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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 03 ANKARA 000550

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
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Turkey's EU membership will benefit all - Cheney - Hurriyet
Let's close the genocide chapter - Erdogan to Armenians -
Hurriyet
Erdogan wants Powell as Cyprus mediator - Sabah
Erdogan to hold surprise meeting with Schwarzenegger -
Hurriyet
Athens rejects new Cyprus mediator proposal - Hurriyet
Greeks say `No' to Turkish proposals on Cyprus - Milliyet
Necirvan Barzani threatens force if Turks remain in Iraq -
Milliyet
Zana supports Turkey's EU bid from prison - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Jewish community rewards Erdogan - Radikal
Surprise name for Cyprus: Holbrooke - Cumhuriyet
Turkey to take initiative on Armenia policy - Zaman
Erdogan: Turkey, US must expand strategic cooperation - Yeni
Safak
Kurdish officials step up tension with Turkey - Cumhuriyet
Athens gives `red light' for Turkey's Cyprus efforts -
Radikal
Bremer believes geographical federation suits Iraq best -
Zaman
Turkmen demand autonomy - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Erdogan in US: Prime Minister Erdogan will meet President
Bush at the Oval Office on Wednesday. Cyprus and Iraq will
be among the issues discussed, and the Turks are expected to
urge expanded economic and commercial cooperation. US hopes
for a solution in Cyprus before May have increased
considerably after the recent Turkish initiative.
Washington will make clear that it wants Turkey as part of
the European family. The Americans will explain to Erdogan
their preference for a federation in Iraq based on
geographic boundaries, and reaffirm that Kirkuk must belong
to all ethnic groups living there, "Hurriyet" reports.
President Bush will reassure Erdogan about US determination
to remove the PKK threat in Northern Iraq. The US will also
reiterate support for Turkey in its dealings with
international financial institutions. The US wants enhanced
cooperation with Turkey regarding the Caucasus, Central Asia
and the Middle East, and will urge Turks to normalize
relations with Armenia. Addressing a Turkish audience in
New York on Tuesday, Erdogan issued an historic call to
Armenia: `We want to remove from the history books all
allegations of genocide and other issues of enmity,' he
said, and called the Armenians to do the same. `Both sides
must look at the future now,' Erdogan noted. Erdogan also
signaled that Turkey's border with Armenia might be opened.
The Turkish prime minister also met with Greek Orthodox
Archbishop Demetrios and members of the Greek lobby in New
York on Tuesday. Erdogan complained to the Archbishop about
`provocative moves' by the Orthodox Church in Southern
Cyprus in an effort to block the Turkish initiative for a
peaceful solution. Demetrios told Erdogan that Greeks
living in the US support a solution in Cyprus. The
Archbishop urged Erdogan to allow the re-opening of Halki
(Heybeliada) Seminary in Istanbul. Erdogan said the Halki
Seminary controversy was related to the situation of the
Turkish minority living in Western Thrace, and added that
the issue would be taken up in line with the principle of
reciprocity.
Cyprus: Foreign Minister Gul hinted that Turkish Cypriots
could hold a referendum on the Annan Plan for Cyprus even if
no compromise is worked out in negotiations. `American
support is necessary for a solution in Cyprus,' Gul said
before leaving for the US on Tuesday. Gul added that both
Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots have said that they could
accept the Annan Plan as a point of reference. Greek
Foreign Minister Papandreou rejected Ankara's proposal for
the appointment of a new Cyprus mediator by the UN. `Alvaro
de Soto is fully knowledgeable about the details of the
Cyprus problem, and it might take months for a new go-
between to become familiar with the issue,' Papandreou said.
TRNC `Prime Minister' Mehmet Ali Talat blamed the Greeks and
Greek Cypriots for attempting block a settlement before May.
Meanwhile, "Cumhuriyet" reports about Richard Holbrooke
attending a dinner hosted by Turkish businessman Ahmet
Ertegun for Erdogan in New York. "Cumhuriyet" believes that
Holbrooke could be assigned as the mediator for Cyprus.
"Sabah," however, continues to report that Erdogan will urge
President Bush to appointing Secretary Powell to that
position.


Turkmen might demand autonomy: Turkmen in northern Iraq say
they will claim `autonomy rights' if a Kurdish federation is
established in the region, according to "Yeni Safak." The
Turkmen want to establish their autonomous region close to
the Turkish border, with parts of Mosul and Kirkuk included.


Jailed Kurdish MP supports Turkey in EU: Former Kurdish
member of the Turkish parliament, DEP (Democracy Party)
deputy Leyla Zana wrote a letter from jail to Pat Cox,
Chairman of the European Parliament, urging for support for
Turkey in its effort to get a date for EU membership
negotiations. Zana noted that such a gesture would `break
the resistance' of anti-EU circles in Turkey. `For me, it's
better to stay in jail in a Turkey which has started
accession talks with the EU than to be free in a Turkey
waiting before doors that have been locked by the EU' Zana
said. Zana argued that if the EU denies Ankara a date for
accession talks, chaos may erupt in Turkey and the region.


Turks take headscarf complaints to ECHR: The European Court
of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled against Turkey in 76 human
rights cases last year. There are currently 190 appeals
pending against Turkey regarding the official ban on
headscarves, including a case filed by the wife of Turkish
FM Abdullah Gul. In 2003, Turkey ranked fifth in the list
of countries with the highest record of human rights
violations.


EDITORIAL OPINION: US-Turkey Relations/Cyprus


"White House Meeting Might Bring Breakthrough on Cyprus"
Murat Yetkin expects developments on the Cyprus issue in the
liberal-intellectual Radikal (1/28): "Recent steps taken by
Turkey have created a very positive and encouraging
atmosphere about breaking the deadlock on the Cyprus issue.
Both Greece and the Greek Cypriots are annoyed by the
Turkish initiatives, which ended their hopes to enter the EU
on May 1 without coming under pressure to resolve the Cyprus
dispute. Prime Minister Erdogan hopes the US administration
will recognize the genuine goodwill on the Turkish side to
solve the long-standing Cyprus issue this time. Therefore,
his meeting with President Bush at the White House has
become even more important, because Erdogan believes that a
settlement process can actually begin with the position to
be outlined by Bush. . Breaking the deadlock on Cyprus and
beginning the process for a lasting solution will certainly
boost hopes for Turkey's integration with the Western world.
PM Erdogan might be the leader to take Turkey to the EU if
he can ensure enough support for the Cyprus settlement
process from the White House and the United Nations."


"Turkey Wants Powell as Mediator for Cyprus"
Asli Aydintasbas observed in the mass appeal Sabah (1/28):
"During the meeting at the White House, PM Erdogan is not
only going to ask the US to support Turkey's Cyprus
settlement initiative, but also to agree to name Secretary
Powell as a mediator for Cyprus. The Bush administration,
however, believes that Powell might not be the best
candidate due to his busy schedule. Washington is also
unwilling to be involved in the Cyprus issue so directly.
The White House instead is planning to propose a high-level
American name for job of Cyprus mediation. . The White House
meeting will also be the venue for Turkish diplomacy to try
to convince Bush administration about Turkey's sincerity for
finding a settlement to the Cyprus issue this time."


DEUTSCH

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