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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 000397

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 22, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Bush: `We can make the world a better place' - Sabah
Bush: `We will free the Middle East' - Milliyet
Weston's surprise visit to Ankara - Sabah
Weston holds Cyprus preparation meeting in Ankara - Turkiye
Turkey a key country for German foreign policy - Milliyet
Bribery scandal may force Sharon to resign - Milliyet
Tehran in confusion, Khatemi deputies resign - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Bush launches election campaign by threatening Middle East -
Zaman
Bush rolls up sleeves for elections - Radikal
Bush challenges the world - Yeni Safak
Musharraf calls for reform in Islam - Cumhuriyet
Musharraf: West regards Islam as a religion of terror -
Cumhuriyet
Annan may kick off Cyprus talks - Zaman
Reformists resign in Tehran - Radikal


BRIEFING


Cyprus: Foreign Minister Gul said that Prime Minister
Erdogan would ask UN Secretary General Annan in Davos this
Saturday to resume the Cyprus talks. Erdogan and Annan will
not hold a second Cyprus meeting in the US, Gul said. TRNC
Prime Minister Talat said before leaving Ankara for Lefkosa
on Wednesday that his government's priority would be to
contribute to efforts for resuming Cyprus negotiations.
Talat stressed that both Turkey and the TRNC want a solution
within the framework of the Annan Plan. He confirmed that
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas will continue to
represent the TRNC at the talks. Ankara wants to maintain
the bi-zonal structure of the island an preserve Turkey's
status as a guarantor power, Talat noted.


Weston Visits Ankara: US Special Cyprus Coordinator
Ambassador Thomas Weston came to Ankara Wednesday to urge
the Turkish side to adopt a constructive position on Cyprus
before Prime Minister Erdogan's US visit next week. Weston
reportedly confirmed to the Turks that President Bush
supports UN Secretary General Annan's proposal that the
results of the negotiations be submitted to a referendum.
The MFA outlined for Weston the basic points of Ankara's
Cyprus plan. The surprise visit by Weston is a sign that
Cyprus will top the agenda during Erdogan's meetings with US
leaders.


German FM in Ankara: Visiting German Foreign Minister
Joschka Fischer told officials in Ankara that UN Secretary
General Annan will not accept substantial changes to his
proposed peace plan for Cyprus. Fischer urged the two
Cypriot sides to show determination for a settlement.
Although the Cyprus issue is not among the criteria for
Turkey's EU entry, Fischer said that it is a `political
reality' that progress on Cyprus is important to Turkey's
accession process. Fischer characterized Ankara's efforts
to adopt the Copenhagen Criteria as `impressive,' but noted
deficiencies regarding the implementation of reforms. `I
can see Turkey moving closer to the EU,' Fischer said,
voicing hope for positive developments in Cyprus.


New members against Turkey in EU: Some countries slated to
join the EU on May 1 oppose opening accession negotiations
with Turkey, "Cumhuriyet" reports. The paper expects the
new members, especially Poland, to object to Turkey's
membership based on religious and economic factors.


Uzan party to receive Treasury aid: The Constitutional
Court has rejected a request by the Finance Ministry to
freeze TL11 trillion in Treasury funding for Cem Uzan's Genc
Party (GP). The GP was slated to receive the funding boost
under Turkey's law on political parties. The Constitutional
Court said there was no ground for freezing the payment to
the GP, but that the court would undertake necessary action
in line with the law if irregularities are found in the GP
accounts.


EDITORIAL OPINION: The State of the Union


"Start of the Election Campaign and Threat to the Middle
East"
Ali Aslan commented in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman
(1/22): "President Bush predominantly addressed the
criticism about the war against terrorism as he focused on
Iraq and the campaign against terror. The text of the
speech highlighted the President's role as Commander in
Chief. The SOTU also indicated that Bush will give higher
priority to national security issues over the economy during
the election campaign. . It is also interesting that Bush
did not pronounce the phrase `axis of evil' this time, yet
he reaffirmed his commitment to pursue reforms in the Middle
East and to fight against regimes that shelter terrorists.
. In sum, the State of the Union address included warnings
about the Middle East but also marked the official start of
the 2004."


"Listening to George Bush"
Ayse Ozgun wrote in the mass appeal Vatan (1/22): "The SOTU
highlighted the US commitment to fight terrorism. President
Bush listed in detail the anti-terror measures his
administration has taken, and he provided justification for
the ongoing war against terrorism. Bush believes that
success is near in his efforts to democratize the Middle
East and to eliminate terrorism. However, he did not mention
Palestine-Israel issue at all. The text of the speech
reminded me of the `anti-communism' days in the late 1970s.
If you replace the word `terrorist' with `communist,' there
would be very little change to the texts from that period."


"Bush: Might Makes Right"
Zeynep Atikkan argued in the mass appeal-sensational Aksam
(1/22): "The whole nature of the SOTU address is designed
with the `might makes right' mentality. No matter how Bush
dressed up this idea with his rhetoric about freedom and
democracy, he could not hide his real intention. The fact
of the matter is that world public opinion hates the US, and
the SOTU address did nothing to help the US in this regard."


EDELMAN

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