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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 03 ANKARA 000152

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
TUESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Former diplomats: Turkey has rights over Iraqi oil -
Hurriyet
TGS: Saddam's chemical weapons could hit Turkey - Turkiye
Military experts: South, southeast Turkey within Saddam's
range - Milliyet
Generals: Saddam has turned missiles toward Turkey - Sabah
Gul may meet Saddam to prevent war - Turkiye
Half of nation lives in destitution - Vatan
Denktas issues surprise maps - Aksam


OPINION MAKERS
U.S. fronts against Iraq: Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait - Radikal
Iraqi FM: U.S. targets Iraqi oil - Cumhuriyet
Gul: Saddam should eliminate all suspicion - Yeni Safak
Gul: Peace responsibility falls on Saddam - Radikal
U.S. war plan: Use and dispose of Turkey - Yeni Safak
Erdogan off to Turkic republics - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
U.S. CNFA to hold 2003 annual conference in Istanbul - Dunya
Government drafts bill for tax amnesty - Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: The TGS and FM Yakis briefed the parliamentary foreign
affairs commission Monday regarding the Iraq issue and
Cyprus, papers report. The generals warned that eastern
Turkey falls within the scope of Iraqi weapons of mass
destruction, and asked the parliament to approve deployment
of additional troops in Northern Iraq. The U.S. is planning
to attack Iraq from Turkey, Jordan, and Kuwait, and is
planning to stay in the region for a long time in order to
restructure the Middle East, TGS officers reportedly said.
The U.S. has asked Ankara for permission to transfer 80,000
troops to Iraq via Turkey, the deployment of 5,000-6,000
special troops in Turkish territory, and permission to use
bases and airports at Incirlik, Batman, Diyarbakir, Corlu,
Afyon, and Istanbul as well as the ports in Mersin and
Iskenderun. The U.S. is also waiting for Ankara's approval
to send 60 trucks of weapons from Incirlik to the Northern
Iraqi Kurds, papers claim. The U.S. has been notified that
Turkey will send 20,000 troops to Northern Iraq in the event
of war, in addition to the 2,000 soldiers already stationed
there. Ankara is planning to set up 18 camps - 13 on the
Iraqi side of the border - to cope with an estimated
250,000 refugees, according to papers. The TGS has
announced that 150 U.S. experts were given permission on
December 16 for site surveys on Turkish bases, and said that
work would begin in a few days. Prime Minister Gul said
upon arrival from his tour of the Middle East that the legal
disagreement between the U.S. and Turkey over site surveys
has been resolved. General Bekir Kalyoncu of the TGS
Operations and Planning Department is quoted as saying that
Mosul and Kirkuk should not be given to the Kurds. Kalyoncu
said that the U.S. should not launch an operation without a
second UN resolution, and that the Turkish government needed
parliamentary approval to participate in a war in Iraq.
Citing a NYT article speculating about U.S. and UK ambitions
on Iraqi oil, "Yeni Safak" says on its front page that the
U.S. would keep Ankara out of the process of reconstructing
Iraq after Saddam Hussein is toppled.


In a press conference following his meetings in Jordan,
Prime Minister Gul said that the main responsibility for
working out a peaceful solution to the crisis belongs to
Saddam Hussein. In a `surprising statement,' Gul said he
might meet Saddam Hussein in Baghdad in order to avert war,
dailies report. Gul also said that regional countries
should use all means to prevent war, and should take joint
action at the UN.


Turkey's rights over Iraqi oil: Responding to "Hurriyet"s
questions regarding Turkey's rights over Iraqi oil, former
diplomats said that an agreement reached in 1926 between
Britain, Iraq, and Turkey gave Ankara a ten percent share of
Iraqi oil revenues for 25 years. Payments to Turkey were
halted in 1955 following arbitrary payments for 13 years,
and Ankara can still demand payment for the remaining 12
years, the diplomats said. Turkey's former Ambassador to
Baghdad, Nuzhet Kandemir estimates that Iraq owes Turkey $30
billion from the 1926 agreement. However, Kandemir affirmed
that Iraq's natural resources belong to the Iraqi people,
and said that Turkey should not claim rights over them.


Cyprus: Two opinion polls on the UN-sponsored Cyprus peace
plan by two Turkish Cypriot dailies produced conflicting
results. According to the "Kibris" newspaper survey of 1194
Turks between December 27-January 3, 65.4 percent of Turkish
Cypriots support the UN plan, and 28.2 percent are opposed.
A survey by the daily "Volkan" on December 25 showed that
79.8 percent of Turkish Cypriots are against the Annan plan.
"Aksam" reports on two maps that will reportedly be offered
by Denktas for a division of Cyprus: The first map offers
the Karpaz province in the north to the Greek Cypriots, and
the other envisions Maras to be settled by Turks and Greeks
under UN security guarantees.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/Saddam Hussein's defiant remarks


"Saddam Husssein waits for war"
Mehmet Barlas opined in mass appeal Aksam (1/7): "Saddam
Hussein's message for the Army Day celebration clearly
defies the US and calls for a holy war. He accused
everyone, including the UN inspectors now in Iraq. The gist
of this `army day' message is as follows: Iraq is ready for
war. Saddam knows that war is imminent, thus his propaganda
position is to welcome it. If only PM Gul were visiting
Baghdad instead of Syria and Egypt."


"Saddam has hurt Gul's campaign"
Ilnur Cevik wrote in English language Turkish Daily News
(1/7): "The remarks of Saddam Hussein that the UN weapons
inspectors are spying has come as a blow to those who wanted
to find a peaceful solution to the Iraqi crisis. The
efforts of PM Gul to rally support for his peace crusade in
Syria, Egypt, and Jordan have actually gone down the drain.
Saddam Hussein is notorious for misreading reality and
taking the wrong steps. You just have to look at how he
waged a war against Iran, and how he invaded Kuwait and then
refused to withdraw. ... Whatever the reason, the Iraqi
leader has only strengthened the hand of the Americans, who
are already massing troops and military hardware in the
region."


PEARSON

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