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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 000992

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 20, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
EU not part of Cyprus talks - Verheugen - Hurriyet
A stingy EU offers Euro250 million to TRNC - Milliyet
First day of talks went well: De Soto - Turkiye
Denktas wants Ledra Palace as HQ for new Cyprus government -
Milliyet
A second mullah revolution in Iran - Sabah
Iranian papers critical of Hamanei closed - Sabah
Ankara promises cooperation to NATO's Scheffer - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Verheugen: Democracy, law, human rights essential for Cyprus
solution - Radikal
Cyprus talks tough, a long way to peace - Radikal
Papadopoulos says Turkish settlers should leave Cyprus -
Cumhuriyet
US supports Cyprus peace process - Yeni Safak
Perle tough on CIA: Some heads must be chopped - Radikal
Dean throws in towel - Radikal
Mullahs will dominate Iranian parliament - Cumhuriyet
Iran's painful elections - Radikal
Iranian reformist readying for post-election protest - Zaman
NATO should be in Iraq - PM Erdogan - Yeni Safak
Israel denies receiving Syrian peace message - Zaman


BRIEFING


Cyprus: After meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader
Papadopoulos on Thursday morning, Denktas said that the
Greek Cypriot side demanded restriction on the voting rights
of settlers from Turkey. Denktas objected to the demand,
saying that the migrants were TRNC nationals. In return,
Denktas said he asked for establishment of a commission for
investigating the losses that had been suffered by the
Turkish Cypriots between 1963-74. Greek Cypriots are
against a bi-zonal structure based on ethnic grounds, he
added. Papadopoulos has stepped up tension by demanding the
return of the post-1974 settlers to the Turkish mainland,
says "Cumhuriyet." Denktas said at the talks that a three-
year transition period was needed for integrating the TRNC
economy into the economy of south Cyprus, write papers.
Denktas has also demanded $4 billion for new housing
projects in the North. Gunther Verheugen, the EU's
expansion chief who is in Cyprus for meetings with the
sides, reportedly said that the EU would extend special
financial aid to support the TRNC economy. Both Verheugen
and de Soto have found the talks `constructive,' and said
that a solution was near, say papers. Foreign Minister Gul
said that Turkey would launch a campaign for recognition of
the TRNC if the Greek Cypriots reject an agreement in the
referendum in late April. Meanwhile, Secretary of State
Powell has asked Athens to continue cooperating with Annan
to achieve a settlement, papers report.


NATO SG visits Ankara: In a meeting with the visiting NATO
Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Foreign Minister

SIPDIS
Gul said that if invited by the Iraqi people, Turkey was
prepared to get involved in the coalition's efforts in Iraq
under a NATO umbrella. However, Scheffer has asked Turkey
to contribute militarily to the ISAF in Afghanistan. Ankara
is not eager to deploy more troops in Afghanistan, and
offered Scheffer sending a 50-strong team of military
officers and civilian specialists, say papers.
Israel denies receiving messages from Syria: Israeli Prime
Minister Sharon's office has denied press reports about
receiving a Syrian message via Turkey's Foreign Minister Gul
calling on Tel Aviv to resume peace talks, says "Zaman."
Turkish diplomatic sources said that Turkey had not
presented Israel with any written document, but had merely
conveyed a verbal message to the US and Israel during Prime
Minister Erdogan's visit to the US in January, Zaman notes.


EDITORIAL OPINION:
A) Iraq
B) Greater Middle East Initiative


"Two Iraqi Groups Reconciled"
Fatih Altayli observed in the mass appeal Hurriyet (2/20):
"The two strongest and most prominent political forces in
Iraq, Kurds and Shiites, have been competing with each
other, and they used to have different priorities for the
future of new Iraq. . The US, on the other hand, intensified
its efforts to ensure a consensus among the three major
Iraqi groups for the designation of a new constitution, yet
the Shiites stood against the US-imposed transition
calendar. All of this seems to be changing rather
unexpectedly in that Kurdish leader Talabani and Shiite
leader Sistani have reached an agreement. According to
recent reports, both the Kurds and the Shiites have agreed
to work for a separate election process in each other's
controlled regions. That means the possibility of a direct
national election in Iraq is becoming unlikely because the
Shiites and the Kurds have started talking about regional
elections. The Sunni region is obviously left out the
picture. It remains to be seen what the U.S. reaction to
this will be. The general picture, however, is of a de
facto situation in which Iraq is moving toward division into
three regions."


"Artificial Greater Middle East"
Umur Talu argued in the mass appeal Sabah (2/20): "There is
an international marketing push underway for the US Greater
Middle East Initiative. The US is trying hard to make it
sound realistic by using certain arguments, including
democracy, freedom and stability, to justify its plan. The
fact of the matter is that this project has some realistic
goals but they are not the same as those put forward by the
US. The real intention of the US is to establish a
mechanism by which to produce market economies and change of
regimes through non-democratic means, such as invasion,
military coup, and war. The Greater Middle East Initiative
is very big project, one that requires an enormous budget to
implement. Since there is no way for the US to afford such
a large amount by itself, it is lobbying for others,
especially NATO, to be involved. In the end, the US will
certainly be the big boss and a number of NATO countries,
such as Turkey, will have to content themselves with being
pawns on a brand new, yet artificial, `Greater Middle East'
map."


"The Greater Middle East Initiative"
Haluk Ulman opined in the economic-political Dunya (2/20):
"After President Bush's justification to occupy Iraq proved
to be false, recently he has presented a new justification:
to free Iraq and the world from a cruel and dangerous
dictator and bring democracy to that country. As the
presidential elections approach, just to impress his people,
and as though he has already solved the governance issue in
Iraq and managed to establish a democratic regime in
Baghdad, President Bush now talks about introducing a new
political and economic order to the Middle East. And he
wants to do this with the help of allies whose opinions were
of no importance to him in the past. This is `the greater
Middle East initiative' you have been hearing about
recently. However, some of the EU countries and Russia, who
know from past experience more about these Middle Eastern
countries' economic and social structures not being suitable
for democracy and who have observed the chaos rather than
the promised democracy the US brought in Iraq, do not
approach this project positively. Moreover, after
witnessing US support for traditional and conservative
administrations in the Middle East just for the sake of oil,
they do not believe Bush is sincere about this project.
However, Bush has created this project and is determined to
get others' support. The US and the countries that oppose
them will face each other in June during the G8, NATO, US-EU
summits. Since the NATO summit will be held in Istanbul, we
must follow the developments there closely."


EDELMAN

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