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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

Published: Thu 7 Jul 2005 02:42 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 003962
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
THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2005
THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:
HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
--------------------------------------------- -----
HEADLINES
MASS APPEAL
Erdogan: Religion-Based Politics a Plot Against Democracy -
Milliyet
Erdogan Explains `Turkish Model' at Sun Valley Conference -
Aksam
Denmark: Happy Birthday, President Bush - Hurriyet
Iran, Iraq Defense Ministers Meet in Tehran - Sabah
London Olympic Winner: Blair Beats France Again - Aksam
OPINION MAKERS
Erdogan: Turning Religion Into Ideology is a Mistake -
Cumhuriyet
Bush Urges African Leaders for Good Government - Yeni Safak
Sharon Warns Palestinians - Yeni Safak
Zarkawi Founds `Omar Brigade' Against Shiites' Badr Brigades
- Yeni Safak
Killings in Los Angeles Worse Than Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Former Criminals Now Cabinet Ministers in Afghanistan -
Cumhuriyet
Bob Geldof A Candidate For Nobel Peace Prize - Radikal
BRIEFING
Erdogan Visits US: Addressing the Sun Valley Conference in
Idaho yesterday, Prime Minister Erdogan said that creating
politics out of religion is detrimental to social peace and
political pluralism. `The motto of Islam is a pluralist and
free way of life,' Erdogan said, emphasizing that it would
be wrong to attribute the failure of most Muslims nations in
creating democracies to Islam. Erdogan claimed that Turkey
is the best example to demonstrate that an overwhelmingly
Muslim nation can establish a secular democracy. Turkey
has become a key actor for regional and global peace, with
its membership in western organizations as well as its
respected place among Islamic countries, according to
Erdogan. The PM noted that Turkey's EU membership will show
the world, and particularly Islamic countries, that East and
West, Islam and other religions can coexist and survive in
peace through the pursuit of common goals. Erdogan said
that a contrary development in the EU would fan prejudices
between the West and the Islamic world, give Islamic
countries the feeling that they are being excluded, and harm
transformation efforts in Muslim countries. Erdogan stated
that the United States is aware of this reality, and for
this reason is giving full support to Turkey's EU
membership. Erdogan concluded by saying that Turkey, in
cooperation with regional countries, the United States, the
EU, and the international community, will continue its
efforts to contribute to positive change in the region.
Parliamentary Report on Fuel Smuggling from Iraq: A Turkish
parliamentary committee investigating fuel smuggling from
northern Iraq said in a report that the outlawed PKK was
siphoning off significant revenues from the illicit oil
trade between the two countries, "Sabah" reports. The
report says that PKK militants have been infiltrating into
Turkey from Iran, Iraq, and Syria by accompanying local
smugglers on horseback. The report underlines that `an
ethnic group' in northern Iraq earns 500 million USD
annually fees collected from people entering Iraq through
the Habur border crossing. KDP leader Barzani's brother and
Saddam Hussein's son Uday were among the partners of `Asya
Co.' in northern Iraq, through which 11 million barrels of
diesel have been sold to Turks, the committee reported.
Interior Ministers' Conference of Iraq's Neighbors Due in
Istanbul: A conference of interior ministers of Iraq's
neighbors and Egypt will be held on July 18-19 in Istanbul,
the Egyptian government news agency MENA reported on
Wednesday. The interior ministers are expected to discuss
the security situation in Iraq and its effects on their
countries.
European Parliament Adopts Report on Women in Turkey: The
European Parliament (EP) general assembly on Wednesday
approved a report on women's participation in social,
economic, and political activities in Turkey, papers report.
The report was submitted by the social democratic Turkish
lawmaker Emine Bozkurt. The report calls on the Turkish
government to cooperate with women's associations and give
them financial assistance, provide education to all women,
and shelter women who suffer from domestic violence. It
welcomed legal reforms in Turkey bringing life imprisonment
for those who commit honor killings and accepting that rape
within marriage is a crime. The report also requested that
the European Commission issue an annual report on the
protection of women's rights in Turkey.
Former Kurdish Politician Killed in Diyarbakir: Hikmet
Fidan, a former politician from the pro-Kurdish party DEHAP,
was shot to death in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeastern
city Diyarbakir on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear
whether the killing was politically motivated. Fidan was
the vice-chairman of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP, a
forerunner of DEHAP), which was banned in 2003 for alleged
links to the separatist PKK.
