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


December 7-9, 2002

Erdogan Begins the Last Tour for EU entry - Turkiye
Erdogan Meets with Bush tomorrow - Hurriyet
Papandreu: Accession Date is Turkey's right - Milliyet
Erdogan: EU accession date should be no later than 2003 -
Denktas starts negotiations on his return to the island -
US can strike Iraq in January - Milliyet
Iraq submits WMD report to UN - Hurriyet

FM Yakis: Date should be given in Thessaloniki - Radikal
Turkey Lobbies for EU entry - Yeni Safak
Europe cannot decide about Turkey - Cumhuriyet
Heavy Diplomatic Traffic in Cyprus - Radikal


Erdogan's visit to US: Sunday's "Sabah" gives front-page
coverage to AKP leader Erdogan's visit to the US. Erdogan
is going to the US for 24 hours at the invistation of
President Bush. Washington will welcome Erdogan with the
highest level of protocol. Today's "Zaman" reports that
Erdogan will meet with SecDef Rumsfeld, SecState Powell, and
National Security Advisor Condolezza Rice before meeting
with President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. Reportedly,
The US will reportedly support Turkey's EU accession, and
Erdogan will remind the US that Turkey was not compensated
after the Gulf war, and cannot endure new economic losses.

EU: All papers report on Turkey's EU lobbying efforts, from
every angle, on the eve of the Copenhagen Summit. "Zaman"
reports that Erdogan went to Copenhagen last night to seek
support from EU term President Denmark's Prime Minister
Rasmussen. Erdogan reportedly said that the EU should begin
talks with Turkey before the end of 2003. President Sezer
and PM Gul will also go to Copenhagen for meetings with EU
officials. "Yeni Safak" reports that the government has
launched a new operation for stepping up pressure on the EU.
Meanwhile, Turkish businessmen have launched an advertising
campaign in newspapers across the EU. The advertisements
carry pictures of two plants, one without a flower and the
other with a red flower representing Turkey. The message
below reads: `take action now and the results will surprise

Cyprus: Sunday's "Hurriyet" reports that TRNC president
Denktas returned to Cyprus after the heart surgery in the
US. On his return, Denktas met with PM Gul and AKP leader
Erdogan at the airport in Istanbul, and stressed that he had
no hope for a settlement in Cyprus. Although Sunday papers
quoted PM Gul as saying that there were no disagreements
between Turkey and the TRNC, Sunday's "Zaman" comments that
the negative turn in EU accession talks was weakening hopes
for a solution in Cyprus.

Iraq: All weekend papers and TV channels covered Iraq's
11,000-page report on its WMD program, which was submitted
to the UN. "Hurriyet" reports that the US does not trust
Iraq, and insists that it has proof that Iraq does indeed
possess weapons of mass destruction. "Milliyet" cites the
New York Times in reporting that US deployments in the Gulf
will be sufficient by January 2003 to launch an operation
against Iraq.
US Senators visit Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq: Weekend
papers and today's "Turkish Daily News" cover Senators Biden
and Hagel meeting with politicians and refugees in Kurdish-
controlled Northern Iraq. This is the highest level US
visit to the autonomous zone since it was established in
1991 following the Gulf war.

1. Erdogan to US
2. Turkey-EU

"Ozal treatment for Erdogan"
Washington reporter of mass appeal "Milliyet" Yasemin Congar
wrote (12/9): "The US President is going to host Tayyip
Erdogan as a prime minister. Erdogan's treatment as
Turkey's new leader coincides with the upcoming EU summit,
in which the US will repeat its message to Europe: `Turkey
should be in Europe.' . Erdogan's visit is the result of
American pragmatism. The U.S. simply put aside the question
marks about protocol issues, as well as the possible
uneasiness within the Turkish military. Instead, reality
prevailed - that is, Iraq, September 11, and the EU. There
is also an Erdogan phenomenon in Washington. There are many
in the US administration who believe that Tayyip Erdogan
might the first true successor to Turkey's late president
Ozal. . Yet it would be too early to say that the US has
already found a new Ozal spirit in Erdogan. It is true that
both Grossman and Wolfowitz left Turkey with very positive
impressions about Erdogan, and that Erdogan's reformist
approach is very much appreciated here. But a group of
`Turkey-watchers' are still skeptical about Tayyip Erdogan.
The analysts in the think-tanks frequently note that `a
leopard cannot change its spots.' . However, the Bush
administration is not acting with skepticism -- at least
for the time being. The US Government seems to have awarded
Erdogan `advance credit,' which is a very rare thing in
Washington. It remains to be seen how much Mr. Erdogan will
use this unique opportunity."

"The 2005 Crap"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in mass appeal-conservative Turkiye
(12/9): "The date for the EU accession in Chirac and
Schroeder's minds is very wrong, and has the potential to
undermine Turkey's relations with the EU. They think that
July 2005 is a valid date, but in fact it is both wrong and
suffers from a lack of justification. Turkey cannot
tolerate being kept in the waiting room for another three
years. We are talking about a country which has been a
member of NATO since 1952 and signed the first agreement for
European membership in 1963, at a time when the EU consisted
of 6 members. . Yes, we have a lot to do, and yes, we have
made some mistakes along the way. Yet all of this does not
justify the critical mistake that France and Germany are
planning to make."

© Scoop Media

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