Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

Published: Mon 13 Dec 2004 03:07 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
131507Z Dec 04
E.O. 12958: N/A
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PM doesn't expect negative outcome from EU summit - Aksam
Annan prepares new peace plan for Cyprus - Aksam 12/12
Greater Middle East project discussed in Rabat - Sabah 12/12
US wants to get rid of el-Baradei - Aksam
US soldier gets 3 years for killing wounded Iraqi - Milliyet
Saddam Hussein on hunger strike - Milliyet
Yuschenko poisoned by Russia - Miliyet
Bush in excellent health - Sabah
Erdogan accuses EU of `discrimination' against Turkey -
Cumhuriyet 12/12
European Parliament to debate Turkey report today - Radikal
US continues bombing Fallujah - Yeni Safak 12/12
Fallujah continues resistance - Yeni Safak
Isareli `consultants' work in Iraq's rebuilding - Cumhuriyet
Barghouti withdraws from Palestine presidential race - Zaman
Tens of thousands of Arabs protest Rabat meeting - Yeni
The Guardian: Torture continues at Guantanamo - Zaman 12/12
US wiretaps el-Baradei - Zaman
Washington gives $65 million to pro-Yuschenko organizations
- Cumhuriyet
Ankara's crucial week before EU Summit: Turkey is anxious
about the possibility that EU leaders could add
discriminatory conditions to their historic decision next
Friday to open membership talks with Ankara. European Union
officials are confident that the 25 leaders will agree to
begin entry talks with Turkey in 2005. Ankara voiced
concern over the weekend that the EU would add new
conditions such as recognition of Cyprus or establishing
permanent safeguards against the free movement of labor from
Turkey. PM Tayyip Erdogan told Germany's "Bild am Sonntag"
newspaper in an interview: `We have done all that was asked
of us, and still the Europeans are hesitating. That is
discrimination.' Papers expect the start date for the talks
as well as a characterization of their outcome to be added
to the draft declaration for the December 16-17 summit at
the last minute. The draft statement maintains a provision
that one-third of the EU member states may request a
suspension of talks if Turkey backtracks on democratic
reforms. It also retained a paragraph that assumes that
Turkey will grant Cyprus recognition by extending its
Customs Union (CU) Agreement to the 10 new states which
joined the EU in May. Last weekend, PM Erdogan rejected a
request by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
to recognize Cyprus, but EU diplomats believe that was not
his last word on the matter. The European Commission warned
that recognition of Cyprus is crucial to Ankara's hopes.
The EU also cautioned Turkey that entry negotiations will
take at least a decade, and may not lead to full membership.
FM Gul denies deterioration in ties with US, praises Powell:
FM Abdullah Gul told Monday's "Hurriyet" that Turkey is
overcoming its misunderstandings with the United States,
saying that the problem may have resulted because of
Ankara's heavy focus on getting a date for entry talks from
the European Union. Turkey and the US have a strategic
partnership, Gul said, and should be able to overcome their
mutual sensitivities. `We would never want negative factors
to arise between two allies, and would never want to weaken
the strategic partnership between us,' the Foreign Minister
stressed. `The United States has been an ally of Turkey for
years and is a country that has been with us in the most
difficult times,' he added. Gul also noted that Ankara does
not view its relations with the EU and US as `alternatives'
to one another. Gul said that his meeting with Secretary of
State Powell in Brussels last week had been very beneficial
in addressing the two sides' `sensitivities.' Gul said that
`Powell, who has contributed greatly to Turkey-US relations,
is leaving his post, but I think he will still be around.'
He added that Powell `outlined with examples how, in the
past, Turkey and the US have resolved issues through mutual
understanding.' `Powell and I looked back at our past
relationaship and tried to put some of the current
difficulties back on track,' Gul concluded.
