Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report,

Published: Mon 28 Jun 2004 08:31 AM
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
SUNDAY, JUNE 27, 2004
Bush to EU leaders: Turkey must be in the EU - Radikal
Istanbul a `closed' city - Radikal
NATO agrees to train Iraqi forces - Radikal
Tough US-Turkey bargaining in Ankara - Yeni Safak
The World turns to Istanbul - Yeni Safak
Tens of thousands protest Bush in Dublin - Yeni Safak
Senator Lugar voices US requests - Yeni Safak
Bush's message to EU: Start negotiations with Turkey -
Bush Supports Turkey's EU membership - Sabah
Bush to EU: Negotiation Process with Turkey Should Start -
NATO Summit Agony for People of Istanbul - DB Tercuman
Istanbul is captive of NATO summit - Takvim
Take Turkey into the Union, Bush says in Ireland - Vatan
`Closed for NATO' - Posta
Eisenhower Won Hearts, Bush Had the Roads Closed -- Referans
The Latest News From Anatolian News Agency:
3 Turks Kidnapped in Iraq: Militants loyal to Ebu Musab El
Zarkavi, who kidnapped 3 Turkish workers in Iraq on
Saturday, have called for mass demonstrations against US
President George W. Bush to condemn the President's visit to
Turkey. The militants, in a written statement to Al-Jazeera
Television, said that if Turkish firms do not withdraw from
Iraq within 72 hours, the hostages will risk being beheaded.
They called on "the Muslim Turkish people to carry out mass
demonstrations against Bush's visit to Turkey" and for
"Turkish firms to stop doing business with US forces in
Iraq." In a video tape shown on Al-Jazeera, 3 men holding
their passports are seated in front of their 2 masked
captors. It is not clear from the video when the men were
kidnapped or where they were working. Turkish officials in
Baghdad believe the men were kidnapped 2 days ago.
US President Bush Arrives in Ankara: US President George
Bush has arrived in Ankara for official contacts in advance
of the June 28-29 NATO Summit to be held in Istanbul.
President Bush and his wife Laura, who arrived at Esenboga
Airport following the US-EU Summit in Irerland, were met by
State Minister Besir Atalay and his wife, Yildiz Atalay.
The President was also welcomed by Turkey's Ambassador to
Washington Faruk Logoglu, US Ambassador Eric Edelman, and
Ankara Governor Yahya Gur. US Secretary of State Colin
Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice will
accompany the President during his meetings in Ankara. The
US delegation, which arrived on three separate planes, is
made up of around 600 people. President Bush and his wife
waved to the press as they descended the stairs from the
airplane, and a bouquet of flowers was given to Mrs. Bush.
President Bush did not make a statement at the airport
before boarding his armored limousine and leaving the
tarmac. Press interest in President Bush's visit to Ankara
is high. Journalists arrived at the airport hours in
advance of the arrival to undergo thorough security
screening. While bomb-sniffing dogs inspected the cameras
and equipment of press members, some journalists applauded
in protest against the implementation of such security
Bush will begin his official contacts tomorrow when he meets
with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Prime
Minister's residence. Secretary Powell and Foreign Minister
Gul are expected to participate in the meeting. Mrs. Bush,
meanwhile, will have a separate meeting with the spouses of
PM Erdogan and FM Gul. Bush, who will then visit Anit
Kabir, will later meet with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.
He will then participate in a working lunch at Cankaya
Palace. Bush and his delegation will depart for Istanbul
following the lunch.
During Bush's visit to Ankara, it is expected that in
addition to bilateral relations, subjects such as Iraq, the
presence of a terrorist organization in northern Iraq,
Cyprus, Turkey's EU membership drive, US Global Force
Posture, the NATO Summit, the Middle East, and Afghanistan
will be discussed. One of the most important items on the
agenda will be the presence of the terrorist organization in
northern Iraq. Turkey will once again remind the US of its
expectations that the organization will be eliminated in
Iraq, and will express its desire that concrete steps be
taken on this issue. A greater consistency between words
and deeds on this issue will be requested by the Turkish
side. Turkey, which is expecting a gesture on the Cyprus
issue, will ask that the US bring greater clarity to its
commitment to support the "Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus" in the aftermath of the April 24 referendum. In
discussion about Turkey-EU relations, it is expected that
President Bush will report on his contacts with EU officials
in Ireland and renew US support for Turkey's EU process.
The Turkish side, in discussions on Iraq, is expected to
emphasize its sensitivities concerning Kirkuk and urge
greater representation for Turkmen in the new Iraqi
POTUS Visit & NATO Summit
"Flowers and Bombs"
Erdal Safak commented in the mass appeal "Sabah" (5/27):
"Clinton came to Ankara prior to the OSCE summit in Istanbul
just like President Bush has done today: Bush arrived in
Ankara in advance of the NATO summit in Istanbul. Yet there
is one big difference that must be mentioned. Clinton was
welcomed by flowers and a feeling of joy. Today, five years
later, Bush comes under a cloud of bombs and protests. Five
years ago, 75 percent of Turks held favorable views of the
US. Today, anti-US feelings have reached 80 percent. This
is the case not only for Turkey, but for the whole world.
