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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 000731

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, FEBRUARY 6, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Denktas Hesitates: I'll probably go to NY - Hurriyet
Papadopoulos will go to NY, but makes no promises - Hurriyet
Annan urges Cypriot sides for referenda on April 21 - Vatan
First Cyprus round on February 10 - Turkiye
Denktas to NY, but with a `protest letter' in hand -
Milliyet
Boucher denies reports on US aspiration for base in Cyprus -
Vatan
Tenet acknowledges Iraq was not `imminent threat' - Sabah
Shiite leader Sistani survives assassination attempt - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Ankara strives to convince Denktas - Radikal
Athens, Greek Cypriots ready for Cyprus talks - Zaman
US demands military base in Cyprus - Cumhuriyet
Tough warning from Barzani to Erbil attackers - Cumhuriyet
Bremer pledges full cooperation with UN - Zaman
US foresees new military role for Turkey in Middle East -
Cumhuriyet
Intelligence scandal shakes Blair - Radikal
Reformists cave in Iran - Cumhuriyet
Sharon questioned in bribery scandal - Zaman


BRIEFING


Cyprus: UNSG Annan has invited Cypriot leaders Denktas and
Papadopoulos to New York on February 10 for peace
negotiations on Cyprus. Annan urged the sides to go agree
to a negotiation timetable that would lead to referenda on
the UN blueprint on April 21. Denktas continues to tbe
bothered by the referendum condition, but will travel to New
York for talks on the UN-sponsored peace plan for reunifying
Cyprus. "Milliyet" reports, however, that Denktas will show
up in New York with a `protest paper' in hand. Papers
report that State Department Spokesman Boucher denied
Turkish press stories claiming that the US aspires to set up
a military base in Cyprus.


Amnesty offer for terrorists expires: The Turkish
government's amnesty offer for defectors from terror
organizations expires today. The law was passed under
American pressure, and the US had agreed to take political,
economic and military action against the PKK following
today's deadline, according to "Milliyet." The TGS has set
up a special unit headed by General Kalyoncu to push the
Americans to take military action against the terror
organization. Ankara has reached an accord with Syria and
Iran for prospective military operations against fleeing
terrorists.


US tailors new security role for Turkey: The US is
preparing Turkey to take an active role in its strategy of
military intervention in the Middle East and its outposts,
according to "Cumhuriyet." Washington will consider ways to
reinforce the military presence of NATO on the Ankara-Cairo
axis. With seven new members to join NATO at the Istanbul
Summit in June, the 26-strong alliance will shift to the
Morocco-Afghanistan axis. Turkey will take a role similar
to that of West Germany during the Cold War, but in a
different geographical area, the paper claims.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Cyprus


"The Aftermath of the Erbil Terror Attack"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal Milliyet (2/6): "The
recent terrorist attacks against KDP and PUK headquarters in
northern Iraq have resulted in much speculation. Among the
various theories, the Al Qaida connection now seems most
likely. Nevertheless, more time and evidence are needed to
verify Al Qaida's involvement and intentions. For the
larger picture, the Erbil attacks lead us to the following
conclusions: Northern Iraq had been the safest part of Iraq
since the beginning of the war. The Erbil incident marks a
new beginning in this respect, making northern Iraq a more
dangerous place where Pandora's box has been opened. The
terrorist attacks in Iraq so far have targeted the UN and
the coalition partners, particularly the US. Yet the recent
attack shows that local institutions as well as local people
have become new targets for terrorism. . The bloody
incidents in Erbil have accelerated the nationalist tone
among the Kurdish population. Many Kurdish leaders are
using the Erbil incident as a pretext to argue the urgent
need for Kurdish autonomy. . If terrorist attacks in
northern Iraq continue, they would pose a serious threat in
the region, including for renewed ethnic conflict and the
possibility of new PKK attacks."


"Tough Decision for Denktas"
Sedat Ergin noted in the mass appeal Hurriyet (2/6):
"Denktas finds himself in a very crucial dilemma. If he
goes to New York, he will have to agree with the Annan Plan
in its entirety. If he does not, he will find himself
blamed for undermining the solution process as well as
burning his bridges with Turkey's AKP government. Ankara
has given UNSG Kofi Annan a `blank check' in the Cyprus
negotiations and has been urging Denktas to go to New York.
. It seems that Athens has taken sides with Ankara and
accepted the UN conditions for the settlement procedure.
The two key actors, Denktas and Papadopoulos, are still
trying to see what the other will do. According to Denktas,
Papadopoulos will eventually agree to attend the New York
meetings, because, as Denktas says, `the Annan Plan favors
him.' No matter what happens, this is the most critical
period on the Cyprus issue."


DEUTSCH

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