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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 000849

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 12, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Denktas makes an opening at Cyprus talks - Milliyet
Denktas one step ahead - Hurriyet
Denktas proposal stuns Greek Cypriots - Sabah
Greek Cypriot Press: Horror movie in New York - Turkiye
Vietnam veteran Kerry wins again, Clark quits - Sabah
Mubarek defends Iraq's territorial integrity - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Denktas boosts hope for change - Radikal
Turkish Cypriots: Annan should fill in blanks - Cumhuriyet
High Hopes for Cyprus solution - Radikal
US intervenes for Cyprus - Yeni Safak
Bombs shake Baghdad, 47 dead - Radikal
Baghdad -- city of death - Yeni Safak
Kissinger: Iraq will become another Yugoslavia - Yeni Safak
Israel kills 15 in Gaza - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING
Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas proposed that
guarantor countries Turkey and Greece should join
negotiations to resolve the Cyprus problem if there is no
agreement by March 20. In the event that remaining
disagreements cannot be resolved in four-way talks, it would
be left to UN Secretary General Annan to arbitrate a fair
solution. TRNC `Foreign Minister' Serdar Denktas said that
Annan reacted positively to the proposal from the Turkish
side, but that the Greek Cypriots had asked for more time.
Papers agree that the surprise Turkish proposal has put the
Greek Cypriots in a difficult position. The Greek Cypriots
had been maneuvering to stall the Cyprus peace talks until
May 1, according to Turkish press reports, but now are
shocked in the face of the Denktas proposal. The Greek
Cypriots do not want to jeopardize their gains in Cyprus by
agreeing to allow Annan to fill in the blanks if there is no
agreement.
Before the talks resumed Wednesday in New York, US officials
had asked Ankara and Athens to pressure Denktas and
Papadopoulos for a breakthrough. Secretary Powell called
Foreign Minister Gul to request that he urge the Turkish
Cypriots to agree to restarting the talks in line with the
UN-sponsored peace plan. The US and UK Ambassadors to
Ankara met with Justice Minister Cicek on Wednesday to
discuss the issue, according to "Milliyet." Ankara
postponed a planned parliamentary debate about Cyprus on
Wednesday for fear of upsetting the negotiations in New
York. The debate is now scheduled for next Tuesday.
Egypt's Mubarek visits Turkey: On a one-day working visit
to Ankara, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek said he was
against the political restructuring of Iraq along ethnic
lines. He discussed with Ankara possibilities for Cairo's
active involvement in settling disagreements between Israel
and Syria. Mubarek expressed concerns about the the
`Greater Middle East Project' now under discussion in the
United States, according to "Cumhuriyet." FM Gul reportedly
responded that Turkey is `part of the geography' of the
Greater Middle East and therefore must take an `active role'
in the process of change.
PM Erdogan Notes Two-Way Rotations Through Incirlik: In
response to a reporter's question following his meeting with
visiting Egyptian President Mubarek, PM Erdogan noted that
permission for US troop rotations `from Iraq to the United
States and from the United States into Iraq' through
Incirlik would remain valid until May 2004.
Amnesty International delegation in Ankara: An Amnesty
International (AI) delegation headed by AI President Irene
Khan arrives in Ankara today for meetings with Prime
Minister Erdogan and several other ministers. The
delegation will press for the release of Leyla Zana, former
Kurdish member of the Turkish parliament from the Democracy
Party (DEP). The AI group will complain to Erdogan about
ongoing instances of arbitrary detention and torture, and
will urge an end to pressure on human rights activists.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Cyprus


"Last Chance on Cyprus"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative Turkiye (2/12): "It
seems that the New York negotiation process on Cyprus is
going very well, and that Denktas has made a good
performance. Settlement of the Cyprus issue should not be a
concern for advocates of Turkish nationalism. Neither
Turkey nor the Turkish Cypriots will be harmed by a
settlement. Realistically speaking, settlement of the
Cyprus issue will provide more benefit than harm. Resolving
the Cyprus issue will broaden Turkish diplomatic vision and
strengthen Turkey's hand internationally. Turkey should
remain at the table and should negotiate in good faith. A
solution to the Cyprus issue seems likely this time."


"Everybody needs a settlement"
Sami Kohen noted in the mass appeal Milliyet (2/12): "One of
the arguments about the ongoing Cyprus negotiations is
whether or not the Greek Cypriots are eager for a settlement
before the May 1 deadline. Turkish public opinion widely
believes that the Greek Cypriots will not work for a
solution due to the fact that their EU membership is taken
for granted. The fact is, however, that the Greek Cypriots
may not be as comfortable as we have been led to believe.
They are aware that the absence of a settlement has some
traps for them as well. . The prospect of a failed
settlement process also poses certain difficulties for the
Greeks. Athens will have to cope with a deterioration of
Turkish-Greek ties and a continued deadlock over Aegean
issues. . There is also another important fact about the
Cyprus process: this is a rare case in which US policy is in
the same line with the EU and the UN. This means that there
is an international consensus which should not be missed."


EDELMAN

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