... The NATO summit agenda includes many hot topics, which
range from terror and chaos in Iraq to the deteriorating
situation in Afghanistan. Additional agenda items include
the fight against international terrorism and the deepening
split between the US and Europe. NATO is also going to
discuss the Middle East and try to find ways to promote
democracy in the Greater Middle East region to eliminate the
quagmire that constantly produces more terrorism. It
remains to be seen whether NATO will succeed in creating a
consensus to extinguish some of the ongoing fires.
Otherwise, the Istanbul summit may remembered as the funeral
for the Atlantic Alliance. "
"Bush Fooled Ankara"
Sedat Ergin noted in the mass appeal "Hurriyet" (5/27): "One
of the reasons that the US President declared war against
Iraq was to end the possibility that Iraq would become a
base for terrorism. The PKK was considered as one of the
terrorist organizations there, and Washington listed it as a
terrorist organization on its annual list. The reports from
Washington also acknowledged that northern Iraq is the PKK's
main base. President Bush and other administration
officials repeatedly assured Turkey that they understood
Ankara's sensitivity regarding northern Iraq and pledged
that the area would not be a haven for terrorists. ...
Regarding words and deeds on this issue, the most
significant step was a meeting in Ankara on September 12,
2003 between a Turkish delegation and US officials from the
Pentagon, CIA and State Department. At that point, the US
asked to deal with Mahmur camp first, and Turkey accepted
this proposal with good intentions. However, US officials
left the country without even signing an MOU. ... Four
months ago, the State Department promised a letter from
Secretary Powell to reiterate the US commitment about
eliminating the PKK threat. As you read this column today,
such a letter has never arrived. ... The gist of the problem
is the US unwillingness to have a conflict with PKK, and the
shift in US priorities due to broader security problems in
Iraq. ... President Bush, in an interview prior to his trip
to Ankara, made it clear that the PKK issue will be dealt in
cooperation with both the Turkish and Iraqi governments.
This is not a normal statement -- it is almost a kind of
confession. It looks as if Bush is telling us that `the
ball is not in our court any more -- it is in the hands of
the interim Iraqi government.' It is now a serious question
how sincere President Bush will be during his talks in
Ankara after making such a negative impression on the
terrorism threat faced by Turkey."
"The World is a Whole, and Cannot be Separated"
Nazif Gurdogan opined in the Islamist-opinion maker "Yeni
Safak" (6/27): "The security of Europe and the US depends
on the security of the Islamic world. As long as the
bloodshed continues in East Turkistan, Khasmir, Chechnia,
Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, it is not possible for
Europe and the US to live in peace. No country can remain
within its own borders without being affected by the wars of
the world. The world has turned into a single country with
multiple cultures. It looks as if the world will claim the
inheritance of the Ottoman Empire by having people of
different religions, colors and creeds live together in
peace. No country in the world can close its doors to
people from different races and religions. Borders have
been lifted not only between European countries, but
between all countries in the world. The countries that try
to protect their borders with wiring, mines or troops will
only create new wars. The world is a whole -- east, west,
north and south. One part of it cannot be happy while the
other part cries. NATO must defend peace for the entire
world, not only for the west. There will be no peace
without the Islamic world."
"NATO to march to Iraq"
Muharrem Sarikaya observed in the mass appeal "Sabah"
(6/27): "NATO Secretary General Scheffer recently said that
NATO would not turn down a call by the new Iraqi government
scheduled to take over authority in Iraq after June 30. .
Non-NATO member countries will also be allowed to
participate in the peacekeeping force in Iraq. Some Muslim
countries outside of NATO will also join the mission. . The
interim Iraqi authority will be replaced by an elected
government before the end of this year. NATO will take
action when called on to do so by a government elected by
the Iraqi people -- not by a government formed by the US.
Whatever the case, NATO will have to enter Iraq early next
year. This time it will be difficult for Turkey, which has
served successfully in missions in Afghanistan and Bosnia-
Herzegovina, to refrain from joining the peacekeeping force
in Iraq."
"Sezer to warn Bush on Loss of US Credibility"
Murat Yetkin commented in the intellectual/opinion maker
"Radikal" (6/27): "President Sezer will urge President Bush
to take new steps forward regarding the PKK and Cyprus in
order to retain US credibility in Turkey. . `We don't see
any difference between Al-Qaeda terrorism and that of the
PKK,' said a high-level Turkish source, adding that US
officials are saying the same thing in their public
statements. `However, we are still waiting for the
Americans to meet their pledges to remove the PKK presence
in northern Iraq,' he stressed. . He added that, despite
some attempts to lift international sanctions against
Turkish Cypriots, no concrete steps have yet been taken. .
PM Erdogan will discuss with President Bush the need to
maintain Iraq's territorial integrity, keep Kirkuk out of
the Kurds' control, and guarantee an adequate representation
of Turkmen in the new Iraqi administration. . The Greater
Middle East (GME) project has been made more mature by the
inclusion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the
initiative, and by accepting Turkey as a democratic, secular
partner. . Erdogan is aware that his criticism of the
Israeli administration's policies in Palestine have had a
negative effect on the Jewish community in the US. Still,
he will insist on a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict at his meeting with Bush. . The reopening of the
Halki Seminary and Turkey's relations with Armenia are also
expected to be raised at the meeting."
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