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 005964
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, OCTOBER 20, 2004
THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
British Woman Aid Worker Abducted in Iraq - Hurriyet
Putin to Travel to Turkey in December - Hurriyet
Bush: "An Islamic State in Iraq is Possible" - Sabah
Erdogan Starts Campaign against `Referendum Proposal for
Turkey' - Milliyet
The Greens Say Special Negotiation Process is Needed for
Turkey - Radikal
Minority Report Stirs Controversy at the Prime Ministry -
Increase in Number of US and British Planes Landing in
Trabzon - Cumhuriyet
The Greens are against Referendum for Turkey - Cumhuriyet
FM Gul Rejects Special Status Offer - Zaman
Increased US/British Plane Landings in Trabzon:
"Cumhuriyet" reports that lately there is a big increase in
the number of US and British planes landing in Trabzon to
refuel. Trabzon is one of the international airports used
by the ISAF in Afghanistan. ISAF supporting countries use
Trabzon airport for refueling during the shipment of
personnel and military equipment to Afghanistan. However,
in the last two weeks, a big increase was reported in the
number of military cargo planes in Trabzon. Supposedly, the
US and British military planes are carrying military
personnel and equipment to Afghanistan. Various anonymous
sources are reported as saying that lately one or two planes
land in Trabzon daily. The sources say that Afghanistan is
not the only destination of the planes. Allegedly, some of
the planes go to Basra and to other parts of Iraq.
"Cumhuriyet" wonders whether the Turkish Government has made
a secret deal with the US for the use of the airport in
Trabzon. Turkish officials in Ankara say that there was
nothing extraordinary in the air traffic in Trabzon, insist
that the planes landing in Trabzon to refuel were carrying
logistic materials for Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister Gul Rejects Special Status Offer:
"Hurriyet" reports that during his meetings in Berlin,
Turkish FM Gul stressed that the goal of Turkey is full
membership in the EU. Commenting on the proposal of the
German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) for granting Turkey
`privileged partnership,' Gul stressed that Turkey had
already been granted privileges in the Customs Union and
doesn't want any other privileges. "Sabah" reports that Gul
had failed to convince CDU Chairman Merkel to give up her
demands for giving special status to Turkey.
Prime Minister Erdogan Goes to France to Campaign against
Referendum Proposal: "Milliyet" says that PM Erdogan today
will meet French Economy Minister Nicolas Sarkozi, the
author of the proposal for holding a referendum on Turkey's
EU accession. Erdogan will try to convince Sarkozy not to
block Turkey's EU entry and will focus on the hazards of a
possible referendum about Turkey's EU entry.
Austrian FM Says Talks with Turkey Can Be Suspended at Any
Time: "Cumhuriyet" reports that, commenting on Turkey's EU
entry bid, designated Austrian FM Ursula Plassnik said that
the EU could push the button to suspend talks with Turkey at
any time, and added that `this is not a production line
without a stop button.'
Pope Makes Good-Will Gesture for Fener Patriarch:
"Milliyet" reports that a historical good-will gesture was
made by the Vatican for the Fener Patriarchate in Istanbul.
Pope John Paul II has sent a letter to Fener Patriarch
Bartholomew inviting him to take back the remains of two
patriarchs carried to the Vatican during the occupation of
Istanbul by crusaders in 1204-1261. "Milliyet" notes that
in his letter the Pope addressed Bartholomew as the
`Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch'.
Bartholomew is expected to go to the Vatican at the end of
November. "Sabah" adds that Turkish State Minister Basir
Atalay was disturbed by the use of the title `ecumenical
patriarch' for Bartholomew. The Minister said that this was
a violation of the Lausanne Treaty and the Ambassador of the
Vatican should be summoned immediately to the Foreign
Ministry to receive the necessary warnings.
EDITORIAL OPINION: EU-Turkey
"Chirac is Punished over Turkey"
Mehmet Ali Birand in the sensational-mass appeal Posta
(19/20): "Turkey getting a date to start the negotiations on
December 17 is not a certainty. The domestic confusion in
France is placing great pressure on President Chirac. All
his opponents aim to damage Chirac as much as possible.
Some are trying to punish Chirac for saying `yes' to Turkey.
One will see that as the pressure on Chirac gets more
intense, the number of those countries that are openly
against Turkey's membership will increase. Even today the
affect of French opposition upon some EU members is felt. .
There is a significant tension in France about Turkey. We
hear different suggestions every day. One day groups in
France ask for the negotiations to start in December 2005,
while the next they suggest 2006 as the appropriate date.
They have yet to agree on the matter. Most probably they
will fail to reach any agreement until the last minute.
They may produce a last-minute formula based on the latest
domestic political considerations. It appears that December
17 will be a very exciting day."