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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 000660

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, FEBRUARY 5, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Bush convinced Annan to relaunch Cyprus talks - Milliyet
Denktas writes to Turkish, Greek, Cypriot leaders - Hurriyet
Missiles follow Wolfowitz in Kirkuk - Milliyet
John Kerry on top - Hurriyet
Kerry winds blowing over US - Turkiye
Kerry running toward the finish line - Radikal
Backed by ladies, Kerry laps Bush - Sabah 2/4
Al Qaeda behind Irbil bombings - Hurriyet 2/4


OPINION MAKERS
Grossman to be US observer at Cyprus talks - Radikal
Time running out on Cyprus, says Annan - Cumhuriyet
Annan to set a date for Cyprus talks soon - Zaman
All sides ready for talks, says Annan - Radikal 2/4
Athens under pressure on Cyprus, looking for a way out -
Radikal 2/4
Bush defends Iraq war - Radikal 2/4
Sharon may go to early polls - Radikal


BRIEFING


Cyprus: Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Gul
held a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leaders Denktas, Talat
and Serdar Denktas in Ankara on Wednesday. `Turkey and the
TRNC confirmed their common views to press for a lasting
peace in Cyprus," according to a statement released after
the meeting. Turkey and the TRNC reportedly agreed to back
the UN Secretary General's efforts. Turkey has signaled to
UNSG Annan its eagerness to restart the negotiations. Annan
has invited the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders to New
York on February 10 for new negotiations on the
reunification of Cyprus. A UN statement said that the
objective of the negotiations would be to put a completed
text to referenda in April 2004, in time for a reunited
Cyprus to accede to the EU on May 1, 2004. Denktas implied
that he could make territorial concessions in order to
prevent 100,000 Turkish Cypriots from being displaced.
Dailies report that Secretary Powell put pressure on the
Greek Cypriots to join the UN-sponsored peace talks.
Meanwhile, Annan has decided in consultation with Secretary
Powell and President Bush that Marc Grossman should join the
Cyprus talks as a US observer, according to "Radikal."


Kurds deny Turkey's involvement in terror attacks: Northern
Iraq's KDP and PUK released a joint statement rejecting
allegations that Turkey was to blame for the twin suicide
attacks against their offices in Erbil on February 4. The
blasts caused at least 109 deaths and more than 200
injuries. The MFA condemned the attacks and offered
assistance in treatment of the wounded. Mainstream media
believe that al-Qaida is responsible for the bombings.
Thursday's papers report that Ensar al-Sunnet, an
organization reportedly close to the terrorists Ensar al-
Islam, has claimed responsibility for the bombings.


Amnesty offered for terrorists expires: The amnesty offered
by the Turkish government to defectors from terrorist
organizations will expire on February 6. Ankara, which had
expected about 5,000 PKK members to turn themselves in, had
set up special centers along Turkeys' borders to receive
those returning to Turkey. However, only terrorists who had
already been captured and were in prison applied to benefit
from the law. "Cumhuriyet" criticizes the release of 389
members of the fundamentalist terror organization Hizbullah.
The paper also claims that the US had pressured the Turkish
government to enact the law, but was still hesitant to take
action against PKK militants in northern Iraq.


AI chairman due in Turkey: Amnesty International Secretary
general Irene Han will be visiting Turkey for meetings with
NGOs and government officials February 8-14. The AI
delegation will meet with victims of human rights violations
in Istanbul February 8, then will proceed to Diyarbakir
after meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign
Minister Gul in Ankara on February 10.


EDITORIAL OPINION: WMDs/Iraq; Cyprus


"Chutzpah"
Fehmi Koru argued in the Islamist Yeni Safak (2/5): "The
real story about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq proves
the absolute distortion of the facts by the American neo-
cons, including Richard Perle. David Kay has made it clear
to the world that Iraq never had weapons of mass
destruction. He also blamed US intelligence units for
misinforming the administration. The absence of WMD in Iraq
demonstrates that there was no reason for the Iraq war, not
to mention the senseless loss of innocent lives. The
international community has started to grumble about this
disinformation, and President Bush has already started
suffering politically. . Richard Perle is among the leading
figures in the US war-mongering lobby. His counter to David
Kay's statement is rather interesting. Perle says he had
always been aware of the inefficiency of US intelligence
efforts in the Gulf. Yet the very same Richard Perle was
advocating a war in Iraq by using false intelligence. . The
neo-cons used every administration agency for their selfish
interests and strongly advocated a war that was without
basis. They bear all the moral and political
responsibility, so Perle's remarks about intelligence
shortcomings could serve as a definition for chutzpah."


"Grossman will be the observer for the Cyprus talks"
Murat Yetkin noted in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(2/5): "The US is expected to send an observer when the
Cyprus talks are restarted. According to diplomatic
sources, the most likely name for the US observer in Cyprus
talks is Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman. The Bush-
Erdogan meeting produced a very encouraging atmosphere for
the fate of the Cyprus negotiations. It is believed that
the Turkish Cypriot side will remain committed to the
negotiation process regardless of Denktas' personal views.
There is speculation that Turkish Cypriot PM Talat will step
in as negotiator in the event that Denktas resigns from that
position. In the meantime, Denktas is expected to decide on
his approach after the official invitations from UNSYG Annan
have been issued."


DEUTSCH

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