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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 001058

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, FEBRUARY 24, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
EU may launch talks w/ Turkey mid-2005 - Schroeder -
Hurriyet
Chancellor Schroeder promises Turkey Europe - Milliyet
FM Gul extends Russia terror support - Milliyet
Springtime with Russia after eight years - Turkiye
Reform dreams over in Iran - Hurriyet
The Hague discusses `security wall' - Hurriyet
Wall wars at The Hague - Milliyet
Turks the most optimistic nation in Europe - Survey - Sabah
`Terminator' Schwarzenegger turns to White House - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Negotiation time in Cyprus - Radikal
Talat concerned about EU guarantee on a Cyprus agreement -
Zaman
EU prefers a `United Cyprus' - Cumhuriyet
Schroeder boosts Ankara's morale - Radikal
No new condition for Turkey's EU membership - Schroeder -
Zaman
Ankara left Palestine alone on `security wall' - Cumhuriyet
HRW finds `security fence' against Geneva Convention -
Radikal
90 nations against Israeli `security wall' - Yeni Safak
Observers expect conflict among Iranian conservatives - Yeni
Safak
Israel has 82 nuclear weapons - Pentagon report -
Cumhuriyet
Iraqi Shiite leader Muderrisi warns of civil war - Yeni
Safak


BRIEFING


Cyprus: Turkish Cypriots want security, migration and land
issues to top the agenda of negotiations today, whereas
Greek Cypriots merely want the security issue discussed, say
papers. TRNC `Prime Minister' Mehmet Ali Talat said to the
press on Monday that Turks would demand guarantees for
political equality at Tuesday's talks. The guarantor status
of Turkey should continue, Talat said and warned that
migration should not be allowed before the sides reach
agreement on settlement, housing and working conditions.
Turkish Cypriots are concerned that a prospective Cyprus
agreement can be annulled by the European courts, says
"Zaman." At the moment, we are examining the validity of EU
guarantees, Talat said. Greek Cypriots insist on submitting
the Cyprus agreement to Turkish and Greek parliaments for
approval before the referenda to be held in Cyprus on April
21, writes "Radikal." Meanwhile, EU foreign ministers have
reiterated in Brussels on Monday that the EU wanted a united
Cyprus to join the union on May 1, say papers.


Turkish commanders discuss US greater Middle East strategy:
Top military commanders came together at a meeting in Ankara
on Monday, says "Milliyet." At a `brainstorming' session
chaired by the TGS Chief General Ozkok, force commanders and
other generals in Ankara discussed primarily the US greater
Middle East project and Turkey's role in the initiative, and
Cyprus, Iraq, Iran and Israel, according to Milliyet.
German Chancellor in Ankara: Visiting German Chancellor
Schroeder has extended full support to Turkey's EU bid, and
praised Ankara's efforts for EU reforms and work to resolve
the Cyprus problem. Schroeder is confident that the EU will
commence accession negotiations with Turkey by June 2005 at
the latest, say papers. Schroeder came to Ankara mainly to
extend support to Ankara's EU drive despite the opposition
he encountered at home, dailies comment. Turkey's Islamic
values, integrated into the values of the EU, will
contribute both to the democracy in Turkey and to regional
stability, Schroeder said.


Ankara not on Palestine's side on `security wall': Ankara
has declined support to Palestine on the security fence
dispute to be discussed at The Hague, writes "Cumhuriyet" on
its front page. Ankara has changed its mind in the face of
the US and EU position claiming that The Hague is not the
proper place to discuss political issues, says Cumhuriyet.
Tel Aviv had strongly protested Turkey's initial decision to
support the Palestinian thesis, causing Ankara to step back
on a decision to testify in support of Palestine at The
Hague. Ankara's changing attitude has been a severe
disillusion for the Palestinians, the paper notes.


Turks hopeful of the future - Survey: A report by the EU's
public opinion research company `Euro-barometer' finds Turks
the most optimistic nation in Europe. Forty-six percent of
the surveyed Turks believe they are better off in 2004
compared to last year. Forty-one percent think that
Turkey's economy is improving. The military is the most
trusted institution in Turkey by 82 percent. Sixty-seven
percent of Turks want EU membership, while 10 percent are
strongly against, according to the survey.


EDITORIAL OPINION:


a) Guantanamo
b) Greater Middle East Initiative


"Guantanamo: Graveyard for International Law"
Retired judge Umit Kardas argued in the liberal-intellectual
Radikal (2/24): "The US has been keeping foreigners in
Guantanamo base, and their status does not have any legal
structure at all. The prisoners of Guantanamo are living
under severe conditions and are subject to mistreatment as
well as inhumane practices. More than a thousand prisoners
have not yet been charged with anything, and apparently they
are prisoners of Guantanamo only because of their religious
and ethnic background. . Current implementation in
Guantanamo is a clear violation of international law,
moreover the US administration victimized the American Bill
of Rights with the `fight against terrorism' pretext. . The
European Union countries also present an interesting stance.
The prisoners of Guantanamo are from 42 countries including,
some EU members. Yet the EU is pursuing a position of
silence and blindness against the violation of international
law. It seems the Guantanamo base has now turned into a
graveyard for the international law."


"Why the Greater Middle East Initiative Will Fail"
Gila Benmayor opined in the mass appeal Hurriyet (2/24):
"President Bush has high hopes about the Greater Middle East
initiative for which PM Erdogan also voiced support. The
project is aiming at bringing democracy to the whole Middle
East region and it was inspired from the Reagan
administration's dream to bring democracy to the East
European countries. The Bush administration has been
working on this project and it is likely that it will be
officially initiated next June. The project covers not only
the Middle East countries but also Iran, north African as
well as Central Asian countries. Turkish PM Erdogan even
suggested that the Caucasus countries be included. The
project might seem inspirational but the fact of the matter
is that Middle East is definitely not East Europe. Experts
seem to agree on the two reasons for the failure of this
initiative: First of all, the Arab world does not support
such an idea because it is taken as the Western world
imposing its values upon them. The second reason is about
the Israeli-Palestine conflict. There is absolutely no
chance of success for the Middle East initiative as long as
the Israel-Palestine conflict remains unresolved."


EDELMAN

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