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 002154
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,
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 2004
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER
Gen. Ozkok: "Military Will Always Defend Secularism" -
Dervis Resigns From CHP - Hurriyet
Gen. Ozkok: "Turkish Cypriots Will Decide Their Future" -
President Bush Calls on Karamanlis to Urge a `Yes' -
Azerbaijani President Aliyev in Turkey - Turkiye
First Call from US to TRNC - Aksam
Cyprus Messages From General Ozkok - Radikal
Ozkok: "Not Appropriate for me to Say `Yes' or `No' to Annan
Plan - Cumhuriyet
Foreign Companies and States Withdraw From Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Ozkok: "We Act With Our Mind, Not With Our Heart, in Cyprus"
TGS Chief General Ozkok's Briefing: All papers and TV
extensively cover yesterday's press briefing by TGS Chief
Gen. Hilmi Ozkok. Ozkok said that `despite its positive
aspects, the Annan plan does not meet all of our demands.'
`We see serious problems in implementing the plan,' he
added. `Although the Treaty of Guarantee and Treaty of
Alliance are preserved without changes,' Ozkok noted, `some
adaptations will be made and additional responsibilities
undertaken as necessitated by additional protocols.' `We
believe that these changes will not prevent us from using
our rights as a guarantor power,' he said. Ozkok
acknowledged that the plan has positive aspects as well,
particularly the fact that the Turkish military will remain
on the island, albeit in reduced numbers, until Turkey
decides to withdraw its forces. He also mentioned positive
steps toward preserving the bi-zonal structure of the
island, but cautioned on the need for the EU to include the
legal derogations in the plan as part of EU primary law.
Ozkok noted that the military had expressed its views on the
Cyprus issue to the government `at appropriate times' during
the negotiations, but claimed that the government's
negotiating tactics in the New York meetings `deviated from
the agreement reached at the January 23 meeting of the
National Security Council.' Ozkok concluded that it would
be inappropriate for him to advocate a `yes' or `no' vote on
the Annan plan, and he noted that the Turkish Parliament and
Turkish Cypriots will have the final word on the issue.
Ozkok also discussed the importance of secularism and
modernity as the principles that will take the Turkish
Republic into the future, and cautioned that `no one should
expect the military to remain neutral on these issues.'
Ozkok denied speculation that he had been offered the
position of President of the Republic, saying that his
chairmanship of the General Staff would be the `final
official position' of his career.
Cyprus: "Sabah" and "Aksam" report that US Secretary of
State Colin Powell called `TRNC Prime Minister' Talat
yesterday to thank him for his constructive efforts to solve
the Cyprus issue. "Milliyet" reports that President Bush
called the Greek Prime Minister last Monday to ask for his
support in convincing the Greek Cypriots to vote `yes' in
the referendum. "Radikal" notes that there are now no Greek
Cypriot political parties willing to support the UN plan in
the referendum. Annan has indicated that a postponement of
the referendum could be considered, but only if such a
request is received from both sides.
Azerbaijani President Aliyev in Turkey: Azerbaijan
President Aliyev arrived in Ankara yesterday on his first
official visit to Turkey. "Radikal" notes that Turkey
supported the Azerbaijani proposal for opening the border
gate with Armenia in exchange for Armenian withdrawal from
part of the territory occupied by Armenia in Nagorno-
"If the Greek Cypriots reject the Annan Plan, ."
Ismet Berkan observed in the intellectual/opinion maker
"Radikal" (4/14): "The Greek Cypriots will join the
European Union on May 1 even if they reject the Annan Plan.
. If Cyprus does not join the EU as a unified island,
Turkey's future EU membership will be in danger. For
example, Greek and Greek Cypriot opposition will make it
impossible for the EU to start membership negotiations with
Turkey. Such a development will have negative effects in
the Eastern Mediterranean and in the European system. . I
don't think the EU countries are fully aware of the price
they will have to pay together with the Cypriots, Greece and
Turkey if that scenario becomes a reality."
"Verheugen must take action"
Mehmet Ali Birand commented in the mass appeal "Posta"
(4/14): "The EU has made a big mistake by promising
Southern Cyprus full EU membership as the sole
representative of Cyprus even in the event that the Greek
Cypriots reject the Annan Plan. . The EU must not just
watch these developments , but rather find a way to convince
the Greek Cypriots. . Verheugen's greatest achievements in
his professional career have been attaining a solution to
the Cyprus issue and bringing Turkey into the EU. Verheugen
must take the initiative and prevent Greek Cypriot leaders
from causing disorder in the region through their domestic
political tricks. Otherwise, relations between the EU and
Turkey will face enormous problems that might prove
impossible to solve."
"US sinks in the mud"
Tufan Turenc wrote in the mass appeal "Hurriyet" (4/14):
"The Iraq swamp will bring the end of President Bush along
with Rumsfeld and his gang. . The Americans have made a
strategic mistake in Iraq by taking the Kurds on their side
and bringing themselves into confrontation with the 80
percent of the Iraqi population that is Arab. . The
violence will increase, making it tougher for the Americans
to leave Iraq. Over 800 Iraqi civilians have killed and the
coalition's losses have reached 80 in clashes since April 1.
. This is the cost of following the violence-loving
policies of the Rumsfeld gang."