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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 000615

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
FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Annan opposes new mediator for Cyprus - Sabah
Powell regards himself as `problem solver' for Cyprus -
Sabah
Powell: Wait until Spring for US action against PKK -
Hurriyet
Papadopoulos urges Annan to start Cyprus talks - Milliyet
Powell asks Annan to put pressure on Greek Cypriots -
Turkiye
429 Arabs released for Tannenbaum - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Athens, Greek Cypriots face significant US pressure -
Radikal
Powell believes solution in Cyprus near - Yeni Safak
Erdogan: Turkey will be a leader for change in Muslim world
- Radikal
Turkey urges US economic cooperation in Iraq - Yeni Safak
Jerusalem bloodbath - Radikal
Prisoner swap in Middle East - Cumhuriyet
Israel releases 429 Palestinians - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Erdogan in US: Mainstream media and Islamist papers in
Turkey agree that Erdogan's US visit has been successful in
repairing the strain in bilateral relations and in gaining
promises from the Americans regarding the elimination of the
PKK presence in northern Iraq and opposition to a
prospective Kurdish state. Papers also note that the United
States is exerting significant pressure on Greece and the
Greek Cypriots to return to the bargaining table on Cyprus
following the recent Turkish initiative with the UN
Secretary General. However, "Cumhuriyet" believes that

SIPDIS
Erdogan made no concrete gains on his US trip. Erdogan was
received `like a leader of a third world country,' according
to "Cumhuriyet." The paper complains that Turkish
businessmen are returning home `empty-handed.' "Cumhuriyet"
also claims that Turkey suffered a setback on Cyprus when
Secretary Powell declined the Turkish proposal that he serve

SIPDIS
as a mediator in the Cyprus talks.


Powell, Gul press conference: At a joint press conference
following a meeting with FM Gul, Secretary of State Powell
urged Ankara to wait until April or May to see US action
against PKK militants who refuse to take advantage of the
amnesty law offered by the Turkish government for members of
terrorist organizations. Powell noted that the US would
resist plans for an independent Kurdistan. He voiced hope
to see the Cyprus issue resolved before May. Powell is
reluctant to become a `facilitator' for Cyprus given his
already-full schedule in his duties as Secretary. Foreign
Minister Gul said Turkey wants Powell to intervene in the
Cyprus negotiations only in the event of a deadlock.


Cyprus: UN Secretary General Annan said on Thursday that
the appointment of Secretary Powell as a `mediator' or
`facilitator' for Cyprus was out of the question. `Powell
already has a post in which he is quite busy,' Annan said.
Annan reiterated support for UN Cyprus envoy Alvaro De Soto,
who knows the Cyprus issue in detail. President Bush is
expected to write a letter to Greek Cypriot leader
Papadopolous, urging the Greek Cypriots to follow the steps
forward taken by the Turkish government. Meanwhile, EU
expansion commissioner Verheugen said that it is not Turkey
but `some other countries' that are against a solution in
Cyprus. Verheugen did not elaborate.


Distressed with TABA, US founds new association: A "Sabah"
column claims that the end is nearing for the Turkish-
American Business Association (TABA). Many US companies are
no longer willing to be represented by TABA and have left
the association in search of a new organization which would
help US businessmen in Turkey. US Embassy Ankara has pushed
the button for the establishment of the American Business
Forum (ABF) following long months of preparation. The new
association will be announced by Ambassador Edelman on
January 17. About 50 US companies have already registered
with the ABF, "Sabah" reports.


EDITORIAL OPINION: US-TURKEY


"Courting with the US"
Mehmet Ocaktan warned in the Islamist Yeni Safak (1/30):
"There is a general impression that Turkey is making
important progress toward its EU vision after the talks in
Washington. Yet we should also remember that in the past
the Europeans were not very welcoming toward American
efforts to ensure Turkey's EU accession. It remains to be
seen whether an American facilitative role this time will
work with the EU. There is still a possibility, however,
that Turkey will lose its chance to receive a date from the
EU in December 2004. The fact of the matter is that
Turkey's EU accession is not a real priority for Washington.
The US cares more about its `Greater America Project' in the
Middle East, and the real priority is to determine where
Turkey stands in that respect. . The timing of the great new
affection between Ankara and Washington is actually a cause
for concern because of the US intention to become a world
empire. This is not a great help for Turkey's EU vision.
Let's bear in mind that the whole region is going to remain
unstable for a long time to come, and the US is not going to
give up its invasion plans in the Islamic world. In short,
flirting with the US is like a dead-end for Turkey."


"Meeting at the White House"
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in the conservative Turkiye (1/30):
"The meeting created an opportunity to discuss very
important issues in an extensive format, including Iraq,
Cyprus and PKK terrorism. It would be wrong to describe
what President Bush said to PM Erdogan as `vague.'
Washington made some very important commitments for Iraq's
territorial integrity as well as the fate of PKK members in
northern Iraq.
Washington seems very determined to maintain full-scale
relations with Turkey as an ally. Differences might appear
in some of the rhetoric on Iraq, but this does not mean that
the US is trying to cheat Turkey. It stems from the fact
that the US did not draw up a final plan for Iraq's future.
. The US-Turkey alliance in the fight against terrorism is a
shining example of why we should be optimistic about the
future of mankind."


DEUTSCH

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