Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ANKARA7439
2005-12-19 15:09:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT

Tags:  OPRC KMDR TU 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 007439

SIPDIS

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, DECEMBER 19, 2005


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------------- --
Monday, December 17-19, 2005
HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Turkish Translators' Iraq Story - Hurriyet
Suleymaniye Looks Like `Little America' - Sabah
Defense Minister Gonul Disturbed by Words of Suleymaniye
Translators - Milliyet
NATO General Secretary Scheffer in Ankara - Milliyet
Court Decision Might Have Impact on Pamuk Case - Aksam
Kissinger: "A Secure Iraq Depends on Turkey" - Turkiye
The US: "We Do Not Have Some Magic Bullet" - Milliyet
(12/17)
Ambassador Wilson: "PKK is on our List of Priorities" -
Hurriyet (12/17)
New York Times: "Bush Authorized NSA to Spy on Americans" -
Milliyet (12/17)
Court Orders Halt in Orhan Pamuk Case - Hurriyet (12/17)

OPINION MAKERS
FM Gul: "We are not Against the Halki Seminary" - Cumhuriyet
Turkish MFA has no Information Regarding Suleymaniye
Translators - Radikal
PKK Bargaining with NATO - Radikal
Cheney in Iraq for the Fist Time Since the Occupation -
Zaman
Turkish F-16s Almost Shot a CIA Plane Down - Yeni Safak
Assassination Attempt Against Ahmedinejad - Yeni Safak
Message from the US Ambassador - Radikal (12/17)
Spying Scandal in the US - Cumhuriyet (12/17)

BRIEFING

Ambassador Wilson's Press Event: Over the weekend all
papers extensively covered new US Ambassador Ross Wilson's
first press conference in Ankara. The Ambassador said that
cooperation between Turkey and the US in the fight against
the PKK and on issues related to Iran, Syria and Cyprus
would increase. All papers quoted the Ambassador as saying
that `We know that Turkey's fight against the PKK has been
difficult for the past twenty years, especially for those
who lost loved ones. In the last few months we have been
working together with the Turkish government trying to
develop a package of measures. Fighting against the PKK is
a complex and multifaceted problem. The US doesn't have
some magic bullet that it can use against this problem and
solve it. If that were the case, Turkey would have solved
the problem twenty years ago. It requires complex
measures.'

Court Orders Halt in Pamuk Case: The trial of Turkish
novelist Orhan Pamuk, charged with insulting the Turkish

national identity (article 301 of the penal code),was
halted Friday when the Judge said the court would need the
approval of the Justice Ministry to proceed. The next
hearing for the trial was set for February 7. "Hurriyet"
draws attention to another decision that might impact the
Pamuk trial. Journalist Rahmi Yildirim was acquitted of
insulting the army in violation of the same penal code
article. The court based its ruling on freedom of
expression and added that Turkey had to abide by European
Court of Human Rights standards. The verdict of the Supreme

ANKARA 00007439 002 OF 003


Court in Yildirim's trial will be taken into account in the
trial of Orhan Pamuk.

Turkish Translators in Suleymaniye Incident: Weekend papers
carried the story of two Turkish citizens who worked as
translators between Turkish and US military officials during
the Suleymaniye incident (July 4, 2003). The two
translators, worried they would be accused of treason in
Turkey, asked for political asylum in the US. Today's
"Milliyet" says that the Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi
Gonul was disturbed by the translators' comments that Gonul
had shouted at American officers to find the people
responsible for the incident immediately. Minister Gonul
denied the allegations saying that this is "not my style."

Cheney in Iraq: "Radikal" and "Yeni Safak" reported that US
Vice President Dick Cheney paid a surprise visit to Iraq on
Sunday, on his way to Afghanistan.

Assassination Attempt Against Ahmedinejad: "Hurriyet" and
"Yeni Safak" reported that an assassination attempt against
Iran's Ahmedinejad last Thursday failed. Ahmedinejad wasn't
in the car during the incident, but his driver and one of
his bodyguards were killed in the attempt.

EDITORIAL OPINION: US-Turkey Relations; Ambassador Ross
Wilson

"US-Iran Tension Line Going Through Turkey"
Mustafa Balbay commented in the leftist-nationalist
"Cumhuriyet" (12/19): "The press conference new US
Ambassador Ross Wilson held after the CIA and FBI visits
clarified the Bush Administration's demands from Turkey.
After months without assigning a new Ambassador to Ankara,
the US has now indicated that they have some good news for
Turkey in 2006. During his press conference Ambassador
Wilson made the following points: Turkey and the US agree on
Iran and Syria, however, there are policy differences on how
to solve the issues; the US has no magic wand to use to
resolve the PKK issue; the PKK has financial sources in
Europe; and new steps should be taken to resolve the Cyprus
situation. We mentioned last week that the PKK wasn't the
main topic during the CIA and FBI meetings in Turkey.
Ambassador Wilson's remarks during his press conference
confirmed this fact. We do not want to give a cold welcome
to Ambassador Wilson but we do want to offer the following
responses: It is true that you don't have a `magic wand' in
your hand but there is definitely a `poisonous wand' around;
it is true that PKK's financial sources are in the Europe
but the US has now become Turkey's southeast neighbor and
the PKK has increased its activities mostly in that area;
and if we evaluate the CIA visit once again, the CIA
delegation revealing all of Iran's activities to the Turkish
officials reminded them that Iran has not yet acknowledged
that the PKK is a terrorist organization!"

"While Listening to Ross Wilson"
Kamuran Ozbir wrote in the nationalist "Ortadogu" (12/19):
"While listening to Ambassador Wilson at his meeting with
diplomatic correspondents last week, I couldn't help being
impressed by his respectful and strong personality. The
Ambassador said some interesting things about the PKK,
relations with Iran, CIA planes and about Ataturk. It is a
well known fact that the US has supported Turkey's fight
against the PKK for the last twenty years. As we all
remember, a short while ago US Embassy counselor, Nancy
McEldowney stressed the determination of Washington on this
issue when she said `it is not possible to allow the PKK to
continue its bloody acts.' Ambassador Wilson urged Turkey

ANKARA 00007439 003 OF 003


to cooperate more closely on Iran and Syria-related issues.
Regarding the CIA planes, the Ambassador referred to
comments made by Secretary Rice and FM Gul and added that
such activities take place without violating Turkey's
sovereignty. At the end of his speech Ambassador Wilson
praised Ataturk highly and said that `Ataturk's success is a
source of pride for the Turkish people and the same success
has inspired other countries on the way to democracy.' The
Ambassador completed his remarks by saying that he'll do his
best to improve the strategic relations between the US and
Turkey."
WILSON