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 03 ANKARA 009122
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
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2002
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
"Red line" around Mosul, Kirkuk - Hurriyet
U.S. offers $20 billion - Sabah
Ankara, reluctant, heads to war - Aksam
U.S. asks for logistical support - Milliyet
Siirt elections: Erdogan's path cleared - Sabah
U.S. bribe for war: $5 billion - Cumhuriyet
Business world: War will delay economic revival - Yeni Safak
Grand fear: War refugees - Radikal
KDP against Turkey's conditions for Northern Iraq - Zaman
Pope's Christmas message: Refrain from war in Iraq - Zaman
Investment continues despite Iraq crisis - Dunya
Iraq war will cost Turkey $150 billion in coming decade -
Iraq: Dailies quote Foreign Minister Yakis as saying Turkey
has not yet made any commitment regarding Iraq. Some of the
details leaked to the press are correct, some are wrong,
Yakis said. Prime Minister Gul said that Turkey would wait
to see the report by UN arms inspectors. Ankara's decision
will be shaped at the Supreme Military Council (YAS) meeting
today, and the National Security Council (MGK) meeting
tomorrow, papers agree.
"Milliyet" claims the U.S. has asked for Turkey's support on
logistics, communication, and intelligence. The U.S. has
also asked that Turkish troops speaking Kurdish and Arabic
should guide them in Northern Iraq. The U.S. is planning to
use Turkish railroads to transport personnel and armored
vehicles, according to Milliyet. "Vatan" reported that the
U.S. is pressuring Ankara to allow deployment of 80,000 U.S.
troops in the southeastern towns Sirnak and Silopi, whereas
Ankara is inclined to permit only small special teams.
Vatan also notes that Ankara has agreed to allow the U.S.
access to three Turkish ports in the Mediterranean.
According to "Yeni Safak," the U.S. wants to establish
military rule in Northern Iraq, where it is planning to stay
for at least five years to ensure political stability in the
region. "Cumhuriyet" reports on its front page that the
U.S. has offered Turkey a "war bribe" of $5 billion in the
short-term, and $15-20 billion in the long term in exchange
for cooperation. In an effort to keep the Kurds and British
troops away from Mosul and Kirkuk, Turkey wants to establish
"red lines" around the two Northern Iraqi towns, "Hurriyet"
claims. Safeen Dizayee, the KDP representative in Ankara,
criticized Turkey in "Zaman" on Wednesday by saying that
Ankara exaggerated the situation in Northern Iraq. Dizayee
warned that regional countries would not remain indifferent
to a unilateral Turkish intervention, which could draw Iran
into the conflict. He noted that KDP leader Barzani would
visit Turkey next week. A "Radikal" commentary claimed that
Ankara will give passive support to the U.S. by opening its
airbases, airspace, and territory. The town of Silopi is
expected to become the operational headquarters and the
point for processing refugees. Turkey is considering
setting up a buffer zone 30-40 km. deep in Northern Iraq;
this zone would ease the passage of U.S. and allied troops
and facilitate Turkish control over the region. Ankara's
official position will be finalized at the NSC meeting on
Friday, and the government will seek parliamentary approval
for the deployment of foreign troops, the paper reported.
Constitutional amendments: While the parliament is searching
for ways to override the president's veto and enact
constitutional changes, the High Election Board (YSK) has
announced the calendar for the Siirt elections. Elections
are set for February 9, and the deadline for candidate
applications is January 23. President Sezer will have to
sign the constitutional amendments by that time.
EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq
"The 80 thousand US soldiers"
Chief Columist of mass appeal Hurriyet, Oktay Eksi opined
(12/26): "It would be very foolish to believe that the US
intention is to bring democracy to Iraq and to the region.
When Kuwait was saved from the Iraq occupation in 1991, the
US did not care about democracy at all. This is simply
because the operation was meant to prevent Iraq's control of
Kuwaiti oil reserves. . This is the very time to be
realistic and act accordingly. Turkey, under the current
circumstances, has no chance to refuse to support the US.
Yet we better design Turkey's support to be as limited as
possible. For instance, plans to station US soldiers in
Turkey and have them stay here for 5 years are totally
"Saddam should go"
Editor-in-Chief of mass appeal Milliyet, Mehmet Yakup Yilmaz
wrote (12/26): "Turkey's interest is in lasting stability
and a peaceful atmosphere in the region. Yet this goal
cannot be achieved as long as Saddam remains in charge. .
Opposing a war is certainly correct from the humanitarian
point of view, but when the situation makes war inevitable
there is no room for emotionalism. Romantic stances do not
work, particularly in international relations. . Let's hope
that Saddam realizes the fact that war is imminent and will
cost a colossal number of Iraqi lives."
"The Permanent Trouble"
Fehmi Koru argued in Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak
(12/26): "A close look at Afghanistan will give us a clue
about US intentions in Iraq. The US plans to remain in the
region permanently. The Afghan operation helped the US to
expand its military presence from Pakistan to the
Philippines and Georgia. In the event of an Iraq operation,
Turkey will be assuming Pakistan's role. The roles of the
Philippines and Georgia will be given to Qatar, Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE. . All organs of the Turkish
state mechanism, particularly the parliament, should pay
utmost attention to US intentions for this region. Turkey
should not be put in the position of introducing a
`permanent' problem into the region."