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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A



International community hopeful about Cyprus plan - Sabah
Denktas: Constructive; Simitis: Hopeful - Turkiye
New map for Cyprus - Milliyet
CIA, Talabani summit at MIT - Vatan
Nerve gas doubts - Hurriyet
Parliament considering `political ethics' law - Aksam

Hope for compromise before Copenhagen - Cumhuriyet
Surprise: All parties positive to Annan plan - Radikal
Turkey cold to refugee, territorial issues - Zaman
Talabani: Ready for full cooperation - Cumhuriyet
Nation wants Erdogan as Prime Minister - Yeni Safak

Unemployment soars in urban areas: 14 percent - Dunya
Turkish NGOs in Sweden for EU - Finansal Forum


Cyprus: Dailies report positive first impressions from
Ankara to the Cyprus plan put forward by UN Secretary
General Annan. Ankara has welcomed provisions on
sovereignty, but was skeptical about the return of refugees
and the issues of territory and property restitution, papers
say. MFA says the plan provides a basis for negotiations.
The U.S. and EU believe the plan to be a `historic
opportunity' for ending the Cyprus dispute, reports note.
Papers highlight the fact that the plan granted
constitutional advantages to Turkish Cypriots, and
advantages to Greek Cypriots on refugees and territorial
issues. A rotating presidency is welcomed as a significant
gain for the Turkish side. Turks would not be seen as a
minority, and would enjoy sovereign rights to make cultural
and trade agreements with third countries. Turks currently
hold 35.6 percent of Cyprus, a territorial share that the
Greek Cypriots want to reduce to 24 percent. Greek Cypriot
papers are cited as expecting the return of 40-80,000
refugees to the Turkish sector. This might create new
problems on the island similar to those in the Middle East,
papers stress. The plan foresees that the ghost town of
Varosha and part of Morphou would be given to Greek
Cypriots. MFA is not pessimistic, and believes that the
plan acknowledged the existence of the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus (TRNC). TGS reportedly welcomed the plan,
which has eased Turkey's concern about security of Turks on
the island, papers note.

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Erdogan: AKP leader Erdogan begins his EU tour today in
Italy, papers report. Erdogan will be given a top-level
reception in Italy, and Prime Minister Berlusconi will host
a luncheon today in his honor. Facing opposition from CHP,
AKP has decided not to force a constitutional change to lift
the ban on Erdogan's political activity, papers say. AKP
intends to amend regulations to allow an early by-election,
which would pave the way for Erdogan to enter parliament.
Meanwhile, President Sezer is expected to receive Erdogan on
Friday to discuss the issue of the AKP candidate for Prime

Iraq: Papers report the Iraqi Parliament rejected the UN
resolution on arms inspection, but that Saddam Hussein will
most likely accept it. The visiting Northern Iraqi
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader Talabani welcomed
the resolution as positive for Iraq and the region.
Responding to questions from the Turkish press, Talabani
said the Northern Iraqi constitution could be redrafted in
response to Turkish concerns. In a meeting with Talabani
on Wednesday, MFA U/S Ziyal is expected to urge Talabani to
invite the Turkomens to the November 22-25 meeting of the
Iraqi opposition in Brussels, papers report. Papers claim
Talabani and CIA Deputy Director McLaughlin have discussed
the issue of training of peshmerges in a secret meeting at
the Turkish intelligence (MIT) headquarters. Reports say
Turkish officials have conveyed to the CIA their concern
about peshmerges being transferred to Northern Iraq via
Syria and Jordan. Ankara is worried that arming and
training the peshmerges could jeopardize Turkey's security
in the future, papers note. The U.S. delegation is expected
to hold meetings at the TGS on Wednesday, papers report.
All papers carry a NYT article about Iraq trying to purchase
over one million doses of atropine from a Turkish company.
The U.S., worried that this might indicate Iraq's
willingness to use nerve gas in a conflict, has pressured
Ankara to prevent the sale, reports claim.

EU: Dailies quote the EU term president Denmark's ambassador
to Ankara, Christian Hoppe, as saying that the EU is a
democratic club, and that an AKP government will not be seen
as a hurdle against Turkey's EU accession. Hoppe reminded
about AKP pledges about secularism and democratization, and
urged further reforms to ensure freedom of expression and
action to prevent torture. Papers also report that the EU's
expansion commissioner Verheugen welcomed the UN sponsored
Cyprus plan as a well-balanced proposal in line with EU
criteria. Verheugen reportedly said he preferred that no
date be given to Turkey at the Copenhagen Summit. EU
foreign policy chief Solana welcomed the Cyprus plan as
well, and urged Turkey to exert further effort for a
solution as it continues on the way to EU membership.


"The Blending of Models"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (11/13): "The UNSG
seems to have found a middle way between `federation and
confederation' as well as between the Swiss model and the
Belgian model for Cyprus. Therefore, both sides will find
certain elements of this plan acceptable, and certain parts
unacceptable. . From our side, it is very important that the
Annan document complies with Turkey's longstanding
insistence on partnership and equality in Cyprus. . Yet
there are some negative points which the Turkish side might
not like very much, such as giving away some territory, the
migration and settlement issues, and the disarmament of the
island. However, a constructive approach can solve these
issues through fair and just bargaining."

"Turkey should not miss this chance"
Mehmet Ali Birand supports the plan in mass
appeal/sensational Posta (11/13): "Turkey faces a final
historic opportunity. Though it does not fully satisfy the
Turkish side, the Cyprus package offers extremely important
gains. Casting aside the `We will not give away even a
pebble' rhetoric, we must take the most we can and close
this file. If we allow ourselves to be slaves to our old
habits, we will lose Cyprus legally on the day after the
upcoming Copenhagen summit. . In that case, everyone will
be bound to suffer from the harmful effects."

"The Annan Plan"
Semih Idiz opined in mass appeal Aksam (11/13): "It seems
that the Turkish Cypriot leadership will not burn his
bridges, but instead will continue to discuss the plan,
which is described by Turkey as `a plan with a glass of
water, half empty and half full.' That means the two sides
will negotiate the plan and work on the nuances. . The two
Cypriot sides will also feel pressured, because the US and
UK are strongly supporting the Annan plan behind the

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