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2004-06-16 16:05:00
Embassy Ankara
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Tags:   OPRC  KMDR  TU 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 003435 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, JUNE 16, 2004 THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE THEMES: HEADLINES BRIEFING EDITORIAL OPINION HEADLINES MASS APPEALS Turkish secretary-general for OIC - Sabah Turkey victorious at OIC summit - Aksam Iraqi FM: PKK has no futurei n Iraq - Milliyet US to transfer Saddam to Iraqis in two weeks - Milliyet Pentagon denies transfer of Saddam to Iraqis - Aksam Karpinski: `We were ordered to treat Iraqis like dogs' - Hurriyet Sharon acquitted - Hurriyet Sudan blocks international food aid for the starving - Sabah OPINION MAKERS First Turkish chairman for OIC - Cumhuriyet Ankara's prestige rising in Islamic world - Zaman Karpinski: Torture was ordered by Gen. Miller - Radikal `Iraqi captives are like dogs,' US General told Karpinski - Yeni Safak Attacks against foreigners rising in Saudi Arabia - Yeni Safak US to `dispose of' Saddam - Radikal Sharon cleared of bribery allegations - Cumhuriyet London court bans headscarf - Cumhuriyet BRIEFING OIC Istanbul Summit: Turkey's candidate, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, was elected the new Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Ihsanoglu received 32 votes out of 56 members on Tuesday. FM Gul praised the democratic voting process. Ankara aims to help the OIC transform itself into an influential international organization defending the interests of the Islamic world, and to make the organization a bridge between East and West. Gul said after an informal meeting with foreign ministers from Iraq's neighboring countries that `the ministers of the countries of the regional initiative on Iraq welcome the transfer of sovereignty to the newly formed Iraqi interim government by June 30, 2004.' Gul added that the transfer `must be fully carried out.' Gul also noted that the OIC ministers condemned terrorist acts against civilians in the country and added that the terrorist presence in Iraq threatened the security of its neighbors. Iraqi FM Hosyar Zebari voiced support for calls for reform for the Middle East. Ze
bari welcomed the release of Leyla Zana and the other Kurdish ex-MPs, and stressed that violence and conflict had no future in Turkey. He emphasized that his government opposed the presence of neighboring countries' troops in Iraq, even under a UN umbrella. Zebari added that the PKK/KONGRA-GEL `has no future' in the new Iraq. The OIC is to take the Cyprus issue today. US `denies' PM Erdogan permission to go to Iran: US concerns have caused PM Erdogan postpone his visit to Iran for a second time, "Birgun" claims. The Erdogan visit to Tehran had been previously scheduled for June 21-22. Ankara could not manage to persuade Washington to allow it to go ahead with the visit. The paper also claims that the TGS had to suspend an invitation for the Iranian army commander, General Mohamad Salimi, to visit Turkey following objections by the Turkish Foreign Ministry. The MFA reportedly argued that the United States could `misinterpret' such a visit. Erdogan: Israeli policies fan anti-Semitism: PM Erdogan said that the policies being pursued by Israel are responsible for the rise in anti-Semitism around the world. Addressing his party group on Tuesday, Erdogan said he warned the Jewish lobby in the US about the negative effects of the brutal Israeli attacks against Palestinians. `500,000 Jews fleeing Spain were accepted by the Ottomans,' Erdogan said. `Yesterday, Jews were suffering oppression,' he continued, `but today, the Palestinians are suffering.' `The Palestinians are using stones against your bombs,' Erdogan reportedly told the Jewish Americans. Erdogan also told the Jewish lobby that Turks regarded anti-Semitism as a crime against humanity. `We have no problem with the Israeli people,' he said. `Unfortunately, the current Israeli administration's policies are increasing anti- Semitism.' EDITORIAL OPINION "The Kurdish Problem" Gunduz Aktan wrote in the liberal-intellectual Radikal (6/16): "Montreal was the largest Canadian city at the beginning of the 20th century, but separatist activities that started in Quebec in the 1950s resulted in the city dropping to third place. In other words, people and societies have limited energy even in developed countries such as Canada, and when minds are concentrated on separatist tendencies, development is obstructed. Germany and France openly say that they are practicing an assimilation policy toward Turks and Muslims, so Turkey must also assimilate the Kurds. This does not necessarily go against the Kurds having their own cultural identity, of course, but such a policy is no less necessary for other groups in Turkey who are equally important as the Kurds. Assimilation will modernize the Kurds, as it will the rest of society. Turkey has a national identity, and through the flexibility provided by the EU all groups can protect and broaden their own cultural identities. There is no sense in the argument that those who don't understand modernization have the right to demand autonomy." EDELMAN