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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 000118

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, JANUARY 8, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Hatay to become center of trade with Syria - Sabah
Gen. Ozkok thanks Assad for fighting PKK - Hurriyet
Powell: We can't allow a Kurdish state -- Turkiye
Iraq's north will remain part of Iraq - Powell - Sabah
Turkey's leaders to agree on a joint Cyprus stance today -
Hurriyet
Simitis leaving, making room for Papandreou - Hurriyet
US immigration reform boosts hope for illegal migrants -
Hurriyet
Blair signals adoption of Euro in 2007 - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
We'll move closer to EU with Turkey - Assad - Radikal
Syrian press praises Assad's Turkey visit - Radikal
Arab press regards Assad's Turkey visit as `historic' -
Zaman
After Assad, Ankara to host Putin, Khatami - Zaman
Israel threatens Damascus with air strikes - Radikal
KDP, PUK agree on Kurdish federation bill - Radikal
US promises bonus to troops in Iraq, Afghanistan - Yeni
Safak
After US, Qadafi winks at Israel - Zaman
Qadafi may recognize Israel - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Syria's Assad in Turkey: Turkey and Syria have agreed to
open several trade centers along their common border,
including one in the disputed Hatay province. President
Assad met with TGS Chief General Ozkok, Foreign Minister Gul
and CHP leader Baykal on Wednesday. Assad assured Turkish
leaders of Syria's intent to pursue a joint struggle against
terrorism. Syria wants to move closer to the EU together
with Turkey now that the US has established itself in Iraq.
General Ozkok reportedly thanked Assad for Syrian operations
against the PKK. Assad stressed that Syria fully supports
Turkey's policies on the Middle East and Iraq. `If we
decide to turn a new page with Israel, we will definitely
seek Ankara's mediation,' Assad told the Turks. Turkey
offered to appoint a special envoy to shuttle between Israel
and Syria. Assad told the Turkish side that he was for a
lasting peace in the Middle East, but that a fair deal
seemed impossible with the current Israeli administration.
Prime Minister Erdogan will meet with the Israeli Ambassador
today to explain the details of the Assad visit.


Cyprus: Turkey's leaders will meet at a presidential summit
on Thursday morning to discuss Cyprus. The summit agenda
will include the formation of a new government in the TRNC,
and resuming negotiations with the Greek Cypriots. The TGS
and MFA will try to work out an agreement on a package of
proposals for peace on Cyprus based on a document drafted by
the MFA within the framework of a UN-sponsored peace plan.
The plan defends the bi-zonal structure of the island, and
will not yield to EU regulations in Cyprus, "Radikal"
claims. The MFA has reportedly changed its plan according
to the views of the TGS. Prime Minister Erdogan will submit
the plan to President Bush and UN Secretary-General Annan
once it is finalized at a January 23 meeting of Turkey's
National Security Council (NSC). Following the summit
today, Prime Minister Erdogan will invite leaders of the
four political parties in the TRNC to Ankara. A document
leaked to the press, in which the TGS harshly criticizes the
MFA for its policy on Cyprus, has caused controversy on the
eve of the Cyprus summit. The TGS opposes the Annan Plan as
a ground for resuming Cyprus talks, whereas the government
and MFA deem the Annan Plan to be `negotiable' with certain
amendments, "Hurriyet" reports.


Turkey signs protocol for scrapping death penalty: Ankara
will sign Protocol 13 of the European Convention on Human
Rights on Friday, papers report. Protocol 13 envisages the
banning of capital punishment even in times of war and under
the imminent threat of war. Capital punishment will be
totally removed in Turkey once the protocol is signed.


TAI, Sikorsky bargain on Blackhawks: Sikorsky officials
have presented Turkey's Aerospace Industry (TAI) with an
offer for the production of Blackhawk helicopters. Turkey
will become the world production and export center for
Blackhawks, Sikorsky officials said. TAI expects the
bargaining with Sikorsky to be completed within a few
months.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq's future


"About Turkish Policy on Iraq and Cyprus"
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in the conservative-mass appeal
Turkiye (1/8): "Turkey failed to get involved in the last
two Gulf wars, and lost the chance to hold a strong position
in northern Iraq. During the recent war, the argument that
Turkey should stay out has now proven to be a mistake. At
that time Turkey made its decision, Turkish political
authorities opted against the mobilization of its military
forces. As a result, Turkey missed an historic chance. .
We look like the victim of our tendency toward isolationism,
and we made a grave mistake on the Iraq issue. Let us not
repeat it on Iran, Syria, and, more importantly, on Cyprus.
Because serious mistakes made by the state on important
issues bring serious consequences to the country."


"Kurds Have Formed an Alliance Against the US"
Fatih Altayli observed in the mass appeal Hurriyet (1/8):
"Something very unlikely is happening, as the two Iraqi
Kurdish groups have reached an agreement that is a `first'
in Kurdish history. The agreement signed by the leaders of
the PUK and KDP foresees the formation of an ethnic-based
federation, and signifies defiance of the US approach. The
US envisions a united Iraq, which is a federation with 18
provinces. These provinces would not be based on any ethnic
or nationalist consideration. . The Kurdish groups clearly
desire to divide Iraq into two, which is totally
incompatible with the US intention for Iraq. Recent
developments indicate a deepening gap between the Kurds and
the US. In the meantime, the US seems to be moving closer
to the Iraqi Shiites. The cards are being reshuffled in
Iraq, and the Kurds are not holding the aces anymore."


DEUTSCH

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