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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 001786

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,
TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Turkey and Greece Meet about Cyprus After 30 Years -
Hurriyet
Arafat Concerned For His Life - Hurriyet
US Lifts Travel Warning for Turkey - Milliyet
FM Gul Hopeful But Concerned on Cyprus - Sabah
The Fourth Annan Plan - Sabah
Don't Let Cyprus Become Another Kosovo - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
PM Erdogan: "Israel is Carrying Out Terror" - Radikal
TRNC Prepares for Referendum - Radikal
A New Plan for Cyprus - Yeni Safak
Killing of Hamas Leader Halts Greater Middle East Project -
Yeni Safak
President Bush Defends Sharon - Yeni Safak
Two Fronts For Turkish Side to Fight in Switzerland - Zaman


BRIEFING


Cyprus: All papers report that four-party Cyprus talks will
begin today in Burgenstock-Switzerland, with the
participation of the Turkish and Greek Foreign Ministers.
Before departing for Switzerland yesterday, Turkish Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul told reporters that Turkey would
expend every effort for a solution. Gul said that Turkey
hopes that the two sides will agree on most points in the
plan, leaving very few blanks to be filled in by UN
Secretary General Annan. `This does not mean that we are

SIPDIS
intent on a solution at any cost,' Gul added. The Foreign
Minister also expressed concern that a settlement reached in
Switzerland could be challenged in European courts by Greek
Cypriots. He urged the European Union to find a way to
include the agreement in EU Primary Law. "Hurriyet" notes
that on March 29 the Turkish and Greek Prime Ministers,
together with Secretary General Annan, will transform the
negotiations into an historic summit. "Cumhuriyet" draws
attention to reports in the Greek press that the UN is going
to present the sides with a new version of the Annan plan.
The so-called `Fourth Annan Plan' is an effort to find a
middle way between the concerns expressed by the two sides.
The new plan will set limits on Greek migration to the North
and strengthen the concept of bi-zonality. In exchange, the
Turkish side will give up an unspecified amount of
territory.


Reactions to Hamas Leader's Assassination: Demonstrations
continue throughout the world to protest the assassination
of the Hamas leader Sheikh Yasin. "Turkiye" reports that
President Bush defended Israel, saying that `every country
has the right to defend itself against terrorism.' After
the assassination, Al-Qaida's promise of revenge alarmed the
US, Israel and their allies. Extra security measures were
taken in countries all over the world. "Milliyet" reports
that Hamas elected Dr. Abdulaziz El Rantissi as its new
leader. Israeli Chief of General Staff Mose Yaalon
announced that Israel's policy of eliminating Palestinians
responsible for terror, including members of Hamas and
Hizbullah, will continue.


U.S. Lifts Travel Warning for Turkey: Papers report that
the United States has lifted its travel warning for Turkey.
The warning was implemented following the November bombings
in Istanbul. Several dailies suggest that the lifting of
the travel warning was connected to the Turkish Government
decision to lower the visa fee for U.S. visitors to Turkey.
The fee, which had been 100 USD, will be lowered to 20 USD
as of April 1.


EDITORIAL OPINION


"Expanded terror initiative"
Mim Kemal Oke commented in the mass appeal "HO-Tercuman"
(3/24): "The US' growing isolation in Iraq is a problem for
Turkey as well. The extent to which Washington approves of
assassinations by the Israeli state will be questioned, and
will probably strengthen the solidarity along the anti-
American front. It will also harden the nationalist front
in Turkey, and will further consolidate the unity between
the US and the Kurds in northern Iraq. Such a development
might increase US receptiveness to the Kurds' demands. If
US-Israeli relations do not undergo a serious revision, no
US initiative has a chance of success in the Middle East.
The EU is increasingly concerned that the US cannot or will
not restrain Israel. It seems that a bi-polar structure is
emerging within the western world."


"Sharon's dirty schemes"
Fehmi Koru wrote in the Islamist/opinion maker "Yeni Safak"
(3/24): "Ariel Sharon and his political accomplices'
killing of Sheikh Yasin was a premeditated assassination. .
Even though Washington has denied it, the US has retained
its place in the global memory as Sharon's comrade in arms.
Sharon's other calculation is even more important: Instead
of securing normalization in Israel, Sharon would prefer to
create worldwide disorder. Long before he took office,
Sharon has sought to encourage radicalism in Palestine. If
no country can feel safe from terror today, Sharon's policy
of `terror globalization' bears a considerable
responsibility for this."


"Buying arms from the terrorist"
Umur Talu wrote in the mass appeal "Sabah" (3/24): "Would
Turkey buy weapons from Israel and allow the modernization
of its tanks done by a state that pursues terrorist
activities? . Could Turkey, with its government and armed
forces, carry the burden of being a partner with Sharon's
state terror? Could Turkey continue to allow its Manavgat
waters to flow to Israel, which kills people and turns
others into terrorists through their displacement and
oppression? Can our Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff
accept this with a clear conscience?"


"Final Cyprus bargaining soon"
Mehmet Ali Birand observed in the mass appeal "Posta"
(3/24): "An MFA official said that if certain of Turkey's
expectations are not met at the UN-backed Cyprus meetings,
the Turkish side would work for the rejection of the
referendum. . Another problem is Denktas. He has openly
challenged Ankara, saying that if the necessary assurances
on his `red lines' are not given, he will launch a campaign
against the referendum. MFA officials say they were waiting
for a response from the UN regarding the `red lines.' The
Greek Cypriots have their own `red lines.' It seems that
under any scenario, neither side will be fully satisfied."


EDELMAN

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