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




Erdogan Trades Cyprus for EU accession date - Milliyet
Copenhagen Summit-Civilization Test - Hurriyet
Harsh Warning from Erdogan to EU: You must put up with the
KADEK is on US Terrorist Organizations List - Hurriyet
Patriot Summit - Hurriyet

US Senators in Ankara - Cumhuriyet
US Officials Visit Ankara Constantly - Radikal
Erdogan Will Bargain for Iraq and EU in Washington-Zaman


US Senators: "Cumhuriyet" and "Radikal" report on Senator
Biden and Hagel's visit yesterday to Ankara. Responding to
journalists' questions following an hour-long meeting with
PM Gul, Biden said that the US Administration and the
congress agree on Iraq's territorial integrity, and that he
and Senator Hagel had stressed that point during meetings
with Kurdish leaders in Northern Iraq. Responding to a
question, Senator Biden said that progress on a solution in
Cyprus will be an important factor in the U.S. Congress'
consideration of economic assistance to Turkey.

EU: Today's papers give extensive front-page coverage to the
harsh warnings made by AKP leader Erdogan in Copenhagen. In
his speech, Erdogan urged the EU to abandon its `double
standards,' and warned that the EU should be ready to face
the consequences if it refuses to give a date to Turkey.
Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen rejected the charge of a
double standard, and said that EU criteria should be met in
practice, not only on paper. "Hurriyet" says in a banner
front-page headline that the Copenhagen decision would be a
test for EU civilization. "Milliyet" reports that AKP
leader Erdogan presented a letter of intent to the EU term
president yesterday. In the letter, Turkey pledges to help
convince TRNC president Denktas to seek a solution in Cyprus
if Turkey is given negotiation date. "Hurriyet" reports
that President Sezer announced that he will not go to
Copenhagen to protest the EU decision not to set a date for

Iraq: "Hurriyet" reports that a delegation of Turkish air
force officials went to Germany for talks with US officials
about the US demands for using Turkish airspace and air
bases in a possible operation against Iraq. During the
meetings, the Turkish delegation will reportedly demand the
deployment of Patriot air defense systems, satellite
connection with the air bases, and installation of new
equipment at the bases. "Hurriyet" also reports that EUCOM
Deputy Commander Charles Wald `secretly' arrived in Ankara
for important contacts. General Wald had meetings with
Turkish Deputy Chief of General Staff Yasar Buyukanit and
Air Force Commander General Cumhur Asparuk.

AKP Leader Erdogan's Visit to US: "Zaman" reports that
Erdogan will meet with President Bush today at the White
House. The meeting will focus on Turkish support for a
possible operation against Iraq, the Cyprus issue, and
Turkey's EU accession. "Hurriyet" says that if the meeting
with Erdogan is successful, President Bush might launch a
new diplomatic campaign in support of Turkey by calling EU
leaders. "Sabah" reports that Erdogan will face a
leadership test in Washington, and adds that the US will ask
for Turkish support in a possible operation against Iraq.
However, the US will not change its plan if Turkey refuses
to give support. In that event, however, the US would feel
obliged to compensate Turkey for its potential losses.


"The critical week in Turkey's relations with the West"
Sedat Ergin draws a parallel between EU membership and an
Iraq operation in mass appeal Hurriyet (12/10): "The current
situation vis--vis Turkey and the EU creates an equilibrium
regarding relations with the West, and it will be
interesting to watch Turkish public opinion on both the
Cyprus and Iraq issues. . The Cyprus issue is the weakest
link, because overall public opinion is very much concerned.
It is because the EU asks Turkey for serious concessions on
Cyprus and hints that it would be helpful for Turkey's
efforts to be given a membership date. Yet Turkey is
worried that it could lose all of its trump cards and be
left empty-handed. . The second link in this equilibrium is
the Iraq issue. Today, the US President will most likely
call on the EU to give a date for Turkey after his meeting
with AKP leader Erdogan. One of the reasons for the Bush
administration's staunch support for Turkey's EU membership
is Iraq. A disappointing decision from the Copenhagen
summit will create a very negative atmosphere in Turkish
public opinion, to the point at which it would be very
difficult for the Turkish government to be persuasive for a
military operation in Iraq. In this case, the Turkish
public, given their general anger with the West, would be
seriously opposed to a war in Iraq and would refuse to serve
to western interests."

"Iraq and EU"
Yilmaz Oztuna editorialized in mass appeal-conservative
Turkiye (12/10): "US preparations are clearly underway, and
Washington is determined to topple Saddam at all costs.
Following the recent visit to the Kurdish parliament by two
distinguished US senators, we might draw the conclusion that
once Saddam is gone, the Kurdish-controlled region will be
given autonomy. After all, the Gulf regimes are disturbed
by the fact that Saddam's regime has weapons of mass
destruction, so they have started to cooperate with
Washington. . AKP leader Erdogan meanwhile is going to
discuss Iraq, the EU, and Cyprus with President Bush. All
three issues are interrelated, and should be handled with
great care and attention. Based on the decisions made on
these issues, Turkish foreign policy will be shaped for
years to come."

© Scoop Media

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