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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 009041

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 18, 2002


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Fears for new biological attack in the US - Turkiye
Erdogan Wants Broad Coalition for Iraq Operation - Milliyet
PM Gul: We did not discuss 60,000 troops with the US - Sabah
FM Yakis' "invasion" remarks appears on Athens' agenda -
Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Foreign Policy Summit at the Presidential Palace -
Cumhuriyet
Cyprus Summit at Cankaya - Radikal
PM Gul: Cyprus is our national issue - Yeni Safak
EU deadline for solving Cyprus issue by February 28 creates
tension in Ankara - Zaman


BRIEFING


Iraq: "Milliyet" highlights AKP leader Erdogan's statement
that Arab countries, including Syria, Egypt, and Saudi
Arabia should take part in a possible operation against
Iraq. Erdogan said that such an operation could not be
realize without a coalition. Erdogan added that PM Gul will
be traveling to the Middle East soon to seek support from
Arab countries. "Hurriyet" reports the same news under the
headline `Middle East trip for Saddam,' and states that AKP
leader Erdogan will travel to the region this month to seek
support. Citing the US media, "Hurriyet" also reports that
the Pentagon plans to launch an international public
relations campaign, which will include bribing some
journalists to print pro-American stories. "Sabah" reports
that PM Gul denied reports that the US has delivered 50
truck-loads of military equipment to Iraq. Gul confirms
claims that DepSecDef Wolfowitz and U/S Grossman had
presented US demands to Turkey during their recent visit.
However, the PM stressed that Turkey has not yet responded
to these requests. "Milliyet" reports that Turkey has
deployed nearly 40,000 troops along the Iraqi border in
preparation for a possible operation. These troops could be
increased in line with developments. "Yeni Safak" reports
that Turkey would play a limited role in a possible war
against Iraq, because the US is afraid of a possible clash
between Turks and Kurds.


Cyprus: "Cumhuriyet" reports on the heated argument between
CHP leader Baykal and FM Yakis in parliament yesterday over
the FM's statement that `Turkish troops would become
occupiers of EU territory if the UN Cyprus plan is
rejected.' There are rumors that Yakis will be given a new
assignment when Erdogan becomes Prime Minister and Gul is
moved to Foreign Minister. "Sabah" reports that the Greek
Cypriots have launched a peace campaign in support of
Annan's Cyprus plan. The goal of the Greek Cypriots is to
ensure Turkish support for the plan, thus securing EU entry
of a United Cyprus. All papers report that there will be a
summit at the Presidential Palace today to discuss Turkey's
foreign policy. President Sezer will chair the meeting,
which will also include PM Gul, FM Yakis, Chief of General
Staff Ozkok, and Foreign Ministry U/S Ziyal. After this
meeting, there will be a second meeting with the
participation of TRNC president Denktas to discuss the
Cyprus issue in more detail.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq-US/Turkey


"The US war plan"
Editor-in-Chief of the tabloid "Star," Fatih Cekirge,
claimed (12/18): "Two weeks ago, the Turkish Ambassador to
Washington was summoned to the State Department. During the
meeting he was officially notified about the US war plan for
Iraq and was presented with a list of US demands from
Turkey. The plan includes the use of Turkish airbases as
well as Turkish territory. The capacity of the airbases
will be expanded for the use of the American air force, and
US grounds troops will launch a military operation from
Turkish soil into northern Iraq. . The meeting in Ankara at
the presidential palace today is to make a crucial decision
about this plan. Ankara feels uneasy about it, yet the
message from Washington is clear enough: Ankara must support
the plan in exchange for Washington's recent support for
Turkey's EU membership accession. We will see if the AKP
government will push for a `yes' to the plan, thereby
putting Turkey into very big trouble."


"An Iraq operation and the economy"
Fatih Altayli argued in mass appeal Hurriyet (12/18):
"Sooner or later there is going to be a military operation
against Iraq. This is not going to happen because of
weapons of mass destruction or terrorism, but because the US
economy is in need of it. The future of the US economy
depends on an operation. US economic figures are not very
encouraging at the moment, with ongoing stagflation, lots of
bankrupt firms, a large number of unemployed and so on. . It
seems that the hope for a better economic future for America
goes through a military strike against Iraq."


PEARSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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