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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 002185

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,
THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2004

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Bush urges Karamanlis to grab opportunity in Cyprus - Sabah
US: Sanctions on Turks to be removed if Greeks say `no' -
Milliyet
FM Gul: Ankara against postponement of Cyprus referenda --
Hurriyet
Thousands of Turkish Cypriots say `yes' - Sabah
Amb. Edelman: Turkey will eventually join the EU - Hurriyet
Cease-fire extended in Fallujah - Sabah
CIA admits fiasco on 9/11 - Hurriyet
Bush voices historic support for Israel - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
AKEL says `No' - Cumhuriyet
US shows stick to Greek Cypriots - Radikal
40,000 Turkish Cypriots rally for `yes' - Zaman
Bush vows to finish the job in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Hugo Chavez says his heart is with Iraqi resisters - Yeni
Safak
Israel got what it wanted from US - Radikal
Bush supports Sharon plan - Yeni Safak
Bush supports Sharon plan, Palestinians furious - Zaman


BRIEFING


Cyprus: Tens of thousands of Turkish Cypriots rallied on
the Turkish side of Nicosia in support of the Annan Plan for
the reunification of Cyprus. An estimated 40,000
demonstrators waving the newly designed tri-color `United
Republic of Cyprus' flag called on Greek Cypriots to back
the plan. Turkey's leading businessmen said in a full-page
ad in Wednesday's editions of Turkey's national newspapers
that a "yes" vote would help the north to rejoin the global
economy. Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas will deliver a
speech at the Turkish parliament today. He is expected to
make the case against Annan Plan. Governing AK Party
officials had said previously that deputies would not be
forced to attend the Denktas meeting today. Prime Minister
Erdogan does not plan to attend. Meanwhile, `TRNC Prime
Minister' Mehmet Ali Talat said he would agree with the
Greek Cypriot proposal for postponement of the April 24
referenda only if the EU postpones the EU accession date for
Greek Cyprus. Ankara also voiced opposition to any delay in
the voting on the UN blueprint. Papers speculate that
Washington will be considering ways for removing
international sanctions on the Turkish Cypriots if Greek
Cypriots reject the plan.
Ambassador Edelman on Cyprus, EU, Middle East: Ambassador
Edelman said the US was `doing its best' to see approval of
the Annan Plan in the April 24 referenda in Cyprus. `There
is no alternative to the Annan Plan,' Edelman said, adding
that if the Turks vote for the plan and the Greeks vote
against it, the US, EU and the international community will
know that the Turkish side has done its best for a solution.
`The US is trying to get a `yes' from both sides,' Edelman
noted. Responding to a question, Edelman said he did not
expect the EU to put up new barriers in Turkey's path to EU
membership. If Turkey keeps alive its reform process,
Edelman said, the EU will eventually take accept Turkey.
Ambassador Edelman also stressed that the US view of Turkey
as a secular, democratic republic has not changed. The US
has no plan to define a particular role for Turkey in the
Greater Middle East initiative, he emphasized. `We cannot
impose on anyone a particular choice of democracy, Edelman
said, as every country will choose a model according to its
own history and culture.'
Sezer: `Moderate Islam' a backward model for Turkey: Papers
report President Sezer's criticism of the US Greater Middle
East initiative in a speech he delivered at the Military
Academy in Istanbul on Wednesday. `Moderate Islam might be
a progressive model for other Islamic countries,' Sezer
said, but for Turkey it would be a big step backward. He
stressed that democracy cannot exist in a state controlled
by religion, no matter whether such a state is
fundamentalist or moderate. Dailies interpret Sezer's
comments as a response to Secretary Powell's remark in which
he referred to Turkey as an `Islamic republic.'


EDITORIAL OPINION:


a) President Bush's remarks on Iraq
b) Cyprus


"Bush is determined in his Iraq policy"
Murat Yetkin observed in the intellectual/opinion maker
"Radikal" (4/15): "President Bush made it clear that he has
no intention of stepping back from his Iraq policy and the
war against terrorism. He said that `America is pursing a
counter-attack against terrorism and will continue to do
so.' This is a clear manifestation of the US policy line. .
President Bush is using the Iraq policy to counter the
criticism about his handling of 9/11. The Bush
administration's thinking is like this: `The US did not take
preemptive action in Afghanistan because it didn't
understand the magnitude of the problem -- it will not make
the same mistake in Iraq. Iraq does not represent the whole
of the US war against terrorism. It is only a part of it.
In the end, the US will win this war.' . President Bush's
approach shows how ambitious the US initiatives are, and how
they may cause significant consequences around the world.
Bringing freedom to the Middle East is a huge project, and
it is not only limited to Iraq. Bush believes that the war
in Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein brought an
historic chance to change the world. . It seems that the US
is going to exert pressure in this region to the extent that
it can. The US does not have any competitors in this area -
- neither Russia nor the EU. Thus Turkey should pursue a
policy not based on emotions, but one formulated with
rationalism and caution."


"Yes, Yes, Yes"
Metin Munir wrote in the mass appeal-sensational Vatan
(4/15): "Even if the Greek Cypriot side has nothing to lose
in the event of a `no' result in the referendum, the Turkish
Cypriot side should still consider the benefits of a `yes'
vote. A strong `yes' vote from the Turkish Cypriot side
will serve Turkey's interests quite significantly, by
enhancing Turkey's image in international public opinion and
furthering its vision of EU membership. Moreover, a Turkish
Cypriot `yes' and a Greek Cypriot `no' will serve the
interests of Turkish Cypriots as well by legitimizing the de
facto situation on the island. This in itself should be
enough for the EU to reevaluate the EU-imposed embargo
against the Turkish Cypriot side. . Denktas seems to be
losing his common sense. But whatever he tries to do, the
Turkish Cypriot people want to vote `yes' and put the
archaic thinking represented by Denktas behind them."


EDELMAN

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