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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 008991

SIPDIS


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, DECEMBER 16, 2002


THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------
HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
US Administration Wants Urgent Response - Hurriyet
Turkey is Against the Deployment of US Troops - Milliyet
Iraq heats up - Turkiye
The Secret of the last-minute Gesture: Turkey promises to
solve the Cyprus issue by February 28 - Hurriyet
One-Person Victory, Agar is the new DYP chairman - Hurriyet
(12/15)
Russian Secret Service: Turkish tarikat works for the CIA -
Hurriyet
Greek-Cypriot Administration to offer Greek Passports to
Turkish-Cypriots - Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Government Feels the Breath of Iraq War-Cumhuriyet
US Distributes Dollars in Northern Iraq - Yeni Safak
FM Yakis: Compromise in Cyprus is likely before February 28
- Radikal


BRIEFING:


Iraq: Weekend papers and TV Channels reported that 50
trucks carrying US military equipment from Incirlik have
passed into Northern Iraq through the Habur border gate.
"Cumhuriyet" reports that the equipment will be distributed
to Peshmerges by the 500 US intelligence officials already
positioned in Iraq. "Milliyet" reports that the US
Administration expects to hear Turkish response to its
military demands this week. The deployment of thousands of
troops in Turkey, and the use of Turkish Air bases and ports
are among those demands. "Milliyet" notes that the Turkish
government will decide on the issue after consulting with
the parliament, the NSC, and the General Staff. The
Military is positive about coordination and cooperation with
the US, but is against the deployment of US troops on
Turkish territory. The US Administration is reportedly
expected to send a delegation from the Pentagon to Turkey in
order to examine the military bases for possible upgrades.


EU/Cyprus: Citing the German paper "Welt am Sontag",
"Hurriyet" reports that in the Copenhagen declaration, a
sentence was added saying that the entry talks with Turkey
should begin without delay following the EU criteria review
in December 2004. In exchange for this sentence, Turkey had
to promise to resolve the Cyprus issue by February 28.
"Radikal" reports Turkish Foreign Minister Yakis's comments
that `a settlement in Cyprus is inevitable.' Without a
settlement, Yakis warned, the Greek Cypriots will enter the
EU on their own, making the Turkish armed forces an
`occupier' of EU territory. The FM added that a settlement
on the island will be reached with the participation of the
parliament, the public, NGOs, and the TRNC administration.
"Cumhuriyet" reports that Erdogan and Gul were rather pushy
in their lobbying for EU support in Copenhagen. In the end,
the EU was tired of the Turkish pressure. The Turkish
government was wrong to publish some cheap advertisements in
the papers, to hide behind US support, and to threaten the
EU with the proposal to enter NAFTA. "Cumhuriyet" notes
that Erdogan's unrealistic threats undermined his
credibility at the summit.


DYP: All papers report that parliamentary deputy Mehmet Agar
was elected as the new chairman of DYP at a party congress
on Saturday. Sunday's "Milliyet" reports that Agar has made
his career in politics despite his controversial role in the
Susurluk scandal, which uncovered a web of state-mafia
links.


CIA-Turkish Tarikat connection: "Hurriyet" reports that the
Russian Secret Service has charged Fethullah Gulen's
Nurcular Tarikat with espionage, and linked the group to the
CIA through various foundations and private businesses.


C. EDITORIAL OPINION: US-Turkey


"A new alliance between US and AKP"
Washington correspondent of mass appeal "Milliyet" Yasemin
Congar wrote (12/16): "The way the AKP government tried to
sell the Copenhagen decision to the Turkish public and the
fact that it did not hesitate to continue the reforms
brought optimism to the US administration. Washington is
pleased to see that the AKP prefers determination on the EU
goal as opposed to cheap populism and nationalism. . The
Bush administration, on the other hand, believes that with
the Copenhagen decision of December 12, not only the EU but
also Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots have missed a chance.
The US was expecting a breakthrough on Cyprus as a result of
the Annan plan, and had hoped to see an agreement reached by
December 12. . Now Washington's deadline for Cyprus is
February 28, and it very much believes that a settlement of
the Cyprus issue will pave the way for important
opportunities before the AKP government. . Iraq was another
key issue during Erdogan's meetings in the US. Erdogan has
made no commitments, but US officials believe that they have
ensured a `common understanding.'
With the help of Erdogan's visit, the AKP and the US laid
the groundwork for a new alliance. Previous Turkish leaders
had to strive for months and years to establish a warm
relationship with the US, but Erdogan managed to do this
even before the expiration of his political ban. .
Washington wants to trust Turkey in its efforts to resolve
the Cyprus issue, and to enlist Turkey's cooperation in the
fight against Saddam Hussein.
February 28 stands as an important date for a Cyprus
settlement. But in fact the strike against Iraq might take
place before that."


"Behind the scenes"
Washington reporter Asli Aydintasbas wrote in mass appeal
Sabah (12/16): "It remains to be seen whether Ankara will
manage to achieve its economic demands from the US now that
Washington is caught up in a `pre-war' atmosphere. . Turkey
has not given a clear response to the US demands for
military cooperation presented by the Pentagon and Deputy
Secretary Wolfowitz. Ankara still waits to what kind of

SIPDIS
economic assistance package it can get from Washington. .
Ankara should not make colossal demands to the US, because
they are simply not realistic. A realistic portrayal of a
Turkey compensation plan is required. Let's take Pakistan
for example. Pakistan asked the US to see customs tariffs
lowered and quotas lifted on textiles in exchange of its
support for the Afghan operation. It simply did not happen
the way Pakistan desired. Turkey is not Pakistan, but there
are certain things which might not be realistic for Turkey
either, including the lifting of textile quotas and the
expansion of the QIZ structure."


PEARSON

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