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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 02 ANKARA 006772

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, OCTOBER 30, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Turkish Republic Celebrates 80th Anniversary - All Papers
Gen.Ozkok: "President Sezer Does What's Right" - Hurriyet
Sezer: "I Will Not Allow A Move Against Secularism" -
Milliyet
EU urges Turkey to Implement Reforms Fully - Milliyet
Only 10 AKP Deputies Attend Presidential Reception - Turkiye
US Congressional Delegation: "US Needs Turkish Troops in
Iraq" - Milliyet (10/29)


OPINION MAKERS
Military Negotiations With US Halted - Cumhuriyet
Third Summit For Iraq Will be in Damascus-Cumhuriyet
Peshmerges to take Responsibility for Kirkuk Security - Yeni
Safak
US Congressmen's Praise Did Not Satisfy Turkey - Radikal
(10/29)


BRIEFING


80th Birthday of the Turkish Republic: All papers and TV
channels gave extensive coverage to celebrations held to
mark the 80th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. Papers
feature photos of celebration ceremonies from all over the
country. Eyes turned to the Presidential Palace for the
most controversial event of the day. Papers report that
while virtually all CHP deputies attended the President's
Republic Day reception, only 16 ministers and 2 other
parliamentary deputies from the AKP were present.
"Hurriyet" draws attention to messages by President Sezer,
PM Erdogan and TGS chief General Ozkok. During the
reception, Sezer noted that this was not his personal
reception, but rather a reception of the state. Sezer
claimed that recently there have been moves against
secularism, and vowed that he would never allow concessions
on this issue. General Ozkok said that the President
"always does the right thing," but declined to comment on
the invitation controversy. PM Erdogan said that he did not
want tension, and pledged that his party would continue its
duties while suffering silently.


EU Entry: Today's papers give details about the enlargement
report of the EU commission about Turkey to be released on
November 5. The Commission reportedly will urge Turkey not
to leave the reforms on paper, but to begin implementing
them in full. The report draws attention to problems in
Kurdish language broadcasting and education, as well as the
difficulties still faced by religious minorities. The
report also cautions Turkey on the influence of the military
in politics, and on the Cyprus issue. "Milliyet", however,
characterizes this year's report as more moderate and
objective than the previous EU reports. The draft will be
discussed today for the final time, and will be debated by
the 20 members of the EU commission on November 3. It will
be announced by Commissioner Verheugen on November 5.


FM Gul Comments on Troop Deployment in Iraq: Wednesday's
papers give extensive coverage to FM Gul's comments on the
possible troop deployment in Iraq. Gul blamed the US for
problems related to the troop deployment. Wednesday's
"Cumhuriyet" reports that FM Gul responded to claims that
the Iraqi interim government will try to oust Turkish forces
from Northern Iraq. Gul stressed that Turkey has not
received any such message from the interim government on the
issue. Nevertheless, he said, Turkish forces will remain in
Iraq as long as terrorism in the region remains threat for
Turkey.


US Congressmen Visit Turkey: Wednesday's "Milliyet" reports
that US Congressmen Edward Royce and Thomas Lantos met with
FM Gul on Tuesday. The congressmen stressed that Turkish
troops are needed in Iraq, and he disavowed Bremer's
comments referring to the Ottoman Empire as an occupying
power. "Radikal" says that despite the praise by the
congressmen, a high-level Turkish Foreign Ministry official
said that `these people are politicians whose job it is to
make good politics. They might affect some people with
their words, but what is important for us are the policies
of the US Administration.'


EDITORIAL OPINION


"A confused America is upsetting"
Cuneyt Ulsever observed in the mass appeal Hurriyet (10/30):
"The current confusion in Iraq indicates that the US will
either have to withdraw from Iraq in disgrace, or will
reluctantly reach an agreement with Shiite leaders,
Baathists, Kurdish tribes and the PKK/KADEK. . All these
groups regard Turkey as a clear, potential danger to
themselves and the region. There is no doubt that all will
be biding their time, looking to cause trouble for Turkey.
The PKK/KADEK will definitely grab such an opportunity. If
the UN decides to intervene in this confusion, then the
occupying countries will attempt to share the benefits of
Iraq's economy, to the exclusion of Turkey."


"For Cyprus, it's the Annan Plan or nothing"
Mehmet Ali Birand commented in the mass appeal Posta
(10/30): "The only way out for the Turkish Cypriots will be
to sign the Annan Plan with some slight changes. Otherwise,
they will be facing EU regulations that envisage the free
circulation of people and commodities on the island. Cyprus
will then be represented and administered by the Greek
Cypriots alone. . The Annan Plan provides an opportunity to
the Turks for self-rule, and grants them sovereignty on
their land. . No substantial changes can be made to the
Annan Plan, for the Greek Cypriots will play for time and
propose several changes for each change requested by the
Turks. They will resistance until May 2004 and thereby win
the game. . If Turkey recognizes the Annan Plan in
principle, withdraws 20,000 troops from Cyprus, and takes
concrete steps forward on Nicosia Airport, Famagusta and
Varosha by May 2004, the EU might give more time for a final
agreement on Cyprus even if the Greek Cypriots become a full
EU member. . It would be useful for Turkey to reconsider
the Annan Plan."


EDELMAN

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