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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 005777

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, OCTOBER 8, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
--------------------------------------------- -----

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
For Turkey, a ten-year negotiation period ahead - Milliyet
Turkey the first Muslim nation to approach EU - Hurriyet
Straw: Entry talks with Turkey will begin in 2005 - Milliyet
Prodi: No future for EU without Turkey - Sabah
Second Bush-Kerry duel tonight - Sabah
Triple attack on Egyptian tourism - Hurriyet

OPINION MAKERS
Tough EU entry talks ahead for Turkey - Radikal
PM Erdogan: This is just a beginning - Radikal
Straw pledges entry talks with Turkey in July - Radikal
FM Gul: Kurds are not a minority in Turkey - Yeni Safak
Oliver Roy: Problem with Turkey the economy, not Islam -
Zaman
Greek Cypriots angry at Verheugen - Radikal
Kerry denies he's supported Armenian `genocide' cause -
Zaman
US weapons experts invalidate reasons for Iraq's occupation
- Cumhuriyet
Israel kills children deliberately - Yeni Safak
Bombs kill 100, mostly Israelis, in Egypt - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

Turkey in wake of EU report: The EU Commission on Wednesday
issued a `qualified' recommendation for the opening of
membership negotiations with Turkey. The 25 EU leaders will
make a final decision on December 17 about when to launch
the talks. Even if accession talks begin, Turkey is not
seen joining the EU before 2015. EU outgoing enlargement
commissioner Gunther Verheugen said that by rejecting
Ankara's bid to join the European bloc, the EU would run the
risk that Turkey's democratization would come to an end and
would eventually fail. Turkish FM Abdullah Gul voiced hope
Thursday at a joint news conference with visiting British FM
Jack Straw that a clear and open decision will be taken by
EU leaders in December. Straw said he believed that
negotiations would start without delay when Luxembourg takes
over the EU rotating presidency in January. If not, Straw
noted, Britain would do its best to see partnership talks
with Ankara begin in the second half of 2005, when London
takes the chair. `This is just the beginning,' PM Erdogan
told lawmakers in parliament. `The EU Commission decision
shows that Turkey has passed another threshold,' he said.
Some commentators believe that Ankara may still come under
pressure for more concessions. Turkey's EU negotiation
process will be as difficult as the reforms it has enacted
thus far, "Radikal" predicted. The paper pointed to many
issues that remain to be tackled, including torture, the
right to broadcast in languages other than Turkish, civilian-
military relations, and long-awaited reforms for Turkey's
religious minorities. Papers also highlight the EU
Commission report as describing both Kurds and Alevis in
Turkey as `minorities.' FM Gul said on Thursday that it was
`out of the question' that Kurds and Alevis in Turkey will
be given a `minority' status. "Milliyet" writes that the
Commission report has also demanded a retrial for imprisoned
PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. Analysts do not anticipate that
the EU will expect Ankara to recognize Greek Cyprus or start
withdrawing troops ahead of the December decision. But they
recall that Ankara will have to sign an EU customs union
protocol with the `Republic of Cyprus.' Greek Cypriots were
reportedly annoyed by the EU Commission for not putting in
its recommendation envisaging recognition by Ankara of
Nicosia or withdrawal of Turkish troops from the divided
island. Verheugen had to remind Greek Cypriot diplomats
about Nicosia's rejection of the UN-backed blueprint for the
reunification of Cyprus, Turkish papers report. `At this
stage, I have no gift to offer the Greek Cypriots,'
Verheugen said.

Kerry denies he's supported Armenian genocide claims: The
Democratic competitor in the US presidential election, John
Kerry, told the conservative/intellectual Turkish daily
"Zaman" that he does not plan to recognize the massacre of
Armenians by Ottomans as `genocide,' contrary to some
Turkish press reports in early September. Kerry denied he
promised in a letter to the Armenian lobby that his
administration would recognize April 24 as "Armenian
genocide day" in honor of the Armenians killed by Ottoman
forces in 1915. `If elected, I will continue US support for
Turkey's full EU membership,' Kerry added.

Barzani due in Ankara: The northern Iraqi Kurdistan
Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani is due in
Ankara next week following a long interval, "Cumhuriyet"
reports. Barzani will discuss with Ankara the upcoming
Iraqi elections and the situation in Kirkuk.

Osman Ocalan Ally Killed by PKK Faction: "Sabah" reports
that a close associate of Osman Ocalan, brother of jailed
PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, was kidnapped in Mosul and later
executed by a PKK faction. The man was reportedly abducted
earlier this week from a house in Mosul that housed the
offices of Osman Ocalan's nascent political party.

Peshmerge attack Turkish truckers: Nine Turkish trucks
carrying humanitarian aid to Iraq were attacked around Mosul
while en route to Turkey, "Yeni Safak" reports. Truckers
said the peshmerge in northern Iraq fired on Turkish trucks,
but allowed the passage of Syrian and Iraqi lorries.

Bomb explodes near Istanbul Patriarchate: A sound bomb
exploded in the garden of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in
Istanbul early Thursday, causing slight damage to the nearby
Hagia Yorgi cathedral. No injuries were reported in the
explosion. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeus I said the
bombing had been perpetrated by those aiming to block
Turkey's EU drive.

Arinc re-elected parliament speaker: Bulent Arinc, current
parliamentary speaker and a member of the ruling AK Party,
was reelected speaker of Turkey's parliament by a large
majority. Arinc received 381 votes in the third round, and
will serve a new three-year term.


EDITORIAL OPINION: EU-Turkey

"Now it is Time for the Date"
Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in mass appeal-sensational "Posta"
(10/8): "The relationship between Turkey and the EU is like
a football match. The match began with the opening whistle
at the EU Summit in Helsinki in 1999. It was a hard fought
match. . The EU Commission report was chalked up as the
opening goal, and the first half has ended with Ankara
leading 1-0. The second half of the match will be played on
December 17, again in Brussels. The opposing side will have
different players this time. The 25 heads of state and
government will take their places on the field. The second
half will be even tougher than before, because many of the
players on the other side are committed to eliminating the
idea of Turkey's membership in the EU. . The EU Commission
gave the green light, but there is still a chance -- albeit
a slight one -- that the member countries will forget about
their promises on December 17. The main problem lies with
the French attitude. . Under current conditions, it appears
that there is no other serious opposition at the December 17
summit apart from France. However, France's attitude may
also change. In sum, Wednesday was an historic day for
Turkey, but much more remains to be done."

EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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