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Cablegate: Mission Turkey's 2006 Ramadan Programming: Bridging The

VZCZCXRO5543
PP RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #6064 2931117
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201117Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9543
INFO RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 1496
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1253

UNCLAS ANKARA 006064

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR EUR, EUR/PPD - J.RICKERT, T.K.DAOUD INFO EUR/UBI, R

E.O 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KISL KPAO TU
SUBJECT: Mission Turkey's 2006 Ramadan Programming: Bridging the
Divide in Turkey's Polarized Society


1. The US mission to Turkey carried out a slate of activities
during the month of Ramazan (as it is known in Turkey), to
demonstrate our respect for religious faith and social traditions
while enhancing and increasing our contacts with religious leaders,
key figures in various segments of Turkish society, and the broad
public. The mission's efforts were broadly welcomed by our
contacts, demonstrating that the importance of Muslim identity and
Ramazan traditions for Turkish citizens transcends the contentious
debate between secular and Islamist camps within Turkey.

2. Ambassador, DCM, Istanbul Consul General, Adana Principal
Officer and other officers hosted iftars throughout the month. The
iftars involved senior religious officials, political leaders,
businesspeople, journalists, and charity heads, and were
specifically designed to bring together representatives from across
the spectrum of Turkish society and politics.

3. The mission also carried out humanitarian and outreach
activities in keeping with the focus on charity and community during
Ramazan, including food and clothing donations to charities in
Istanbul and Ankara. Ambassador and his wife visited a center for
learning disabled, Istanbul CG provided boxes of food to the
neighborhood "mukhtar," to share with residents of the consulate's
neighborhood, and Adana PO visited a city iftar tent to participate
in the traditional meal as provided to the poor. DCM and other
Embassy officers went to Ankara's main mosque on "Kadir Gecesi" -
traditionally the holiest night of Ramadan - accepting an
exceptional invitation from the mosque's Imam to join an estimated
100,000 Turks in attendance.
WILSON

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