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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 000814

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
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Denktas: We came to New York to open a new chapter -
Hurriyet
Hope for compromise at historic Cyprus summit - Sabah
Bargaining in New York - Milliyet
Annan signals readiness to change his Cyprus plan - Turkiye
Simitis: Turkeys' path to EU is through Green Line in Cyprus
- Milliyet
Another suicide attack in Iraq: 55 dead - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Cyprus' destiny on the negotiation table - Radikal
Erdogan warns Denktas to abide by Annan plan - Radikal
Ankara pressures Denktas to stay at the table - Cumhuriyet
Annan boosts hope on eve of the longest night in New York -
Zaman
Tough Cyprus bargaining in New York - Yeni Safak
First Cyprus round positive - Yeni Safak
PUK: Turkish troops should make `friendly exit' from Iraq -
Cumhuriyet
French uphold secularism, ban headscarf in schools -
Cumhuriyet
AKP still popular, CHP in critical condition - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Cyprus: Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders remained at the
negotiating table after their first meeting with UN
Secretary General Annan in New York on Tuesday. `Cyprus

SIPDIS
peace negotiations have started,' TRNC `Foreign Minister'
Serdar Denktas announced. `We are pleased that the meetings
were beneficial, and the talks will continue next week
either in New York, Nicosia or a European city,' Denktas
added. He voiced hope that the positive atmosphere in the
initial talks will continue. Denktas and Papadopoulos
presented their conditions to Annan, Turkish papers report.
Dailies believe the positive atmosphere was due to heavy
pressure exerted by Ankara and Athens on the Cypriot
leaders. Facing significant pressure from Ankara and the
US, Denktas opted against presenting his letter of
conditions to Annan, "Sabah" reports. The Greek Cypriots
were also uncomfortable with the Annan conditions, but they
preferred to pursue a wait-and-see policy, according to
"Radikal." Denktas' withdrawal from negotiations was `out
of the question,' Prime Minister Erdogan said on Tuesday on
his way back from South Korea. Dailies highlight Greek
Prime Minister Simitis' comment that the `wounds of the 1974
Turkish intervention on the island must be healed,' and that
Greek and Turkish Cypriots could `live together for a
European vision.' Papers also underline Annan's flexible
message to the parties, indicating that changes to the UN
plan are possible if a compromise is reached between the
Cypriot leaders.


PUK representative in Ankara: Visiting Ankara after
meetings in Washington and London, PUK official Bahram Salih
discussed with his Turks counterparts the political
reconstruction of Iraq. In a meeting with Ankara's special
Iraq envoy, Ambassador Osman Koruturk, Salih said he fully
supports Iraq's territorial integrity and a fair
representation of all ethnic groups in the country. `Kirkuk
is part of Iraqi Kurdistan,' Salih stressed, `and the people
of Kirkuk want to see a democratic solution to their
problems.' In a TV interview late Tuesday, Salih asserted
that the Kurds have no intention to expel Turkish troops
from Iraq by force. Salih also expressed determination to
eliminate any threat coming from inside Iraq toward its
neighbors, including the PKK/KADEK. "Radikal" believes
Salih was trying to ease Ankara's concerns over a
prospective federal structure in Iraq.


AK Party's popularity persisting: Public support for the
ruling AK Party remains strong, according to a public
opinion survey conducted by the private polling company
ANAR, "Yeni Safak" reports. In response to a question about
which party they would support in the March 28 municipal
elections, those surveyed responded as follows: AKP 33.2
percent, CHP 10.3, Genc Party 5.5, MHP 3.5, DYP 3.4, DEHAP
3.1, ANAP 1.4, Undecided 29.0


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Cyprus


"No Surprise in Iraq"
Zafer Atay wrote in the economic-political Dunya (2/11): "It
was clear from the very beginning that the Kurds, who
constitute a minority among the Iraqi population, pose a
potential threat unless they are kept under control. The
Iraqi Kurds are after a privileged form of autonomy,
something very close to independence. They also want to
control the natural resources of Iraq. Their efforts in
drafting a constitution and establishing borders clearly
indicate the fact that a civil war remains a potential
threat for Iraq. . The Iraqi Kurds have so far worked
successfully toward achieving their goals, and they haven't
been seriously opposed by the US either. . The recent
suicide bombing in Erbil suggests an emerging conflict
between Kurds and Arabs in Iraq. This type of terrorist
attack is very Arab in nature, and some have interpreted the
Erbil incident as the beginning of a civil war. . The US
remains the real authority in Iraq, and it is the US
responsibility to stop its Kurdish allies from going
further. Otherwise, an Arab-Kurd war is imminent in Iraq."


"Is Denktas Able to Stop This Process?"
Mehmed Ali Birand observed in the mass appeal Posta (2/11):
"We are so fully concentrated on what Denktas might do that
we never say anything about the stance of Greek Cypriot
leader Papadopulos. Yet the real problem might arise from
the Greek Cypriot side. It has been well known for a long
time that the Greek Cypriots are uncomfortable with the
Annan plan. Just at a time when they believed they could
rule Cyprus as they wanted, and thought they could dominate
the Turkish Cypriot side without sacrificing too much, they
have been forced to face this uncomfortable situation. . The
Greek Cypriots with their $18,000 annual per capita income,
will have to share the wealth with the Turks. Moreover,
they will lose their legal right to rule over the Turkish
part of the island. . An eight-week marathon is beginning,
and it will be full of daily surprises and mishaps. It may
end before it even begins, but the atmosphere here shows
that Washington and Brussels do not want to lose this chance
to solve the problem."


EDELMAN

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