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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 000512

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 27, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Erdogan proposes QIZs, Mideast peace conference to AJC -
Sabah
Erdogan: Turkey has a headscarf problem - Milliyet
Erdogan warns Kurds against attempts in Kirkuk - Hurriyet
Athens against a new mediator for Cyprus - Aksam
Denktas, Papandreou agree: Solution unlikely before May -
Milliyet
Cheney, Powell, Blair take U-turn on Iraqi WMD - Sabah
Powell criticizes Russian democracy - Sabah
Kurds cry war for Kirkuk - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Erdogan wants American investors in Turkey - Cumhuriyet
Erdogan tells international investors to trust Turkey -
Zaman
AJC's Courage Award for Erdogan - Yeni Safak
Greeks, Greek Cypriots dragging feet on Cyprus - Radikal
Peshmerge insist on controlling Northern Iraqi oil - Zaman
PUK's Salih: Kirkuk may turn into Bosnia, Kosovo - Yeni
Safak
KDP launches signature campaign for Kurdish federation -
Radikal
Blair may quit post - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING


PM Erdogan in US: In an exclusive interview with `Newsweek'
magazine, Prime Minister Erdogan warned the US against
allowing Iraqi Kurds to take the oil-rich province of
Kirkuk. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New
York, Erdogan said that Turkish institutions must reach a
social consensus over the headscarf issue. He also
criticized France's recent decision to restrict the public
use of the headscarf as a religious symbol. In a meeting
with representatives of the American Jewish Coucil (AJC) in
New York, Erdogan said Turkey wanted to set up qualified
industrial zones (QIZ) along with the US and Israel in order
to boost investment. He reassured the AJC that Turkey's
Jewish community is safe despite last November's car bomb
attacks at two synagogues in Istanbul, which have been
blamed on fundamentalists. Erdogan also suggested holding a
regional conference for Middle East peace in Turkey.
Cyprus: Prime Minister Erdogan told UN Secretary General
Annan that Cyprus peace talks could be accelerated if an
abridged version of the Annan Plan were taken as a basis for
discussion. Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas, however, said
on Monday that a solution before May 1 was `unlikely.'
Turkish dailies agree that Ankara's willingness to see a
peaceful settlement on Cyprus has put Athens and the Greek
Cypriots in a difficult position. Greece's Prime Minister
Simitis characterized Erdogan's statements as `vague,' and
urged Ankara to change its attitude. Foreign Minister
Papandreou objected to the proposed appointment of a new
Cyprus mediator, saying that it would waste time and delay a
solution. `Milliyet' reports that Papandreou and Denktas
agree on one thing -- that it will be difficult to forge a
deal before the island joins the EU on May 1. Foreign
Minister Gul said on Monday that Turkey `strongly preferred'
a powerful mediator who can facilititate and accelerate
efforts to achieve a solution on Cyprus.


PM Erdogan to convey message from Syria: Turkish Prime
Minister Erdogan will convey to President Bush some messages
from Syrian President Bashar Assad, "Vatan" reports. Syria
is ready for peace talks with Israel, but is demanding
Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Syrian Foreign
Minister al-Shara also reiterated Syrian concerns about the
preservation of Iraq's territorial integrity.


RTUK regulation on broadcast in mother tongues: The
Diyarbakir Bar Association will appeal to the Council of
State for cancellation of a Radio and Television High Board
(RTUK) regulation allowing only national media outlets to
broadcast in languages other than Turkish. Bar Association
President Sezgin Tanrikulu notes that the regulation
promulgated by RTUK restricts the content of such programs
to adult audiences only, and discriminates against loval and
regional broadcasters. The Association also complained
about the daily and weekly time limitations on non-Turkish
programs included in the new regulation.


EDITORIAL OPINION: WMD; US-Turkey Relations


"The Suspicion War"
Fikret Ertan commented in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman
(1/27): "The Iraq turmoil was created by a war based on a
suspicion about the existence of WMD that allegedly posed a
global threat. . In the post-war situation, no weapons of
mass destruction have been identified and it looks like they
never will. This is because Iraq had been eliminating such
weapons since 1990. There are also credible facts to make
us believe that there were actually no WMD in Iraq before
the war. . The resignation of David Kay is a significant
event in this regard, and Secretary Powell has failed to
come up with a convincing argument against the claims made
by Kay. . Nevertheless, Kay also pointed the finger at Syria
for having WMD. This war of suspicion might be moving
towards Syria."


"What Kind of Strategic Partnership Is This?"
Ozgen Acar argued in the social democrat-intellectual
Cumhuriyet (1/27): "The US has some other strategic partners
like the UK, Israel, and Australia which enjoy a full-scale
working relationship with the United States. For instance,
Israel has only 2 percent voting support in the Congress,
yet the benefits provided to Israel are ten times this much.
Strategic partnerships deserve to be treated equally in all
senses. Turkey is making important contributions to the US
in Afghanistan, in the Caucasus, and particularly in the
transportation of oil to the West. But none of these mutual
interests are making Turkey an equal partner with the US.
Given the pro-Greek or Armenian lobbies in the Congress, we
cannot talk about equal treatment or even about a genuine
partnership. We still need to consider the question of
whether there really are mutual interests in the Turkish-
American relationship or whether the interests are more in
conflict."


DEUTSCH

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