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2004-08-23 14:38:00
Embassy Ankara
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Tags:   OPRC  KMDR  TU 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 004764 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, MONDAY, AUGUST 23, 2004 THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE THEMES: HEADLINES BRIEFING EDITORIAL OPINION --------------------------------------------- ----- HEADLINES MASS APPEAL Appeals Court Chairman: "I Will Not Resign" - Hurriyet (8/22) MIT Official Suspected of Mafia Connection - Sabah (8/22) Starbucks Coffee in Ankara - Milliyet (8/22) Ankara Prosecutor Seeks Permission to Try Railways Director - Hurriyet Bush Plans to go to Athens Despite Risk of Protests - Milliyet Turkomen Protest Against Kurds in Kirkuk - Milliyet Iran Postpones Opening of Nuclear Plant for One Year - Milliyet French FM Urges EU to Fulfill Its Promise to Turkey - Turkiye OPINION MAKERS New Iraqi Ambassador Comes to Turkey - Cumhuriyet (8/21) US Tanks 300 meters from Shiite Shrine - Zaman Fighting in Najaf Continues - Radikal Judiciary to File Case Against Railway Director - Cumhuriyet Cabinet Reshuffle Expected in October - Cumhuriyet BRIEFING Putin Visit: "Hurriyet" reports on the September 1-2 visit to Ankara by Russian President Putin, the first such visit by a Russian head of state in over 30 years. According to the report, the number one item on Putin's agenda will be energy. Specifically, the Russian President is expected to push for the construction of a pipeline through Turkish Thrace as a means to by-pass the congested Bosphorus shipping lanes. Given Turkey's environmental concerns, however, "Radikal" reports that the Turkish side will likely propose an alternative pipeline from the Black Sea port of Samsun to the Mediterranean port at Ceyhan. "Hurriyet" claims that the Russians are also considering a pipeline that would run through Bulgaria to Greece. In addition to energy issues, Putin is expected to raise concerns about Turkish support for Chechen terrorist groups. The Turkish side will likely counter with its concerns about Russian support for the terrorist PKK. Judiciary-Mafia Link: Saturday's "Sabah" reported that high- level judiciary officials are angry at Supreme Court �
0A;chairman Ozkaya for his failure to resign over allegations of contacts with mafia boss Alaatin Cakici. Some officials have reportedly threatened to boycott the opening of the new judicial year on September 6, a ceremony at which Ozkaya is scheduled to preside. Sunday's "Hurriyet" reported that Ozkaya continues to deny the allegations, and said he is determined to continue in his position until his mandatory retirement in three months time. The paper added that Ozkaya has called for the entire text of his tapped telephone conversations with MIT officials to be revealed. Sunday's "Sabah" reports that the prosecutor has started an investigation of MIT official Kasif Kozinoglu for intervening on Cakici's behalf. Cakici subsequently escaped from Turkey and was later apprehended by Austrian police. Cumhuriyet" draws attention to comments by Bar Association Chairman Ozdemir Ozok in support of Ozkaya. High-Speed Train Accident Case: "Hurriyet" and "Cumhuriyet" report that the prosecutor asked for permission to file a case against Railways Director General Karaman for starting high-speed train service without completing the infrastructure for it. 38 people had lost their lives in the accident. French Support for Turkey's EU Bid: "Zaman", "Vatan" and "Turkiye" report that French Foreign Minister Barnier urged to EU to `fulfill the promises' it has made to Turkey. Barnier said that Turkey's accession is very much in the EU's interest. Expected Cabinet Re-Shuffle in Turkey: "Cumhuriyet" speculates that PM Erdogan will carry out an extensive cabinet reshuffle in October. The cabinet reshuffle is expected to take place after the election of the new Parliament Speaker in October. EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Fight against terrorism "Iraq and U.S. Mistakes" Ferai Tinc observed in the mass appeal Hurriyet (8/23): "It seems impossible for the coalition or the Iraqis to gain control of the situation in Najaf, whether through political or military means. The CIA-sponsored Iraqi leader Allawi comes from an influential and powerful Iraqi family, but even he has failed to bring the situation under control. The Najaf resistance was initially presented as a terrorist group. Time has now shown that it is a popular resistance movement. This is only one of many mistakes made in Iraq, including the miscalculations of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi opposition. The US provided all kinds of support to Ahmad Chalabi. When the mistake was realized, it was already too late. Support for Iranian-backed Al-Hakim was another big mistake. The people of Iraq preferred an independent Shiite figure, i.e. Sadr, as opposed to the Iranian-backed Hakim. . Iraq is rapidly toward a period in which more conflicts are likely. Looking for ways to establish a balance in the current situation is very difficult. There is no authority in Iraq that can unite the complex interests of all groups Can the US be this authority? It is far too late for that. American military forces cannot even establish full control over Baghdad, yet alone set up a lasting political structure." "Conquering Hearts and Minds" Ali Aslan wrote from Washington in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman (8/23): "The Bush administration sees many similarities between the Cold War and the ongoing war against terrorism. However, the US has failed to invest politically, intellectually and financially on this issue. NSC Adviser Rice recently gave examples of how bright Americans who spoke Russian and other languages in the region were influential in the process of the demise of Soviet Union. Yet today, Washington does not have a single government expert who knows Islamic culture well and speaks regional languages. This goes for prominent American universities as well. . Rice also mentioned the administration's efforts to focus more on non-military issues such as tolerance, acceptance of the other, and encouraging political participation of community representatives. The problem is that this approach remains on paper, because the military and security effort continues to dominate. . The US should start begin trying to win hearts and minds in the Islamic world. Otherwise its policies, which have taken into account only terrorism and fanaticism, are doomed to fail." EDELMAN