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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 002200

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,
FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2004


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Verheugen: EU will help Turks if Greeks reject plan -
Milliyet
Denktas defends a `no' vote - Turkiye
Denktas: Annan Plan an insult to Turks - Hurriyet
Ankara urges EU to make Greeks pay for `no' - Sabah
Athens will `respect' decision of Greek Cypriots - Milliyet
US pledges $400 million for Cyprus - Turkiye
Aliyev: Azerbaijan will be first to recognize `TRNC' -
Hurriyet
Bush takes historic U-turn, Transforms US Middle East policy
- Hurriyet
New page in GME initiative: Expanding Israel Project - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Powell, Straw urge Greek Cypriots to vote `yes' - Zaman
US signals recognition of `TRNC' - Zaman
EU warns Greeks to lift sanctions on `TRNC' - Radikal
AKEL makes its `no' final - Radikal
AKEL disappoints Turkish Cypriots - Cumhuriyet
Foreigners flee Iraq - Yeni Safak
9/11 confessions from Tenet - Cumhuriyet
Bush supports Israel's annexation plan - Cumhuriyet
Bush approval for Israeli occupation - Radikal
EU rejects Sharon-Bush plan - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


U/S Grossman calls `TRNC FM': The semi-official Anatolian
Agency (AA) reports from Washington that State Department
Undersecretary Marc Grossman called Turkish Cypriot `Foreign
Minister' Serdar Denktas to tell him about US plans for
improving relations with the Turkish side in cooperation
with the EU if a settlement on Cyprus is blocked because the
Greek Cypriots vote `no.' One possible scenario would be for
the EU to define the Turkish Cypriot zone as a `special
zone' while it awaits full EU membership. The US is also
considering loosening sanctions on the Turkish side,
extending financial support through international financial
institutions, starting international flights to Turkish
Cypriot airports, opening of a US representation in the
north, and encouraging the flow of American capital to the
Turkish zone. A US representation in the Turkish sector
would be based on the China-Taiwan model.


Cyprus: EU expansion chief Verheugen said that if the Greek
Cypriots vote against the Annan Plan, the Green Line in
Cyprus would become a de facto border for the EU. It would
not mean recognition of the TRNC, Verheugen said, but the
Greek Cypriots will be held responsible for the division in
the island and Turkish troops will no longer be seen as an
occupation force. Dailies believe Verheugen is openly
threatening the Greek Cypriots in an effort to encourage a
`yes' vote on April 24. The EU is also discussing ways to
extend financial aid to the `TRNC,' facilitate Turkish
Cypriot exports to Europe, allow foreign investments in the
north, and start international direct flights to the Turkish
sector. The US might not recognize the `TRNC,' but it is
not expected to stop other countries that may be willing to
do so. State Department Spokesman Boucher stressed that the
Turkish Cypriots would not be left alone if the Greeks
reject the Annan Plan. Washington is looking for ways to
lift economic sanctions on the `TRNC.' The US pledged $400
million for the reunification of Cyprus at an international
donors conference held Thursday in Brussels. Turkish
Cypriot leader Denktas addressed the Turkish parliament in
Ankara on Thursday. If the UN plan is accepted, Denktas
claimed, the `TRNC' will be separated from Turkey forever
and it will not be possible to prevent a new military coup
by the Greek Cypriots. According to a public opinion survey
of 934 Turkish Cypriots on April 8, 59.3 percent will vote
for the Annan Plan, and 28.1 against. 52.5 percent said
their priority before casting a vote would be the decision
of the Turkish government, while 33.5 would follow a
decision by Denktas.


Baykal charges a `plot' against CHP: In an exclusive to the
pro-Islamic daily "Yeni Safak," Republican People's Party
(CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said his party had been targeted
by the media, the business world and `international forces'
because of CHP's policies regarding Cyprus and Iraq. If the
UN-sponsored plan is accepted, Baykal warned, all of Cyprus
will become a Greek Cypriot state within the next two
decades. `The Greek Cypriots have the backing of the
Church, the EU, Greece and international capital," Baykal
claimed. `You cannot establish a balance between a
homogenous state in the south and a mixed entity of Turks
and Greek Cypriots in the north,' Baykal asserted.


EDITORIAL OPINION:


a) Iraq
b) Cyprus


"The Doomsday Scenario"
Fehmi Koru argued in the Islamist-opinion maker Yeni Safak
(4/16): "We have been seeing the consequences of the
American occupation for months. Recent news from Iraqi
resistance groups indicates a growing chaos. The occupation
forces have apparently failed to prevent the activity of
these groups, whose tactic is to use more violence to end
the resistance. . The Iraqi resistance did not happen
overnight. It is not possible to tie the resistance only
with the situation in Iraq. The gist of the problem stems
from the Palestinian issue, the assassination of Yasin, the
silence from Washington, and the US veto in the UN to
prevent the resolution to blame Israel. President Bush has
created a dilemma for himself by tying his political destiny
to Israel. The ongoing policies in Iraq are accompanied by
growing US favoritism toward Israel. . President Bush is
preoccupied with the upcoming election. With this in mind,
he took the side of Sharon and announced Washington's new
Middle East policy. This policy undoubtedly will help to
increase tension in Iraq. The US-led military alliance in
Iraq is likely to face more serious threats. . The war lobby
in Washington is pushing for extreme measures, which will
turn the whole world into a bloodbath. This is the doomsday
scenario."


"Naturally, Yes"
Ferai Tinc wrote in the mass appeal Hurriyet (4/16): "Those
who always viewed the Turkish Cypriot side as the obstacle
to a Cyprus settlement have now been left with no argument.
The Greek Cypriots are clearly working for a `no' in the
referendum, and it seems the EU is about to be faced with a
serious dilemma. In fact, Brussels has already started
working on a series of formulas in the event of a `yes' from
the Turkish side and a `no' in the South. According to EU
enlargement chief Verheugen, the green line in Cyprus will
be considered as an EU border if the Greek Cypriots vote
`no' and the Turkish Cypriots vote `yes.' This amounts to
an official declaration of a divided Cyprus for the first
time by an EU official. . Anyone who follows the Cyprus
issue will realize that such a statement about the fate of
Cyprus cannot possibly be made without Washington's consent.
All of this leaves no option but a clear `yes' from the
Turks."


"Why Do the Greek Cypriots Say No?"
Mehmet Ali Birand commented in the mass appeal Posta (4/16):
"We always knew that Greek Cypriots viewed the Turks only as
a minority. However, this belief never had been voiced so
openly before. When the Turkish side took the initiative
and changed its policy, the Greek Cypriots did not know what
to do. When Turkey used the chance presented by the Annan
plan, the Greek Cypriots were surprised. They were counting
on Denktas' obstructionism to pave their way to the EU. If
Ankara had changed its policy earlier, we might have faced a
different result. If Turkey had said "yes" last year in The
Hague, the Greek Cypriots still would not have made a move.
April 24 is very close. Now the Turkish side has to do what
is necessary. It has to show that its aim is not to divide,
but to unite the island and to live in peace. Cyprus'
future will be decided on April 24. The island will either
be divided in two, with the southern portion becoming a
member of the EU, or both sides will become EU members
through the Annan plan. If Greek Cypriot leaders are
thinking of dominating the entire island in the future, they
are making a very big mistake. If they have made a
conscious decision to divide the island and are following a
carefully crafted policy, then it is their business."


EDELMAN

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