar station in
Turkey's Black Sea coastal city of Sinop, an effective
installation which has provided crucial information to the
US secret intelligence service National Security Agency
(NSA) during Cold War, has been reactivated, "Hurriyet"
reports from Washington. The facility, refurbished with new
technology, was reactivated following September 11,
according to US intelligence sources. The Governor's office
in Sinop denied the reports, saying that only some American
families who have served in Sinop in the past came to the
city for short vacations. `There are no US troops inside
the facilities,' said the Governor's Office.

Gonul in the US: Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, in
Washington to attend Southeastern European Defense Ministers
(SEDM) meeting, told reporters after meeting with Secretary
Rumsfeld that the US Administration must handle the issue of
the terrorist PKK presence in northern Iraq, adding that
Ankara was uneasy in the face of US reluctance to remove
terrorists from Kandil Mountains. Gonul also said that a
255-man Turkish contingent in Afghanistan would join an
international brigade to be established by southeastern
European countries. During his stay in Washington, Gonul is
to meet with executives of American-Turkish Council (ATC).
SEDM meetings will be held on Tuesday with participation of
Turkey, the United States, Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia,
Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia.

Buyukanit Visits the US: Visiting Turkish Land Forces
Commander General Yasar Buyukanit will meet US military
officials and `neo-cons' from the American Enterprise
Institute (AEI), "Vatan" reports. The paper says that
Washington deems the Buyukanit visit important as it is
expected to shape US-Turkey military ties in 2006-2008.
General Buyukanit is to become the chief of Turkish General
Staff (TGS) in 2006.

FM Gul Due in Brussels for NATO Summit: Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul is due in Brussels on December 8 to attend the
Fall meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
Developments in the Greater Middle East region, security
issues, NATO's role in Afghanistan and Kosovo will be taken
up at the meeting, a statement by the Turkish Foreign
Ministry (MFA) said on Monday. "Milliyet" says that Gul
will not join a dinner of NATO-European Union foreign
ministers later this week in protest of the failure of
Europe to ease trade restrictions on the northern Cypriot
enclave.

EU Report Criticizes Turkish Anti-Terror Bill: The EU
Commission Representation in Turkey sent Brussels a report
which said that the Turkish anti-terror bill contradicted
democratization laws passed by Turkey, "Zaman" reports. The
Turkish military played a key role in drafting the bill,
says the report, adding that it can jeopardize the success
of Turkey in adopting EU harmonization laws. It notes that
the ruling AK Party government is working to adjust the
demands of the nationalist bureaucracy and the nation with
Copenhagen political criteria. The report says that
according to the Turkish anti-terror draft, even individuals
who have no links with terror organizations can be

ANKARA 00007158 003 OF 005


persecuted as terrorists. It underlines that people
expressing their personal views can be penalized by courts
for praising terrorism. This provision is seen as the
biggest threat to basic rights and freedoms. According to
the anti-terror bill, non-violent actions can also be
branded as terrorism. The EU report warns that such
provisions can be abused by the security forces and the
judiciary. Individual rights have been seriously restricted
in the anti-terror bill. There are also provisions granting
extensive powers to security forces and administrative
units, according to the EU report.

Turkey Condemns Suicide Attack in Israel: The Turkish
Foreign Ministry (MFA) strongly condemned in a statement on
Monday the suicide bomb attack on a mall entrance in Netanya
in which four people were killed and more than 30 others
were injured. `This heinous attack was staged by groups
which aim to hamper efforts for peace and stability in the
region. Such attacks, in a period when Israel's withdrawal
from the Gaza Strip and a part of West Bank has given rise
to hopes for reviving the peace process, are extremely
distressing. We call on both Israelis and Palestinians to
act with common sense and not allow those groups to achieve
their goals,' MFA said.

Erdogan Visits New Zealand: Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan,
on a 10-day visit to New Zealand and Australia, met with his
counterpart Helen Clark in Wellington. At a joint press
conference on Monday, Clark said New Zealand will support
any new UN initiative to bring about a settlement in Cyprus.
Erdogan said New Zealand had pledged to support Turkey's bid
to be given non-permanent membership of the UN Security
Council for 2009-2010. Turkey has not been a non-permanent
member of the UN Security Council in over 50 years despite
its substantial contributions to peace and security, papers
comment. Erdogan dismissed press reports that the tombs of
Anzacs in Gallipoli have been damaged. `On the contrary, we
are trying to renovate the area in order to make it more
attractive,' Erdogan said. Erdogan claimed that US
attitudes toward terrorism had changed after September 11
attacks. `Now the US regards all suspects as potential
terrorists,' Erdogan said. The PM also invited New
Zealander businessmen to invest in Turkey. Dailies report
Turkish opposition parties as lashing out at Erdogan for
spending most of his time abroad.

