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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 007160

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
MONDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2004

THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

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

HEADLINES

MASS APPEAL
Mosul suicide attack posted on Ansar al-Sunna webpage -
Hurriyet
Solana initiative for a solution in Cyprus - Aksam 12/26
New York Times: Armenia grows lonelier - Milliyet
`Orange' comes out of Ukrainian ballot box - Aksam
Pro-West Yushchenko wins Ukraine presidency - Sabah
Russia warns US against meddling in Ukraine affairs - Aksam

OPINION MAKERS
Bloody Christmas in Baghdad: 9 killed in suicide car attack
- Cumhuriyet 12/26
Isaiah Wilson: US didn't heed insurgency, may lose war in
Iraq - Zaman 12/26
Rumsfeld `woos' US troops in Iraq - Radikal 12/25
`TRNC PM' invites Greek Cypriots to negotiation table - Yeni
Safak
Two-thirds of Greeks oppose Turkey in EU - Zaman 12/26
Rauf Denktas: We may choose armed struggle if Turkey
abandons us - Radikal
Solana may become the new Cyprus mediator - Cumhuriyet 12/26
Tsunami horror in Asia - Cumhuriyet

SIPDIS
Sharon promises free elections in Palestine - Cumhuriyet
Iran doesn't want US at nuclear talks with EU - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING

Syria, Turkey heading toward strategic partnership - Syrian
PM: In an exclusive interview with "Zaman," Syrian PM
Muhammed Naci Otri said his people had `deep respect' for PM
Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's policy on Iraq, and Erdogan's
strong reaction against Israeli conduct in Palestine. `Our
newly developing strategic relationship with Ankara brings
bilateral cooperation on regional and global affairs,' Otri
stressed, adding that such a partnership would not mean an
alliance against `third parties.' Otri noted that Turkish
President Sezer will be visiting Syria soon. A free trade
deal signed during PM Erdogan's visit to Damascus will
enable the sides to expand bilateral trade to the highest
level, the Syrian PM added. He said that the US and Israel
will some day realize that improving ties between the two
neighbors will serve US and Israeli interests as well.
`Israel, by constantly pursuing a `divide and rule' policy,
will be made uncomfortable by the rapprochement between
Turkey and Syria,' Otri claimed. On Iraq, Otri said that
`unfortunately, peace and stability have been established.
We must act with Turkey against the American occupation and
the intimidation campaign in Iraq, he continued.' Otri
underlined that Syria shares Ankara's concerns about a
prospective Kurdish state in Iraq. Otri emphasized that
Syria regard the situation in Iraq as a continuation of the
Arab-Israeli conflict. `Today,' he added, `Washington
ignores the 1991 Madrid Agreement between Israel and Syria,
in which the sides agreed on a land-for-peace deal.' `The
radical government in Tel Aviv follows suit,' he said. Otri
added that Syria is reluctant to see a break in dialogue
with the US. He strongly denied accusations that Syrian
fighters have assisted Iraqi insurgents: `We asked a
visiting Iraqi delegation headed by PM Allawi for hard proof
to confirm terrorist assistance by Damascus. They don't
have any. All the Iraqis could tell us was that the US and
British have put pressure on them to blame Syria,' Otri
said. He noted that several US military commanders have
praised Syria's success under Syria's border security
agreement with Iraq. `The US does not want to admit failure
in the struggle against the resistance in Iraq, so they
choose to blame other countries,' Otri claimed.
Iranian FM visits Turkey: Iranian FM Kamal Kharazi arrived
in Ankara on Friday for a surprise visit for talks with
Turkish leaders on Iraq and bilateral issues. Kharazi, who
is on a regional tour covering Syria and Lebanon, met with
President Sezer, PM Erdogan and FM Gul. Kharazi shared with
Erdogan his concerns over the changes to the demography of
Kirkuk, weekend papers report. Ahead of the January 30
polls in Iraq, both Ankara and Tehran have called for the
participation of all ethnic groups in the elections.

Ankara's new Cyprus plan: Turkish FM Abdullah Gul agreed
with `TRNC FM' Serdar Denktas last Friday on a new joint
strategy for a possible new UN initiative on the
reunification of Cyprus, "Sabah" reports. The Turks want EU
negotiations for Ankara's membership to the European bloc
and UN-backed Cyprus talks to be carried out in parallel but
separate tracks. If Nicosia pressures the EU to convince
Ankara to recognize the Greek Cypriot administration during
Cyprus peace talks, Turkey will leave the negotiation table,
according to "Sabah." Ankara has asked the UN and EU to
start talks in May 2005. Turkey expects Britain, which will
take over the EU term presidency in June, to play an active
role in the negotiations. Despite a demand by the EU for a
partial withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus, Ankara
will keep its 30,000 troops in north Cyprus until a solution
is reached. The Turks want the latest Annan Plan submitted
to referendum last April to be the departure point for new
talks, "Sabah" claims, adding that a solution that would go
beyond the UN blueprint would be unacceptable.

