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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 009052

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
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2002


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Deep Assassination - Hurriyet
An academic assassinated in Ankara - Sabah
Deep Murder - Milliyet
Ankara concerned about Mosul and Kirkuk - Milliyet
Foreign Ministry: EU's Cyprus decision unacceptable -
Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Bloody plot in Ankara - Cumhuriyet
Security bargaining in Northern Iraq - Yeni Safak
Denktas urged to seek solution - Radikal


BRIEFING


Assassination: All papers report on the assassination of an
academic outside his house in Ankara. Necip Hablemitoglu,
an associate professor at Ankara university known for his
investigations about Fethullah Gulen and foreign
foundations, reportedly had been receiving death threats for
some time, but had not requested protection. "Sabah"
implies that the murder was reminiscent of political
killings in the recent past.


Iraq: "Milliyet" reports that Turkey is concerned about the
future of Mosul and Kirkuk, and is afraid that after the
deployment of US and British troops in Northern Iraq,
foreign troops could control the Mosul-Kirkuk region. "Yeni
Safak" reports that there has been a great deal of
bargaining over Northern Iraq. Turkey reportedly wants to
send its own troops into Northern Iraq, and is against the
deployment of British troops in the region. However, the US
has rejected the Turkish proposal. The sensationalist
"Star" newspaper also covers the issue on its front page.
"Star claims that `in order to stop the refugee influx,
Turkey wants to enter Northern Iraq. But the US will
prevent this move because it has promised the Pehmerges to
invade Northern Iraq and establish a Kurdish State there.
"Hurriyet" reports that the Turkish General Staff has denied
press reports that the Turkish army is deploying extra
troops to the border, and that foreign troops had crossed
Turkish territory on their way to Northern Iraq. The TGS
stressed that only routine preparations for a possible
operation were taking place.


Cyprus: All papers report that the Foreign Ministry has
released a harsh statement to the EU yesterday on the Cyprus
issue. "Milliyet" reports that the Foreign Ministry has
accused the EU of violating international agreements and
making unilateral decisions about the future of the island.
All papers report that during the summit at the Presidential
Palace yesterday, TRNC president Denktas was urged by
Turkish officials to continue the negotiations and to seek a
settlement on Cyprus.
Turkey-Armenia: "Cumhuriyet" reports a gesture from Turkey
to Armenia. Turkey has been imposing sanctions to Armenia
by not allowing its airspace to be used for civilian
flights, and preventing Armenia from becoming a member of
Eurocontrol. The veto on the Eurocontrol membership was
lifted, even though Azerbaijan had not yet joined the
organization.
Kurdish Broadcasting: The new regulation which allows
broadcasts in languages other than Turkish, including
broadcasts in Kurdish, was issued in the Official Gazette.
TRT will begin limited broadcasts in Kurdish on both
television and radio.


EDITORIAL OPINION:


a) Iraq
b) Cyprus


"Wrong move and Baghdad"
Fehmi Koru wrote in Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak (12/19):
"There is a paradox on the Iraq issue. The more reasons
there are to make an operation illegitimate, the more the
chances for a US operation increase. Despite the lack of
convincing evidence about an Iraqi link with terrorism as
well as Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction,
Washington has not changed its policy. The determination to
strike Iraq at all costs continues. . One has to be blind to
not see this fact: The US plan for Afghanistan in the post-
September 11 period will be implemented in Iraq as well.
Following the Iraq operation, the US will militarily expand
toward a vast geography, from the Philippines to Georgia
under the pretext of an Al-Qaeda link. . In the absence of
a second UN resolution, the AKP government cannot support a
US military operation against Iraq. Washington should not
take Ankara's support for granted. Instead, efforts for a
peaceful solution should be pushed even harder."


"Last tango in Cyprus"
Sami Kohen emphasized in mass appeal Milliyet (12/19): "It
appears impossible that the two leaders of Cyprus will not
come to the negotiating table. There is simply no option
for them in the midst of an immense push from the EU and the
UN. . For the Greek Cypriot side, there is a deadline for a
settlement by February 28. The EU does not want to see a
divided island, and the Greek Cypriot administration cannot
ignore a settlement just because it has been assured of EU
membership. . As for the Turkish Cypriots, there are some
factors which work in favor of a solution as well. The
Turkish Cypriots are fed up with the `unsettled' Cyprus
issue. In the case of a continuation of no-settlement
situation, we might see some migration from the Turkish side
to the Greek side. If that happens, the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus will continue to be isolated and alienated
from the international community, not to mention the
challenges that Ankara will have to face vis--vis the EU,
the UN, and the US. . A long-lasting and good solution can
be found as long as the two leaders of Cyprus act with
common sense. Both Denktas and Clerides are senior figures,
and the current process is probably their last chance for
peace."


PEARSON

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