Aksu Reveals Terror Statistics: On Monday, Interior
Minister Abdulkadir Aksu said in response to a motion
submitted to the parliament that 966 terrorists have been
arrested and 359 others killed in Turkey since 2003. Aksu
added that 116 terrorists have been extradited to Turkey
from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Greece, Azerbaijan and Ukraine.

Military the Most Reliable Institution in Turkey: A survey
carried out by the Politics Center Association chaired by
the ruling AK Party lawmaker Mahmut Kocak has shown that the
army was seen as the most reliable institution in Turkey,
"Milliyet" reports. 72 percent of the 1179 people surveyed
in Ankara said they were not content with the activities of
AKP, and 73 percent said there was no democracy in Turkish
political parties. Support for the government is declining,
says "Milliyet."

European Businessmen Back Turkey's EU Membership: In a
survey of 1,500 European company executives, the vast
majority support Turkish membership in the European Union
while only nine percent oppose it, papers report. The UPS
Europe Business Monitor poll of 1,500 executives in EU
countries showed that resistance to Turkish membership was

ANKARA 00007158 004 OF 005


strongest among German and French business leaders. In late
November, a survey conducted by TNS-Sofres for the `Yalta
European Strategy' in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain
and Britain showed that the number of Europeans opposing
Turkey's EU membership has increased. Nearly 40 percent
said they backed Turkey's EU membership while 46 percent
rejected.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq

"Iraq Goes Toward a Civil War"
Erdal Guven argued in the conservative "Tercuman" (12/6):
"Iraq is rapidly moving toward a civil war since the Iraqi
Kurds are reluctant to share oil reserves and there is no
clear statement on the topic in the new constitution. The
Shiite region of Iraq contains the largest natural gas
reserves. Northern Iraq has the second largest. The Sunni
region, on the other hand, is suffering from a lack of
energy resources. Sunni Arabs who live in central Iraq
without oil reserves, are disturbed by the prospect of the
Kurdish federation controlling oil. Currently the Barzani
administration arbitrarily distributes the use of northern
oil reserves to foreign companies without even consulting
with the central authority. Nacirvan Barzani, his cousin,
said that oil belongs to the Kurds when an agreement was
made between the KDP and a Norwegian oil company to drill
for oil. A civil war between Sunni Arabs and the Kurds will
be inevitable if the US does not revise the status of energy
resources in Iraq."

"Turkey Intervenes in Iraq"
Cengiz Candar commented in the tabloid "Bugun" (12/6): "The
recent Istanbul meeting between US Ambassador to Iraq
Khalilzad and the Sunni leader Hashemi along with Turkish FM
Gul was a diplomatic surprise. In a joint press conference,
it was announced to the whole world that Iraqi Sunnis have
agreed to participate in the upcoming elections. In other
words, Turkey has achieved a major accomplishment by helping
to achieve a consensus between the US and the Sunnis, who
constitute the social root of the Iraqi insurgency. Both
sides have asked Turkey to assume the role of witness. In
fact, the consensus only covers certain Sunni groups since
the Zarkavi and Ansar Al Islam linked Sunni groups were not
part of this process. Yet there is something important for
us: Turkey, or more specifically, the ruling government has
been asked to play a facilitative role in the Iraq
equilibrium and this request came from both the US as well
as from some Sunni groups. Turkey is gradually assuming a
proactive role in Iraq."

"Istanbul Initiative"
Sami Kohen observed in the mainstream daily "Milliyet"
(12/6): "Will the Iraqi Sunnis participate in the upcoming
elections? Will it actually be possible for the decisions
taken at the Istanbul summit to be implemented? In the
aftermath of the Istanbul summit hopes for the
implementation have certainly increased. The agreement
reached in Istanbul has three basic components: First, this
agreement meets all the conditions of the Sunnis; such as,
increasing the number of the observers of the election; and
allowing the Sunnis residing in the neighboring countries,
as well as the jailed ones, to participate in the elections.
Second, the US has been asked to suspend its military
operations to ensure a secure election atmosphere; and
finally, some changes in the constitution will be made after
the elections to ensure Iraq's stability in the process of
reconstruction. Reaching such an agreement by Turkish
diplomatic initiative is a beneficial development for all

ANKARA 00007158 005 OF 005


the parties, including Turkey. However, the leaders'
agreement does not guarantee the success of this initiative.
All the parties should exert efforts to implement these
agreements. The only danger during this process is that
militant groups may try to sabotage this political process.
As we get close to December 15, no one can guarantee that
such violent actions will not occur. Nevertheless, the
Istanbul initiative strengthens the belief that the process
will continue without such problems."

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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