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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 ANKARA 007216

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
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2005

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
US Prohibits Torture of Captives - Vatan
Plame to Resign from CIA - Milliyet
Zawahiri: Bin-Ladin Alive, Leading Jihad - Vatan
Russia to Pass Anti-Soros Law - Hurriyet
Israel Discusses Preemptive Strike against Iran - Hurriyet
Muslims' Conference in Mecca Denounces Terrorism - Milliyet
Zawahiri Orders Attacks against Oil Facilities in Muslim
Countries - Aksam
Schroeder Appeals to Terrorists on Al-Jazeera - Vatan
Nobel Laureate Pinter: Bush, Blair Must be Tried for Iraq
War - Hurriyet
Cameron: Blair is History - Aksam

OPINION MAKERS
FBI Director Mueller Due in Ankara - Radikal
Rice's Visit `Silences' Europe on Secret CIA Prisons - Yeni
Safak
Rice Takes a `Slight U-Turn' on CIA Torture Claims - Radikal
Rice Gives Assurances against Torture - Zaman
US Approves Bill to Support Torture Victims - Radikal
In Romania, Ukraine, Rice Implies US Aggressive Policies
Will Continue - Cumhuriyet
Nabi Sensoy the New Turkish Ambassador to Washington -
Cumhuriyet
Zawahiri: Bin Ladin Alive, Still Fighting - Yeni Safak
Muslim World to Take a New Route at OIC Mecca Summit - Yeni
Safak
Israeli Missile Strikes Kill 2 in Gaza - Yeni Safak

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BRIEFING

General Buyukanit to Kick Off US Visit December 10: Turkish
Land Forces Commander General Yasar Buyukanit is to pay an
official visit to the US on December 10 at the invitation of
US Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker, "Cihan News
Agency" (CNA) reports on Thursday. Buyukanit will arrive in
New York on Saturday and will pay a visit to West Point
Military Academy. On Monday, Buyukanit will move on to
Washington to meet with US Defense Department Undersecretary
for Policy, Eric Edelman, former US Ambassador to Turkey.
General Buyukanit is expected to convey Turkey's
expectations from the US with regard to the PKK during his
four-day stay in the US. Land Forces Commander Buyukanit is
tipped to take over the Chief of Turkish General Staff (TGS)
post in August 2006.

FBI Director Mueller Due in Ankara: Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller is to visit
Ankara on late Thursday to meet Friday with high-level
officials of the Turkish intelligence service MIT, interior
ministry officials and police chiefs, papers report.
Mueller will discuss with Turks al-Qaida related terror
activities in Turkey, and the issues of human trafficking
and refugees. On Friday, Mueller will call on Turkish
Security Director-General Gokhan Aydiner, and will have
lunch with high-level police officials. Papers expect the
Turks to give Mueller a file on the activities of the
outlawed PKK. Mueller will hold a press briefing in Ankara
on Friday afternoon before he departs for the US.
Turkey a Transit Country in Smuggling Nuclear Parts into
Libya: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says
that thousands of key nuclear items were transferred to
Libya through companies in Turkey, "Cumhuriyet" reports.
The Turkish Customs Inspection Board has launched an
investigation into the role of Turkish companies in the
trafficking of nuclear parts, and released a report on
November 29. According to the report, Turkish companies
sent `container supports, ring magnets, stators, and
frequency converters' to Libya. The "Tekno Elektrik,"
company owed by Gunes Cire, and the EKA company, owned by
Selim Alguadis, have bought 40,084 ring magnets from
Germany. 20,000 of the magnets have been sent to Dubai-
based "Gulf Industries," and the rest to the "Abid Light"
company in Pakistan. 40,034 `ring magnets' have been sent
to Libya from various countries. The US seized only 19,477
magnets in Libya, and the remaining 20,557 are missing.
Specialists say that the missing parts could be used to
produce up to 20 nuclear weapons. Companies in Turkey have
supplied Libya with nuclear parts worth USD 10 million. `A
report by the US Energy Department said that, 6,992
centrifuge motors sent to Libya by Turkish companies had
been seized under the framework of Libya's nuclear program,
and that they can be used in manufacturing enough enriched
uranium to make seven nuclear weapons every year,' said the
Turks' report submitted to the Chief Prosecutor in Istanbul.
The report asked the prosecutor to file a lawsuit against
EKA company partners Zubeyr Baybars Cayci, Ertugrul Sozmen
and Marco Walter Tinner for organized smuggling that
endangers the political, financial and military security of
Turkey. If a lawsuit is filed by the prosecutor, the
suspects may face up to 32 years in prison, says
"Cumhuriyet."

Israel Needs Turkey to Strike Iran: A report drafted by US
Army War College for Pentagon military leaders said that
Israel lacked the capacity to extensively bomb Iran's
nuclear facilities on its own, "Hurriyet" reports from
Washington. The report said that the distance of targets
and refueling problems restricted the Israeli Air Forces'
capacity for an effective strike. Iran's nuclear facilities
are located at a distance of 1500-1700 km from Israel. The
report expresses doubt that countries such as Turkey and
India will allow Israeli planes to stop over during possible
attack flights against Iran. The US report says that Israel
needs logistical support from Turkey to launch a preemptive
strike against Iran.

