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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 000573

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 29, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Bush fully assures Erdogan on northern Iraq - Hurriyet
Bush promises Erdogan a united Iraq - Milliyet
Bush, Erdogan fully agree on Iraq, Cyprus - Turkiye
Cheney: Turkey will be a model for the Middle East - Sabah
Bush may visit Ankara in June - Sabah
Erdogan praises Iran to Jewish representatives in US -
Milliyet
Erdogan's attitude encouraging - Annan - Turkiye
Annan: Time running out for Cyprus solution - Milliyet
Powell a `facilitator' for Cyprus - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Turkey got what it wanted on Iraq, Cyprus - Radikal
Bush asks Powell to accelerate Cyprus solution - Cumhuriyet
Annan signals he may resume Cyprus talks - Radikal
Annan wants Cyprus agreement in March, referenda in April -
Zaman
Papadopolous agrees to unconditional Cyprus talks - Radikal
Bush to officially visit Ankara in June - Zaman
US Muslim leaders say Turkey a model for Islamic world -
Cumhuriyet
Bremer: No room for PKK/KADEK in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
John Kerry wins the second round - Zaman


BRIEFING


Erdogan in US: Dailies give extensive front-page coverage
to the Bush-Erdogan meeting at the White House on Wednesday.
Turkey got from the Americans assurances regarding Cyprus
peace talks, Iraq's territorial integrity, and the PKK
threat in northern Iraq. Bush urged Erdogan to seek
compromise in Cyprus within the framework of the Annan Plan,
not to object to a federation in Iraq, and to improve ties
with Armenia. Bush assured Erdogan that Kurdish demands for
an ethnic federation in Iraq would not be accepted, and
promised to eliminate the PKK threat from the region. Bush
declined to make clear, specific pledges for removal of the
PKK terror threat in northern Iraq, according to
"Cumhuriyet." The Turks expect the Americans first to close
the Mahmur refugee camp in the region. The situation of the
Turkmen was not raised at the meeting. Bush tasked
Secretary Powell to facilitate Cyprus talks through meetings

SIPDIS
with UN Secretary General Annan. Bush and Erdogan reached
agreement on resuming Cyprus negotiations between the
Turkish and Greek Cypriots in Geneva on February 9,
"Cumhuriyet" claims. President Bush may officially visit
Ankara after attending the NATO Summit in Istanbul in June.


Cyprus: At a joint press conference with EU Commission
President Prodi, UN Secretary General Annan said that if a
compromise is reached on Cyprus by late March, the Cypriot
sides could hold simultaneous referenda in April, paving the
path to EU membership for a reunited Cyprus. Annan
described his meeting with Erdogan in Davos as
`encouraging,' and said he would decide whether to resume
talks after meeting with all sides involved in the Cyprus
issue.


Deputy Chief of TGS visits Israel: Deputy Chief of TGS
General Ilker Basbug went to Israel on Tuesday, accompanied
by a delegation of 45 officials from the TGS, the Defense
Ministry, and the Defense Industry Undersecretariat. Turks
will discuss with the Israelis recent developments in Iraq,
cooperation in the defense industry, and the exchange of
intelligence in the wake of the fundamentalist terror
attacks in Istanbul last November.


Armenian reaction to Erdogan remarks in US: Armenia's
Foreign Minister Oskanjan rejected Prime Minister Erdogan's
proposal for to remove references to genocide from the
history books. Armenia will continue to work to gain
international recognition for its genocide claims, Oskanyan
stressed. Oskanyan, however, found Erdogan `sincere' in his
effort to repair the strains with Armenia when the Turkish
prime minister acknowledged that both sides had
responsibility for past atrocities.


EDITORIAL OPINION: US-TURKEY RELATIONS


"Analyzing the Summit"
Sedat Ergin commented on the results of the Oval office
meeting in the mass appeal Hurriyet (1/29): "The meeting
created an opportunity for Washington to give strong
messages to international public opinion on both the Iraq
and Cyprus issues. However, the Bush administration avoided
making a strongly-worded statement about Iraq. No
questions from the press were taken following the statements
by Erdogan and Bush, and Bush did not provide any detail
about a possible federation in Iraq. On Cyprus, President
Bush only voiced his satisfaction with the Cyprus briefing
provided by Erdogan. The Turkish side was hoping to see
stronger words and stronger messages from Bush, but it
didn't happen. . The Kirkuk-Turkoman issue was absent from
the Oval Office agenda. It was believed that Erdogan would
bring up this issue, but he did not. This will disappoint
the expectations of Turkish public opinion. . President
Bush reiterated the official American commitment to
eliminate the PKK in northern Iraq. The statement from Paul
Bremer in this respect pleased the Turkish side. Yet it
remains unclear when the US is going to start taking
concrete steps on this commitment."


"Strategic Tuning with the US"
Sami Kohen observed in the mass appeal Milliyet (1/29):
"Turkey's interests and its strategic vision mostly match
with that of the United States. The differences may appear
sometimes, as in northern Iraq, but maintaining the
partnership seems to be the best way to overcome the
differences. This is what the current Turkish government is
trying to achieve by working on strategic fine-tuning and
expanding the bilateral cooperation with the United States.
This policy is compatible with US interests and goals.
Washington realizes that it needs Turkey and puts Turkey
into an important category in its foreign relations. There
was speculation that Turkey's geo-strategic importance had
been reduced after the Iraq war in the eyes of the US. This
has proven to be false. The Bush administration treats
Turkey as an important factor in its global and regional
policy. The need for change in the Islamic world, which is
supported by the AKP government, is a very important policy
for the Bush administration. Some problems remain, of
course, but it is a matter of time for them to be eliminated
as well. The strategic fine-tuning taking place in
Washington this week, however, is a very important step
which will keep the Turkish-American partnership on track."


DEUTSCH

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