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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 000048

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 6, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Four Messages for Cyprus From Ankara-Hurriyet
Historic Step From Assad - Milliyet
TGS Rejects Claims of Dispute With Government on Cyprus
Issue - Milliyet
New York Times: "US Accepts A Semi-Autonomous Kurdistan" -
Milliyet
Cyprus Warning From TGS - Sabah
US Accepts Kurdish Federation in Iraq - Sabah
Strategic Visit: Assad Arrives Today - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Cyprus Wars Through the Media - Radikal
MFA and TGS Confirm Disagreement on Cyprus Document -
Cumhuriyet
Cooperation Period With Damascus - Cumhuriyet
The EU Wants Turkey - Yeni Safak
Syria not Insistent on Border Issue - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Visit of Syrian President Assad: All papers report on the
Syrian President's visit to Turkey, which starts today.
Assad will be the first Syrian president to visit Turkey
since 1946. Assad will discuss with Turkish leaders ways to
improve security cooperation and boost economic relations
with Turkey. "Zaman" reports that just before Assad's
visit, Israel approved the purchase of Manavgat water from
Turkey and invited Turkish Energy Minister Guler to Israel
to sign the deal. During the Assad visit, Turkey and Syria
will sign three separate agreements to prevent double
taxation, to encourage investments and to boost cooperation
in tourism. "Milliyet" highlights the importance of the
three agreements, claiming that by signing the documents,
Assad will tacitly recognize Turkey's existing borders and
thereby renounce Syria's claim to the southern province of
Hatay.


Iraq Issue: Citing "The New York Times," "Hurriyet" and
"Radikal" report that the Bush Administration has decided to
consent to the establishment of a semi-autonomous Kurdish
state in northern Iraq. According to "The New York Times,"
Iraq's interim government and the US have accepted the idea
that the Kurds will maintain their autonomous zone after the
US administration of Iraq ends on June 30, 2004. Although
the US opposes the autonomous zone in principle, the reports
say, there is insufficient time to change the structure of
the Kurdish stronghold in the north. Meanwhile, "Radikal"
reports that the US had urged the Kurds to postpone pursuit
of their political aspirations in until tensions diminish.


Cyprus Issue: "Zaman" reports that the General Staff and
the Foreign Ministry issued statements rejecting reports in
yesterday's "Cumhuriyet" that there are disagreements
between the government and the military over the Cyprus
issue. The General Staff denied the allegations, claiming
that the TGS is working together with the government to
shape Ankara's position on Cyprus. The Foreign Ministry also
denied the "Cumhuriyet" claim, saying that such speculation
damages Turkey's interests on Cyprus.


EDITORIAL OPINION:
- Iraq/Elections 2004
- Cyprus


"2004 will be a tough year for Bush"
Zafer Atay noted in the economic-political Dunya (1/6): "The
invasion of Iraq opened Pandora's box by paving the way for
the mobilization of the internal ethnic and religious
dynamics of Iraq. The territorial integrity of Iraq has
been placed at risk due to Kurdish plans for autonomy and
even independence. Islamic terror has increased
significantly. . It is very unlikely that the Bush
administration will be able to end the negative situation in
Iraq. The security of American forces has become the main
priority for the US. Moreover, the US has lost its
influence over the Iraqi Governing Council despite the fact
that it was the Americans who established it. . In 2004,
prospects for a better future are dim. Pakistan is about to
be another factor of instability. If Musharraf is toppled
in Pakistan, which is not a remote possibility, the US
administration will have to deal with an expanded area of
terrorism. In the event of growing terrorism and a
deteriorating situation in Iraq, President Bush will face a
very tough period leading up to the November 2004
elections."


"Cyprus and the US"
Ozgen Acar observed in the social democrat-intellectual
Cumhuriyet (1/6): "The US got what it wanted on the Cyprus
issue. The governments on all four sides of the Cyprus
issue - Turkey, Greece, and the two sides of Cyprus - have
changed their approaches in a way that is pleasing to
Washington. For instance, Turkey now has PM Erdogan, who
presents himself as pro-western, instead of former PM Ecevit
who ordered the 1974 military operation in Cyprus. In
Southern Cyprus, Papadopoulos has taken over from Klerides.
Opposition leader Talat has become a strong figure in
Northern Cyprus. American citizen Papandreou is an emerging
figure in Greece. Washington is going to be engaged in more
active cooperation with these figures. President Bush took
the first step by sending a letter on Cyprus to the Greek
PM. He will likely repeat the same message to Erdogan
during the upcoming visit."


DEUTSCH

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