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 002268
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,
SATURDAY-MONDAY, APRIL 17-19, 2004
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER
Powell: "A Mistake to say `No' in Cyprus" - Milliyet (4/17)
New Hamas Leader Assassinated - Milliyet (4/18)
Tension in Najaf - Turkiye (4/18)
Anger over Rantisi Assassination - Sabah
`Time' Lists Erdogan Among World's Most Influential -
Spain Decides to Withdraw Its Troops From Iraq - Hurriyet
Karamanlis Promises Not to Block Turkey's EU Entry -
Pressure Increases on Greek-Cypriots - Radikal (4/17)
Taiwan Model For Cyprus - Yeni Safak (4/17)
`Yes' Votes Increase in `TRNC' - Radikal (4/18)
Erdogan Urges AKP Unity in Cyprus Voting - Cumnhuriyet
Polls Indicate Declining `No' Votes in Greek-Cyprus -
Zapatero Orders His Troops to Leave Iraq - Zaman
Stop the Killer (Sharon) - Yeni Safak
Assassination of Hamas Leader: All weekend papers covered
the news of the assassination of Hamas Leader Abdulaziz
Rantissi by Israel. Today's `Yeni Safak' notes that the
action has brought international condemnation against
Israel. The paper adds that the U.S. is the only country to
support the right of Israel to carry out such an attack.
The EU, UN and the Islamic world harshly condemned Israel
for the killing. "Milliyet" reports that PM Erdogan warned
Israel, saying that `nothing can be achieved by throwing
bombs at peace.' The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a
statement condemning what it referred to as `an illegal
Cyprus: Saturday's "Milliyet" reports that US Secretary of
State Colin Powell urged both sides to support a `yes' vote
in the Cyprus referendum. Powell added that the Annan plan
is a `golden opportunity' for the island's reunification.
Saturday's "Cumhuriyet" notes that the parties in Cyprus are
in intense preparations to cope with the new situation that
will pertain on the island after April 24. The Turkish
Foreign Ministry expects the Turkish side to vote for a
`yes' and the Greek side for a `no'. Diplomats believe the
Greek Cypriots should be punished for saying `no' to a
settlement. The Turkish side is expected to launch an
intensive diplomatic campaign in the US, the EU and the UN
to gain international recognition of the `TRNC.' However, a
new UN Security Council resolution would be required.
Saturday's "Sabah" reports that recent surveys showed that
59.3 percent of Turkish Cypriots would vote `yes' on April
24. Saturday's "Cumhuriyet" notes that the US
Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman phoned Serdar Denktas
to say that if the Greek Cypriots say `no,' the US and EU
would take steps to minimize the losses of the Turkish
Cypriots. Today's "Cumhuriyet" reports that during the AK
party meeting held over the weekend in Antalya, PM Erdogan
urged all AKP deputies to support reunification during the
parliamentary vote on Cyprus.
"A catastrophe looming"
Fehmi Koru wrote in the Islamist/opinion maker "Yeni Safak"
(4/19): "The Israeli violence in Palestine is disrupting
global balances. . How can US expect from people horrified
by the incidents in Palestine, understanding for the Greater
Middle East project - an initiative Americans have been
developing as an exit strategy in their fight against
terrorism. Sharon has exploited to the utmost the upcoming
presidential elections in the US. The extent of Bush's
tolerance for Tel Aviv is taking him to the end of the road
in politics by deepening the difficulties in Iraq. Seems
that catastrophe is at doorstep for Bush."
"Greater Chaos Project"
Ferai Tinc opined in the mass appeal "Hurriyet" (4/19):
"Sharon got written guarantees from Bush to keep the Israeli
settlements in the West Bank before an Israeli withdrawal
from Gaza. . Before withdrawing, Israel will eradicate
Hamas. The plan is obvious: Israel will withdraw from Gaza,
and a Palestine state will be established. But this new
state's borders will be defined by Israel. The Greater
Middle East project may have a clause like, `Israel's
security will be fully guaranteed before establishment of a
Palestine state.' . However, the killing of Rantisi took
people in Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt to
the streets. How can you expect to drain a so-called marsh
through actions that fan enmity against US and Israel? .
One may think that the Greater Middle East project has got
room for chaos scenarios."
"US may create new Saddams"
Mustafa Balbay commented in the intellectual/opinion maker
"Cumhuriyet" (4/19): "US has managed to unite all Iraqis
except the Kurds against itself. . US is striving to make
the Iraqi Shiites act independent of Iran. However,
regional scales prove that this will be a difficult task to
attain. Muqtada es-Sadr has called for solidarity against
Americans. . Those resisting Americans do not want to
establish democracy, but their own administrations.
Eventually, neither Americans nor resisters target
democracy. US has toppled Saddam, but will probably create
"Why should Turks say `yes'"
Etyen Mahcupyan observed in the conservative/intellectual
"Zaman" (4/19): "The latest Annan Plan meets almost all
expectations of the Turkish side. . Greek Cypriots will
belatedly acquire their property rights in due time while
the Turkish side will gain in detail a brand new legal
status. A federal Cyprus republic will automatically bring
international recognition for the constituent state in the
north, the TRNC. . A solution will make Greece and Greece
Cyprus natural supporters of Turkey's EU drive. . The UN-
backed plan gives Turks extraordinary rights compared to the
1960 Agreement. . We must not surrender to selfishness and
fanaticism under a nationalist disguise that actually
disregards our national interests."