US embassy cable - 02ANKARA8156

ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2002

Identifier: 02ANKARA8156
Wikileaks: View 02ANKARA8156 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ankara
Created: 2002-11-13 13:53:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: OPRC KMDR TU Press Summaries
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
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 008156 
 
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, Press Summaries 
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT 
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2002 
 
 
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE 
THEMES: 
 
 
HEADLINES 
BRIEFING 
EDITORIAL OPINION 
                    ------- 
HEADLINES 
 
 
MASS APPEALS 
International community hopeful about Cyprus plan - Sabah 
Denktas: Constructive; Simitis: Hopeful - Turkiye 
New map for Cyprus - Milliyet 
CIA, Talabani summit at MIT - Vatan 
Nerve gas doubts - Hurriyet 
Parliament considering `political ethics' law - Aksam 
 
 
OPINION MAKERS 
Hope for compromise before Copenhagen - Cumhuriyet 
Surprise: All parties positive to Annan plan - Radikal 
Turkey cold to refugee, territorial issues - Zaman 
Talabani: Ready for full cooperation - Cumhuriyet 
Nation wants Erdogan as Prime Minister - Yeni Safak 
 
 
FINANCIAL JOURNALS 
Unemployment soars in urban areas: 14 percent - Dunya 
Turkish NGOs in Sweden for EU - Finansal Forum 
 
 
 
 
BRIEFING 
 
 
Cyprus: Dailies report positive first impressions from 
Ankara to the Cyprus plan put forward by UN Secretary 
General Annan.  Ankara has welcomed provisions on 
sovereignty, but was skeptical about the return of refugees 
and the issues of territory and property restitution, papers 
say.  MFA says the plan provides a basis for negotiations. 
The U.S. and EU believe the plan to be a `historic 
opportunity' for ending the Cyprus dispute, reports note. 
Papers highlight the fact that the plan granted 
constitutional advantages to Turkish Cypriots, and 
advantages to Greek Cypriots on refugees and territorial 
issues.  A rotating presidency is welcomed as a significant 
gain for the Turkish side.  Turks would not be seen as a 
minority, and would enjoy sovereign rights to make cultural 
and trade agreements with third countries.  Turks currently 
hold 35.6 percent of Cyprus, a territorial share that the 
Greek Cypriots want to reduce to 24 percent.  Greek Cypriot 
papers are cited as expecting the return of 40-80,000 
refugees to the Turkish sector.  This might create new 
problems on the island similar to those in the Middle East, 
papers stress.  The plan foresees that the ghost town of 
Varosha and part of Morphou would be given to Greek 
Cypriots.  MFA is not pessimistic, and believes that the 
plan acknowledged the existence of the Turkish Republic of 
Northern Cyprus (TRNC).  TGS reportedly welcomed the plan, 
which has eased Turkey's concern about security of Turks on 
the island, papers note. 
 
 
Erdogan: AKP leader Erdogan begins his EU tour today in 
Italy, papers report.  Erdogan will be given a top-level 
reception in Italy, and Prime Minister Berlusconi will host 
a luncheon today in his honor.  Facing opposition from CHP, 
AKP has decided not to force a constitutional change to lift 
the ban on Erdogan's political activity, papers say.  AKP 
intends to amend regulations to allow an early by-election, 
which would pave the way for Erdogan to enter parliament. 
Meanwhile, President Sezer is expected to receive Erdogan on 
Friday to discuss the issue of the AKP candidate for Prime 
Minister. 
 
 
Iraq: Papers report the Iraqi Parliament rejected the UN 
resolution on arms inspection, but that Saddam Hussein will 
most likely accept it.  The visiting Northern Iraqi 
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader Talabani welcomed 
the resolution as positive for Iraq and the region. 
Responding to questions from the Turkish press, Talabani 
said the Northern Iraqi constitution could be redrafted in 
response to Turkish concerns.  In a  meeting with Talabani 
on Wednesday, MFA U/S Ziyal is expected to urge Talabani to 
invite the Turkomens to the November 22-25 meeting of the 
Iraqi opposition in Brussels, papers report.  Papers claim 
Talabani and CIA Deputy Director McLaughlin have discussed 
the issue of training of peshmerges in a secret meeting at 
the Turkish intelligence (MIT) headquarters.  Reports say 
Turkish officials have conveyed to the CIA their concern 
about peshmerges being transferred to Northern Iraq via 
Syria and Jordan.  Ankara is worried that arming and 
training the peshmerges could jeopardize Turkey's security 
in the future, papers note.  The U.S. delegation is expected 
to hold meetings at the TGS on Wednesday, papers report. 
All papers carry a NYT article about Iraq trying to purchase 
over one million doses of atropine from a Turkish company. 
The U.S., worried that this might indicate Iraq's 
willingness to use nerve gas in a conflict, has  pressured 
Ankara to prevent the sale, reports claim. 
 
 
EU: Dailies quote the EU term president Denmark's ambassador 
to Ankara, Christian Hoppe, as saying that the EU is a 
democratic club, and that an AKP government will not be seen 
as a hurdle against Turkey's EU accession.  Hoppe reminded 
about AKP pledges about secularism and democratization, and 
urged further reforms to ensure freedom of expression and 
action to prevent torture.  Papers also report that the EU's 
expansion commissioner Verheugen welcomed the UN sponsored 
Cyprus plan as a well-balanced proposal in line with EU 
criteria.  Verheugen reportedly said he preferred that no 
date be  given to Turkey at the Copenhagen Summit.  EU 
foreign policy chief Solana welcomed the Cyprus plan as 
well, and urged Turkey to exert further effort for a 
solution as it continues on the way to EU membership. 
 
 
 
 
EDITORIAL OPINION:  UN Plan on Cyprus 
 
 
"The Blending of Models" 
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (11/13): "The UNSG 
seems to have found a middle way between `federation and 
confederation' as well as between the Swiss model and the 
Belgian model for Cyprus.  Therefore, both sides will find 
certain elements of this plan acceptable, and certain parts 
unacceptable. . From our side, it is very important that the 
Annan document complies with Turkey's longstanding 
insistence on partnership and equality in Cyprus. . Yet 
there are some negative points which the Turkish side might 
not like very much, such as giving away some territory, the 
migration and settlement issues, and the disarmament of the 
island.  However, a constructive approach can solve these 
issues through fair and just bargaining." 
 
 
"Turkey should not miss this chance" 
Mehmet Ali Birand supports the plan in mass 
appeal/sensational Posta (11/13): "Turkey faces a final 
historic opportunity.  Though it does not fully satisfy the 
Turkish side, the Cyprus package offers extremely important 
gains.  Casting aside the `We will not give away even a 
pebble' rhetoric, we must take the most we can and close 
this file.  If we allow ourselves to be slaves to our old 
habits, we will lose Cyprus legally on the day after the 
upcoming Copenhagen summit.  . In that case, everyone will 
be bound to suffer from the harmful effects." 
 
 
"The Annan Plan" 
Semih Idiz opined in mass appeal Aksam (11/13): "It seems 
that the Turkish Cypriot leadership will not burn his 
bridges, but instead will continue to discuss the plan, 
which is described by Turkey as `a plan with a glass of 
water, half empty and half full.'  That means the two sides 
will negotiate the plan and work on the nuances. . The two 
Cypriot sides will also feel pressured, because the US and 
UK are strongly supporting the Annan plan behind the 
scenes." 

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