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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 007757

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 18, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Saddam, from throne to cage - Turkiye
Saddam collaborates with US to save his life - IGC member -
Turkiye
Saddam kept in Baghdad - Milliyet
Iron Horse hunts resisters - Milliyet
`Good morning Baghdad' - Robin Williams in Iraq - Aksam
Verheugen: Real Turkish Cypriots want EU - Milliyet
Traffic intensifies between Ankara and Lefkosa - Sabah
Denktas signals he might withdraw as negotiator - Aksam


OPINION MAKERS
Bush wants heaviest possible punishment for Saddam -
Cumhuriyet
Resistance continues in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Post-Saddam violence in Iraq - Radikal
Talat: Denktas cannot remain as negotiator - Zaman
Ankara against new elections, prefers broad coalition in
TRNC - Radikal
Eroglu, Denktas to continue cooperation - Radikal
Madonna prefers Wesley Clark as president - Radikal
Heavy penalties for November 17 terrorists - Radikal


BRIEFING


Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas met on Wednesday
with the leaders of political parties represented in
parliament - the CTP, UBP, DP and BDH. Denktas reiterated
the need for a national unity government, and said that he
would not insist on being the chief negotiator in Cyprus
talks. CTP leader Talat is not against a national coalition
government, and said his party could consider a coalition
with the UBP as well. Outgoing coalition leader UBP's
Eroglu has also abandoned his hard line stance, and said his
party would consider forming a partnership with the CTP.
"Turkiye" reports the comments of US Congressman Mark Kirk,
who said that the US would prefer that Talat form the new
government. US Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston met
with Talat in Lefkosa on Wednesday. The US has stepped in
before Turkey, writes "Hurriyet," drawing attention to
Weston's rush to the island without waiting for the new
government to be formed. The MFA said Ankara would continue
to cooperate with any new Turkish Cypriot government.
Ankara has been using the Annan Plan as its main point of
reference for a new Cyprus peace proposal to be unveiled
soon, claims "Zaman." The MFA is reluctant to discuss its
new plan with Weston, who will be visiting Ankara Friday.
The new plan by Turkey will offer a timetable for solving
disagreements on key issues like guarantor status, reduction
of troops, and migration.


US offers Turkey free trade deal: US Congressman Mark Kirk
said the US could offer to sign a free trade agreement with
Turkey if progress is seen in efforts toward a Cyprus
settlement. A new free trade agreement between the US and
Turkey will strengthen the position of Ankara in its
relations with the EU, Kirk said. Kirk said that the pro-EU
CTP leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, should be designated as prime
minister in the TRNC.
New bill for restructuring the NSC: A bill for establishing
transparency in the structure of the National Security
Council (NSC) has been submitted to the Council of Ministers
for approval, "Hurriyet" reports. The draft abolishes some
units of the NSC such as the offices for intelligence
gathering and collective civil defense. The NSC Secretary
General will be held accountable for spending from slush
funds, "Hurriyet" notes.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"James Baker Makes a Difference"
Fikret Ertan noted in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman
(12/18): "In the effort to rebuild Iraq, it is crucially
important that Iraq's colossal foreign debt is either erased
or restructured with a reasonable repayment plan. This
issue is as vital as the security and stability of Iraq.
Failure to find a settlement to the debt issue will mean
that Iraq will suffer from lack of investment and will not
be able to attract foreign capital. In the end, these
factors would lead to more serious problems with security
and stability. . Thus the Bush administration's recent
decision to appoint James Baker to deal with Iraq's debts is
not only a very important step but also very appropriate.
Baker, who is just the right name for this job, has already
made progress by reaching consensus with French and German
leaders for the elimination of some Iraqi debt. . It is also
expected that Baker will exert his personal charisma in
talks with the Russians and will eventually convince Moscow,
which has so far been cool to the debt reduction argument."


"The Unholy War"
Derya Sazak commented in mass appeal Milliyet (12/18):
"Events following the capture of Saddam strongly indicate
that attacks against the occupation forces will continue.
The Bush administration has managed to make progress in
ending dictatorial regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that
might be a good outcome. Yet there are no gains from the
strategy of preventive war. The general picture does not
convince us that the intention of the war was to prevent
terror. There is a complex set of reasons ranging from the
fight against terrorism to oil and other issues that
motivated the US. It is also puzzling to see that Saddam
has been captured while Bin Laden remains on the loose. .
Saddam's capture has not ended the violence. This is the
very time for the US administration to start making a fair
analysis of the Iraq situation in the post-Saddam era.
Saddam is out of the game, but the `September 11 process'
still requires further explanation."


EDELMAN

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