US embassy cable - 02ANKARA8676

ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2002

Identifier: 02ANKARA8676
Wikileaks: View 02ANKARA8676 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ankara
Created: 2002-11-27 14:04:00
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 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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