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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 001379

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,
MONDAY, MARCH 8, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Grossman to discuss GME with Turks in Washington - Milliyet
3/7
US to deploy 10,000 troops in Cyprus after peace - Aksam
Karamanlis vows to support Turkey - Sabah
Turkey's national income lags behind EU members, candidates
- Milliyet
Bush considers economic sanctions on Syria - Milliyet 3/7
Bloody operation by Israel: 14 dead - Turkiye
Headscarf divides French women - Aksam 3/7


OPINION MAKERS
Sezer warns against political exploitation of headscarf -
Radikal
FM Gul assures de Soto that Cyprus will be resolved -
Radikal 3/7
Center-right government in Greece - Cumhuriyet
Second Karamanlis period in Greece - Yeni Safak
Papandreou urges Karamanlis to resolve Cyprus - Zaman
Bloody Israeli attack in Gaza - Cumhuriyet
Israel's bloody Gaza massacre - Yeni Safak
Bush determined to bring democracy to Iraq - Cumhuriyet 3/7
Controversial Iraq constitution to be signed unchanged -
Zaman
Nader will determine outcome of U.S. Election - Zaman 3/7


BRIEFING


Greater Middle East initiative: US State Department
Undersecretary Marc Grossman was forced to cancel the Ankara
leg of his regional tour for discussing the Greater Middle
East initiative last week. Instead, Grossman will meet with
Turkish officials in Washington on Monday to discuss the
project, "Zaman" reports. US Ambassador Eric Edelman
briefed Turkish lawmakers and academics on the GME last
Thursday. Edelman said that the American initiative was not
a `Greater Israel Project,' and is not being launched to
further US control in the region. The US alone cannot make
the project a reality, Edelman stressed, and he noted that
Turkey, a significant example for the region, has a large
responsibility for contributing to the project.


Cyprus: UN Special Cyprus envoy Alvaro de Soto held
meetings with MFA officials in Ankara last Friday. De Soto
proposed lowering the number of Greek Cypriots allowed to
return to the North if Turkish Cypriots hand over more land
to the Greek side. That would leave Turkish Cypriots with
23 percent of the island's territory, significantly less
than the current UN proposal of 28.5 percent, "Cumhuriyet"
reports. The Turks have reiterated their demand for
strengthening bi-zonality, drawing an acceptable borderline,
and continuation of Turkey's status as a guarantor power.
The MFA has blamed the Greek Cypriots for attempting to
deadlock the negotiations by rejecting all Turkish
proposals. The UN and EU are aware of the uncompromising
Greek attitude, papers speculate, and Turkey expects
increased pressure on the Greek Cypriots. Three recent
public opinion surveys conducted in south Cyprus indicate
that the Greek Cypriots are inclined to reject the Annan
Plan.


International Women's Day: In a message to mark
International Women's Day, President Sezer warned against
attempts to exploit the headscarf issue for political
purposes. Sezer's message is an indirect response to
Secretary Powell's criticism in a recent letter to Foreign

SIPDIS
Minister Gul, in which Powell criticized the ban on
religious attire at presidential receptions, "Hurriyet"
speculates.


"Radikal" reported Monday the results of various surveys
compiled by a women's NGO in Turkey. Among the findings of
the survey: 79 percent of Turkish women are victims of
physical violence, and 29 percent are subjected to emotional
pressure. 45 percent of Turkish men said they had the right
to beat their wives when necessary. Domestic violence in
Turkey is higher than in countries like Bangladesh,
Ethiopia, India and Egypt, according to the survey. Women
have been victims of physical violence everywhere, "Yeni
Safak" notes, pointing out that 4,000 women are beaten to
death every year in the United States.


DEHAP, Ocalan split over local elections: Diyarbakir Mayor
Feridun Celik, who allegedly had the backing of jailed PKK
leader Abdullah Ocalan to run against the DEHAP candidate in
the March 28 local elections, has withdrawn his candidacy.
Saturday's "Hurriyet" regards the withdrawal of Celik as a
victory for Kongra-Gel over Abdullah Ocalan and his brother
Osman, who were recently forced to leave Kongra-Gel. Osman
Ocalan was denied the protection he sought from US forces in
northern Iraq, but was given protection by Davud Bagistani,
a close friend of KDP leader Barzani, "Hurriyet" claims.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq; Greater Middle East Initiative


"A model for the Middle East"
Mehmet Barlas opined in the mass appeal Sabah (3/8): "It
would be absolutely wrong to oppose the US goals for the
Middle East, i.e. bringing democracy and human rights to the
region. Instead, Turkey should evaluate and analyze its
role in this project. The effort to establish an ethnic and
sectarian balance among different groups has complicated the
situation in Iraq. However, attempts to bring democracy to
the greater Middle East should not be hindered by such
considerations. For instance, it would be very wrong to
take Turkey as an example of moderation and modern Islam.
From the very beginning, the Turkish Republic has always
pursued a segregation of state and religion, and to a great
extent this approach has succeeded. The Turkish people are
predominantly Muslim, but the state model is secular.
Turkey is on its way to join the EU but not with its
`moderate Islamic' identity, but rather with its `secular
and democratic' identity. The US should have a clear vision
about these concepts before working toward its goals for the
Middle East."


"Stability In Iraq Slips Away"
Zafer Atay wrote in the economic-political Dunya (3/8): "It
was noteworthy that the attacks against Shiites happened the
same day that the interim constitution draft was approved.
The draft includes an agreement on a federal system for
Iraq. As the majority group in Iraq, the Shiites will be
the most important component of the federation. It seems,
though, that the federation is not going to provide full
satisfaction to Barzani and Talabani even though Kurdish
domination will continue in northern Iraq. For years, the
Sunnis, which constitute just over 40% of the population,
were the sole authority in Iraq. The Kurds and Shiites
always stayed in the background. Now, the Sunnis are
annoyed about changing conditions and are resentful against
the Kurds and the Shiites. The Turkmen population has been
given no place in this document which is intended to bring
freedom to the country. If the coalition forces are unable
to stop the Al-Qaida-inspired attacks, a civil war is
inevitable. The US should take Iraq to elections as soon as
possible and should then leave responsibility for the
country to a UN Peace Force and an administration
established by the Iraqis. Washington will not be cope with
a civil war in Iraq."


EDELMAN

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