Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

Published: Wed 15 Dec 2004 02:54 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
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PM Erdogan issues a last warning to Europe - Aksam
Erdogan says EU should show it is not a Christian club -
EU wants `permanent restrictions' on Turks' labor movement -
Greek Cypriots want Cyprus condition at EU summit - Sabah
48 percent of Greeks want Turkey in EU, 45 percent oppose -
Barry Rubin: Palestine must end terror - Hurriyet
Abbas admits "intifadah" was a mistake - Hurriyet
Turkish engineer abducted in Afghanistan - Milliyet
General Myers takes celebrities to Iraq - Aksam
Turkey will not concede at EU summit - Cumhuriyet
EU, Turkey face tough bargaining over Cyprus - Radikal
FM Gul: No recognition of Greek Cyprus - Radikal
Paris says Armenian `genocide' can wait - Zaman
Greek Cypriots march against Turkey's EU bid - Cumhuriyet
Sunnis won't boycott Iraqi elections, Sadr still uncertain -
400 insurgents return to Fallujah - Yeni Safak
Israeli terror in Damascus - Yeni Safak
8 Afghanis die under Americans' detention - Yeni Safak
Cuba prepares against US attack - Yeni Safak
Ankara on the eve of EU summit: PM Tayyip Erdogan told EU
envoys on Tuesday that Turkey `will not hesitate to say no'
to an EU decision on opening entry talks if `unacceptable
issues' are included in the EU statement. Erdogan said his
government would continue with political and economic reform
no matter the outcome of the December 16-17 summit. Ankara
is concerned that the final summit declaration will make it
too easy for the EU to suspend negotiations or to offer a
`special partnership' rather than full membership. Today,
international wires report that European Commission
President Jose Manuel Barroso told French TV that `the time
is right for the European Union to begin accession talks
with Turkey.' `Turkey's inclusion in Europe will make a big
contribution to peace in our continent and in the world,' he
said. Meanwhile, FM Abdullah Gul assured the parliament on
Tuesday that Turkey would not recognize the Republic of
Cyprus - `either directly or indirectly' - as long as there
is no final agreement on the reunification of the divided
island. Greek Cypriot leader Papadopulos said that December
17's EU summit would mark a new era for Turkey's EU
aspirations. During that period, he said, `the Cyprus issue
will always be before Turkey.' Papers report that the EU
will insist that Ankara sign a protocol that would grant
effective recognition to Cyprus by the spring of 2005.
"Hurriyet" speculates that the Cyprus recognition question
will be resolved by Turkey expressing a willingness to sign
the protocol with the Dutch EU Presidency while submitting a
side-letter clarifying that the protocol does not represent
full recognition of Cyprus.
Grossman's meetings with Turks `soften rough edges': A call
on U/S Grossman by PM Erdogan's advisors, Egemen Bagis and
Vahit Erdem, had a considerable impact in softening strained
relations between the US and Turkey, "Sabah" reports in a
news commentary. Grossman complained to the Turks about the
recent tone of statements by politicians in Ankara that have
encouraged anti-American sentiment in Turkey. The criticism
was directed primarily against the US military operation in
Fallujah.. AKP lawmakers Bagis and Erdem told Grossman that
most Turks reject anti-American sentiment. They agreed with
Grossman on the need for normalization of Turkish-Armenia
ties, but added that Armenia must first withdraw from
Nagorno-Karabakh and recognize Turkey's borders. Grossman
asked the Turks why the ecumenical issue, a historical
matter, is so exaggerated in Turkey. He also urged Turkey
to re-open Halki Seminary. The lawmakers said that the
ecumenical issue is a `detail' for Turkey, and added that
the government is working on the reopening of the seminary.
Reminded about US pledges on the PKK, Grossman said the US
will keep its word on the issue. Grossman also stressed US
support for Turkey's EU membership, but added that the US
has refrained from making `high-profile' contacts with EU
countries in an effort not to strengthen the hand of
Turkey's opponents.
