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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.

051359Z Apr 04

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001984

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, APRIL 5, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Powell's Islamic Republic of Turkey - Milliyet 4/3
So we are an `Islamic Republic' - Sabah 4/3
Washington corrects Powell's gaffe about `Islamic state' -
Hurriyet 4/3
Powell: US has no B-Plan for Cyprus - Aksam
Powell: UN Plan Cypriots' last chance - Turkiye
85 percent of Greek Cypriots against Annan Plan - Milliyet
Athens pressures Papadopolous -Turkiye
Shiites put up a bloody resistance - Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Powell talks nonsense - Cumhuriyet 4/3
US correction to Powell's `Islamic republic' remark - Zaman
4/3
Karamanlis needs time to convince Greek Cypriots - Zaman 4/3
EU names Kongra-Gel as terrorists - Radikal 4/3
Greeks, Greek Cypriots determined to reject UN Plan - Yeni
Safak
Powell will work for `Yes' in referenda - Radikal
Shiites, Salvadorans clash in Iraq - Radikal
Occupation forces attack Shiites: 20 killed - Yeni Safak
Bloody Sunday in Najaf: 24 dead - Cumhuriyet
Shiites take to the streets: 25 killed - Zaman
Orphans used as AIDS guinea pigs - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING


Turkish reaction to Secretary Powell remarks: Saturday
papers write that Secretary Powell made a huge gaffe when he
said in an interview with German ZDF-TV that Iraq would
become an Islamic republic `like Turkey and Pakistan.'
Dailies criticize Powell for his `ignorance,' and note that
the Secretary's remarks disturbed Ankara. US Ambassador
Eric Edelman said that the remarks had been misunderstood.
`Turkey is a secular, democratic republic, and there is no
change in the US view,' Edelman said. `Powell's scandalous
remarks are corrected by the US State Department,' read
Saturday's headline in "Hurriyet." A State Department
official told "Hurriyet" that the Secretary was simply
highlighting the fact that Turkey's population is
overwhelmingly Muslim, and that Turkey is a democracy with a
republican form of government. Aegean Army Commander
General Hursit Tolon said that Turkey's ally must learn the
basic characteristics of the Republic of Turkey.


Cyprus: The Council of ministers and the National Security
Council (NSC) will discuss the UN-backed peace plan for
Cyprus in an NSC meeting on Monday. The issue will then be
taken up at a special session in parliament on Tuesday. The
government wants the parliament to pass the guarantees
demanded by the UN before the April 7 deadline. The
military might voice opposition to some aspects of the Annan
Plan. The military is also concerned about the weakening of
ties between Ankara and Denktas. The commanders are worried
that Turkish derogations would not become part of EU primary
law. The accommodation and rehabilitation of over 50,000
TRNC nationals to be displaced will also be discussed at the
NSC. `TRNC Prime Minister' Talat said that $2-4 billion
would be needed to resettle the displaced. Meanwhile,
papers report that a large majority -- 84.7 percent -- of
Greek Cypriots oppose the UN-backed peace plan for the
reunification of Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots currently
support acceptance of the plan, but by a very narrow margin
-- 51.2 percent to 48.7 percent. Foreign Minister Gul said
he would launch a world campaign for the international
recognition of the `TRNC' if Greek Cypriots reject the Annan
Plan. Secretary Powell said yesterday that there is no `B-
plan' for Cyprus, and that the process will come to a halt
if the sides cannot agree.


Kongra-Gel on EU terror list: Kongra-Gel and KADEK,
successor organizations to the PKK, have been added to the
EU list of terrorist organizations together with DHKP-C and
IBDA-C. Until recently, the EU had not taken into account
Ankara's concerns about Kongra-Gel and KADEK. The Europeans
became more sensitive on the issue following the Madrid
bombings.
DEP trial: The Ankara State Security Court (SSC) rejected
requests for the release of former DEP lawmakers Leyla Zana,
Hatip Dicle, Orhan Dogan and Selim Sadak at the 13th hearing
in the defendants' retrial on Friday. The case was
postponed until April 21. European Parliament Co-Chairman
Joost Lagendijk said after the hearing that if the Kurdish
lawmakers are convicted for a second time, Turkey's EU
adjustment laws would be reeexamined. The defendants
boycotted the hearing on Friday as a protest against the
legal process.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Cyprus


"The US Works for a Yes"
Yasemin Congar wrote in the mass appeal Milliyet (4/5): "The
Bush administration is very pleased with the Turkish
government's performance during the Cyprus talks. A source
in the White House noted that some Congressional circles
that previously criticized Turkey for its position on Cyprus
have been pleasantly surprised by Ankara's approach. .
Washington is now focusing on the performances of both
Ankara and Athens with regard to the outcome of the upcoming
referenda. However, Turkey's positive approach has already
been noted in Washington. US officials have intensified
their efforts to persuade all four sides on the importance
of a `yes' from the referenda. The US believes that the
current Cyprus agreement is the best of what could have been
achieved. . Washington warns that there could be negative
consequences for the Greek Cypriot side in the event of a
`no' vote in the south. But Washington is making no
commitment to provide official recognition to the Turkish
Cypriot side in the event that the referendum is approved in
the north. However, Washington does not conceal its
intention to provide certain privileges to the Turkish
Cypriot side if there is such a result."


"Cyprus: To Be or Not to Be"
Erol Manisali argued in the social democrat-intellectual
Cumhuriyet (4/5): "Thanks to the Annan Plan, for the first
time in history both Greece and the Greek Cypriots have been
given all the advantages to exert full hegemony on island of
Cyprus. Simitis and Karamanlis used to express their goal
to turn Cyprus into a Hellenic island, and it seems that
this goal is about to be realized. Right after the
implementation of Annan Plan, we will see a political
invasion of the island by Greece (i.e., the EU). The
occupation of Iraq has been achieved through weapons.
However, the occupation of Cyprus is about to be carried out
through the Annan Plan."


"Plan B"
Asli Aydintasbas wrote from Washington in the mass appeal
Sabah: "The Greek Cypriots are well aware of the
consequences of saying `no' in the referendum. They appear
to be ready to face those consequences. IN recent weeks,
the Greek lobby has exerted great efforts in the US Congress
against the Annan plan, and has dismissed possible negative
fallout from the referendum. Turkey needs to develop a
strategy for the post-referendum period. A high level Greek
official told me in New York that there is not enough time
for a solution, but that the Annan process could be
restarted in September, in advance of the EU decision on
Turkey. Both Greece and the Greek-Cypriots prefer this kind
of postponement, because they believe that they can take
more land in a second round of talks. The Greek Cypriots
also believe that after all these years, living together may
not be very pleasant for Turks and Greeks. Some are urging
the government to forget about the Annan plan, and to try to
get more land from the Turks before they become an
independent state. It is a rather interesting thought. The
Greek Cypriots have yet to make a concrete decision on the
issue, but Ankara needs to start thinking about a `plan B'
before it's too late."


EDELMAN

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