Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report,

Published: Fri 13 Aug 2004 01:31 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
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Sarp border gate to be opened - Sabah
Final attack on Najaf - Aksam
Shiite resistance stuns Americans - Hurriyet
Karamanlis: Turkey a part of Europe - Hurriyet
Business Week: Iraq war ended Turkish-Israeli friendship -
Arrest warrant for Chalabi suspended - Milliyet
Bush forgets Iraq, criticizes Kerry - Sabah
Saakashvili: Georgia, Turkey parts of a whole - Zaman
Erdogan's peace message for Georgia - Yeni Safak
US launches offensive, Shiites flee Najaf - Zaman
US launches offensive against Shiites in Najaf - Cumhuriyet
US operation to `crush' Shiite resisters - Zaman
US destroys Najaf - Yeni Safak
Muslim world reacts to US attack on Najaf - Radikal
Rumsfeld points to Iran threat - Cumhuriyet
Karamanlis on good terms with Erdogan - Yeni Safak
UN: Israel has killed 3,553 Palestinians over four years -
Castro turns 78 - Radikal
PM Erdogan visits Georgia: Prime Minister Erdogan, in
Tbilisi for an official visit, attended a meeting of the
Turkey-Georgia Business Council on Thursday. Erdogan told
the Council that Georgia should accelerate construction of
the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline project. Erdogan
also noted that the strategic Shah Deniz natural gas project
from Baku to Turkey through Tbilisi would ease Georgia's
energy problems. Georgian President Saakashvili agreed with
Erdogan, saying the Shah Deniz project was essential for the
economic independence of Georgia. During his meetings in
Tbilisi, Erdogan also pointed to developments in south
Ossetia as posing a threat to regional peace. Turkish
dailies regard Erdogan's remarks in support of Georgia's
territorial integrity as a covert message to Russia. `We
will have a chance to discuss these issues with the Russians
during the visit to Turkey by President Putin in early
September,' Erdogan told reporters. Saakashvili and Erdogan
later visited the Sarp border crossing, which Saakashvili
said should be a `gate of friendship, and Georgia's window
to Europe.' PM Erdogan agreed with the Georgians' request
that the border post be opened to visa-free travel between
the two countries.
Rumsfeld supports Baku on Nagorno-Karabakh: On a one-day
working visit to Baku, US Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld voiced hope for a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh
problem within the framework of Azerbaijan's territorial
integrity, Turkish papers report. Responding to a
reporter's question, Rumsfeld said the US has been
supporting a solution to the problem through the mediation
efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group, which the US co-chairs.
Rumsfeld also said that Iran's nuclear program is a threat
to its neighbors and a risk for the further proliferation of
nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, "Hurriyet" reports that Armenia
has been conducting a military exercise with 2,000 troops in
the occupied territories of Nagorno-Karabakh.
US Adana Deputy Consul visits Diyarbakir: US Deputy Consul
to Adana, Alicia Allison, paid a visit to the governor's
office in Diyarbakir and offered condolences over a
policeman who had been killed in fighting with PKK militants
late July, papers report. Allison later called on the
Kurdish mayor of Diyarbakir, Osman Baydemir, who had been
fiercely criticized for offering condolences to the family
of a PKK militant killed in the same clash.
Business Week: Turkey in Transition: Turkish dailies give
extensive coverage to a "Business Week" article claiming
that Turkey's ties with Israel and the United States have
been damaged as a result of the US war in Iraq. `It wasn't
so long ago that Israeli PM Sharon called Turkey the most
important nation in the world to Israel, but the friendship
between these two Middle Eastern democracies has cooled,'
Business Week claims. Former US Ambassador Mark Parris
asserted that Ankara has cancelled some business contracts
with Israel. `Unlike Israel, Turkey would like a strong
central government in Baghdad to keep the Kurds in check,
and Turkey is outraged at reports that Israel is training
Kurds in northern Iraq,' the article said. `The Sharon
government's denial of those charges ring true because it
doesn't make sense to choose a handful of Kurds over a
country with Turkey's size and clout,' the commentary
continued. Business Week also speculates that although
Turkey had been uneasy with the US for `doing nothing'
against the PKK in northern Iraq, Ankara has refrained from
launching an operation against the Kurds for fear that such
an action could disrupt Turkey's dialogue with the EU.
"The Strategy that Creates Enemies"
Sami Kohen opined in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (8/13):
"Yesterday's assault on Najaf by US troops reminded me Dale
Carnegie's famous book `How to Win Friends and Influence
People.' If we need to describe yesterday's assault in one
sentence, we should change the name of Carnegie's book to
`How to Create Enemies and Earn Hatred.' There is a certain
military logic behind this latest assault against the Shiite
resistance. The Shiite militants, under the leadership of
Mukteda El-Sadr, have declared war against the US and the
occupation. The US felt it necessary to launch a major
military operation in order to suppress the revolt. If you
look at it from the military angle, it is inevitable that US
forces will be able to take Najaf. The problem is that the
military logic is in contradiction with the political
reality. By taking control of Najaf, the US will also earn
the hatred of the Shiites and many other Iraqis as well.
Reactions against the Najaf attack have been coming in from
around the Arab world. Strangely, the US had been hopeful
that the Shiites would support the Iraq operation. In fact,
coalition forces had some Shiite support at the beginning,
when Shiites believed the US would help free them from
Saddam's cruel regime. The majority of Iraq's population is
Shiite, and the Shiites believed that a change of regime was
an opportunity for them to establish their own sovereignty.
With this in mind, they declared war against the US and the
interim Iraqi government.There was an interesting article in
the `Boston Globe' yesterday. During an interview with US
troops, one soldier responded the journalist's question
saying that `we came here to topple Saddam and pass the
administration to Iraqis.' He then added `what is left now,
just to win more enemies and more hatred?"
"The Massacre in Iraq"
Ergun Babahan commented in the mass appeal "Sabah" (8/13):
"The waters are heating up again in Iraq. Yesterday's
assault on Najaf is proof that the war in Iraq continues
long after President Bush announced the end of major combat
operations. The occupation of Iraq was based on false
information about the presence of WMDs in Iraq. Secretary
Powell and regional leaders stressed continuously that such
a war would cause serious problems for other countries in
the region. There isn't a single day that goes by without
news of innocents being killed in Iraq. Yesterday, US
planes poured death over Najaf without any consideration for
civilians, including children. These are the real owners of
Iraq, and they are resisting with all their power against
the occupier of their land. These developments in Iraq
spell danger for Turkey as well. The US administration,
which has transformed Iraq into a terror center, never stops
threatening Iran and Syria. The world remains quiet to this
human drama. Every day, tens of thousands of people flee
their homes and innocent people become targets for bombs.
But still no one is questioning the US. During the bloody
counter-terrorism process in Turkey, Washington's stance was
overly sensitive. But now, with torture and executions
without trial, the US is writing a bloody history in the
Middle East. Launching the operation with the promise of
bringing democracy to the region, they can now offer nothing
but starvation, torture, and death. Like the Palestinians,
the Iraqis are paying a heavy price for a war not of their
own choosing."
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