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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 007972

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 29, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
First US plane in Iran after 23 years - Sabah
US extends a helping hand to Bam - Milliyet
Iran rejects Israel, accepts US help - Hurriyet 12/28
Mullah regime shaken: Iran receives aid from `great Satan' -
Sabah
Turkish rescue teams heroes of Bam - Sabah
Earthquake aid pours into Iran - Aksam
FM Gul: No alternative other than the Annan Plan - Hurriyet
Attacks cause delay in US reform plans for Iraq - Hurriyet
Iraqi resisters strike a heavy blow against coalition forces
- Milliyet 12/28
Blair Britain's least trusted leader - Aksam


OPINION MAKERS
Third day in Bam quake, hopes diminishing - Zaman
Official, civilian Turkish organizations arrive in Bam -
Radikal 12/28
Rescue efforts halted in Bam - Cumhuriyet
Bombs shake Karbala - Cumhuriyet 12/28
Kurds, Turkmen seek Arab support in Egypt - Zaman
Barzani wants Arab League support for federal Iraq - Radikal
Iraqi resistance doesn't slow down - Cumhuriyet
Suicide bombers caught in Riyadh - Cumhuriyet
Blair's fall continues - Zaman


BRIEFING


Cyprus: Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots have no alternative
but to negotiate on the basis of the Annan Plan to find a
solution to the Cyprus problem, Foreign Minister Gul said on
Sunday. The MFA will submit to Prime Minister Erdogan on
Tuesday a report outlining the advantages and disadvantages
of the UN-sponsored plan. Meanwhile, the 50 new lawmakers
in the TRNC parliament took their oath of office last
Friday. TRNC leader Denktas said he would wait to see
developments in Turkey before designating a new prime
minister on Monday. Outgoing prime minister Dervis Eroglu
said his party, the UBP, would not join a coalition
government led by Mehmet Ali Talat's CTP.


MFA reaction to Iraqi Constitution proposal: The MFA said
in a statement last Friday that a new Iraqi constitution
drafted by the Kurds did not represent all ethnic groups in
Iraq, and that it was a violation of the Ankara agreement
signed by the US, Iraq and Turkey on March 19, 2003. Iraqi
territorial integrity and the security of all the Iraqi
people are the main concerns for Turkey.


Turkey's EU envoys on reforms: Turkey's ambassadors to EU
countries met with MFA officials last Friday to discuss
implementation of EU reforms in 2004. The envoys reportedly
said that if all necessary reforms are enacted by June 2004,
the EU will have no pretext for delaying accession talks
with Ankara. They also stressed that a breakthrough on
Cyprus would be a catalyst for Turkey's EU drive.


Israel reiterates significance of ties with Turkey:
Israel's Ambassador to Ankara, Pinhas Avivi, said after
meeting with MFA U/S Ugur Ziyal that Israel would not risk
its good ties with Turkey for the sake of improving
relations with Northern Iraq. Avivi reportedly told Ziyal
that Ankara would be informed immediately of any Israeli
activities in Northern Iraq. Ambassador Avivi also conveyed
to Ziyal the official Israeli view supporting the
territorial integrity of Iraq.


CHP wants top bureaucrat sacked: Opposition party CHP's
leader Deniz Baykal said that Omer Dincer, Undersecretary of
the Prime Ministry, should be sacked. Dincer said in a
speech in 1995 that Turkey's secular and republican regime
should be replaced by an Islamic administration. Dincer
recently said that his views had not changed since that
time. Baykal regards the appointment of Dincer as the top
bureaucrat in the prime ministry as a plot against Turkey's
secular and democratic system.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq and Us-Turkey Relations


"Waiting for Erdogan"
Asli Aydintasbas evaluated the upcoming Turkish PM's visit
to Washington in the mass appeal Sabah (12/29):
"Interestingly enough, Turkish PM Erdogan will start the new
year with an official visit to Washington and end it with
the EU summit. At this point, his Washington visit does not
have a full agenda. Part of the reason is due to
Washington's expectation from Ankara on the Cyprus issue.
The US hopes to see some progress on Cyprus prior to the
Erdogan visit. A concrete plan and a strongly expressed
political will for negotiations will be considered progress,
yet there are no clear signs to validate such an
expectation. In case there is progress on the Cyprus issue,
Erdogan will find the Bush administration offering
significant support on Cyprus and the EU. If Erdogan comes
to Washington without having made any progress on Cyprus, we
might see a weak, non-committal outcome on both sides. . On
the Iraq issue, the US administration is ready to listen to
Turkish concerns, because the federal structure proposed by
the Kurdish groups in northern Iraq has infuriated
Washington. A federal structure seems to be the right
approach for the future of Iraq, yet Washington will not
tolerate a de facto division of Iraq under the guise of a
federation."


"Iraq's Future in Jeopardy"
Zafer Atay commented in the economic-political Dunya
(12/29): "It seems that Barzani and Talabani not only agreed
to form a government together, but also to shape the future
of Iraq. It is going to be a federal republic of Iraq, as
they prefer to call it. However, neither Sunni Arabs nor
Shiites -- who constitute the majority in Iraq -- were asked
about their preferences for the future model of Iraq.
Nobody cared whether this majority accepts the `borders'
drawn by the Kurds. In fact, the US does not like the
federation formula for Iraq as proposed by the Kurds.
Washington would prefer a state system based on the US
model. Yet the Arabs are dealing with their own ethnic and
tribal problems. In the midst of this infighting, the Kurds
have managed to have a strong say over the oil-rich areas
even though they are a small minority of the Iraqi
population. If all goes according to the Kurdish design,
Iraq will be dragged into a very bloody dilemma."


EDELMAN

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