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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 008845

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
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2002

THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER TWO
THEMES:


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
-------
TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY
Wednesday, December 4, 2002


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Air-Base Crisis - Hurriyet
Bush invites Erdogan officially - Hurriyet
Erdogan will be at the White House next week - Sabah
US pressures Turkey - Turkiye
Turkey requests $25 billion from US for possible operation
against Iraq - Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Agreement reached on Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Ankara accepts Wolfowitz and Grossman's request for Turkish
bases - Radikal
US: Let's plan together and let you have what you want in
Northern Iraq - Zaman
Wolfowitz: If you don't want a Kurdish State, you should
enter Iraq - Yeni Safak


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
U.S. pressure mounts - Finansal Forum
U.S. fiscal support with `Iraq condition' attached -- Dunya


BRIEFING


DepSec Wolfowitz and U/S Grossman Visit: All papers
highlight the visit under banner headlines and feature
extensive front page coverage as well as details of US-
Turkish discussions. The general consensus among reporters
is that the talks centered on Turkey's willingness to
cooperate with the US in a possible operation in Iraq, and
the US list of demands and offers of compensation in return.
The demands are listed as follows: Turkey should allow its
bases and ports to be used by US troops and aircrafts.
Turkey should be a logistical base and supply center in the
event of a military strike. Turkey should be prepared to
serve as a second operational headquarters after Tampa,
Florida. The option for allowing Turkish troops to join
British and American troops in northern Iraq should also be
considered by Turkey. In exchange for meeting these
demands, Wolfowitz and Grossman reportedly offered a total
of 3.5 billion dollars in aid. Some papers talk about an
additional 20 billion dollars of aid as well. The support
will be given within a three-year period, and will also
include the forgiveness of Turkey's FMS debts, the
establishment of qualifying industrial zones, encouraging US
investments in Turkey, and some favors on trade quotas.
Reports also noted that the US affirmed its commitment to
prevent a separate Kurdish state in northern Iraq. The U.S.
stance against a Kurdish state came as a relief to Turkish
officials, and made Ankara more willing to allow use of its
base facilities. All papers report the `breaking news' that
Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, following his meeting with
British Foreign Minister Straw, said that Turkey will open
its airbases and facilities for the US in the event of a
military operation. However, mass appeal "Hurriyet" fronts
a flashy story that referred to the issue as a `base
crisis.' According to "Hurriyet," Yakis' announcement
caused serious concerns among military officials and Foreign
Ministry bureaucrats. Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen.
Buyukanit told "Hurriyet" that permission for use of the
airbases requires a political decision, and that the
military is not aware that such a decision has been taken.
General Buyukanit said that the FM's statement `might be his
personal opinion.' In a press release issued after
midnight, the MFA clarified the Foreign Minister's remarks,
saying that `Turkey has not committed itself. Minister
Yakis was talking about possible options in the spirit of
good, friendly relations with the US.'


Reports also note that both Wolfowitz and Grossman
reiterated strong US support for Turkey's EU accession, and
underlined the importance of settling the Cyprus issue as
soon as possible.


Erdogan to Washington: All papers report that AKP leader
Erdogan received an official invitation from the White
House. The date of Erdogan's meeting with President Bush
has been set for December 10. The invitation was extended to
Erdogan during the dinner at the American Embassy residence
in honor of Wolfowitz and Grossman. Erdogan changed his
travel plans immediately, and decided to go to Denmark
before the EU summit and fly to Washington from there.


EU Reforms: The AKP government has prepared a series of
legal reforms and sent the reform package to Parliament for
final consideration. The package would make closure of
political parties more difficult, bring tougher measures to
prevent torture, and ease the restrictions on minority
foundations wishing to acquire property. The changes will
also pave the way for Erdogan to become eligible to run for
parliament.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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