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




Denktas offers an alternative plan - Hurriyet
White Angel Vodka to Saddam from Mersin - Hurriyet
Baykal to AKP: Bring corruption to an end - Turkiye
ISAF comander Gen.Zorlu: US will give the promised $228 not
in cash but in military equipment - Hurriyet

Cyprus policy in confusion - Cumhuriyet
Political Party leaders issue regime warning - Cumhuriyet
Constitutional Debate in Parliament - Yeni Safak
Regime warning from Baykal, Guarantee from Gul - Zaman
Ambassador Pearson visits Prime Minister Gul - Cumhuriyet


Cyprus: "Cumhuriyet" reports that AKP leader Erdogan's
conflicting statements on the Cyprus issue continue. At the
beginning of his European tour Erdogan argued that the
Cyprus issue should be separated from Turkey's membership
issue. However, in recent statements Erdogan has said that
Turkey will agree to discuss the UN Cyprus plan if the EU
sets a date for Turkey at the Copenhagen Summit. "Radikal"
reports that Erdogan has denied allegations that he has
changed course, saying that he has not backed away from his
offer to tackle EU entry together with the Cyprus issue and
ESDP. However, solving all of these problems at the same
time is not possible, according to Erdogan. "Cumhuriyet"
criticizes Erdogan for making statements on behalf of Turkey
despite the fact that he has no official position in the
government. "Hurriyet" reports that TRNC President Denktas
has prepared an alternative plan on Cyprus and conveyed his
proposal to Ankara. After evaluating the plan, MFA will
send it to UN General Secretary Annan.

Iraq: "Hurriyet" reports that the German Customs directorate
has arrested the leaders of a smuggling ring that was
importing 6 million bottles of Vodka and 2 million liters of
beer to Iraq through Mersin. Citing the German magazine
`Focus,' `Hurriyet' reports that these bottles were
transported from Hamburg and Belgium to Saddam's palaces and
various Iraqi cities through the harbour at Mersin.

Constitutional Debate in Parliament: All papers report that
during yesterday's parliamentary debate, discussions focused
mainly on constitutional reforms. "Cumhuriyet" gives
extensive front-page coverage to warnings issued by Baykal
and DSP leader Ecevit. During his speech in parliament,
Baykal said that he was deeply disappointed by AKP efforts
to amend the constitution and the failure to tackle the
issue of parliamentary immunity. In response to Baykal's
criticism, PM Gul said that the government would seek
constitutional changes through compromise. Gul also said
that AKP had no secret intention to change the regime.
ISAF: "Hurriyet" reports that ISAF commander General Zorlu
said that the US will give the promised $228 million in
assistance not in cash, but in military equipment. Gen.
Zorlu added that Turkish troops' six months duty in
Afghanistan will not have negative effects on the Turkish
economy. Zorlu said that the duty in Afghanistan had given
a rich experience to Turkish troops.
Amb. Pearson visit to PM Gul: "Cumhuriyet" reports that
American Ambassador W. Robert Pearson visited PM Gul
yesterday. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Amb.
Pearson confirmed what had been announced on all TV networks
yesterday, that Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz and
Assistant Secretary of State Grossman will be coming to
Turkey next Tuesday.


"In the case of war"
Fikret Ertan wrote in Islamic-intellectual Zaman (11/27):
"After the Gulf war the casualty figure for the US side was
reported to be 613. The figure for Iraq, however, has never
been made public, and even 12 years later we still don't
have a clear and precise figure regarding Iraq's losses and
casualties. Although Iraq never announced its casualty
count, most estimates are around 200,000. . Since the world
is on the eve of a second Gulf war, it really makes me sad
to think about the very likely additional casualties that
the Iraqi people will have to suffer. . According to a
report by British-based `Medact,' Iraq will experience
colossal losses as a result of its devastated health system
after 12 years of UN sanctions. In the event of a US strike
against Iraq, the picture will be much worse than in 1991.
It will involve not only the total destruction of Iraq, but
also will pose a serious risk to regional economies,
including Turkey's. May God save the world from this war."

"Denktas more flexible, and ESDP is solved"
Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in mass appeal-sensational Posta
(11/27): "Following his meeting with Turkish Foreign
Minister Yakis in New York, the Turkish Cypriot leader has
showed a more flexible approach. Denktas has indicated that
he would give a positive reaction to the Annan package, just
as Clerides has done. However, he still wants to announce
that he considers the package merely `negotiable' rather
than announcing that it `constitutes a platform for
negotiations'. The discussions are continuing. Denktas is
expected to give a reply by the end of the week. There is
important progress on the ESDP/EU issue as well. According
to EU officials, Turkish officials and Javier Solana have
reached an agreement. According to the formula, Cyprus and
Malta will be kept outside the ESDP mechanism. For now, the
agreement is being examined by Greece. If the Greeks go
along, the problem will be solved. . We are about to
resolve the 28-year-old Cyprus problem, and are preparing to
take some very important steps toward EU membership. This
situation is playing havoc with the society's habits, vision
and capacity for perception. Everything has been crammed
into the next few weeks. Whatever will happen, will happen.
Besides, these issues are interrelated. If the EU gives a
negotiation date, Turkey will display flexibility on Cyprus.
If Turkey displays flexibility on Cyprus, this will
encourage the EU to give a `date'. Currently, a tremendous
amount of bargaining is taking place. The parties concerned
are not willing to reveal the cards in their hands. They
make a point of concealing their real approach. Both the
Turkish side and EU officials are even providing misleading
information from time to time. Therefore, if I were you I
would not believe these statements at all. I would continue
to be skeptical until the evening of December 12."

© Scoop Media

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