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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 007933

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
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Qaddafi calls on others to dismantle WMD programs - Milliyet
Missile shield over Washington, New York - Milliyet
Talabani confident Iraq will become a federation - Sabah
Vazir, Hochburg AG companies financing terror - US Treasury
- Aksam
Ankara wants changes to Annan Plan - Hurriyet
Saddam's `spider hole' to be taken to US - Sabah
FM Gul to meet Turkey's EU envoys - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
TRNC parliament deadlocked - Cumhuriyet
Rumsfeld's dirty past with Saddam - Radikal
IBDA-C on EU terror list, `new' PKK still out - Zaman
Iran, Libya accept investigation, Israel's nuclear capacity
still a mystery - Zaman
Terror fear prevails in US - Cumhuriyet
UBP leader Eroglu takes U-turn on Annan Plan - Radikal
UBP's Eroglu: Annan Plan negotiable - Radikal
Israel attacks civilians again: 8 dead - Zaman
Israel raids Palestinian refugee camp, 8 dead - Radikal


BRIEFING


Cyprus: In a change of rhetoric, UBP leader and outgoing
TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu said the Annan Plan is
negotiable. Turkish dailies were surprised by Eroglu's
change in tone. Eroglu, just like Turkish Cypriot leader
Denktas, has been a staunch opponent of the Annan Plan.
Denktas is expected to designate a new prime minister
following the oath-taking ceremony on Friday. The UBP and
CTP leaders have given moderate messages of compromise, and
DP leader Serdar Denktas vowed to extend unconditional
support to a coalition under Eroglu's leadership.
Meanwhile, in an effort to contribute to a peaceful solution
to the Cyprus problem, Turkey's ambassadors to 15 EU
countries and the Turkish Ambassador to the United States
will meet in Ankara on December 25-26 to discuss Cyprus.


EU list of terror organizations: The EU is expected to
announce today a new list of terrorist organizations.
Ankara is worried that the PKK/KADEK and its successor, KHK,
are not included in the list. The EU reviewed the list on
December 15 in light of alleged Al-Qaeda connections to the
recent bombings in Istanbul. A recent report released by
Europol said that organizations linked to Al-Qaeda regard EU
countries as bases for logistical support and a vast pool of
potential militant recruits.


74.4 percent of Turks want EU Membership: According to an
opinion poll conducted by Bosphorus University, which
sampled the views of 2,123 people in 20 provinces, 74.4
percent of Turks want to join the EU. However, 45 percent
are concerned that EU membership could reduce Turkey's
national sovereignty. Researchers believe the AK Party had
been successful in convincing its grassroots to support
Turkey's EU aspiration.


Turkey, Greece reach energy agreement: Caspian Sea basin
natural gas will be delivered to Europe via Greece, papers
report. Turkey's Energy Minister Guler signed an energy
agreement with Greek Oil Minister Tsohatzopoulos on Tuesday.
Tsohatzopoulos said the agreement would enable Turkey to

SIPDIS
become established in the European energy market. The EU
will need 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas after
2005, according to reports. The Turkish press characterized
the deal as the first step for Turkey to establish itself as
an `energy bridge' to Europe.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Libya; Iraq


"The Libya Example"
Sami Kohen commented in mass appeal Millyet (12/24): "The
surprisingly rational and realistic new approach by Qadhafi
is comforting news for the whole world. More importantly,
it is such a good Christmas gift for Bush and Blair. . The
Libyan leader apparently felt strong pressure mounting
against his isolation policies, and figured out that he must
change his stance on WMD and terrorism in the post-war era.
He made a clever move by establishing a dialogue with the
Western world instead of defying it. Unlike Saddam Hussein,
Qadhafi corrected his mistakes in time. The Libya example
also proves that diplomacy is still the best option for
resolving international disputes, a method that was not used
in the case of Iraq."


"US and Kurds"
Fatih Altayli warned in mass appeal Hurriyet (12/24):
"Turkey's reaction against developments in Iraq,
particularly with regard to the Iraqi Kurds, is sometimes
very paranoid. Sometimes we worry without even considering
the realities and seeing the nuances. If you read the
headlines in the Turkish papers, Turkey is now worried about
the establishment of a federal Kurdistan. The headline-
makers are unfortunately taking into account only the
statements from the Iraqi Kurds. In reality, it is going to
be all Iraqis -- not only the Kurds -- who will determine
Iraq's future. . In reality, the Iraqi Kurds are seeking a
federal Kurdish state and expect US support in exchange for
the support they gave the US during the war. At this
point, this is only a hope for the Kurds, because there is
no evidence that the US supports the idea. Moreover, the US
does not have a clear plan for Iraq yet. Turkey should
enhance its bilateral ties with the US and exert its
regional influence. It seems that everybody but Turkey
realizes that nothing can happen contrary to Turkey's
desire."


EDELMAN

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