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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 000214

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
TUESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
US Troop Rotation Through Incirlik Began January 7 -
Milliyet
Protocol to Solve the Cyprus Issue Before May - Milliyet
Prodi: "Turkey Will Rise Like the Sun with EU Accession" -
Hurriyet
US Discusses Ways to Punish Syria for Support of Terrorists
- Hurriyet
Shiite Leader Urges Turkey to Take Part in Iraq
Reconstruction - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
AKP Violates the Constitution - Cumhuriyet
Syria: "Israel's Invitation not Sincere" - Cumhuriyet
Denktas is the Same Old Denktas - Radikal
Turkish Government: "No Need for New Decree for Incirlik" -
Radikal
New TRNC Government to be Presented to Denktas - Yeni Safak
Prodi: "Cyprus Not A Condition For Turkey's EU Accession
Talks" -Zaman
AL-Hakim: "Turkey Should Have A Say in Iraq" - Zaman


BRIEFING


Incirlik: Papers continue to report on the debate about the
use of Incirlik base by the United States for troop
rotations to and from Iraq. "Milliyet" says that the US
asked Turkey for permission to use the base in December.
The Turkish government decided there was no need for a new
decree, and the rotation of troops began on January 7.
Government spokesman and Minister of Justice Cemil Cicek
said that there is no need for a new decree to be passed by
the parliament. CHP members insist that a new decree was
needed for US troops to use the base. In a front-page
article, "Cumhuriyet" claims that the government's decision
to allow the use of Incirlik for troop rotations violates
the Turkish constitution.


Prodi Visit: "Hurriyet" reports that Romano Prodi will be
the first EU Commission Chairman to visit Turkey in forty
years. "Hurriyet" highlights Prodi's comment that Turkey
will "brighten the EU sun" once it becomes a member of the
union. Prodi told CNN Turk yesterday that Cyprus is not a
pre-condition for Turkey's accession. However, Prodi said
that a solution in Cyprus will help Turkey's EU entry.
"Hurriyet" columnist Yalcin Dogan notes that on the same day
Prodi is coming to Turkey, the court case for Kurdish
Activist Leyla Zana will take place. Eight eight members of
the European Parliament will be coming to Ankara to attend
the hearing. The European parliamentarians may attempt to
give Zana the Sakharov Peace Award in the courtroom. They
tried to give her the prize in her jail cell last year, but
were not permitted to do so.


Al-Hakim Visit: An Iraqi delegation headed by Shiite Leader
Abdulaziz Al-Hakim arrived in Ankara yesterday. Al-Hakim
said that Turkey should undertake a role in the
reconstruction of Iraq. Al-Hakim will have meetings with PM
Erdogan and with MFA officials before returning to Iraq.


EDITORIAL OPINION:


- Cyprus
- US-Turkey/Middle East


"How harmonious is this harmony?"
Sami Kohen observed in the mass appeal Milliyet (1/13):
"Following a series of intensive consultations, it seems the
Turkish players on the Cyprus issue have reached a
reconciliation. The new government has been formed, and
Denktas will remain as the negotiator. It remains to be
seen how long this harmony will continue, and whether it
will facilitative a solution with the Greek side. . Prime
Minister Erdogan is going to have a discussion with Romano
Prodi of the EU and, later this month, with President Bush.
In both meetings, he will likely underline Turkey's
readiness to restart the negotiations and reiterate Ankara's
policy to take the Annan Plan as a basis for a settlement.
This is the only way for Turkey to avoid the blame for a
lack of a Cyprus settlement. This is a long process, and it
is important that Denktas also play a convincing role during
the negotiations."


"Our foreign policy"
Yilmaz Oztuna noted in the conservative-mass appeal Turkiye
(1/13): "The ongoing transit of US troops via Turkey is a
significant operation that underlines the strategic
relationship between Turkey and the US. The strength of
Turkish-US relations is also an important factor for Turkey
in its EU vision. It helps to boost Turkey's position with
regard to the Middle East. Yet Turkey should not be blind
to reality. Turkey's relations with Syria and Iran have
significantly improved recently. However, the spring-like
atmosphere will not make Washington give up its plans
concerning Syria and Iran. The project is part of a `Pax
Americana' from which the US is unlikely to turn back.
Turkey should make its policy based on this fact."


EDELMAN

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