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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 000790

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 10, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
War of nerves at UN - Turkiye
Grand day for `United States of Cyprus' - Sabah
Greek Cypriots also oppose Annan timetable - Hurriyet
Simitis vows to work for a solution - Turkiye
John Kerry generates panic in Bush team - Hurriyet
Cold war between Turkey, Russia over Chechen fighters -
Milliyet
Amnesty International says Turkey on right path - Milliyet
Fitch upgrades Turkey's rating - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Historic day for Cyprus - Cumhuriyet
Annan urges Cypriot peoples to press leaders - Zaman
Washington ratchets up pressure on Ankara before Cyprus
talks - Cumhuriyet
Reluctant Cyprus summit in New York - Radikal
Greek Cypriots reluctant, Simitis criticizes Annan timetable
- Radikal
Kerry tough on Bush - Yeni Safak
EU officials hopeful, find Turkey `closer to EU' - Radikal
Security fence taken to Israeli high court - Yeni Safak
Prince Charles pays surprise visit to Tehran - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Cyprus: If Denktas or Papadopoulos decline to accept the
conditions outlined in the UN-sponsored peace plan for
Cyprus, UN Secretary General Annan will end his peace
efforts, papers report. Denktas, accompanied by hard-line
advisor Mumtaz Soysal, who is well-known for his
uncompromising attitude, will refuse the Annan conditions,
some papers believe. Foreign Minister Gul said yesterday
that Turkey was keen to see a solution, but would not accept
everything in the plan unconditionally. Gul said that
Turkey has three points on which it will insist during the
settlement talks - a bi-zonal structure, guarantor status,
and an acceptable border on the island. Any agreement
reached is likely to be rejected at referendum unless those
three concerns are met, he noted. Turkish and Greek Cypriot
leaders say they came to New York mainly to explain to Annan
their objections to the conditions for discussing the peace
plan, "Hurriyet" reports. Papers note that Annan issued a
call to the peoples of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot
entities to exert pressure on their leaders for a
settlement. `A unified Cyprus entering the EU will help
reduce tensions in the Aegean, and will facilitate Turkey's
entry into Europe,' Annan said. Prime Minister Erdogan, on
an official visit to South Korea, reiterated from Seoul on
Monday Turkey's eagerness to see a fair and lasting solution
before May 2004. "Cumhuriyet" says that Washington might
support Turkey's arguments if the Cypriot sides agree on the
procedure and begin discussing the UN plan.


Iraqi groups' representatives in Turkey: Representatives of
Iraqi Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish arrived in Ankara in advance
of a meeting of Iraq's neighbors that will take place in
Kuwait on February 14-15. Qassem Ghali, deputy head of the
Free Iraq Council, and Barham Salih of the PUK met with MFA
officials on Monday. A delegation of the Ayan Assembly,
headed by Shiite leader Iyad Jamal al Din, will be in Ankara
on Tuesday. Egyptian President Mubarak will also visit
Ankara in an effort to find a common policy with Turkey
before the meeting in Kuwait.


Turkey offers Russia anti-terror alliance: Russia has asked
Turkey to shut down some NGOs allegedly sending Islamic
fighters to Chechnya following a suicide bomb attack on a
Moscow underground passenger train that killed nearly 40
Russians last week. In its first official response to
Moscow's allegations, Ankara has offered Russia increased
and more effective cooperation against terror. Russian
police recently announced that three Turkish citizens had
been killed in clashes with Russian troops in Chechnya. The
issue will be taken up during Foreign Minister Gul's visit
to Moscow February 23, reports note.
AI finds Turkish reforms encouraging: Amnesty International
(AI) Secretary General Irene Khan and her delegation visited
Istanbul Monday, where they praised the legal reforms
enacted by Turkey in pursuit of the Copenhagen Criteria.
The delegation will meet with the prime minister, the
foreign minister, the interior minister, and leading
judiciary figures during its visit.. Human rights violation
cases have showed a significant decline in Turkey, Khan
said, but she warned against continuing problems such as
torture and the treatment of inmates in Turkey's F-type
prisons. Khan asserted that while Turkey is "on the right
road" with respect to human rights, the reform process
"still has a long way to go." She noted AI's concern about
continuing state pressure against groups and individuals who
defend human rights in Turkey.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Cyprus


"The First Challenge is the Bargain with Kofi Annan"
Sami Kohen noted in the mass appeal Milliyet (2/10): "Oddly
enough, the two leaders of Cyprus are on the same line, but
in a negative sense. Both Papadopoulos and Denktas are
seeking changes in the Annan Plan, and they will push for
this during the initial talks with the UNSYG. Kofi Annan is
unlikely to accept any changes to his preconditions. Thus
there is still a possibility that Annan pulls out of the
talks if the two Cypriot leaders insist on changes. .
However, this will also be a challenging process for Turkish
Cypriot leader Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader
Papadopoulos. Denktas is willing to withdraw from the talks
if he feels it becomes necessary, but he cannot do that
easily because of pressure from Ankara. Papadopoulos, on
the other hand, is very reluctant to negotiate and is ready
to say `no' to Annan. Papadopolous would prefer not to be
the first one who says `no.' . The parties to the Cyprus
issue are meeting very reluctantly in New York, and it is
almost impossible to be optimistic about the upcoming
negotiation process."


"Next: The Aegean Disputes"
Sedat Ergin warned in the mass appeal Hurriyet (2/10): "The
main focus in Turkish and Greek public opinion has shifted
to the Cyprus talks in New York, but there is also
significant progress in exploratory talks on the Aegean
disputes between the two countries. . The Aegean talks
between Turkey and Greece have continued since March 2002,
and have now reached the 23rd round. If Turkey and Greece
declare their intentions to start a negotiation process on
the Aegean issues as a result of exploratory talks, that
will in itself represent significant progress in bilateral
relations. In fact, the Aegean negotiations will be
critical for the start of Turkey's EU accession talks. . We
should remember that the EU decision at the Helsinki summit
in 1999, when Turkey was asked to undertake steps for
settlement of the Cyprus issue, also included provisions for
the settlement of the Aegean disputes with Greece by the end
of 2004. There is a very clear message here indicating that
the Aegean issue will be on the agenda right after progress
has been made on the Cyprus issue."


EDELMAN

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