Grossman attends ATAA meetings: US State Department U/S
Marc Grossman told the Assembly of Turkish-American
Associations (ATAA) in Washington that Washington expects EU
entry talks with Ankara to begin in 2005. Grossman noted
that Turkey, the US and the EU will benefit from Turkey's
membership in the European bloc. Grossman voiced regret
that an `historic' opportunity for peace in Cyprus was
missed, but pledged continued US support to reduce the
international isolation of Turkish Cypriots in steps that
will be taken short of recognition of the north. He also
said the US would eliminate the terrorist PKK presence in
northern Iraq. Grossman noted, however, that the US has
other priorities in Iraq at the moment. He added that he
shared with the Turkish ambassador in Washington and some
Turkish lawmakers US concerns with regard to rising anti-
Americanism in the Turkish press and in some regions of
Paper evaluates Forum for the Future in Rabat: In a news-
analysis of the Forum for the Future meetings in Rabat,
Morocco, "Zaman" reports that regional countries have
shrugged off reform calls by the US, criticizing the
`hypocritical' attitude of Americans on the Palestinian
issue. Secretary Powell tried to counter objections by
strategic allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, pointing out
that the priority should be children who can't go to school
rather than sweeping political reforms. Regional countries
have repeatedly voiced concern that the forum, co-chaired by
outgoing secretaries Powell and Snow, would not yield any
results, "Zaman" claims. Since the more `hawkish'
Condoleezza Rice will be replacing Powell soon, the Middle
East is likely to face greater confusion in the short term,
according to "Zaman." The paper claims that Morocco, with
US support, was the sole beneficiary of the meeting.
Controversy arises among Kurdish activists: Kurdish ex-
lawmaker Leyla Zana appears to be backing back off from a
full-page advertisement taken out in the "International
Herald Tribune" last week. Zana said that contrary to what
was written in the advertisemtn, Turkish Kurds are not
seeking autonomy and that now is not the time for a federal
structure in Turkey. The organizer of the controversial
advertisement, Umit Firat, criticized Leyla Zana, saying she
did not understand the declaration that she signed. The
idea behind the advertisement belongs to Kendal Nezan,
chairman of the Kurdish Institute in Paris, Firat said.
Meanwhile, pro-Kurdish DEHAP is gathering signatures to
petition the parliament to change a constitutional article
that reaffirms Turkey's unitary state structure and defines
Turkish as the country's official language.
Papandreou meets Turkish businessmen, visits Orthodox
Patriarchate: Former Greek foreign minister George
Papandreou said that Istanbul is a kind of `Mecca' for Greek
Orthodox believers, and that Turkey should value being the
seat of the ecumenical Orthodox patriarchate. Papandreou
attended a meeting of Turkey's industrial giant Koc Group in
Istanbul over the weekend, and later visited Archbishop
Bartholomew. The meeting was closed to the press. In his
address to Turkish businessmen, Papandreou reiterated his
party's firm support for Turkey's EU membership, weekend
papers report.
"The Fallujah Massacre"
Husnu Mahalli argued in the Islamist-opinion maker "Yeni
Safak" (12/13): "The Fallujah operation proves that those
who hoped for a more humanitarian policy line from the
second Bush administration will be disappointed. The
resistance in Fallujah is the main target for the US,
because Washington hopes to silence the Iraqi people by
breaking the resistance there. The US is also planning to
bring a pro-American administration to lead Iraq just like
it did in Afghanistan. . The US has lied to everyone from
the beginning on both Afghanistan and Iraq. The reason for
the Afghanistan occupation was not Usame Bin Laden. The Iraq
occupation was not carried out because of Saddam. The only
real reason for these interventions is Israel."
"The View of Washington About December 17"
Yasemin Congar wrote from Washington in the mass appeal
"Milliyet" (12/13): "The Bush administration, with all of
its political and bureaucratic elements, as well as the
Democrats strongly appreciate AKP Government's determined
steps for European Union membership. However, they all
believe that the upcoming December 17 summit will lead to a
challenging economic and judicial reform process as Ankara
begins the negotiation process with the EU. . In any case,
Washington views the December 17 decision as a time for
celebration in Ankara and is willing to join the
celebrations as well."
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