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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.





E.O. 12958: N/A


--------------------------------------------- --
Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bush Confessed his Mistakes in Iraq - Sabah
Bush Admits that there were no WMDs in Iraq - Vatan
NATO: PKK is a Terrorist Organization - Milliyet
A Blow from NATO to PKK - Turkiye
US Ambassador Wilson: PKK is Threat to the Whole World -
NATO Control for All of Afghanistan - Hurriyet
Government asks for Patience in Pamuk Case - Aksam
Ambassador Wilson: Turkey Will Resolve Freedom of Expression
Problems - Aksam
Harsh Reaction from Government to Lagendijk - Hurriyet
Folklore Costumes Cause Controversy - Milliyet
CHP Leader Baykal Meets with President Sezer - Vatan
CIA Seeks Turkish Teachers - Milliyet
Ahmedinejad Bans Western Music in Iran - Sabah

Government Disagrees on Article 301 of Penal Code - Radikal
Turkey Presses NATO to Include PKK on Terror List - Radikal
TRNC (Northern Cyprus) Parliament Passes Property Law -
Bush Admits that his Mistakes in Iraq War led to Terrible
Losses - Cumhuriyet
American Radar for Syrian Border - Radikal
More Turkish Troops will be Deployed in Afghanistan - Zaman
Warm Messages from US Ambassador to Businessmen - Yeni Safak

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NATO Secretary General Scheffer's Visit: Today's papers
cover the NATO chief's visit to Ankara. "Hurriyet" reports
that Scheffer, during his meetings yesterday, suggested that
NATO control in Kabul and surrounding areas be expanded to
cover the rest of Afghanistan, and asked PM Erdogan for
Turkish support on this issue. "Radikal" reports that
Turkey urged NATO to upgrade its terror list to include the
PKK. "Sabah" says Scheffer stressed that he personally
considers PKK a terrorist organization. However, unless all
26 members of NATO agree, it is not possible to upgrade the
terror list.

Article 301 Controversy: "Radikal" reports that the members
of the government had a heated debate regarding the Turkish
penal code. Chief EU negotiator Ali Babacan proposed that
the government change article 301 of the penal code in order
to remove all obstacles to freedom of expression. Justice
Minister Cemil Cicek, in return, rejected Babacan's proposal
by saying that jurists should deal with judicial issues and
economists should deal with economic issues. Meanwhile,
regarding the Pamuk case, "Hurriyet" says that Justice
Minister Cicek might not grant permission for the trial to
continue, and in that case, the suit against Pamuk would be

Government Reacts to Lagendijk Comments: "Cumhuriyet"
reports that Government spokesman Cemil Cicek condemned
Joost Lagendijk's comment that the Turkish military "enjoys'
fighting the PKK as it keeps them at the center of
attention. Cicek said that foreign visitors should be more
respectful of Turkey's values. Lagendijk is co-chairman of
the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission.
Ambassador Wilson in Istanbul: "Aksam" reports that US
Ambassador Ross Wilson visited Topkapi Palace yesterday.
Referring to the Pamuk case, the Ambassador commented that
Turkish people will resolve problems regarding freedom of
expression themselves. The US appreciates all the reforms
PM Erdogan and his government implemented; however, Turkey
has great difficulties ahead of it and more detailed reforms
are needed to overcome these difficulties. "Turkiye" quotes
Ambassador Wilson as saying that `The PKK presence in
Northern Iraq is a threat not only for Turkey but for the
whole world. We will fight against the PKK together with
Turkey. The PKK is an important part of our
counterterrorism efforts. "Yeni Safak" says that Ambassador
Wilson came to Istanbul to meet with Turkish businesspeople
at the Turkish-American Business Council. He delivered a
genuine and warm message to the group, and promised more
American investment in Turkey.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Afghanistan; Iraq

"NATO and Afghanistan in 2006"
Fikret Ertan commented in the Islamist-intellectual "Zaman"
(12/20): "The year 2006 will be busy for both NATO and the
United Sates. The Secretary General of NATO has been
actively working to expand the power of the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) by increasing the number of
military personnel. The required number is around 7,000 and
Secretary General Scheffer is knocking on every NATO

member's door for this reason. NATO presence is going to be
expanded in 2006 and the US `Operation Lasting Freedom' will
also continue in Afghanistan. There are about 20,000
American soldiers engaged in this operation currently
stationed in Afghanistan, but the US wants to reduce its
presence and delegate more to ISAF and NATO. So far these
efforts have not been very successful. Unlike the US
presence, the ISAF-NATO force will not be a combatant force.
ISAF likes to define its responsibility as assisting Afghani
forces with stability and security. However, there is still
an unanswered question here: What will happen if and when
ISAF forces encounter Taliban and Al-Qaeda elements? There
is also a potential area for some confusion in terms of
overall command structure as both ISAF and the US forces
will engage in activities under separate commands. In any
case the year 2006 will be a very important year for
Afghanistan and the Afghanistan-NATO relationship."

"Is It the End or the Beginning?"
Haluk Ulman observed in economic-political "Dunya" (12/20):
"Is it really possible to achieve internal peace and order
in Iraq in the aftermath of the elections? I believe it is
too early to be optimistic. Along with the Sunni-led
insurgency, Iraq is also suffering from the lack of a
national identity. Elections were held on either ethnic --
Arab and Kurd -- or religious -- Shiite or Sunni --
premises. This signals a very dangerous division in the
country which makes unity almost impossible. Within each
group there are divisions as well. Shiites are divided into
four groups while Sunnis into two. The Kurds seem to be the
only unified group. The parties of Talabani and Barzani
managed to form a unified list covering a total of eight
groups. Kurds also enjoy the full support of the US as well
as certain privileges as defined in the constitution. From
now on the Kurds will focus on expanding their territory to
include oil-rich Mosul. All of these are sufficient
indicators for potential chaos not only in Iraq but in the
entire region. Nothing has ended in Iraq. In fact things
are just beginning. And it will continue to be a headache
for all of us, including the US, in the days to come."

© Scoop Media

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