Barzani Rejects, Talabani Accepts Cooperation With Turkey
against the PKK: "Cumhuriyet" cites the Greek daily
"Elefterotipia" as claiming that the Iraqi Kurdistan
Democratic Party (KDP) leader Massoud Barzani had refused to
cooperate in possible Turkish military operations against
the PKK camps in Kandil Mountains. "Elefterotipia" reported
Kurdish sources as saying that Barzani's refusal had made
officials from the Turkish intelligence service MIT contact
President Talabani in an effort to seek support in the fight
against the PKK. Talabani has accepted Turkish offers for
financial aid, and agreed to back Turkish efforts to
eliminate the PKK. In a recent meeting with the Iranian
President Ahmadinajad, Talabani offered to allow military
action against the PKK in exchange for guarantees that the
borders between the two countries will not be changed.

Iraqi Kurdish Parties Disagree on Election Alliance:
Turkish papers report that northern Iraqi parties, Barzani's
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Talabani's Patriotic
Union of Kurdistan (KDP), have been fighting with the Iraqi
Kurdistan Islam Union (IKIU) due to IKIU's reluctance to
enter the December 15 legislative elections on a single list
with the other two major Kurdish parties. On Tuesday, four
Kurds were killed during attacks by KDP members on IKIU
offices in several northern Iraqi towns such as Duhok, Zaho,
Amedi, Saklava, Kadas, Serdaras and Akra. "Zaman" says that
Ankara has recently begun to cooperate closely with IKIU
leader Selahaddin Muhammad Bahaddin against Barzani and
Talabani. Bahaddin met with Turkish MFA officials in Ankara
three weeks ago, says "Zaman."

AKP MP Complains of Military Appearance of Ankara: Turkish
papers cite the ruling AK Party lawmaker Resul Tosun as
writing in the Islamist-oriented "Yeni Safak" yesterday that
the war academy and the headquarters of the force commands
should be moved outside Ankara, as they give the EU-aspirant
Turkish capital the image of a military town. Tosun said
that to transform Ankara into a civilian capital, the
Turkish General Staff (TGS) needs to pull back the military
guards deployed in parliament, to move the War Academy to
another city or at least outside Ankara, and to move Land,
Air and Navy Force Commands outside Ankara. Tosun
complained that members of parliament were working in the
shadow of military compounds, adding that the atmosphere of
Ankara was very different from the atmosphere of European
capitals.

AKP MPs Criticize Party Policies: AK Party lawmaker Mahmut
Kocak joined his colleague Turhan Comez, criticizing the
lack of democracy in the ruling party. Papers expect the
AKP administration to take disciplinary action against Comez
after PM Erdogan returns home from his state visits to New
Zealand and Australia. Dailies report Kocak as saying that
party policies had been shaped according to the preferences
of the leader rather than the priorities enlisted in the
party program. Kocak recently conducted an opinion survey
which showed a decrease in popular support for AKP.
Nationalist lawmakers in AKP have been disturbed with the
statements by PM Erdogan that being a citizen of the
Republic of Turkey constituted an `upper-identity' for all
Turks, and with irregularities in privatization which
involved Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan, papers speculate.
"Cumhuriyet" recalls that 11 nationalist MPs in AKP had
released a declaration to condemn FM Gul for meeting with
former Kurdish lawmakers. The paper claims that AKP
lawmakers opposing party policies had increased to 30
following recent developments.

Erdogan in Australia: Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan began a
five-day visit to Australia Wednesday expected to focus on
trade, security issues and preserving historic World War I
battlefields in Gallipoli in Turkey, Turkish papers report.
Erdogan, accompanied by four cabinet ministers and a large
business delegation, met Victorian state Premier Steve
Bracks and business leaders in Melbourne at the start of his
trip, the first to Australia by a Turkish prime minister.
Erdogan said during talks with Turkish community
representatives in Melbourne that the state ban on women
wearing headscarves in universities remains a problem in
Turkey, stressing that the most important factor is to
achieve agreement on the issue in parliament. Prime
Minister John Howard said prior to his meeting with Erdogan
in Canberra on Thursday that their talks will touch on the
fight against terrorism as well as on the reconstruction of
Iraq and Afghanistan. Howard also said the two leaders
would discuss the preservation of the Gallipoli
battlefields, which sparked controversy earlier this year
when the Australian press claimed they had been partially
destroyed by construction work. "Agence France Press" (AFP)
reported on Wednesday that Erdogan said the US-led invasion
of Iraq had transformed the country into a training ground
for extremists. He said global defense budgets totaled one
trillion USD annually, with only a fraction of that amount
spent trying to eradicate extremism's root causes such as
poverty, ignorance and religious intolerance. Erdogan's
remarks that militarism had failed in Iraq implicitly
challenged Canberra's strong commitment to the US-led
campaign in Iraq, AFP commented. `We must have a lot of
intelligence sharing in order to dry up the swamp of
terrorism,' Erdogan said. Erdogan will return home on
Sunday.

