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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 001208

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
FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 1, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Weston: US will be generous to Cyprus if agreement is
reached - Milliyet
Greek Cypriots denounce Annan Plan at weekend rally -
Hurriyet
Papandreou: I aim to make the Aegean a sea of Turks and
Greeks - Sabah
Israeli court rules against `security wall' - Turkiye
Task Force 121 out to get bin Ladin - Hurriyet
Kurds fired on celebrating Turkmen, 5 wounded - Milliyet
Greek candidates seek Turkish votes in Western Thrace -
Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Bush Administration launches grand attack for Middle East
plan - Radikal
Grossman due to seek support for Middle East project -
Cumhuriyet 2/29
Bush launches new Middle East effort - Radikal 2/29
Schroeder supports US Middle East project - Zaman 2/29
Arabs angered at the US Greater Middle East project -
Hurriyet 2/29
Bush pushes the button for `Greater Middle East' - Sabah
2/29
Denktas: Annan Plan in current form a disaster - Cumhuriyet
Talat urges Greek Cypriots to disarm - Cumhuriyet
Washington to spend $6.3 million for `Pentagon News Agency'
- Yeni Safak
Bin Ladin will be caught this year - US press - Cumhuriyet
Aristide flees Haiti - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING


Greater Middle East initiative: State Department U/S Marc
Grossman is coming to Ankara March 4 to seek Ankara's
support for the US initiative for democratic reforms in the
Middle East, says Sunday "Cumhuriyet." The actual motive
behind the US plan for democratization in the Middle East is
to control the rich oil resources in the region, the paper
claims. The ruling AK Party government has voiced eagerness
to take part in the US project, but the MFA and Turkish
General Staff are more cautious, the paper notes.


Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot `Prime Minister' Mehmet Ali Talat
has criticized the Greek Cypriots' armament efforts and
urged them to take their missiles off the island. US
Special Cyprus Coordinator Ambassador Thomas Weston, who
went to Cyprus on Sunday, said that Washington would extend
generous financial aid if an agreement is reached between
the Cypriots. TRNC leader Denktas will be in Ankara on
Wednesday to attend a Cyprus conference organized by the
Turkish Union of Chambers (TOBB). State Department U/S Marc
Grossman will visit Ankara on Thursday as part of a Greater
Middle East tour, and will also raise the Cyprus issue with
the MFA, papers report. Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos
has presented Denktas with a new condition that the 114 laws
envisaged in the UN-sponsored peace plan should be approved
by the Turks before the referenda on the island on April 21,
say weekend papers. Papadopoulos has also asked Prime
Minister Erdogan for written guarantees that the GOT would
officially accept the referenda results. Denktas blamed
Papadopoulos for attempting to avoid a referendum, and said
that it was technically impossible to pass 114 laws before
the referenda. Saturday's dailies regard the prospects for
an agreement before March 22 as `extremely difficult.'
Turkish delegation's meetings in Iraq: Saturday's
"Cumhuriyet" writes about the meetings of a Turkish
delegation of diplomats and military experts in Iraq last
week. The delegation held a meeting with US Commander
General Ricardo Sanchez, and found out that US is not
planning any military action against the PKK. Turkish
military presence in the region cannot be questioned until
the PKK ceases to pose a threat to Turkey's security from
northern Iraq, the paper says. The delegation discussed
with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hosyar Zebari the opening of a
second border gate between Iraq and Turkey. The delegation
has also met with Iraqi tribal leaders and ethnic groups,
but they did not have an opportunity to meet with Paul
Bremer, Cumhuriyet notes.


Division in the Kongra-Gel leadership: Kongra-Gel, the
continuation of PKK/KADEK, has dismissed Osman Ocalan, the
brother of Abdullah Ocalan, from the organization due to
disagreements over nominations of candidates in southeastern
Turkey in the upcoming local elections on March 28, say
Sunday papers. Ocalan and 100 other PKK members left the
Kongra-Gel camp in the Kandil mountain, and asked for refuge
from the KDP, papers note. Ocalan and friends are under US
control in Mosul, papers speculate.


Syrian religious schools close doors to Turks: In a joint
security meeting with Syrian officials in Damascus last
December, Turkey's Gendarme Commander General Sener Eruygur
has asked the Syrians not to enroll Turkish students in
theology schools in Syria, say Sunday papers. Syrian head
of state Bashar Assad approved the Turkish request. General
Eruygur reportedly said at the meetings that the suspects of
the suicide bomb attacks in Istanbul were graduates of
Syrian theology schools.


EDITORIALS


"The Giant Plot"
Asli Aydintasbas wrote from Washington in mass appeal Sabah
(3/1): "We heard about this new initiative GME for the
first time six months ago during President Bush's speech at
the `National Democracy Foundation'. In the speech Bush
said `For years we considered the stability in the middle
east more important than democracy. That was a mistake.
From now on, we will follow a advanced strategy for the
Middle East and the Muslim world's development.' Washington
believes that the present situation in the Middle East
cannot continue. When there is no democracy, there is
terror and violence. Dictators are not good either from
economic or from the political angle. For the US's and for
the world's safety, democracy, freedom of expression, and
free markets are a must. President Bush already shared this
thesis with PM Erdogan, and the basics or the initiatives
will be announced to the world during the G8 and NATO
summits in June. So far nothing is ready; staff members in
every unit of the government are trying to fill in the
details. According to news leaked to `El Hayat', the goal
is to take the Arab Development Reports (prepared by the UN
Development program) as a base, and to complete the three
missing issues in the Middle East: Information, education,
and the participation of women. Which country do you think
is the inspiration for GME?.Yes, you are right, of course,
it is Turkey."


"The Greater Middle East and the Women"
Ferai Tinc opined in the mass appeal Hurriyet (3/1):
"Washington has been discussing the greater Middle East
project with its European allies for some time. A/S Marc
Grossman's upcoming Ankara visit is the part of these
discussions. After the missing parts of this concept are
filled by Europe, President Bush will announce the master
plan of this project during the G-8 and the NATO summits.
When we look at the ongoing discussions in international
platforms, the US is planning to support democracy in the
Middle East with the same method applied in the Eastern
Europe and the Soviet Union. Women's rights issue is a very
important part of this initiative. In order to support the
democratization process, President Bush will call for
coordination on the following issues: Deepened political
coordination, more aid (Marshal Plan is taken as sample);
efforts to ease membership in the world Trade organization,
and security coordination. Turkey becomes a `front line
country' in this democratization process. That is what the
US officials say. For the time being, these are the basics
of this project. I'll let you fill the details."


EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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