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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

Published: Wed 10 Nov 2004 04:31 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
101631Z Nov 04
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 006396
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
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2004
THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:
HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
--------------------------------------------- -----
HEADLINES
MASS APPEAL
Bloodiest day in Iraq - Aksam
Bloodiest day for US troops in Iraq: 16 killed - Hurriyet
US fury turns Fallujah into a ghost town - Sabah
Fallujah cannot resist - Milliyet
Fallujah weeps - Turkiye
Arafat: dead or alive? - Milliyet
Arafat: Dies, lives, in deep coma - Sabah
Arafat to be Buried in Ramallah - Milliyet
OPINION MAKERS
Fallujah is occupied again - Cumhuriyet
Heavy street fighting in Fallujah - Zaman
Americans still bloodthirsty - Yeni Safak
100,000 civilians under fire in Fallujah - Yeni Safak
FM Gul urges Powell to protect civilians in Fallujah - Zaman
Iraqi Sunnis threaten to boycott upcoming elections - Zaman
Resistance takes Ramadi - Radikal
Powell: Bush's `aggressive' policies won't change - Zaman
Palestine's $3-5 billion evaporates with `Abu Ammar' -
Radikal
Fundamentalists warn Dutch to end attacks on Muslims -
Cumhuriyet
Iran may bid farewell to nuclear program - Yeni Safak
Al-Baradei wants Israel to be in nuclear non-proliferation
program - Cumhuriyet
BRIEFING
Secretary Powell calls FM Gul on Fallujah assault: US
SIPDIS
Secretary of State Powell called FM Gul to brief Ankara on
SIPDIS
the impending US-led assault on Fallujah, "Radikal" reports.
Gul urged Powell to minimize civilian casualties, and to
establish order to ensure that upcoming Iraqi elections can
be held throughout the country. Gul also asked Powell to
enhance the safety of Turkish truck drivers and to remove
the terrorist presence in northern Iraq. Papers report
heavy street fighting in Fallujah overnight, with 16 US
soldiers killed. Papers claim that 40 members of the
resistance and 15 civilians were also killed in the
fighting. Several reports criticized the timing of the
operation, which fell on the holiest night of the year for
Muslims.
FM Gul Sees `Secret Aims' in Broader Middle East Initiative:
Appearing before the Parliament's Budget Committee
yesterday, FM Gul said that the Broader Middle East is a
`sensitive issue' for Turkey. The FM added that there could
be `secret plans or secret ambitions' in the Broader Middle
East Initiative. It is important for Turkey to participate
in the project, he said, so that many mistakes can be
prevented. On a separate issue, FM Gul said that Turkey
would turn away from its EU aspirations if there was not a
`satisfactory result' at the EU Summit on December 17.
Greek Press: US plane lands in north Cyprus: Turkish
businessman Ali Sen flew on November 2 from the island of
Rhodes to Ercan Airport in north Cyprus on a private, US-
registered jet. Greek Cypriot air control at Larnaka
Airport in the south misidentified the aircraft as a US
jetfighter, and warned Athens that the US was preparing to
recognize the `TRNC,' "Hurriyet" claims. Greek Cypriot
intelligence warned the government before Nicosia presented
a note of protest to Washington that the aircraft was a
private US plane leased by a Polish firm being used by a
Turkish businessman. However, the Greek press reported that
a US aircraft had landed at Ercan Airport. Turkish
businessman Ali Sen paid courtesy calls on outgoing Turkish
Cypriot `PM' Talat and `FM' Serdar Denktas. "Cumhuriyet"
notes that the Greek daily "Etnos" repeated the claim that
the US is preparing to establish a military base in north
Cyprus.
Chirac prefers `privileged EU partnership' for Turkey:
French President Jacques Chirac is lobbying for a
`privileged partnership' for Turkey if EU accession talks
with Ankara fail. According to a report in yesterday's
"Financial Times," Chirac wants to add such a related
provision to the EU summit final declaration to be issued on
December 17.
Mass grave found in southeast Turkey: The remains of 11
villagers have been found in a mass grave in the Kulp
township of Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey's mainly
Kurdish southeast. The victims have been missing since
1993, when their relatives applied to the European Court of
Human Rights (ECHR), claiming there had been no trace of the
villagers since they were detained by the Turkish military.
The ECHR found in favor of the victims' families, and
ordered Turkey to pay TL1 trillion to the relatives. The
remains will be sent to Ankara for forensic testing.
EDITORIAL OPINION: Fallujah Offensive
"Iraq is in a civil war"
Mehmet Barlas wrote in the mass appeal "Sabah" (11/10):
"Fallujah is one resistance point, but not the only one.
There are many areas of resistance, but the US intends to
crush the resistance movement in its current operation. But
the initial signs point in another direction. After the
Fallujah operation, the resistance might become even bigger
and spread to other Iraqi cities. Iraq is not only the
scene of the American occupation, but also a possible stage
for civil war. . Even if the Fallujah resistance is put to
an end, uncertainty will remain. Military experts are
reminding us about what happened in Vietnam, for instance.
After the `Tet Offensive' in 1968, the US army managed to
gain full control over the city of Hue. But in the end, it
didn't prevent the US from failure in Vietnam by 1975. The
Fallujah crisis will not be finished easily."
"War After War"
Sami Kohen opined in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (11/10):
"The US had no choice but to open a second front on the land
it occupied, a year and a half after the war had supposedly
finished. Located in the center of the country, Fallujah
and the Sunni Triangle had become the symbol and the center
of the resistance. In this area, rebels rather than
coalition forces are in control. While such a power vacuum
exists, is it possible for elections to take place in
January as planned, and for the administration to be
transferred to the new government, and reconstruction of
Iraq to begin within the framework of a new constitution?
At this stage, the US could have either started this new
military operation to clear the rebels from the area and
establish stability, or simply accepted defeat and
retreated. Right at the beginning of his second term,
President Bush decided in favor of the former. .Now the
issue is whether the US can be successful in eliminating the
rebels. Can peace and security be re-established in Fallujah
and the Sunni Triangle? Will Iraq hold elections in peace
and be able to start the reconstruction process as a unified
country?"
EDELMAN
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