MASS APPEAL Pentagon wants to use `Mujehadin' against Tehran- - Aksam Washington now targets Iran - Sabah Bush a `shepherd' for Mideast - Milliyet Bush flew over Baghdad en route home - Turkiye Cheney put pressure on CIA for Iraqi WMD - Vatan Signals for trade between Ankara, Yerevan - Hurriyet EU report urges Turkey to normalize ties with Yerevan - Sabah `Repentance Law' last hope for terrorists - Aksam
OPINION MAKERS MFA preparing moderate messages to Washington - Radikal Turkey wants a `clean slate' with U.S. - Zaman U.S. meeting with `terrorist' Mujehadin on Iran - Zaman U.S. to use terror organization against Iran - Yeni Safak Bush: We'll find Iraqi WMD - Radikal EU wants a transparent Turkey - Cumhuriyet European Parliament gives green light to Turkey - Yeni Safak 10,000 Jewish settlers protest against Sharon - Cumhuriyet
FINANCIAL JOURNALS Russia wants to sell natural gas to Europe via Turkey - Dunya Steven Mann: Iraqi developments won't affect BTC - Finansal Forum
MFA U/S Ziyal to U.S.: In an effort to repair the strain in bilateral ties with the U.S., an MFA delegation headed by U/S Amb. Ugur Ziyal will pay a three-day visit to the U.S. beginning June 15, papers report. The Turkish delegation will try to convince the American side that Turkey's democratic structure and close ties with regional ethnic groups can influence developments positively in Iraq. Ziyal will also make clear that Ankara is willing to repair misunderstandings resulting from the Iraq crisis. Ankara also plans to confirm that it will recognize a Kurdish administration set up in Baghdad, and is ready to support a structure which reflects the common interests of all Iraqi groups.
U.S. `cornering' Iran: Dailies report that the Pentagon, in an effort to use the Iranian opposition group `People's Mujehadin' against Tehran, is trying to convince the White House to change the status of the organization, which is currently on the U.S. list of terrorist groups. Assistant Secretary of State John Bolton accused Iran of trying to
SIPDIS acquire nuclear weapons, and noted that Turkey is within the range of Iranian and Syrian missiles.
Amb. Pearson plants tree on World Environment Day: Ambassador Robert Pearson planted a tree at a high school in Ankara on World Environment Day, papers report. Ambassador Pearson said after planting a Storax tree, a rare species seen only in California and southwest Turkey, that the tree could be seen as a symbol of close ties between the U.S. and Turkey.
European Parliament approves Turkey report: The European Parliament (EP) approved on Thursday a report on Turkey drafted by the Dutch Christian Democrat Arie Oostlander. The report said that if reforms are enacted, Turkey would become eligible for full EU membership talks. The report notes that the military's influence has slowed Turkey's development into a pluralistic democracy, and urged that military representatives be withdrawn from civilian bodies concerned with education and the media. The report called for the release of jailed former pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP) parliamentarians, and for more efficient measures to be taken against torture. It urged changes to the Law on the Struggle Against Terrorism and a more determined effort to fight against corruption. The EP called on Turkey to end discrimination against religious minorities, to take bold steps to achieve a workable solution to the Cyprus problem, and to develop good neighborly relations with Armenia. Most mainstream papers evaluate the report as giving a `green light' to Turkey's EU drive. "Milliyet" and "Cumhuriyet" interpret the report as a signal that Turkey is not ready for the EU due to the military's role in politics and the deadlock on Cyprus.
Turkey, Armenia warming ties: Turkish foreign minister Gul and Armenian foreign minister Oskanyan agreed on some moves toward a rapprochement at the NATO summit in Madrid earlier this week. Dailies expect border trade to begin among Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, a move that could boost the welfare and security of people in the region.
EDITORIAL OPINION: Post-war US policies/Middle East
"The US and the Middle East" Kamuran Ozbir wrote in nationalist Ortadogu (6/6): "The psychological atmosphere in the Middle East changed dramatically after the Iraq war and following Secretary Powell's meeting with the leaders of Syria and Lebanon. The US is determined to change the regional equilibrium and to implement its policies. . US policies for the Middle East are a challenge to the Syrian and Lebanese administrations, because they will be forced to decide between the demands of their people and the insistence of the US to act in favor of privileges for Israel. Syria cannot afford to ignore the US demands, especially after America has become, in effect, the immediate neighbor of the Damascus regime. . It remains to be seen to what extent the Middle East regimes will be able to cooperate with US demands in the region. Yet the fact of the matter is that the US retains a very privileged status in the region due to the fall of Saddam's regime like a house of cards."
"Bush's footsteps" Erdal Guven opined in the liberal-intellectual Radikal (6/6): "President Bush's tour, which began in Poland and ended in Qatar, is giving some clues for the new Europe as well as the new Middle East. . In the coming years, US- Polish relations will progress further, and Poland is about to become a `second United Kingdom' in the eyes of Washington. Warsaw-Washington relations seem to be very much like the special bonds between the US and the UK, which were established after WWII. This is the first lesson to be taken from the seven-day tour by President Bush. The fact that one of Iraq's three regions has been placed under Polish control is a concrete indication that these special bonds have already been formed."