EU Warns Turkey on Torture: Dailies report EU Enlargement
Commissioner Olli Rehn as stating to the BBC that torture
was still seen in Turkey despite the fact that Ankara, in an
effort to adjust to EU regulations, has pledged to maintain
a policy of zero-tolerance against torture and mistreatment.
Rehn had earlier warned that Turkey's EU accession process
will not advance unless Ankara displays a stern attitude
against torture.
Rehn warned that Turkey's EU drive will be harmed if Orhan
Pamuk, the renowned Turkish novelist due to appear before
court on December 16 for statements on the mass-killings of
Armenians by Ottomans, is found guilty. Rehn, however, also
told the BBC that there had been remarkable improvements in
Turkey, thanks to the EU reforms process.

Sensoy the New Turkish Ambassador to US: Turkish Foreign
Ministry (MFA) Deputy Undersecretary Nabi Sensoy has been
appointed Turkish Ambassador to Washington to replace Faruk
Logoglu, Turkish papers report. Logoglu will return to the
MFA in Ankara. MFA Deputy Undersecretary Volkan Bozkir is
appointed as Turkey's permanent representative in the EU.
Ambassadors Husnu Gurcan Turkoglu and Fuat Tanlay have been
appointed to Tehran and Brussels respectively.

OIC Stands against Terrorism, Extremism in Islamic World:
Turkey is being represented at the Organization of the
Islamic Conference (OIC) summit in Mecca by Parliamentary
Speaker Bulent Arinc and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul,
papers report. Ekmeleddin Ihsanouglu, the OIC Secretary
General, told the opening of the summit that one of the
challenges Islamic nations face today is the distorted image
of Islam around the world. This distortion was largely
caused by the actions of some extremist Muslims, said
Ihsanouglu, underlining that terrorism in the Islamic world
was a result of social and economic problems. However, the
ten-year program to be issued at the end of the summit can
rescue Muslim nations from the existing situation,
Ihsanouglu said. The final communiqu will announce that
Turkey, according to an earlier decision adopted by the OIC,
will host an Islamic women's conference soon, say papers.

PKK-Linked Counterfeiters Arrested in Istanbul: "Yeni
Safak" reports that Turkish police seized several bags full
of forged US Dollar banknotes in simultaneous security
operations held yesterday in Istanbul and Ankara. Acting on
a tip-off by Ankara, police raided a printing house in
Istanbul and seized counterfeit USD banknotes. A 23-member
gang, suspected to be linked to the PKK, has been arrested.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq

"As Dialogue Channels Are Opening"
Soli Ozel opined in the mass appeal "Sabah (12/8): "Only a
federal structure can save Iraqi territorial integrity so
Turkey should revise its Iraq policy and accept the reality
of a Kurdish federal state in northern Iraq. Currently
Turkey has started to signal some change in its policy on
the domestic Kurdish issue, which is leading to consequences
for its northern Iraq policy. The Turkish Director of
Intelligence recently met with Barzani. Regular flights
from Istanbul to northern Iraq have started. Cooperation
with Turkey will also serve the interests of Iraqi Kurds,
regarding their political structure. In the days ahead, we
might even see some developments concerning the settlement
of the PKK issue through dialogue between Turkey, Iraqi
Kurds and the US."

"New Politics"
Okay Gonensin observed in the mass appeal "Vatan" (12/8):
"As Barzani emphasized, one of the main problems of an
`independent Kurdistan' is the fact that it has no sea
coast. To ship its oil in a safe environment Kurdistan only
has access to the open seas via Turkey. As Turkey enters
into the EU process, a newly revised security procedure is
needed. That means Turkey has to adapt a policy line based
on the realities in the region by taking Kurds in Turkey as
well as Kurds in northern Iraq into account. There are
credible signals showing that Ankara has started working on
this. The fact of the matter is that regardless of
Kurdistan's status in northern Iraq, whether federal or
independent, it still needs Turkey. And Turkey will benefit
from a policy shaped by this reality."

"The Congress in Erbil"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative-nationalist
"Turkiye" (12/8): "The Independent Kurdistan Conference
convened in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, on
November 11, 2005. The American Kurdish Congress sponsored
the conference, the topic of which was "Kurds in Turkey,
Iran and Syria." The possibility of establishing autonomous
Kurdish areas in the Kurdish populated provinces of
countries other than Iraq was also debated at the
conference. How Kurds living in Turkey, Iran and Syria, can
fight against their states in order to achieve autonomy was
also discussed. One of the discussions at the conference
focused on the possibility of Kurdish regions in other
countries uniting and establishing a `Greater Kurdistan'.
This conference showed that the organizer of the conference,
the US, is preparing for some action. I have been warning
for months that Washington is planning to establish a
`Greater Kurdistan' together with a `Greater Armenia' if
Turkey rejects coordinating with the US in restructuring the
Middle East."

WILSON

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