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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 001303

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 MARCH 4, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
MFA Seeks Views of Ambassadors on GME Initiative- Sabah
Grossman Visit to Ankara Cancelled - Sabah
Denktas May Withdraw From Cyprus Talks on March 22 -
Hurriyet
Ambassador Edelman Visits DYP Chairman Agar - Hurriyet
Another Step Forward on Cyprus - Milliyet
Brother Ocalan's Mosul Gambit - Milliyet
Grossman: "Cyprus is the Key for the GME" - Turkiye
Denktas: "Greek Cypriots Reject All Proposals" - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Ankara Warns Weston on Cyprus Remarks - Radikal
UN Prepares a fourth Annan Plan - Radikal
UK FM Straw: "EU Will Give Turkey A Date" -- Cumhuriyet
Denktas Says `No' to Referandum - Cumhuriyet
Ankara Complains About Greek Cypriots to Weston - Cumhuriyet
Parliament Passes New IPR Law - Zaman
Turkey Moves Closer to the EU - Yeni Safak
Ankara Asks US to Exert Pressure on Greek Cypriots - Yeni
Safak


BRIEFING


Grossman Visit: All papers and TV channels report that U/S
Grossman was forced to cancel his scheduled visit to Ankara
today due to mechanical problems with his plane. Grossman's
plane developed engine trouble and made an emergency landing
on the Greek side of Cyprus. Since there are no flights
available to Turkey from the Greek side, Grossman was unable
to fly to Turkey. US Embassy officials said that Grossman
would likely return to Turkey in the future, but they
declined to give a date.


Cyprus/Weston Visit: All papers and TV channels report that
US Cyprus coordinator Weston was received by FM Gul and
other Foreign Ministry officials. "Radikal" reports that
Turkey issued a warning to Weston about his recent remarks
concerning the Cyprus referendum. "Zaman" notes that Turkey
asked Weston to put more US pressure on the Greek Cypriots,
and claims that Weston responded positively to this request.
"Hurriyet" reports that the Turkish side floated a new
proposal to hold 4-way talks in late March (talks that will
involve Greece and Turkey) at the level of the Prime
Minister or Foreign Minister to ensure there is `adeguate
political will' to reach a solution. "Hurriyet" reports
that Denktas is disappointed about the lack of progress
during the talks so far and cites a `reliable source' who
claimed that Denktas might withdraw as negotiator on March
22. Denktas will be in Ankara today to attend a panel
discussion arranged by Ankara Chamber of Commerce.


PKK/KONGRA-GEL: "Milliyet" reports that 15 top KONGRA-GEL
members including Osman Ocalan met with US officials in
Mosul. The article claims that Ocalan asked the US
officials to allow him and his colleagues to continue their
activities by settling in the Mosul area. Turkey is
following these developments closely. Responding to
questions by journalists on the issue, FM Gul urged people
to "continue to watch developments, and you will see the
results." These words were interpreted by journalists as
meaning that Osman Ocalan might be handed over to Turkey by
the US. However, when US Ambassador Edelman was asked about
the issue following his meeting with DYP leader Mehmet Agar,
he said he had no information to confirm such reports.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Greater Middle East Initiative


"The Chances of the GME Initiative's Being Useful"
Cuneyt Ulsever opined in the mass appeal Hurriyet (3/4):
"The Greater Middle East project has a chance to produce
major change in the Middle East as long as the following
facts are recognized. First of all, Arabs should admit the
need for change and also should be able to admit their
shortcomings in creating the internal dynamics for reform.
Secondly, the United States should realize that democracy is
not an export or import `good,' and that welfare and order
cannot possibly be imposed on others. Iraq stands as valid
proof of that. . We still don't know about the methods the
US will use for implementing its GME initiative. Yet there
seems to be one rational way of doing it -- that is, by
devoting Arab resources toward human development goals.
Investment in human capital is a must for the implementation
of this project, and the project's success depends on the
level of human and social progress. . On the other hand, the
despotic regimes in this very region have so far managed to
survive with US support. They have always refrained from
educating their people, and they have considered public
ignorance as a virtue. Therefore, it will be interesting
to see how they will be persuaded to change."


"The Chances of Success for the GME Project"
Sami Kohen commented in the mass appeal Milliyet (3/4):
"Undersecretary Grossman launched a promotional tour for the
GME project, but the timing does not provide him a good
opportunity for success in his mission. The recent attacks
in Iraq once again proved that the balance of the region is
fragile and can be turned upside-down any moment. Grossman
also did not hear encouraging statements in the countries he
visited, particularly in Egypt. Egyptian leader Mubarek's
remarks about the GME are a clear indication that the Arab
world will keep its distance from the initiative. . Turkey
prefers to remain an observer without taking any binding
stance on the project. This is the right approach for
Turkey, because it gives time to observe the reactions from
other countries and wait until the draft project becomes
more mature. The project has some attractive goals that
nobody can argue with, such as democratization and
implementation of economic reforms and social development.
It remains wishful thinking to believe that these changes
will happen by themselves, yet the fact of the matter is
that there is no real leadership in the Middle East. .
Mubarek was right when he talked about the need for internal
progress by emphasizing that a transition to democracy
cannot happen by pushing a button. But it is also apparent
that there is no real engine for internal reform."


EDELMAN

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