CHP leader: US should frighten Greek Cypriots: Opposition
Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal is
pessimistic about a settlement in Cyprus before the EU
begins membership talks with Turkey unless the US and UK
begin direct flights to north Cyprus and threaten Nicosia
that recognition will follow. Baykal said on CNN-Turk that
`other European countries' should also push the Greek
Cypriots for a solution.

Turkish businessman abducted in Iraq: Prominent Turkish
businessman Kahraman Sadikoglu was abducted by unidentified
insurgents in Iraq, the Turkish media reported over the
weekend. On Saturday, Turkey's NTV news channel aired
footage showing a man identifying himself as Sadikoglu
explaining that he and one of his employees, Ahmet, had been
kidnapped. Sadikoglu added that his captors were taking
good care of him and his worker, and asked their relatives
back in Turkey not the worry. Sadikoglu, among the richest
businessmen in Turkey, is the owner of an Istanbul-based
shipping line that won contracts to remove the wreckage of
sunken ships in the Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war. `We will
do whatever is necessary. We hope he is alive,' FM Abdullah
Gul said, adding that the businessman had been missing for a
week. Some media reports suggested that the militants had
asked for a ransom of $25 million. Turks constitute 30
percent of the foreigners abducted in Iraq, "Reuters"
reported.

Another Turkish trucker killed in Iraq: A Turkish driver
was shot dead near the city of Beyci, north of Baghdad,
Monday papers report. The identity of the Turkish driver
was not immediately available.

Former DEP lawmakers form new party: Former Kurdish
lawmaker Leyla Zana and her colleagues from the former DEP
Party, some Kurdish politicians, and lawyers of jailed PKK
leader Abdullah Ocalan launched a new Kurdish-based
political party, the `Democratic Society Movement' (DTH),
in Diyarbakir over the weekend. The group announced their
program, highlighted by a call for a democratic solution to
the Kurdish problem, demands for legal guarantees for the
Kurdish identity and cultural rights, and the removal of
restrictions on broadcasts in Kurdish.


EDITORIAL OPINION:

-- Ukraine
-- North Korea
-- Syria

"Elections in Ukraine"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative "Turkiye" (12/27:
"There were a record number of observers to cover the
elections in Ukraine. Americans made up the vast majority
of these 13,000 observers. It seems that Yanukovic has no
chance to be elected this time, as Yushchenko leads in all
the exit polols. . The strong international interest in
Ukraine stems partly from the strength of the Ukrainian
diaspora in the US and in Europe. They have committed
themselves to being both anti-Russian and anti-communist. .
If Yushchenko becomes the new president, which seems very
likely, he will work for Ukraine's membership in the EU. In
the event he is successful, Ukraine would become, after the
UK, the EU member country with the closest ties to the
United states."

"North Korea"
Zafer Atay wrote in the economic-political "Dunya" (12/27):
"North Korea is exerting all of its energy and resources to
develop a nuclear program and ballistic missiles, and to
feed massive army of 1.5 million men. North Korea continues
to receive food aid from the US, Japan, and South Korea,
and, oddly enough, state-controlled television and radio
continue to make propaganda against these countries. The
international community, including Russia and China, are
trying to convince the North Korean administration to give
up its nuclear program. Washington has already declared
North Korea to be part of the `axis of evil.' There is
growing speculation that North Korea will be the `third
target' of the United States, after the operations in
Afghanistan and Iraq."

"A New Era with Syria"
Kamuran Ozbir wrote in the nationalist "Ortadogu" (12/27):
"The close relations between Syria and Turkey take place in
a new atmosphere of geopolitical change. The change in
leadership in Damascus has brought a new international
approach, particularly in the post-9/11 period. The US
occupation of Iraq, the Israel factor, and the pro-Islamic
AKP administration in Turkey have forced a reassessment in
Syrian foreign policy and helped to set the stage for
stronger Turkey-Syria ties. . The current phase of Turkish-
Syrian relations seems to be based on pragmatism rather than
ideology, and has a potential to grow even further."

DEUTSCH

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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