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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 000880

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 13, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Athens wants EU in Cyprus talks - Hurriyet
US Official: Turks very constructive, cooperative - Hurriyet
Erdogan thanks Denktas - Milliyet
Ziyal the `brain' of Turkish strategy - Vatan
Denktas' initiative boosts domestic markets - Vatan
Al Zarkavi new target of Americans - Aksam
Assassination attempt against Abizaid - Sabah
Peres: Turkey may become `key player' in Middle East -
Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Cyprus talks turning into a tactical war - Radikal
Athens claims everything under control - Cumhuriyet
Mubarek: US `Greater Middle East' project a pipe dream -
Cumhuriyet
Pilot Bush vs. Vietnam vet Kerry - Radikal
PM Erdogan rebukes Amnesty International - Yeni Safak
Hamas calls for increased suicide attacks - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Cyprus: Following a request by the Greek Cypriots to
involve the EU in the Cyprus negotiations, Ankara contacted
Washington to discuss the possibility for US participation
in the talks, "Cumhuriyet" claims. However, the EU is
expected to refrain from such an involvement due to fears of
delaying the negotiation process. Foreign Minister Gul said
that the Turkish side would continue to demonstrate goodwill
in the talks. Ankara has not objected to the Annan
conditions. In return, Ankara is expecting American support
for possible amendments to the UN-sponsored peace plan.
Turkish dailies reflect a mood of celebration for Turkey's
`diplomatic success,' and say that Turkey has emerged as the
chief architect of a solution in Cyprus through its
political determination and diplomatic creativity. But
Denktas expressed caution, saying that victory is still far
from guaranteed. Meanwhile, hopes for a solution in Cyprus
boosted share prices on the Turkish stock market yesterday.


Amnesty International meets PM Erdogan: During a meeting in
Ankara on Thursday, visiting Amnesty International (AI)
President Irene Khan urged Prime Minister Erdogan to secure
the release of jailed former Kurdish lawmakers Leyla Zana
and Hatip Dicle. Erdogan accused AI of double standards,
noting that the organization ignored his own trial in 1999
after Erdogan was charged with reciting a religious poem,
while at the same time it was intervening in the case of PKK
leader Abdullah Ocalan. Erdogan said that he could not
interfere in the ongoing judiciary process concerning the
Kurdish lawmakers, but that NGOs might take action to press
for their release.


Mubarek uneasy with `Greater Middle East' project: Turkey's
growing weight in the region compelled Egypt's President
Mubarek to pay a hasty visit to Ankara on Wednesday,
according to "Cumhuriyet." Mubarek criticized the US
strategy for `modernization and democratization' of a broad
region from Libya to Central Asia. Mubarek said that the US
project for a `Greater Middle East' is nothing but `a pipe
dream,' and would not succeed due to historical, political
and cultural differences in the region.


Shimon Peres visits Turkey: Turkey's EU accession could
enable the EU to take an active role in the Middle East
peace process, former Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres
said during his visit to Ankara on Thursday. Peres came to
Turkey as the guest of opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal.
Peres noted Ankara's possible role as a mediator between
Israel and Syria, and urged the Turkish side to remain
active in the Middle East peace process. Peres also added
that a solution to the Cyprus problem could serve as an
example for the Middle East.


Medya-TV license annulled: A decision by France's
broadcasting authority, CSA, to cancel the license of Medya-
TV, the media mouthpiece of the PKK/KADEK, was upheld
Thursday by a French appeals court. The court ruled that
Medya-TV was, in effect, a continuation of the banned Med
TV. The court argued that Medya-TV broadcasts were an
incitement to violence. Medya-TV broadcasts, which reached
77 countries via satellite, were suspended on Thursday.


EDITORIAL OPINION:
Election 2004; Cyprus


"John Kerry: Is he the new US president?"
Turkkaya Ataov commented in the social democrat-intellectual
Cumhuriyet (2/13): "The Democrats had been working to
finalize their presidential nomination process while
President Bush was preparing for his fourth `State of the
Union' address, which was basically to become an election
speech. Last year he did not hesitate to disseminate lies
about Saddam having vast stocks of WMD, so it was expected
that his address would fuel the controversy about the
accuracy of those claims. On the other hand, President Bush
has more campaign funds from US corporate contributors than
the Democrats could possibly accumulate. . On the
Democratic side, it seems that John Kerry is the leading
figure. He has a good record in the past, including his
stance about Iraq, his efforts among Vietnam Veterans, and
the good example he created during his 14 years as attorney
general. . John Kerry is undoubtedly a much more suitable
name than George Bush. Yet George Bush has more financial
resources and also enjoys support from the CIA, the military
and the US industrial giants."


"Turkey Wins Big in Cyprus Chess Match"
Mehmet Ali Birand observed in the mass appeal Posta (2/13):
"I spoke to some Turkish officials attending the Washington
summit who also thought differently from Denktas. I got
almost the same answer from all of them. `Denktas has made
progress,' they said. `He is close to accepting the Annan
plan that he hates. You should give him his due. He has
been defending Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side during
these negotiations, not just his personal views. There
would have been a lot of trouble if he had done it
differently.' We criticized Denktas a lot, but now we have
to give him his due. . What does this development mean?
Let's not kid ourselves. What happened in New York is
crystal clear, and can be summed as follows: The Turkish
side has accepted the Annan plan as the basis for a
solution, and will implement the necessary measures to end
the Cyprus problem. This shows how serious Turkey is in
trying to become a member of the European Union. In short,
the Turkish government surprised both us and the world."


EDELMAN

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