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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 002503

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, APRIL 17, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Commander Franks in Baghdad - Hurriyet
Bush signs grant for Turkey - Milliyet
Talabani wants Diyarbakir - Vatan
Barzani: Turkey's nonpresence in N. Iraq a victory for Kurds
- Aksam
Turkey's EU drive now tougher - Turkiye
Verheugen: Chance exists for Cyprus solution - Sabah
Sad photo: EU expanding, Ankara missing - Sabah
EU expansion takes painful start- Aksam
Gul: Greek Cypriots can't block our EU drive - Hurriyet
Greek Cypriots in EU; are you happy, Mr. Denktas? - Vatan


OPINION MAKERS
Ankara warns Talabani: You'll regret entering Kirkuk -
Cumhuriyet
Ankara launches effort for share of Iraq's reconstruction -
Radikal
Iraqi people won't accept U.S. invasion - Yeni Safak
Arabs want all Mideast countries to disarm - Yeni Safak
Turkey missing in EU family photo - Radikal
Denktas blocks solution, blames Turkey - Yeni Safak
Prodi: Division of Cyprus temporary - Zaman
Simitis blames Ankara for division of Cyprus - Cumhuriyet
Door still open for Cyprus - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
British Imperial Tobacco investing in Turkey - Dunya
Rumsfeld: Iraqi pipeline to Syria will be closed - Finansal
Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Ankara criticized Northern Iraqi Kurdish leaders
Barzani and Talabani for declaring Turkey's decision of not
going into Northern Iraq as a victory for them. Barzani
told an Italian daily that the KDP won a victory by keeping
Turkish troops out of Northern Iraq. Barzani reiterated
Kurdish aspirations for a federal Iraq, and warned that the
long-term presence of coalition forces in the country could
be interpreted as an invasion. The MFA denounced PUK leader
Talabani for threatening to bring Diyarbakir and other
Kurdish-majority Turkish cities to the agenda if Turkey
continues to pursue its aspirations for Kirkuk. A Turkish
diplomat is quoted as tying such controversial statements by
Kurdish leaders to the absence of a democratic culture in
Iraq. The diplomat noted that Ankara, in an attempt to
avoid provocation, is closely following developments, and he
warned the Kurds not to try Turkey's patience. He added
that Talabani could pay a dear price if he continued
opportunist moves such as attempting to assign a governor in
Kirkuk. Kurdish representatives in Turkey complained to the
press that the Turkomen are constantly misinforming Ankara
about developments in Northern Iraq. Meanwhile, papers
report that the expected head of the interim Iraq
administration, Jay Garner, met with the Turkish envoy to
Kuwait to discuss the situation of the Turkomen and Turkey's
role in the reconstruction of Iraq.


Cyprus/EU: Dailies carry on the front page the `family
photograph' of new EU members including the Greek Cypriots
after accession documents were signed in Athens. Papers
criticize Foreign Minister Gul for boycotting the ceremony,
which indicated an `acknowledgement of the biggest
diplomatic defeat for Turkey.' Greek Cypriot leader
Papadopoulos attacked Turkey, saying that `artificial walls
and borders drawn by violence have prevented the Turkish
Cypriots from attending the Athens meeting.' Greek Prime
Minister Simitis said Europe has been united for 13 years
since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and blamed Turkey for
the ongoing disagreement on Cyprus. `The line dividing
Nicosia is separating Ankara from Brussels,' Simitis said.
Some mainstream papers believe Turkish Cypriots could still
join the EU if they work out a compromise with Greek
Cypriots before April 2004, but see it as unlikely for the
Greeks and Greek Cypriots to give a green light to Turkey's
membership. Most papers, including the Islamist "Yeni
Safak," regard Denktas as the main obstacle that has
deprived Turkish Cypriots of the opportunity to join the EU.
Papers cite the Greek Cypriot press as applauding Denktas
for rejecting the Annan plan for Cyprus, thus facilitating
the Greek Cypriots' EU entry. The MFA and Denktas
criticized the signing of the accession protocol between the
EU and the Greek Cypriots, charging that it was a violation
of international treaties. Denktas also strongly criticized
the Turkish Cypriot opposition parties who have accepted an
invitation by Greek Prime Minister Simitis for talks in the
Greek Cypriot sector. However, Prime Minister Erdogan and
Foreign Minister Gul are upset with Denktas for attempting
to `dictate' to Ankara that Gul should not attend the EU's
Athens summit. Erdogan believed that the UN peace plan for
Cyprus had a chance for success, but that Denktas blocked
the negotiations.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Post war scenarios


"Who is next?"
Soli Ozel noted in mass appeal Sabah (4/17): "Despite the
strong warnings, a US military operation against Syria is
unlikely. The Bush administration is currently going
through the list of measures in an orderly fashion, and at
the same time calling on the Damascus regime to `read
correctly' the consequences of the Iraq war. Washington
clearly is asking the Syrian administration to end support
for terrorism and to work for a lasting settlement with
Israel. The policies pursued by Syria will shape future
developments in the region. .. Another important factor to
watch carefully is US policy about the Israel-Palestine
issue in the Bush administration's new Middle East plan. .
Considering the approaches to the Middle East `road map'
from both the US and Israel, we can draw a pessimistic
conclusion. The way Washington sees the road map tells us
that the Israeli administration will not face any pressure
for peace, at least in the near future. In other words,
peace and stability in the region are still far in the
distance."


"Transformation"
Hasan Cemal observed in mass appeal Milliyet (4/17): "The
situation in the Middle East up to now has not done Turkey
any good at all. Thus we have to think rationally and
realize the following facts. It is for the Turkey's good
and serves Turkey's interests that Iraq becomes a free
country with an emerging democracy. It is absolutely the
best for Turkey when and if Syria is freed from the Baath
dictatorship and its support for terrorist organizations is
ended. . A peace between Palestine and Israel can also be
made possible if the US exerts enough pressure on Sharon,
especially after the normalization process of Iraq and
Syria. Such a development might have positive effects for
change in Lebanon as well as in Iran. . The current
situation in the Middle East is in the process of a
transformation. It means a certain amount of instability.
Yet the current situation was also inherently unstable.
Therefore, Turkey should refrain from siding with the status
quo and instead encourage the change which in fact will
serve Turkey's own interests."


PEARSON

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