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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 000263

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 15, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Verheugen: "Turkey is the Key Country" - Milliyet
Erdogan Warns Iraqi Kurds - Milliyet
National Security Briefing from TGS to Erdogan - Sabah
4.5-hour Briefing from Military to Erdogan - Hurriyet
Erdogan Warns Kurds: "Don't Play with Fire" - Hurriyet
Prodi and Verheugen in Ankara Today - Hurriyet
Erdogan: "If Iraq disintegrates, we'll Intervene" - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Erdogan Briefed by TGS - Yeni Safak
Harsh Warning from Erdogan to Iraqi Kurds - Yeni Safak
KHK is on US Terrorist List - Cumhuriyet
Historic Visit from Europe - Cumhuriyet
Erdogan Will Ask Annan to Resume Talks - Radikal


BRIEFING:


Prodi and Verheugen in Ankara Today: All papers and TV
channels report on the visit of EU Commissioner Verheugen
and EU President Prodi to Turkey today. Since this is the
first visit by an EU President to Turkey in over forty
years, most papers categorize the visit as `historic.'
"Cumhuriyet" says that Prodi has come to Turkey to review
progress on the implementation of reforms. "Zaman" notes
that Prodi has indicated that human rights issues will be at
the top of his agenda. "Radikal" claims that Ankara will
give Prodi the message that while Turkey will continue
efforts to find a Cyprus solution, the Turks are not willing
to `give up' Cyprus to attain a date for EU accession talks.


TGS Briefs PM Erdogan: All papers report on the national
security briefing TGS gave to Primi Minister Erdogan
yesterday. Following the 4.5-hour briefing, a short
statement by the TGS said that the prime minister was
briefed on national security issues. Most papers report
that the briefing focused on Cyprus. Objections to the
Annan Plan were reportedly discussed by the military force
commanders, and the TGS proposed a number of changes that
would be necessary to make the plan negotiable. In addition
to the Cyprus issue, "Cumhuriyet" reports that Erdogan was
warned about the government's partisan appointments to the
bureacracy and the military's concerns about fundamentalist
activities and statements.


Erdogan Warns Iraqi Kurds: "Milliyet" reports that during
his meeting with Iraqi Shiite leader Abdulaziz Al-Hakim,
Prime Minister Erdogan warned Iraqi Kurds about their
efforts to establish a Kurdish federation in Northern Iraq.
Erdogan stressed the importance of Iraqi territorial
integrity, and accused the Kurds of `playing with fire' in
the region. If Iraq were to break apart, Erdogan said,
Turkey will intervene. The Prime Minister claimed that
Iraq's other neighbors could intervene as well.


EDITORIAL OPINION:


"Iraq And Cyprus"
Fikret Bila opines in mass appeal Milliyet (1/15): "Prior
to PM Erdogan's meetings with President Bush and UN General
Secretary Annan, Ankara is defining its policy increasingly

SIPDIS
on two issues: Iraq and Cyprus..Yesterday's TGS briefing for
Erdogan and the upcoming NSC meeting are steps in this
process. After each step Ankara's stance is becoming more
clear.Following the meetings with Syria and Iran, Ankara is
now trying to improve its relations with the groups in Iraq.
Ankara is organizing itself to oppose the Kurdish federation
in northern Iraq and work against the disintegration of Iraq
together with Iraq's neighboring countries and with the
Iraqi groups. Erdogan's message to Shiite leader Al-Hakim
that `if Iraq disintegrates neighboring countries will
intervene' is proof of that approach. .We can say that
during his meetings with Bush and Annan, Erdogan will ask
both men to pressure the Greek side to solve the Cyprus
issue. Erdogan also plans to convince Annan to consider
Turkish demands concerning the details of the plan.
Progress on the Iraq and Cyprus issues will affect Turkey's
future as well. Therefore, Ankara is defining its state
policy step by step. All the support Turkey has given to
the US, including the use of Incirlik air base, was designed
to gain expected support from the US for Turkey's Iraq and
Cyprus policy. Erdogan's meetings with Bush and Annan will
show if Turkey gets what it expects.' EDELMAN

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