Shiite leader supports Fallujah operation in Ankara: The
Iraqi Shiite leader Abdulaziz el-Hakim, head of the Islamic
Revolutionary Council of Iraq (SCIRI), visited Ankara
yesterday for talks with PM Erdogan and FM Gul. El-Hakim
said after meeting Erdogan that the people in Fallujah have
been subjected to great cruelty - not by the Americans, but
by the terrorists. `Many holy places in Fallujah were
occupied by terrorist groups, obliging Fallujans to ask for
help from the Iarqi government,' el-Hakim said. He later
discussed with FM Gul political and security conditions in
EU creates `energy community': The European Union met with
Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Romania,
Serbia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM),
Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo in Athens to
create an `energy community' intended to strengthen the
security of energy supply in the Balkans, the European
Commission said on Tuesday. The energy community will
provide energy connections with South East Europe and,
through that region, to the Middle East and Caspian region.
The agreement will also help the EU diversify its sources of
energy supply. A treaty is to be signed next summer.
"The EU, France, and Genocide"
Ali Bayramoglu observed in the Islamist-opinion maker "Yeni
Safak" (12/15): "It seems that France has finally come up
with a clear position for Turkey to get a date from the EU.
That is, by satisfing the pro-Armenian element of French
domestic politics through the use of genocide claims.
France is also sensitive on the issue of the negotiation
date. For domestic political reasons, Paris insists that
Turkey be given a date after June 2005 so that the French
referendum on the EU Constitution will be over. There is
nothing wrong if Turkey is given July 2005 as a negotiation
date. Let's not forget that Turkey is a big piece for the
EU to digest. The fact is that Turkey continues to take
steps toward its EU goal, and December 17 is certainly an
important one."
"Chance for Free Europe"
Suleyman Demirel, former President of Turkey, wrote in the
liberal-intellectual "Radikal" (12/15): "Turkish democracy
presents a model by maintaining Islamic values but
preventing these values from being misused in the political
arena. However, there are some Western thinkers who cling
to a simplified approach and tend to see Islam as a threat.
. For centuries Turkey, with its predominantly Muslim
population, has held to its inclination toward the Western
world. . Turkey's joining the EU will bring the people of
Europe and a Muslim community together within the framework
of common global values. Turkey's participation will also
play a significantly important role to demonstrate that the
EU is based on values, institutions, and a democratic
civilization rather than on a common religion."
"Strategic Partnership Ended"
Tulin Daloglu observed from Washington in the conservative-
sensational "Star" (12/15): "Even though US officials claim
that Washington has managed to overcome the shock of the
March 1 incident, they don't hesitate to say that no real
strategic partner would have acted as Turkey did at that
time. This fact cannot be forgotten by Washington. Ankara's
steps towards Brussels will be watched with great interest
here. Despite Washington's full support for Turkey's EU
accession, former US Ambassador Parris and Assistant
Secretary Grossman reiterated strongly in speeches last week
that Turkey doesn't need to put more distance between itself
and the US just because it is getting closer to the EU. In
fact, Grossman and Parris' messages are very clear: Turkey
should not choose between the US and the EU, but should be
able to continue its strong dialogue with both. Otherwise,
Turkey will be on the losing side. Turkey needs both the EU
and the US in order to be powerful in the region. Who
knows, maybe Washington is planning to prepare Turkey as a
bridge between the EU and the US before it becomes a bridge
between east and west. Sounds good!"
"The Prime Minister's State of Mind"
Asli Aydintasbas wrote in the mainstream daily "Sabah"
(12/15): "The most interesting question being asked in
Ankara in recent days isn't about the latest EU draft for
the summit, but rather about the state of mind of Prime
Minister Erdogan, who will look at the final EU draft and
make Turkey's decision. One foreign diplomat who spoke with
Erdogan this week said this: `I believe he still wants to
reach and agreement. But if a good agreement isn't put in
front of him, he is also prepared to say no.' Another
Western diplomat said `we're afraid that if a text that he
doesn't like comes out, he may just bang on the table and
say no. He would look like a hero if he did that, but in
the long run this would be bad for Turkey.' Diplomats who
have met with the Prime Minister as well as those in his
inner circle say that his attitude is `hardening.' They say
that Erdogan has become increasingly convinced that Turkey
is facing a kind of `injustice' by the EU. According to a
close advisor, the Prime Minister believes he has taken big
risks in getting Turkey to this point, and that the issues
brought up in recent days are unfair. The Prime Minister
communicated his disappointment in yesterday's AK Party
group meeting. European Ambassadors have asked Erdogan to
prioritize his list of complaints about he most recent
draft, but the PM has said that all of his concerns are
equally important. So those who have spoken to Erdogan
recently are convinced that he is disappointed in the EU and
will walk away from the table if he is faced with something
he doesn't like."
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