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 001593
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, MARCH 13, 2003
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
Bush has lost hope at UN - Turkiye
U.S. to pay wages of 2 million Iraqis - Hurriyet
EU's secret Cyprus plan - Milliyet
Ocalan trial enigma - Sabah
Ankara: ECHR's Ocalan ruling political - Turkiye
Gul reluctant to take part in new cabinet - Vatan
U.S. turns down Turkey's proposal for new negotiations -
Blair, too, might be out; Bush getting lonelier - Cumhuriyet
Bush loses struggle with UN - Yeni Safak
Verheugen: Cyprus will badly affect Turkey, EU ties -
Washington blames Denktas for Cyprus impasse - Cumhuriyet
Mardin to become UN's humanitarian operations center in war
WB's Chibber complains about ignorance of government -
Iraq: Afraid of a new decree rejection by the parliament,
AKP leader Erdogan is delaying the formation of a new
cabinet until a UN decision on March 14. A new decree will
be submitted to parliament after Erdogan's cabinet wins a
vote of confidence. The AKP leadership is concerned that
the party might not be able to survive a second failure on
this issue. Papers claim that U.S. Ambassador Pearson told
Erdogan in a recent meeting that the U.S. would need at
least five years to see some progress in Iraq, and that the
U.S. is planning to stay in the region for 25 years.
Pearson also reportedly gave Erdogan guarantees regarding
Mosul and Kirkuk. Papers think Erdogan had concerns about
the military/economic deal with the U.S., but Pearson
stressed that the memoranda of understanding with Turkey
would not be reviewed. Papers expect Erdogan to submit his
cabinet list to President Sezer not earlier than Monday.
Meanwhile, about 100 protesters attempting to enter the
Iskenderun port to block the transport of U.S. military
equipment to the Iraqi border were dispersed by police.
Cyprus: EU expansion commissioner Verheugen has reiterated
that the deadlock on the Cyprus issue would adversely affect
Turkey's EU entry drive. The European Commission earlier
announced that Turkey would be considered an `occupier' on
the island once the Greek Cypriots join the EU. Afraid of
irreparable damage in ties with the EU, Ankara has decided
to encourage Denktas to begin direct talks with the Greek
Cypriots to resolve the issue. Papers expect the EU to
gradually exert pressure on Turkey, and to encourage Turkish
Cypriots to move to southern Cyprus after the accession
protocol with the Greek Cypriots is signed on April 16.
ECHR on Ocalan trial: The European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR) has ruled that PKK leader Ocalan's right to defense
was restricted during his trial in Turkey, and that his
detention period was longer than allowed by law. The court
called for a retrial. The ECHR noted that the trial was
unjust, and claimed that the judges were not impartial.
Turkey will appeal the ECHR decision within three months.
"The test for Erdogan"
Hasan Cemal noted in mass appeal Milliyet (3/12): "New prime
minister Erdogan will go through a series of tests in
coming days. These tests include the second authorization
for permission to the US; relations between Turkey and the
US; the economic reform program; the IMF; Cyprus; the EU,
and the internal balances within the AKP. More importantly,
none of the above-mentioned issues can afford to wait. .
There are already worst-case scenarios circulating in the
event that Turkey's relations sour with the US and the EU.
Some of the scenarios are terribly pessimistic, but we
should also realize that the financial markets in particular
are very anxious to see two things happen immediately -an
agreement with the IMF, including a budget and other related
measures; and the decision to allow the authorization
decree. Erdogan assumes the Prime Ministry position at the
most critical stage in our recent history. The second
decree should pass from parliament. Fiscal discipline
should be established, with no detours into populism. The
Cyprus question should also be taken up in a spirit of
finding a settlement. . These are some of the major tests,
and it only requires a short period of time to see whether
Erdogan will pass them successfully."
"What is going on?"
Ahmet Tasgetiren argued in the Islamic-intellectual Yeni
Safak (3/12): "Turkey is under attack from both the US and
the EU. Despite significant differences between the US and
EU on Iraq policy, they seem to be in harmony in twisting
Turkey's arm. The US is "beating up" Turkey in order to get
Turkey on its side in Iraq. The EU is "beating up" Turkey
in order to serve Greek/Greek Cypriot interests and to
undermine Turkey's EU membership prospects. . Turkey needs
the US as much as the US needs Turkey, and the same is also
valid for Turkish-EU relations. Yet the European stance
about Turkey is fanatical, if not downright stupid. The US
administration seems to be under the influence of the hawks
and their conspiracies. Turkey is urgently in need of a
mental awakening, and an independent policy adjustment is