|Wikileaks:||View 02ANKARA8676 at Wikileaks.org|
|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 008676 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 27, 2002 THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE THEMES: HEADLINES BRIEFING EDITORIAL OPINION ------- HEADLINES MASS APPEALS Denktas offers an alternative plan - Hurriyet White Angel Vodka to Saddam from Mersin - Hurriyet Baykal to AKP: Bring corruption to an end - Turkiye ISAF comander Gen.Zorlu: US will give the promised $228 not in cash but in military equipment - Hurriyet OPINION MAKERS Cyprus policy in confusion - Cumhuriyet Political Party leaders issue regime warning - Cumhuriyet Constitutional Debate in Parliament - Yeni Safak Regime warning from Baykal, Guarantee from Gul - Zaman Ambassador Pearson visits Prime Minister Gul - Cumhuriyet BRIEFING Cyprus: "Cumhuriyet" reports that AKP leader Erdogan's conflicting statements on the Cyprus issue continue. At the beginning of his European tour Erdogan argued that the Cyprus issue should be separated from Turkey's membership issue. However, in recent statements Erdogan has said that Turkey will agree to discuss the UN Cyprus plan if the EU sets a date for Turkey at the Copenhagen Summit. "Radikal" reports that Erdogan has denied allegations that he has changed course, saying that he has not backed away from his offer to tackle EU entry together with the Cyprus issue and ESDP. However, solving all of these problems at the same time is not possible, according to Erdogan. "Cumhuriyet" criticizes Erdogan for making statements on behalf of Turkey despite the fact that he has no official position in the government. "Hurriyet" reports that TRNC President Denktas has prepared an alternative plan on Cyprus and conveyed his proposal to Ankara. After evaluating the plan, MFA will send it to UN General Secretary Annan. Iraq: "Hurriyet" reports that the German Customs directorate has arrested the leaders of a smuggling ring that was importing 6 million bottles of Vodka and 2 million liters of beer to Iraq through Mersin. Citing the German magazine `Focus,' `Hurriyet' reports that these bottles were transported from Hamburg and Belgium to Saddam's palaces and various Iraqi cities through the harbour at Mersin. Constitutional Debate in Parliament: All papers report that during yesterday's parliamentary debate, discussions focused mainly on constitutional reforms. "Cumhuriyet" gives extensive front-page coverage to warnings issued by Baykal and DSP leader Ecevit. During his speech in parliament, Baykal said that he was deeply disappointed by AKP efforts to amend the constitution and the failure to tackle the issue of parliamentary immunity. In response to Baykal's criticism, PM Gul said that the government would seek constitutional changes through compromise. Gul also said that AKP had no secret intention to change the regime. ISAF: "Hurriyet" reports that ISAF commander General Zorlu said that the US will give the promised $228 million in assistance not in cash, but in military equipment. Gen. Zorlu added that Turkish troops' six months duty in Afghanistan will not have negative effects on the Turkish economy. Zorlu said that the duty in Afghanistan had given a rich experience to Turkish troops. Amb. Pearson visit to PM Gul: "Cumhuriyet" reports that American Ambassador W. Robert Pearson visited PM Gul yesterday. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Amb. Pearson confirmed what had been announced on all TV networks yesterday, that Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz and Assistant Secretary of State Grossman will be coming to Turkey next Tuesday. EDITORIAL OPINION: "In the case of war" Fikret Ertan wrote in Islamic-intellectual Zaman (11/27): "After the Gulf war the casualty figure for the US side was reported to be 613. The figure for Iraq, however, has never been made public, and even 12 years later we still don't have a clear and precise figure regarding Iraq's losses and casualties. Although Iraq never announced its casualty count, most estimates are around 200,000. . Since the world is on the eve of a second Gulf war, it really makes me sad to think about the very likely additional casualties that the Iraqi people will have to suffer. . According to a report by British-based `Medact,' Iraq will experience colossal losses as a result of its devastated health system after 12 years of UN sanctions. In the event of a US strike against Iraq, the picture will be much worse than in 1991. It will involve not only the total destruction of Iraq, but also will pose a serious risk to regional economies, including Turkey's. May God save the world from this war." "Denktas more flexible, and ESDP is solved" Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in mass appeal-sensational Posta (11/27): "Following his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Yakis in New York, the Turkish Cypriot leader has showed a more flexible approach. Denktas has indicated that he would give a positive reaction to the Annan package, just as Clerides has done. However, he still wants to announce that he considers the package merely `negotiable' rather than announcing that it `constitutes a platform for negotiations'. The discussions are continuing. Denktas is expected to give a reply by the end of the week. There is important progress on the ESDP/EU issue as well. According to EU officials, Turkish officials and Javier Solana have reached an agreement. According to the formula, Cyprus and Malta will be kept outside the ESDP mechanism. For now, the agreement is being examined by Greece. If the Greeks go along, the problem will be solved. . We are about to resolve the 28-year-old Cyprus problem, and are preparing to take some very important steps toward EU membership. This situation is playing havoc with the society's habits, vision and capacity for perception. Everything has been crammed into the next few weeks. Whatever will happen, will happen. Besides, these issues are interrelated. If the EU gives a negotiation date, Turkey will display flexibility on Cyprus. If Turkey displays flexibility on Cyprus, this will encourage the EU to give a `date'. Currently, a tremendous amount of bargaining is taking place. The parties concerned are not willing to reveal the cards in their hands. They make a point of concealing their real approach. Both the Turkish side and EU officials are even providing misleading information from time to time. Therefore, if I were you I would not believe these statements at all. I would continue to be skeptical until the evening of December 12."
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