Patriarch Bartholomew Due in Brussels: Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew I will visit Brussels June 12 for meetings with
European Commission officials, including EU expansion chief
Olli Rehn, "Radikal" reports. Bartholomew is expected to
reiterate his support for Turkey's EU drive, and discuss
with EU officials Turkey's draft bill on minority
foundations, the situation of minorities, and the reopening
of Halki Seminary.
Pope Benedict to Visit Turkey: Pope Benedict may visit
Turkey later this year to meet his Orthodox counterpart,
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in a bid to strengthen
Christian unity, the Istanbul-based Greek Orthodox
Patriarchate said on Wednesday. A Patriarchate spokesman
told the press that Bartholomew has invited Pope Benedict to
attend the St. Andrew's Feast Day on November 30, but that
no official response has been received.
Security Forces-PKK Fighting Continues in Southeast Turkey:
One PKK militant was killed and two were wounded in a clash
with Turkish troops in Mardin province in southeast Turkey,
military officials said on Wednesday. In separate fighting
in Siirt province, two jandarma officers were wounded in an
attack by PKK members against a police station on Tuesday
evening. Meanwhile, a sixth Turkish railway security
official died in hospital as the result of wounds he
received during last Saturday's PKK attack on a train in the
mountains near Bingol.
EDITORIAL OPINION: The G-8 Summit
"Is Protesting Enough?"
Akif Emre argued in the pro-government/Islamist-oriented
"Yeni Safak" (7/7): "The G-8 summit is an attempt to
implement the economic side of the BMENAI project. It would
be too naive to expect that the G-8 summit will focus on the
elimination of the gap between rich and poor. This is all
about sharing the pie between 7 countries, not even 8.
Thus, seeking for more aid to Africa without understanding
the motivations of the G-8 is doomed to fail. Western
states have demonstrated their unwillingness to compromise
their standards of living and habits of consumption. The
current G-8 summit is proving what is already well known:
capitalist countries will not engage in any sacrifice for
the sake of humanity."
"The Deep Impact of the US"
Sirri Yuksel Cebeci wrote in the conservatively-sensational
"Halka ve Olaylara Tercuman" (7/7): "The G-8 summit once
again failed to bring even a small light of hope for the
people of famine-stricken Africa because of President Bush's
opposition to providing more aid. President Bush does his
best to facilitate the killing of innocent Iraqi children,
and he does not care about the African children that die
from hunger every day. There is a reason for this. As he
said, he cares for American interests first. Of course,
Africans don't have a vote in the US presidential elections.
The plans to provide more aid to Africa were scrapped when
Bush refused to give his support, and the rest of the G-8
members helplessly followed the US lead. By declining to
sign the Kyoto Protocol to cope with global warming,
President Bush demonstrated that he doesn't care about the
environment either. The US has willingly spent billions of
dollars for the `Deep Impact' project, but has not given
even a pound of rice for Africa."
"The G-8 in Scotland"
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in the conservative "Turkiye" (7/7):
"The GNP for the entire world in 2003 was $36.46 trillion.
$12.3 trillion of this amount belongs to the US. The G-8
countries plus others like Spain, the Netherlands, and
Australia account for three quarters of the world's wealth.
The rest suffer from poverty. In an effort to develop these
poor countries, the wealthy ones could do many things. But
they choose to ignore certain very clear standards. While
the US is the biggest polluter of the atmosphere with carbon
dioxide, it refuses to sign the Kyoto Protocol that would
limit pollution. On the other hand, the G-8 is expected to
eliminate the $25 billion debt of the African countries.
The US cares for the poor and developing South and Central
American countries as well. The US claims that by
implementing the Greater Middle East Project, it will bring
both prosperity and democracy to South Asia and North
Africa. But we have seen no evidence for this claim up to
now. We don't think that more prosperity can be brought to
this region. We also have doubts about the possibility of
establishing democracy in the region. But the US could come
to dominate the two-thirds of the world's oil and gas
resources that are found there. They might also be able to
guarantee the security of Israel. Even though the US cannot
eliminate the terror in the region, it can definitely keep
it under control. That is what we think about the US. We
believe the future of the G-8 depends on its success in the
fields of human rights, poverty elimination, and the
protection of the environment."
MCELDOWNEY
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