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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 009161

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
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2002


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------
HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Grossman, Taylor Bring $20 billion package - Milliyet
Tough $28 billion bargaining with U.S. - Hurriyet
Taylor, Grossman in Ankara for persuasion - Turkiye
30,000 Turkish Cypriots rally for EU - Sabah
Turkish Cypriots rally, want Denktas out - Turkiye
U.S. to deploy JTAGS radar system in Turkey - Vatan


OPINION MAKERS
Grossman, Taylor: Reparation visit by U.S. - Cumhuriyet
AKP's war ordeal - Radikal
U.S. demands immediate response on Iraq - Radikal
Peace front expanding: 90 percent of Turks against war -
Cumhuriyet
NGOs, business world, parliamentary human rights commission
against war - Yeni Safak
Deputy PM Sener: Markets will regain stability within ten
days of a war - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Ankara invites Taylor, Grossman: "Cost bargaining with the
U.S. - Dunya
Public procurement law turned into Swiss cheese - Dunya
S&P: Turkey's rating might increase even in war - Finansal
Forum

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BRIEFING


Taylor-Grossman Visit & Iraq: All papers report the visit of
Treasury U/S John Taylor and State U/S for Political Affairs
Marc Grossman to Ankara. The emphasis of the extensive,
front-page coverage is on reports that the US has come to
the stage of discussing a compensation plan for Turkey.
"Yeni Safak" writes that the US has offered Turkey 20
billion dollars, but points out that the amount was short of
Turkey's expectation, which was 28 billion dollars.
Although "Sabah" talks about a 100 billion dollar plan, the
general consensus in the press is that Ankara will argue to
Grossman and Taylor that the possible impact of the war on
the Turkish economy is 28 billion dollars. This figure,
however covers only the economic losses, but does not take
into account defense and security-related costs. Several
papers also mention that Ankara wants the money directly
from the US Treasury as opposed to via IMF and World Bank.


FM Yakis at Parliament: Foreign Minister Yakis briefed the
Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee about the Iraq
situation. MPs are very interested in the US demands from
Turkey, and Minister Yakis outlined for them the proposed
deployment of 40,000 US soldiers in Turkey as well as
permission for a 150-member team of experts to inspect bases
and ports. Papers gave conflicting news about the base
inspections. "Hurriyet" quotes Yakis as saying "the
permission for the site inspection has not yet been given,"
while "Radikal" quotes him as saying "the only permission
given so far is for the site inspection." Meanwhile,
Parliament decided to go on recess until January 2, and the
Iraq issue has been scheduled for parliamentary discussion
on January 6.


"Radikal" reports on the potential problem within the AKP
government over the Iraq issue following a statement from
Parliament's Human Right Commission Chairman Mehmet Elkatmis
calling on Ankara to work toward peace and to say "no" to a
war in the region.
NSC Meeting: The National Security Council meeting will be
not only the last meeting of 2002, but the most crucial one,
papers speculate. The agenda is predominantly Iraq, and
Turkey's answer to Washington's demands will be discussed in
detail. According to "Radikal" writer Murat Yetkin, the NSC
decision will be as follows:
- Deployment of US troops in Turkey on a permanent basis is
unacceptable, but Turkey can offer the use of Turkish
territory for the transit of some troops.
- Site inspection at the airbases and ports can be done.
- The final decision belongs to the Turkish Parliament, and
Turkey will continue to seek an international consensus
under the auspices of the UN.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"Hawks, Doves and Owls"
Hasan Cemal opined in mass appeal Milliyet (12/27): "The US
goal is to topple Saddam and pave the way for democracy in
Iraq. Once this goal is achieved, it will be followed by
efforts for a peaceful settlement between Israel and
Palestine and to eliminate fundamentalist roots from the
region. Yet the question is how these goals can be
achieved. It seems that Washington officials are putting
their plans on paper, and it all looks fine from a
theoretical point of view. . The reality, however, might
bring unexpected developments and risks, including a global
crisis in case US plans fail. ... Turkey's stance seems to
favor the argument of the owls: Saddam Hussein should go,
but the US should not conduct this operation alone. Turkey,
on the other hand, does not have the luxury of saying to US
that `I will not be a part of your plan.' Thus the ongoing
bargain between the US and Turkey is about defining the
extent of Turkey's role."


PEARSON

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