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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.

221421Z Dec 03

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 007850

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
MONDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
US wants Cyprus talks resumed before January 28 - Hurriyet
12/21
American Soldier `Person of the Year' - Time - Milliyet
12/21
Barzani implies a `Greater Kurdistan' - Milliyet 12/21
Barzani: Kirkuk is historically ours - Sabah
Barzani claims Kirkuk - Turkiye
After Libya, eyes now on Syria - Hurriyet
Qadafi betrays bin-Ladin - Sabah
Qadafi gives in - Hurriyet 12/21
Bremer: Saddam was nervous, arrogant - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Kurds' goal unification - Radikal 12/21
Kurds' government plans disturb Ankara - Cumhuriyet
Libya to become a close ally of the West - Radikal
Qadafi softens - Yeni Safak 12/21
Israel might strike Iran's nuclear plants - Zaman
Tehran Israel's No. 1 target - Cumhuriyet
Bush wants to get rid of Arafat - Cumhuriyet
Wesley Clark testifies against Milosevic - Yeni Safak 12/21


BRIEFING


Iraq: Monday's papers highlight KDP leader Barzani's
statement claiming that Kurds have `historical rights' to
Kirkuk. The KDP and PUK will launch a joint initiative for
establishing a coalition government in Northern Iraq,
according to weekend papers. Dailies regard this move as an
initial step towards a Kurdish state. Five Kurdish members
of the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) have submitted a bill
to establish a federal Iraq based on ethnicity. The MFA is
expected to give the Embassy a message about Turkey's
concerns about the protection of Iraq's territorial
integrity. The US supports the notion of limited Kurdish
autonomy, according to "Cumhuriyet."


Cyprus: Prime Minister Erdogan agrees with the UNSC call
for resuming Cyprus peace negotiations within the framework
of the Annan plan. Sunday's "Cumhuriyet" quotes Denktas as
saying that entering into negotiations under the Annan Plan
would mean losing Cyprus. The paper blames Erdogan and
Foreign Minister Gul for weakening the position of Turkish
Cypriots. President Sezer is expected to hold a `Cyprus
summit' with Turkish government leaders and Denktas
following the formation of a new government in the TRNC.
The US Administration has stepped up pressure on Ankara for
resuming talks under the Annan Plan in advance of Prime
Minister Erdogan's Washington visit on January 28, 2004. US
sources have lost hope of making progress with Denktas,
"Hurriyet" reports. US Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas
Weston called for rapid and intensive negotiations once a
new government is formed in the TRNC. Ankara has promised
Weston to convince Denktas, and has urged the US to exert
pressure on the Greek Cypriots.


Turkey, Israel to sign cooperation agreement: On his visit
to Turkey this week, Israel's interior security minister
Tzahi Hanegbi will sign with Turkish officials a security
agreement to combat international organized crime, human and
narcotics trafficking, and smuggling. Israeli industry and
trade minister Ehud Olmert is expected in Turkey in January,
and foreign minister Gul will visit Israel in February.


EDITORIAL OPINION: EU expansion/Cyprus


"Talks Should Be Based on the Annan Plan"
Washington-based Yasemin Congar wrote in the mass appeal
Milliyet (12/22): "Washington interpreted the result of the
Turkish Cypriot elections as hope and change prevailing over
fear and the status quo. An American diplomat noted that the
Turkish Cypriot opposition party won a larger percentage of
the vote than Turkey's ruling AKP during the 2002 elections
in Turkey. . The election result effectively passes the ball
to Ankara. Everyone in Washington who deals with the Cyprus
issue agrees that Ankara's responsibility for reaching a
settlement process has increased after the elections. . US
officials underline the importance of the Annan Plan for the
settlement process, and state that `any proposal other than
the Annan Plan will not be a way to restart the
negotiations. Any solution package from Turkey that does
not take the Annan Plan as a starting point will come to
naught.' And everyone who deals with Turkey and Cyprus in
Washington is looking at the calendar and urging that a
solution be found by May 2004. Everyone warns that time is
running against Turkey on this issue."


"Does the Turkish Government Have a Cyprus Policy?"
Semih Idiz criticized in the mass appeal Aksam (12/22): "The
Turkish Cypriot elections did not advance the process for a
solution and Cyprus. They have instead led to more
controversy, particularly within Turkey. It remains to be
seen how the Turkish Cypriots will eventually establish
internal stability, given the deadlock in the election
results and the fact that they have a president who is not
impartial. . Yet the real problem is with the Turkish
government. The AKP government has so far presented us with
a series of inconsistencies. PM Erdogan began by saying `we
are not going to be part of the status quo in Cyprus.' But
today, he seems to be doing his best to keep up with the
status quo rhetoric. It is not only Tom Weston who is
confused -- we are all confused. Finding the real Cyprus
policy of this government is like a riddle. Turkey is
supposedly working on a Cyprus initiative. We all know that
such an initiative must please UNSG Annan if Turkey is
really after a settlement. This, of course, would be very
unpleasant for Denktas."


EDELMAN

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