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




Sezer will meet with Bush today - Hurriyet
Erdogan: We will join the EU in eight years - Hurriyet
Tense atmosphere in Germany - Sabah
PM Gul: Lets forget about February 28 - Milliyet
New government takes over - All papers
Bush invites Gul to the U.S. - Sabah
Weston feels pulse in Ankara - Aksam

Sezer will be meeting with Bush - Zaman
Erdogan couldn't get support in Germany - Cumhuriyet
FM Yakis: We can make concessions for Cyprus and ESDP -
The Washington Post: Iraq bargaining between Turkey-U.S. -


Sezer-Bush: "Hurriyet" and "Cumhuriyet" have extensive
coverage of the Sezer-Bush meeting, which will take place
today in Prague. The Cyprus issue, Turkey's EU membership,
Iraq, NATO expansion, and bilateral relations are on the
Presidents' agenda. On the eve of his Prague trip,
President Sezer was briefed by high-level Foreign Ministry
officials on the key issues of Turkish foreign policy
including Cyprus, Iraq and the EU. "Hurriyet" describes
the Bush-Sezer meeting as `historic'. President Sezer will
also hold meetings with the French President and the Prime
Ministers of Denmark, Italy and Spain.

Erdogan's Germany trip: Today's papers give conflicting news
on Erdogan's visit to Germany. "Milliyet" reports that
Erdogan failed to secure German support for Turkey.
Although he was given a warm welcome in Germany, the meeting
with Schroeder was reportedly rather distant. In his
meeting with Erdogan, Schroeder said that Turkey first had
to solve the Cyprus issue, maintain the separation of state
and religion, and meet the requirements of democracy.
Schroeder also drew attention to a lawsuit filed against
German foundations in Turkey, and stressed Germany's
sensitivity on this issue. Erdogan in turn urged Schroeder
to trust in Turkish justice. During the press conference
with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Erdogan
stressed Turkey's readiness for EU accession talks, while
Fischer hesitated to give a positive message. However,
"Radikal" reports that the result of the meeting with
Schroeder was positive.
New Government: All papers and TV channels cover ceremonies
marking the transfer of power to the new government.
"Milliyet" draws attention to messages issued by new Prime
Minister Abdullah Gul. Gul was quoted as saying that `We
have no secret agenda. Transparency is our guiding
principle. Turkey will not experience a new anti-
fundamentalist crack down'. Gul added that the first task
to be carried out by the government would be to adjust
regulations related to state security courts and detention
periods. "Milliyet" reports that during the hand-over
ceremony at the Prime Ministry, Ecevit drew Gul's attention
to three sensitive issues: Cyprus, Iraq and the economy.
Most papers report the Bush phone call to Gul from Air Force
1 to congratulate Gul on his new post. "Sabah" reports that
during the phone call Bush invited Gul to visit the US in

Cyprus: "Cumhuriyet" reports that the US is pressing hard
for a breakthrough on Cyprus following Kofi Annan's peace
plan announcement. Within this framework, US Cyprus envoy
Thomas Weston was in Ankara yesterday for meetings with
Foreign Ministry officials. Speaking to the press after his
meetings, Weston said that Turkey should review the peace
plan carefully to work out a settlement. Weston voiced hope
for the new government to make a breakthrough on Cyprus.

Washington Post article: "Cumhuriyet" carries the Washington
Post story on Ankara - Washington negotiations on an
economic and military package for the compensation of the
Turkey's losses in the event of an operation in Iraq.

CODEL Issa visit: "Radikal" covers the visit with the
headline "US delegation in Ankara", and reports that the US
congress members met with U/S Ziyal yesterday. Following
the meeting with Ziyal, delegation leader Darrell Issa told
journalists that `as the only democratic country in the
Muslim world, Turkey's views are very important. This
dialogue will continue until the regime changes in Iraq'.


a) NATO Summit
b) UN Cyprus Plan

"The Huge Gap"
Fikret Ertan notes the military gap between the US and
Europe in the Islamic-intellectual Zaman (11/20): "NATO
Secretary General Robertson once again emphasized the need

to increase NATO's military capabilities due to a series of
new threats such as terrorism and weapons of mass
destruction. Actually, he has been issuing similar warnings
for over a year, and has also criticized the Europeans for
wasting money on defense. . Robertson is trying to raise
awareness on the need for the Alliance to monitor European
defense spending, which is now 150 billion Euro, to make
sure that it is properly spent. . The fact of the matter is
that the gap in military capabilities between the US and
Europe has been widening in the post-cold war era. . In
contrast with the defense budget cuts that Europe has been
making, the US is spending at least twice as much for
defense capabilities, and US spending is increasing still
further since 9/11. . This is one of the major and important
issues at the Prague summit, and the gap is of Turkey's
direct concern."

"A Tough Plan"
Zafer Atay commented in economic/politics Dunya (11/20):
"Despite its major downside on the territorial issue, the
Kofi Annan plan deserves to be treated seriously. This plan
should be the basis for negotiations. The Turkish side can
correct the plan's mistakes and carry out a series of fine-
tuning of the text by sitting at the negotiating table.
That might produce a long-lasting and just agreement between
the two sides. On the other hand, the UNSG should extend
the deadline. It might also be helpful to the settlement
process if a solution is found to prevent Greek blackmailing
to the benefit of the Greek Cypriots on the EU enlargement

© Scoop Media

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