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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 001342

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, MARCH 5, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Denktas might withdraw to work against Annan Plan - Milliyet
Denktas might seek `No' in referendum - Sabah
Ankara reassures Denktas - Turkiye
Greek Cypriots offended by Straw remarks - Milliyet
Crisis with Fener Patriarchate - Hurriyet
Turkish water for Israel - Turkiye
Hillary Clinton on way to vice-presidency - Hurriyet
Kerry, Hillary hand in hand - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Denktas reacts to uncompromising Greek Cypriots - Cumhuriyet
Denktas: Annan Plan aims to destroy Turks - Radikal
Denktas arrived uneasy, returned home hopeful - Zaman
Denktas furious - Yeni Safak
Al-Zarkawi might be dead - Cumhuriyet
Iraqi resistance: US using Al-Zarkawi to incite civil war -
Yeni Safak
Turkey extends helping hand to Shiite victims - Zaman
EU has alternative plan for GME - Yeni Safak
Europeans believe Bush responsible for evil worldwide - Yeni
Safak
Bush launches reelection campaign - Radikal


BRIEFING


Cyprus: `TRNC' leader Denktas said in a conference in
Ankara on Thursday that the Annan Plan would destroy Turkish
Cypriots. `If we are not given what we want,' Denktas
warned, `we will have to withdraw and fight for the
rejection of the plan.' Denktas regards the prospects for a
solution before May 1 as `a fantasy.' He claimed that no
progress has been made in the negotiations thus far.
Turkish leaders were concerned by Denktas' maneuvering, and
warned him that the issue must be resolved, "Radikal"
reported. Contrary to his earlier statement on Thursday,
Denktas said after meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan and
Foreign Minister Gul that he was `hopeful' of a settlement
before May. In talks with US Special Cyprus Coordinator
Thomas Weston, Ankara said that international sanctions
against the `TRNC' should be lifted if there is no agreement
before May 1, according to "Cumhuriyet." Ankara underlined
Greek Cypriot attempts to increase the range of their
missiles while carrying out peace talks with the Turks, the
paper added. Ankara complained to Weston that the Greek
Cypriots will join the EU even if the peace talks fail,
leaving the Turks empty handed.


Turkey, Israel sign water deal: An agreement for selling
Turkish water to Israel, an issue under discussion since the
mid-1990s, was finally signed on Thursday by the foreign
ministry undersecretaries of the two countries. Turkish
leaders Erdogan and Gul are reluctant to strengthen ties
with Israel due to Israel's policy in Palestine,
"Cumhuriyet" claims. Concerned by the reaction of its
grassroots on the eve of upcoming local elections, the
ruling AK Party decided to keep a low profile at the signing
ceremony. The agreement will contribute to the development
of peace and stability in the Middle East, an MFA spokesman
said. According to the agreement, Turkey will sell 50
million cubic meters annually to Israel for the next 20
years.


Foreign nationals assigned to Fener Patriarchate: For the
first time since 1923, six foreign nationals (i.e., non-
Turkish citiens) have been appointed to the Fener
Patriarchate Synod in Istanbul, a move described by Turkish
papers as a violation of the Lausanne Treaty. The new board
includes two metropolitans from Greece, two archbishops from
the US and Britain, and two former archbishops from New
Zealand and Finland. The possibility of an appointment of a
foreigner as Patriarch would be `unacceptable,' a high level
MFA source told the press. Thus far, the Patriarchate has
not notified the MFA about the appointments, "Hurriyet"
claims.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Greater Middle East Initiative


"Iraq"
Yilmaz Oztuna warned in the conservative Turkiye (3/5): "It
seems that the newly-designed constitution for Iraq is a
disappointment for Turkey. This is not the end of the story
in Iraq, and undoubtedly there will be more new drafts and
revisions along the way. Turkey's uneasiness stems from the
treatment of the Turkmen, because they were not recognized
as equals with the Kurds even though their demographic
numbers are the same. The constitution could have at least
recognized Turkish as an official language along with Arabic
and Kurdish, yet that also did not happen. . Turkey cannot
remain indifferent to the Turkmen population in Iraq.
Turkey should not sit and watch the developments in northern
Iraq. It is against our national interests. Let's not
forget that we are directly involved in the problems of
200,000 Turks in Cyprus. . Nevertheless, Turkey has narrowed
its options for engagement significantly after the refusal
by Turkey to become involved in the Gulf war. The US
offered us a strategic alliance, and we declined. Let us
hope that the same mistake will not be repeated with regard
to the GME initiative."


"Greater Middle East"
Hasan Cemal analyzed in the mass appeal Milliyet (3/4): "The
US has not finalized its plan for the GME, but the process
of gathering reaction and opinions from US allies continues.
It seems that France and Germany have decided to work
together to shape a joint plan. The Arab world, on the
other hand, is apparently very disturbed about developments.
Turkey is still debating its possible role and influence on
this issue. Yet there is no single opinion in Ankara, and
also no game plan. According to circles close to Foreign
Minister Gul as well as sources within the MFA, there is a
concern about how the project will be implemented.
Everybody agrees on the need for reforms in this region, but
a plan to implement reforms through outside pressure is a
cause for skepticism. . Turkish experts also believe that
the US will eventually work together with the EU to shape a
well-balanced and workable model for the Middle East. When
it comes to regional issues, including the Palestine issue,
Turkey generally aligns itself with EU views rather than the
US. . In sum, the GME project has been accepted in Turkey as
a concept. It remains to be seen where and how the
project's goals will be reached."


EDELMAN

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