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.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 008581
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, NOVEMBER 25, 2002
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
Sezer: The headscarf cannot be accepted in public places -
Cyprus issue in deadlock - Sabah
Government urges Denktas to consider UN plan - Milliyet
The Last word on the headscarf comes from the President -
President Sezer warns Government about headscarf issue -
Seven drawbacks of Cyprus Plan - Cumhuriyet
US trains volunteers for possible Iraq operation - Yeni
US News & World Report: Bush Administration plans a three-
phase administration in Iraq - Radikal
The Government will implement a new economic program - Zaman
NGOs to meet at `Turkey Platform' in Brussels - Cumhuriyet
Business World: Government Program is promising - Dunya
Headscarf issue: All papers and TV channels give extensive
coverage to President Sezer's remarks on the headscarf
issue. Sunday's "Milliyet" reports that President Sezer was
disturbed by the headscarf of Parliament Speaker Bulent
Arinc's wife during protocol ceremonies at Esenboga Airport.
Arinc and his wife had gone to see Sezer off to and welcome
him back from Prague. Today's papers draw attention to
Sezer's harsh warnings on the headscarf issue. In a meeting
with a group of teachers in the presidential palace on
Sunday, Sezer said that the headscarf cannot be used in
public places, that it had been banned in the past, and that
a new debate on the issue will only trigger unnecessary
controversy and tension. "Cumhuriyet" notes that Sezer
emphasized the importance of respect for secular principles.
However, today's "Zaman" draws attention to the words of
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin, who said that the
government would resolve the headscarf issue in universities
by carrying out certain constitutional amendments.
Cyprus: Today's "Radikal" reports FM Yakis' visit to TRNC
president Denktas in New York, during which Yakis reportedly
urged Denktas to accept the UN plan as a basis for talks on
Cyprus. "Radikal" notes that this is the first pressure
exerted on Denktas by Turkey. "Milliyet" reports that
Turkey is pressuring Denktas to begin discussions.
"Cumhuriyet" draws attention to the remarks of Mumtaz
Soysal, a Denktas advisor, that the Turkish side would not
reject the UN Cyprus plan but use it as a reference point in
direct peace talks. Soysal also draws attention to seven
drawbacks of the plan, which are: 1. The new state is
founded through constitutional changes, but the Turkish side
wants to make an interstate agreement; 2. The Turkish side
says that to protect the Turkish Cypriots, the TRNC must be
recognized shortly before the signing of an agreement; 3.
Security guarantees in the UN document are worse than the
ones in 1960; 4. Greek Cypriots who migrate to the Turkish
side will damage political equality; 5. Territorial
regulations in the Annan plan are unfair; 6. Demands for
exchange of property will create tensions; 7. The maps will
create huge security problems.
Iraq: Today's "Radikal," citing US News and World Report,
describes a Bush Administration plan for a three-stage
administration in a post-Saddam Iraq. In the first stage,
Iraq will be administered by a US general for 6-12 months.
In the second stage, the authority of Iraqi officials' will
increase and the number of the US soldiers will be reduced.
This phase will begin after two years. In the third phase,
the administration will be passed to a government that will
represent all segments of the Iraqi population.
"Cumhuriyet," citing the London-based Essark-ul Avsat
newspaper, reports that the US is establishing a `Volunteer
Army' against Saddam in Northern Iraq. According to Essark-
Ul Avsat, the US has begun training 5,000 volunteers in
Northern Iraq. In exchange, the volunteers are being
promised 5,000 dollars in cash and a round-trip ticket to
EU: "Turkiye" reports that AKP leader Erdogan will begin a
new EU tour today. Starting from Portugal, Erdogan will
visit Finland, Sweden, France, Luxembourg and the
Netherlands. Meanwhile, representatives of non-governmental
organizations are also making preparations for an EU blitz.
More than 200 businessmen will go to Brussels for a meeting
of the "Turkish Platform," a consortium of NGOs.
"Erdogan and foreign policy"
Mehmet Ocaktan notes the change of foreign policy rhetoric
with the new leadership in Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak
(11/25): "AKP leader Tayyip Erdogan has brought about a
revolutionary change on foreign policy issues. On the
Cyprus issue, for instance, we have seen only unrealistic
approaches from Turkish politicians until Erdogan dared to
express the rather revolutionary suggestion that EU
membership, ESDI and Cyprus be considered as a package.
Erdogan emphasizes the fact that no much we may oppose this
kind of approach, the EU countries are drawing a direct link
between Cyprus and Turkey's EU membership. Turkey should
stop acting like an ostrich, Erdogan says, and pull its head
out of the sand. This new approach amounts to a deep
philosophical change in Turkish foreign policy, which has
been built under conflict and mistrust. . And it demands a
test of sincerity test both for Brussels and for certain
power centers in Ankara."
"Listen to the Cypriots"
Erdal Guven noted in liberal-intellectual Radikal (11/24):
"Denktas is certainly a part of the settlement process, but
it would be wrong to reduce the entire Cyprus issue to the
views of Denktas. State policy so far has caused the Cyprus
issue to become Turkey's number one problem because the
policy envisioned a Denktas-MFA-Military triangle. However,
northern Cyprus has opposition parties, NGOs and unions, as
well as media. It would be very wrong to ignore what these
groups have to say, as previous Turkish governments have
done. These groups are trying to express their support for
a settlement and are asking that this historic opportunity
not be missed."