WikiLeaks: 2003-05-20: 03ANKARA3287: Ankara Media Reaction Report
Viewing cable 03ANKARA3287, ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ANKARA 003287 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 MONDAY, MAY 20, 2003 THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE THEMES: HEADLINES BRIEFING EDITORIAL OPINION -------------------- HEADLINES MASS APPEAL Al-Qaida turns to `easier' Western targets - Milliyet CIA has predicted Al-Qaida attack in Africa - Milliyet 5/18 Amb. Logoglu: Turkish troops will remain in Northern Iraq - Hurriyet WP: Kirkuk under Kurds' control - Turkiye Ari Fleischer, bored, to leave White House - Milliyet Barney Franks (D) urges Wolfowitz's resignation for Turkey remarks - Sabah U.S. Administration forgot Turkish Day - Aksam 5/19 Denktas: Papadopoulos would get me killed in 1967 - Milliyet 5/19 Berlusconi: EU must expand to comprise Turkey - Aksam 5/19 OPINION MAKERS Casablanca shock - Radikal 5/18 Amb. Pearson: U.S. warm to Turkish officials' visit - Zaman 5/18 Shiites rally against U.S. in Baghdad - Cumhuriyet MFA delegation feels pulse in N. Iraq - Radikal 5/19 Retired Iraqis queue for $40 - Radikal Pentagon's $1 trillion deficit - Cumhuriyet Israel besieges Palestine - Yeni Safak Suicide attack nightmare in Israel - Radikal Suicide attack in Jerusalem: Blood on road map - Cumhuriyet 5/19 Turkey opening doors to Greek Cypriots after 40 years - Zaman 5/18 Syria closes Damascus offices of Palestinian organizations - Cumhuriyet 5/18 EU to give Euro 30 million to Turkish Cypriots - Cumhuriyet 5/19 FINANCIAL JOURNALS U.S. loves `weak Dollar' policy - Dunya Turkish firms negotiate Iraqi jobs w/ Bechtel - Finansal Forum BRIEFING U.S., Turkey relations: The U.S. Embassy in Ankara issued a statement denying press reports about a `diplomatic crisis' between U.S. and Turkey, Sunday papers write. Both Turkey and U.S. are working to further improve ties, and Foreign Minister Gul is welcome to visit Washington as are other senior Turkish leaders, the statement said. Foreign Minister Gul also denied reports about a communication problem between the two countries, and said he would pay a visit to Washington at an appropriate time. Some press reports last week had claimed that U.S., saying time was not ripe, turned down Ankara's request for a high level Turkish visit to Washington. Military `uneasy' about EU adjustment move: National Security Council (NSC) Secretary General, General Tuncer Kilinc submitted a report to the Prime Ministry, in which he outlined some points of concern for the military, "Hurriyet" reports on Monday. The military believes the amendments to the Law on Struggle Against Terrorism might encourage terror; allowing foreign observers during Turkish polls would mean capitulation, and broadcast in mother tongues might encourage separatism, Hurriyet says. The opposition party CHP is in support of the government's EU initiative, and said such `restrictive attitude' as displayed by the Gen. Kilinc report should be abandoned, papers report. AKP deputy chairman, Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat said General Kilinc had no authority to issue warnings for the government, and added that the EU reform package would be submitted to the parliament soon, papers report on Tuesday. AKP group `camps' in Antalya: AKP leadership and deputies came together in Turkey's coastal province of Antalya over the weekend to consolidate group solidarity and discuss problems in the party, weekend papers report. Prime Minister Erdogan told his deputies that AKP has taken off its trappings of fundamentalist views, and became a party of the center right. Erdogan pointed to the heavy burden shouldered by AKP, and complained that the media ignored certain democratic achievements by the government. Erdogan also warned his group against fundamentalist and racist tendencies, papers note. IMF: "Hurriyet" reports on Monday that IMF First Deputy Director Anne Krueger had doubts about Ankara's commitment to the economic program, and warned against changes in public procurement law and privatization. IMF officials believe the new review on May 21 will be `difficult and very critical,' all papers say. Bureaucrats put the blame on delayed government action, and are afraid that markets would be upset by new troubles, reports comment. Repentance Law: Tuesday's "Milliyet" gives details about the `Repentance Law' draft which brings gradual reduction of penalties for terror organization members. Defectors who surrender and provide information about their affiliation will be pardoned, according to the draft. Defectors will be given new ID cards, and job and financial assistance will be provided for them and families. Terrorists who are sentenced to life, if found eligible, will be released after serving a minimum of six years. The new law excludes terror organization leadership and commanders. Meanwhile, weekend papers report that the PKK/KADEK in Northern Iraq was ready to disarm in the face of a general amnesty declared by Ankara. Gul blames Turkish Cypriot administration for lack of religious education: Saturday's papers claim Foreign Minister Gul blamed the Turkish Cypriot administration for the euphoria on the Turkish side to unite with Greek Cypriots. If the Turkish Cypriot government had accepted Ankara's proposal in 1996 to open theology schools (Imam- Hatip), Turks would not have sought unification today, Gul allegedly implied at the AKP summit in Antalya. `Look at the Palestinian children, they are defending their country with sticks and stones,' Gul said according to papers. In 1996, Gul was a member of Erbakan's Welfare Party (RP) in coalition with Tansu Ciller's True Path Party (DYP). EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq in the post war era "The road toward a chaos" In mass appeal Milliyet (5/20), Hasan Cemal speculated on Iraq, from which he had just returned: "After visiting Iraq, the picture about its future remains blurry. It is not very clear if peace and democracy will be the winner in the post war era. There are a lot of question marks about the way of Iraq's future is leading to, ranging from radical Islam and chaos, to an ultra-nationalist movement, which might produce new `Saddam' figures. . Observing the current atmosphere in different Iraqi regions, it seems impossible to talk about one single Iraq. The Shiites areas bring a radical Islamic wave, while the northern region demonstrates the fact of a Kurdish entity turning into a state-alike structure. . It is interesting to see nobody in Iraq calling themselves Iraqis, rather preferring the ethnic or religious identity, such as Shiite, Sunni, Kurdish, Assyrian and others. . Evidently the Iraqi dictatorship failed to hold all of these identities together. Yet it remains to be seen whether democracy will be able to shape unity. In fact such questions need to be addressed as quickly as possible before Iraq turns into another turmoil." "What is the US to do now?" Mehmet Ali Birand commented in mass appeal-sensational Posta (5/20): "The US wanted for a long time to make a model out of Iraq. Moving from that point it wants to affect and reshape the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Central Asian Republics. It will be extremely misleading to believe that the US fought the Iraq war only for oil. Washington's aim is to set up in stages a new system in this region. Under the new system terrorism will not be supported. On the contrary, efforts will be made to ensure stability. In this context, expectations from various countries will come to the foreground. The issue to be tackled in Stage One: Resolve the Palestinian problem, and ensure Israel's safety. . Also there are other issues in the package: such as Syria scrapping the Baath regime, Iran's liberalization, Lebanon being rid of its hotbed status for terrorism. More importantly, from the US point, Saudi Arabia is at the root of Islamic terrorism. The Saudi family is being asked to definitely prevent the channeling of funds into the Islamic organizations abroad, so that they will be able to protect their own hold on power. . Washington also believes that the establishment of democracy and stability in the Central Asian Republics will result in ridding all countries, Afghanistan included, of the terrorism threat. It will also cause some of them to stop supporting terrorism. . Naturally there will be things expected from Turkey as well in the process of change. The way Washington views Turkey is gradually changing. The new way of looking at Turkey has not yet taken a full shape." PEARSON