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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 004072

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,
WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER
THREE THEMES:

HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION

HEADLINES

MASS APPEALS
Airbus Gesture for Chirac - Hurriyet
30th Anniversary of Cyprus Peace Operation - Hurriyet
Armenia Border Opening a Condition from Erdogan - Sabah
Erdogan's Nuclear Energy Bribery for France - Milliyet
Chirac: "Bush Might Attack Syria" - Milliyet
Denktas Criticizes Annan Plan, GOT, and `TRNC Government' -
Milliyet
FM Gul to EU: "Keep Your Promise for TRNC" - Turkiye

OPINION MAKERS
Turkey Plays Economic Cards for EU entry - Cumhuriyet
Chirac Remains Silent - Radikal
Trade With France According to Its Support for Turkey's EU
Bid - Yeni Safak

BRIEFING

PM Erdogan in France: "Milliyet" reports that despite
powerful economic incentives offered by PM Erdogan, France
has declined to support Turkey's EU entry. In his meeting
with French President Chirac, Erdogan promised to give
priority to France in Turkey's nuclear energy projects and
in the purchase of new aircraft for the THY fleet. Despite
all these offers, Chirac extended only weak support to
Turkey and did not hold a joint press conference with
Erdogan. Neither side issued a written statement following
the meeting. "Radikal" noted that Chirac remained silent
after his meeting with Erdogan. "Cumhuriyet" reports that a
preliminary agreement for the Airbus deal will be signed
today. Left-leaning "Birgun" notes that despite all of the
economic `bribery' offered to France, PM Erdogan will return
to Turkey empty-handed. "Turkiye" writes that Chirac
extended France's support to Erdogan for Turkey's EU
membership. In a press conference in Paris yesterday, PM
Erdogan said that Turkey would not accept conditional EU
approval for accession negotiations, and reiterated that EU
entry was not an `obsession' for the Turks. "Sabah" reports
that Chirac express his hope during the Erdogan meeting that
US President George Bush `won't do anything crazy' before
the US election. Chirac specifically noted his concern
about a possible US military action against Syria in coming
months.

Armenian Border Gate: "Sabah" reports that the Armenian
issue was raised during Erdogan's meeting with the French
Foreign Relations Committee. Erdogan said that the issue
should be `left to historians.' The Armenian Diaspora is
making a mistake, Erdogan said, by keeping the issue on the
agenda. `This is not in favor of Armenia, he added.
Erdogan said that ties between the two countries cannot be
improved as long as the campaign against Turkey continues.
`Turkey can open its border with Armenia when the campaign
has ended.'

Genocide Document Exchange With Armenia: "Milliyet" reports
that during the Vienna Armenian Turkish Platform on July 16,
Turkish and Armenian scholars exchanged documents about the
so-called Armenian genocide. The Armenians presented the
Turkish side with 100 documents confirming the genocide, and
the Turkish side presented 100 documents to invalidate the
claim.

Cyprus: "Milliyet" and "Cumhuriyet" report on the visit of
State Department DAS Laura Kennedy to Ankara. "Milliyet"
notes that Kennedy has also assumed the responsibilities
previously held by former US Cyprus envoy Thomas Weston.
"Cumhuriyet" characterizes the visit as the US `testing the
ground' for holding a new referendum in Cyprus. All papers
report about the ceremonies held in Cyprus for the 30th
anniversary of the Cyprus `Peace operation.' In a statement
during the celebrations, Turkish FM Gul called on EU
countries, the US, and the rest of the world should fulfill
the promises given to the Turkish Cypriots before the
referendum.

US Official: Turkey's Improving Relations with Syria, Iran
not a Problem: "Hurriyet" quotes a US official in
Washington as saying that Turkey's recent moves to improve
relations with Syria and Iran do not cause a problem for the
United States. `Turkey knows these countries well,' the
official said, adding that `one is ruled by the mullahs and
the other is autocratic.' `The Turks also know that these
countries support terrorism and are trying to develop
weapons of mass destruction,' the official said. `We are
pleased that Turkey has engaged with these countries to
encourage them to take steps toward reform and democracy,'
he concluded.


EDITORIAL OPINION: EU Enlargement and Turkey

"EU Creates New Conditions"
Zafer Atay criticized in the economic-political Dunya
(7/21): "The NATO summit was full of goodwill gestures and
pro-Turkey rhetoric from EU leaders, yet it seems those days
are over now. EU officials continue to repeat that there
will be no extraordinary criteria for Turkey's case, and
that normal EU procedures will be followed. That means the
decision about Turkey will be based on whether Turkey meets
the Copenhagen criteria and the tone of the upcoming EU
Commission report. ... However, some circles have started
to create new conditions just to make the procedure more
difficult for Turkey. New `ideas' include an attempt by
some French parliamentarians to force the acceptance of the
Armenian `genocide' or to add more preconditions on the
Cyprus issue. On top of that, we have a statement from the
German Prime Minister, who recently spoke about the
possibility of giving a `conditional yes' to Turkey. ... The
EU has never imposed such conditions or applied special
criteria to any of its members in the past. It seems that
the Greek Cypriots have already forgotten about their shame
in the April referendum, and are taking the lead in EU
efforts to create new conditions for Turkey. ... We hope
the EU will not take such initiatives seriously, and will
follow the normal procedures for Turkey's accession talks."

"The EU's Litmus Test: Strategic Thinking or Racism?"
Mehmet Ocaktan wrote in the Islamist-opinion maker Yeni
Safak (7/21): "Turkey's EU vision is moving toward its final
destination. The fate of Turkey's effort will become clear
in December 2004. There are several scenarios circulating
regarding the outcome of the EU summit. This is quite
understandable, because this is an international game being
played among the giants. The key players are France and
Germany. Their position will shape the outcome of the EU
decision on whether or not to start negotiations with
Turkey. The recent statement by the German Prime Minister
is quite confusing. Although he was talking about a
`conditional yes,' the real meaning of his comments is a
postponement of accession negotiations with Turkey. ... In
this process, we will all see whether EU countries,
especially France, will be able to rid themselves of the
`Christian Club' mentality and see the EU in a broader
perspective. ... EU decision makers should act with common
sense based on political and strategic realities by
beginning negotiations with Turkey right after the December
summit."

DEUTSCH

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