Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report,

Published: Fri 21 May 2004 04:38 PM
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
FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2004
Erdogan: Bombs in Iraq, Palestine amount to `state terror' -
Ankara: Israel goes too far - Milliyet
Sharon deals blow to Turkish-Israeli relations - Milliyet
US angry at Israel - Turkiye
Pentagon: We hit militants, not a wedding - Sabah
US troops raid Chalabi's residence - Vatan
US shifts on Chalabi - Hurriyet
Second Afghanistan duty for Turkey - Sabah
TUSIAD: Turkey must continue with IMF - Hurriyet
PM Erdogan: Israel applies state terror - Cumhuriyet
UN denounces, US criticizes Israel - Radikal
Sharon kills children in Palestine, US in Iraq - Yeni Safak
Iraq torture scandal deepens with new photos - Zaman
Hawks hate Hersh for revealing Abu Ghraib photos - Zaman
US breaks ties with Chalabi - Cumhuriyet
US operation against `old friend' Chalabi - Radikal
Chalabi receives Saddam treatment - Yeni Safak
Chalabi made mistakes that US did not forgive - Sabah
Gul receives Cyprus support from Moscow - Zaman
Arafat: Jerusalem belongs to Turks as well - Yeni Safak
US admits Guantanamo captives are tortured - Yeni Safak
Turkey's leaders criticize Israeli operations: On Thursday,
PM Erdogan strongly criticized Israel for killing
Palestinian civilians and demolishing their houses. `There
can be no legitimate reason for killing civilians,' Erdogan
said, and urged world leaders to take action against Israeli
`state terrorism.' Meanwhile, FM Gul watned on Thursday
that recent incidents in Palestine might have a `negative
effect' on Turkey's relations with Israel. `Israel has gone
too far,' Gul said, adding that `attacking civilians is
unacceptable.' Meanwhile, seven lawmakers from the Turkish-
Palestinian Friendship Group met with Palestinian leader
Arafat in Ramallah yesterday. `Jerusalem belongs to Turkey
as well,' Arafat said, adding that Turkey had a
responsibility to restrain Israel.
Turkish troops to Afghanistan: "Sabah" reports on the front
page today that the US has asked Turkey to take command of
the ISAF operation in Afghanistan for a second time
beginning in February 2005. If Turkey accepts the command,
the number of Turkish troops in Afghanistan would increase
from the current level of 240 to 1,500. Speaking at the
airport before departing for Romania, PM Erdogan
acknowledged that Turkey had been asked to send additional
troops to Afghanistan. He said the proposal is under
consideration, but no decision has been made.
Cyprus: Russian FM Lavrov said in a meeting with Turkish FM
Gul in Moscow yesterday that Moscow supports establishment
of trade relations with the Turkish Cypriots. Lavrov called
for an end to the economic isolation of northern Cyprus.
Gul reiterated to Lavrov Turkey's demands for direct
international flights to northern Cyprus and unrestricted
access for foreign vessels to Turkish Cypriot ports.
PKK establishes new party in Syria: PKK/Kongra-Gel has
founded a new political party in Syria, "Cumhuriyet"
reports. The paper claims that the newly-established
Democratic Unity Party (PYD) in an effort to shield the
organization's illegal activities in the region.
"Cumhuriyet" asserts that the riots in Syria's Kamishli
village on the Turkish border in March were provoked by
2,000 PKK infiltrators into the province. The terror
organization is still active in Ukraine, Armenia and
2.5 million Turks attend mosque daily: 2.5 million people
in Turkey go to the mosque every day, and 11 million Turks
attend Friday prayers, according to a report prepared by CHP
lawmaker Bulent Tanla. 55 percent of Turks between 18-25,
and 71.4 percent of those between 35-46 fast during the holy
month of Ramadan. There were 76,445 mosques in Turkey as of
January 2004, and 1,420 new mosques are under construction.
"The Future of Iraq"
Ferai Tinc observed in the mass appeal Hurriyet (5/21):
"American military sources are claiming that the recent
military operation near the Iraqi-Syrian border was not an
attack against civilians, but rather targeted a group of
resistance fighters. These claims are not being taken
seriously by the Arab press. Similarly, the claim by
Israeli officials that Israeli forces are not targeting
children in Gazza is also being discounted. The Middle East
is moving toward a colossal crisis. . The US has started
working on a plan to transfer authority to Iraqis. We
should read this as transferring authority to pro-American
figures within the Iraqi political structure. The
elimination of Ahmad Chalabi as a political force is part of
this process. However, the US plan does not have any chance
for success. The US-designed new Iraqi administration will
receive no support from the people, particularly in the
light of recent scandals involving US forces in Iraq. Even
the most moderate Iraqis will not agree to be ruled by a
group of collaborators. In addition, we should keep in mind
the presence of radical Islamist terrorist organizations in
Iraq. . For the foreseeable future, Iraq will continue to be
a source of bad news. The conflict might even spread to the
north of Iraq, a possibility that should concern Turkey. In
sum, the fire in the Middle East is now beginning to
"A Project without Buyers"
Haluk Ulman wrote in the economic-political Dunya (5/21):
"The Iraq quagmire is the result of the US administration's
wrong policies, which resulted from poor advice provided by
Washington's neo-conservatives. The case of Ahmad Chalabi
is a typical example. Chalabi was favored by the neo-cons
and their staffers despite his dubiuous record, which
includes a conviction for bank fraud. . It will be
interesting to see what the pro-Iraq war groups in Turkey
will have to say at this point. Interestingly enough,
however, these same circles are now pushing to support the
next US project -- the Greater Middle East Initiative. This
project does not even provide a clear vision about its
objectives, and those who try to tailor a role for Turkey
should think twice. No matter how laudable the goals may
be, the project has absolutely no chance for success,
especially after the post-war problems and the Abu Ghraib
scandal. Nobody in the Arab world thinks the Bush
administration's intentions are transparent. . It is certain
that President Bush will do his best to `sell' this project
to the Europeans, but there don't seem to be any buyers in
the market."
"The US is in Trouble in Iraq"
Omer Ozturkmen observed in the conservative Turkiye (5/21):
"The fact is, US diplomacy was mistaken in planning for the
post-war scenario in Iraq. The US could never imagine the
kinds of problems they were going to face there. The Iraqi
people were expecting to watch Saddam's trial on TV while
the president of the US focused on his re-election bid.
Now, the torture photos from Iraq have recalled for the
American people the long forgotten atrocities faced by
American Indians. Let us see how the president will explain
the loss of American lives in Iraq during his campaign.
When put next to the torture the Iraqi people have suffered
at the hands of the coalition, Saddam's Halapja massacre
looks mild by comparison. Those obscene photos are already
being circulated among international terrorist groups to
recruit fighters against the United States. The Bush
Administration, which at one time put sacks over the heads
of allied troops, now buries its own head to hide its shame.
The US is paying the price for excluding Turkey in its
policies in Eurasia. It looks that that price will continue
to be paid."
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