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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 000948

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 18, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
UN has no `B-plan' for Cyprus - Alvaro de Soto - Hurriyet
Greek Cypriots may move to invalidate the Annan Plan -
Denktas - Milliyet
Cyprus peace process irreversible now - M. A. Talat -
Milliyet
Turkey's hand now stronger on Cyprus - PM Erdogan - Turkiye
Turkey striving for an honorable solution on Cyprus -
Turkiye
EU can't discard Turkey - Verheugen - Sabah
Sweden's PM promises to support Turkey for EU accession -
Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
EU, UN against EU participation in Cyprus talks - Zaman
Greece, Turkey need to form a common future - Papandreou -
Yeni Safak
Papandreou will turn to Aegean once Cyprus is resolved -
Cumhuriyet
De Soto in Cyprus after 11 months - Yeni Safak
Turkish troop reduction in Cyprus a thorny issue -
Cumhuriyet
Shiites angry with Bremer for rejecting Islamic constitution
for Iraq - Yeni Safak
Sezer, Khatami agree on Iraq's unity - Cumhuriyet
Security fence harmful for thousands of Palestinians - Zaman
Putin behind the killing of Yandarbiev - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas has reiterated the
need for a bi-zonal structure on the island with equal
sovereignty rights for the two sides. The Annan plan is not
acceptable in its current form, Denktas said, and added that
he might not sign the plan even if it is accepted in the
referendum. Turkish Cypriot `Prime Minister' Mehmet Ali
Talat said that the peace process in Cyprus could not be
reversed. Denktas' withdrawal from the talks is unlikely,
Talat believes. After meeting with EU's Verheugen in
Brussels on Tuesday, UN special Cyprus envoy Alvaro de Soto
acknowledged that the UN had no `B-plan' in hand if the
Annan plan is rejected in the referenda to be held on April
21 in Cyprus. De Soto warned Ankara that a rejection of the
Annan plan would mean `tragedy.' Verheugen said that the EU
would not participate in the talks, but would provide
technical help, say papers. De Soto will proceed to Cyprus
on Wednesday, and will outline a timetable for negotiations
after meeting with the Cypriot leaders.


Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan voiced hope at his party
group meeting on Tuesday that a solution in Cyprus was near.
The Turkish position in Cyprus had never been so strong,
Erdogan said. Greece's ruling party PASOK's new leader
Papandreou said on a visit to south Cyprus on Tuesday that a
solution to the Cyprus problem would positively affect
Turkish-Greek relations. `United Cyprus and Greece will
work hand in hand for Turkey's EU accession,' Papandreou
reportedly said.


President Sezer visits Tehran: President Sezer was given a
warm welcome by his Iranian counterpart Khatami at the D-8
summit meeting in Tehran on Tuesday, papers report. Khatami
has assured Sezer regarding Turkey's security, but declined
to label the PKK/KADEK as a terrorist organization, papers
note.
EU issues encouraging messages for Ankara: EU's enlargement
chief Verheugen said on the eve of UN-sponsored peace
negotiations for Cyprus that the European family would issue
encouraging messages for Ankara at the upcoming EU summits
in March and June if progress is seen in Cyprus talks, say
papers. Dailies expect German Chancellor Schroeder to urge
Ankara to speed up EU reforms on his official visit to
Turkey February 22-24.


Turkey's FM with Georgian counterpart: Turkey's Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul discussed ways for furthering
cooperation between Turkey and Georgia at a meeting in
Ankara on Tuesday. At the first official contact between
the two governments after the `velvet revolution' in
Georgia, the two ministers have discussed reviving mutual
trade and investment, and building an oil pipeline co-
extensive to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) route. Georgia's
Foreign Minister Tedo Japaridze said that Georgia and Russia
would form a joint working group for the new oil transport
route, and announced that Turkish companies could join the
project.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/US Foreign Policy; EU-Turkey


"What is America Doing?"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative-mass appeal Turkiye
(2/18): "One should not think that the US changed its
radical policy over Syria and Iran. Otherwise, the foreign
policy would be directed wrongly. The US plan, to have
compliant regimes in the great geography which they call
`the Greater Middle East', is valid. The commotion they
faced in Afghanistan and Iraq was confusing for the US
because it did not have adequate information on this
geography. After the presidential elections in November,
during winter 2004-2005, they will act on this hot topic.
The US believes that the biggest obstacle and the biggest
enemy against the Pax-Americana is international, especially
Middle-East originated terrorism, and they will do anything
to counter the terrorism. Washington might show Turkey as a
model, moreover, might want to use Turkish military power,
just to improve (!) the relevant region. They expect
friendly behavior from Ankara. It is not possible to show a
state as an example if anti-American feelings exist."


"A Date is What We Deserve"
Ilnur Celik commented in the Turkish Daily News (2/18):
"Turkey deserves to start accession talks with the EU today.
No one is doing us a great favor by giving us a date or even
starting the accession talks because everyone knows this
does not mean full membership is a foregone conclusion.
Look at the examples of Greece, Portugal and Spain. None of
them had viable democracies when they were allowed into the
European Economic Community and yet the EU countries
tolerated this situation to bring more democracy to the
Mediterranean region. So why not help Turkey? The
performance of the ruling AKP government to enhance the
democratic structure in Turkey, fight corruption and
irregularities and revamp the economy shows the country is
on the right course to becoming a member of the family of
civilized nations. Turkey's democrats need encouragement to
fight on. The government needs encouragement to display
courage and resolve as it did on Cyprus in all other matters
and thus ease the military out of our political system.
Getting a date for the start of accession talks will
definitely do the trick."
EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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