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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.

301441Z Mar 04

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001880

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 30, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Annan Plan says Turkish troops will stay - Hurriyet
Bush urges leaders to do their best for a solution - Sabah
Huge step toward Cyprus solution - Aksam
Annan boosts hope - Milliyet
Baykal: CHP successful in the election - Hurriyet
Baykal claims CHP increased votes - Turkiye
2,000 Kurds under detention in Syria - Aksam
Clarke's memoirs bring $1 million - Aksam


OPINION MAKERS
Erdogan to Switzerland, bolstered by poll results - Zaman
EU accepts Turks' demands on derogations - Cumhuriyet
`Turkish state' takes the stage in Cyprus - Radikal
Greek Cypriots disappointed in new UN plan - Radikal
Greek Cypriot priests launch `No' campaign - Cumhuriyet
Baykal declares CHP `victory' in the poll - Radikal
AKP democratization moves beat DEHAP in the Southeast -
Zaman
Rice refuses to testify - Radikal


BRIEFING


Cyprus: The Greek and Greek Cypriot sides in the Cyprus
talks say that the latest UN plan for reuniting Cyprus
includes many negative points for them, and the Greek press
is reporting that the plan will be rejected. The Greek
Cypriot government reportedly considers the plan as
unacceptable. The fourth plan presented by Annan responds
to Turkey's desire to strengthen the bi-zonal character of
the island, thus ensuring political equality and security.
President Bush called Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis on
Monday to encourage him to achieve a settlement. The latest
UN plan reduces the number of Greek Cypriot migrants moving
to the north to 18 percent from the previous 21 percent.
The plan denies voting rights to Greek Cypriots living in
the Turkish sector. Greek Cypriot applications to European
courts on land and property issues will be made to the
judiciary of the constituent state. The number of Turkish
troops on the island will be gradually reduced to 3,000 by
2018, according to the new plan. Before leaving Ankara for
Switzerland on Monday, PM Erdogan called EU leaders urging
them to make the Cyprus deal part of EU primary law.


March 28 local election: The ruling AK Party won a majority
of municipalities in weekend local elections, receiving 41.8
percent of the vote, far ahead of its nearest rival CHP,
which won 18.1 percent. Turnout in the elections declined
to 69.4 percent from 79 percent in the 2002 vote, with the
AK Party increasing its support by two million votes while
the number of CHP votes fell by 500,000. However,
opposition leader and Republican People's Party (CHP)
chairman Deniz Baykal declared on Monday that the election
was a `victory' for his party as it increased its share of
the vote by eight percentage points over the previous
municipal elections in 1999. Despite losing many CHP
strongholds including his hometown of Antalya, Baykal said
he had no intention of stepping down from the party
leadership. "Yeni Safak" wrote that the Turkish people
have increased support for the AK Party because it is a
force for change, but have remained distant from CHP because
it backed the status quo. Pro-Kurdish DEHAP, which joined
an alliance of left-wing parties in the election, lost some
of its strongholds in the southeast to the AKP as a result
of the government's steps towards democratization, "Zaman"
reports. In an official statement released on Monday, DEHAP
leaders acknowledged `the Democratic Unity movement was not
able to attain success throughout Turkey in the election.'


Transparency International survey on corruption: "Radikal"
carries a survey on global corruption conducted by the
Gallup organization in 47 countries on behalf of
Transparency International (TI). 56.6 percent of Turks
surveyed in the study believe that domestic corruption will
increase, and only 12 percent think it will diminish. Turks
believe that Turkey's performance regarding transparency and
honesty has deteriorated, according to the study. Turkey
ranked 77th worldwide, down from a previous ranking of 64th
on the `Corruption Awareness Index' for 2004. The report
was issued by TI. Meanwhile, Turkey has officially signed
on to the European Convention on the Struggle Against
Corruption, "Radikal" reports.


EDITORIAL OPINION:


a) Iraq
b) US-Turkey Relations


"Iraq on the eve of a new era"
Fikret Ertan noted in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman
(3/30): "A new era will begin in Iraq in exactly 3 months
time. Sovereignty will be transferred to a civilian
authority, yet the American presence will be remain, albeit
in a different form. There are ongoing, intense
negotiations behind closed doors between the Iraqi Governing
Council and the US. The US goal is to legitimize its
military presence after June 30. According to some leaked
information, the US is going to establish a system for Iraq
that is compatible with the Pentagon in an effort to control
the new Iraqi army. . The US policy for the new Iraq also
includes the establishment of 6 permanent military bases
together with the UK. The locations of the six bases will
undoubtedly provide the US and UK complete control over
Iraqi territory. These bases will also play a deterrent
role toward Iraq's neighbors. It seems logical that these
military bases in Iraq will be the main pillars of American
and British policy in the Middle East."


"Election results and foreign policy"
Ibrahim Karagul argued in the Islamist-opinion maker Yeni
Safak (3/30): "The international press interpreted the
election results as clear support for Turkey's EU policy and
progress toward a Cyprus settlement. In fact, the two
issues should not be placed in the same category. The
Turkish public has given significant support for the EU, but
there is still confusion and skepticism over the Cyprus
issue. . Turkish public opinion has also showed a very clear
stance regarding the government's relations with the United
States. The Turkish public opposes the US policy of
aggression and considers the US as a threat to both the
country and the region. . The Turkish public immediately
reacts against anything coming from the US, yet almost
always supports initiatives coming from the EU. There is a
remarkable difference in Turkish public opinion between its
anti-American feelings and more comfortable approach toward
the EU. The election result means that Ankara should turn
its face toward Brussels, not Washington."


EDELMAN

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