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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 04 ANKARA 000215

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
THURSDAY, JANUARY 9, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Plane crashes, 75 burned to death - Hurriyet
Rumsfeld: We prefer Saddam exiled - Hurriyet
UK pressures Turkey about Iraq - Milliyet
`No' to British troops in Northern Iraq - Vatan
WP: Mosul, Kirkuk to be controlled by U.S. troops - Aksam
WHO, UNHCR report: 5 million Iraqi lives in jeopardy -
Hurriyet
Two planes for Turkish businessmen to Baghdad - Turkiye
Gen. Ozkok: No concession on headscarves - Milliyet
Strong warnings from military - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
U.S. tired of waiting for Ankara's Iraq decision - Radikal
Gen. Ozkok: Oil resources must be controlled by central
Iraqi authority - Yeni Safak
Gen. Ozkok: Cyprus significant for Turkey's security -
Cumhuriyet
Radical shift in Turkey's Cyprus policy - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Upcoming Krueger visit relieves stock markets - Dunya
Turkish trade delegation to Baghdad angers U.S. - Finansal
Forum
Lehman Bros: AKP disillusioned investors - Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Ankara has turned down British demands conveyed by
visiting Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon and deputy Chief of
Staff Anthony Picott for using Turkish bases and facilities
in a military action against Iraq, dailies report. Turkish
officials recalled the dispute between Turkey and Britain
over Iraqi oil in 1924, and assessed that the nation's
sensitivity prevented them from allowing Turkish facilities
to be used by the UK. "Radikal" believes that Hoon was not
given a clear response, and that TGS told him that the
decision would be made by the government. "Sabah" says that
Hoon has asked for transit passage of 10,000 British troops
to Northern Iraq via Turkey. "Milliyet" claims that UK
officials urged Ankara to make a decision before January 27,
warning that if Turkey refuses to join the international
coalition, its role in restructuring a future Iraq would be
diminished. Dailies echo U.S. disappointment over Turkey's
reluctance for cooperation against Iraq. The U.S. is also
upset about the upcoming Turkish delegation trip to Baghdad,
and Prime Minister Gul's recent Middle East tour, reports
say. "Milliyet" quotes Washington sources as complaining
that compared to Turkey, Arab countries have taken a clearer
and more positive position on the issue. The same sources
said that the Congress might react to Turkish non-
cooperation by blocking financial assistance with Turkey.
"Vatan" reports a senior State Department official as saying
that Turkey will be denied a share in Iraq's
reconstruction, and won't be allowed to continue military
incursions into Northern Iraq. "Cumhuriyet" says that
Ankara has presented Washington a list of prospective
Turkish support in the event of war. The U.S. will be able
to use Turkish bases and ports, but will not be allowed to
station large numbers of troops. The `modus operandi' for
site surveys will be agreed soon, and 150 U.S. experts will
begin inspections, according to Cumhuriyet. Meanwhile,
Northern Iraqi KDP leader Barzani arrived in Ankara on
Wednesday for talks. "Zaman" comments that Turkey's
military presence in Northern Iraq was covered extensively
by the press, and no international reaction came. Turkey,
backed by the U.S. and UK over the issue of Iraq's
territorial integrity, is now in a strong position to
question Barzani regarding Kurdish intentions for a federal
Iraq, and the status of the Turkomen, Zaman reports.
"Radikal" claims that the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs
of Staff, General Richard Myers, will visit Turkey on
January 24. Dailies expect Gen. Myers to demand a clear
response from Ankara regarding the use of bases and ports,
and note that the U.S. sees the Myers visit as the last
chance for working out a compromise with Turkey.


Cyprus: Papers report that Turkey has made `historic'
changes to its Cyprus policy by abandoning plans of
integration with the Turkish Cypriot sector. AKP's new
Cyprus approach has dictated changes at the MFA, according
to the reports. An MFA spokesman said on Wednesday that the
government will make new arrangements within the framework
of negotiations on the UN-sponsored Cyprus plan. Papers
report that the Greek Cypriot Administration has welcomed
Turkey's declaration of change, and urged rapid
implementation. Papers also report Turkish Cypriot leader
Denktas as saying that the economic imbalance between Turks
and Greeks on the island requires that any agreement on
Cyprus should not be implemented before Turkey achieves full
EU membership.


TGS Chief slams Gul: Dailies extensively cover TGS Chief
General Ozkok's warning to Prime Minister Gul for allegedly
`encouraging fundamentalists.' Papers say that the military
is responding to Gul's stated objections to the TGS decision
to expel fundamentalist officers from the army at the High
Military Council (YAS) meetings in December. Prime Minister
Gul and Defense Minister Gonul have signed the YAS decision
to expel fundamentalist officers, with a protest note
claiming that decisions taken by the military council should
be open for appeal in the courts.


Plane crash: A Turkish Airlines (THY) RJ-100 passenger plane
crashed while trying to land in Diyarbakir airport in thick
fog, killing 75 of the 80 passengers and crew on board.
Reports see the reason for the crash as the lack of
Instrument Landing System (ILS) equipment in Diyarbakir.
Such equipment enables planes to land in unsuitable weather
conditions.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"US implicitly threatens Turkey"
Yasemin Congar wrote from Washington in mass appeal
"Milliyet" (1/9): "Turkey's decision to wait for the UN
report before determining the extent of its cooperation with
the US has caused a potential problem between the two
countries. Washington is disappointed both in Ankara's
current Iraq policy as well as the decision to send a
Turkish trade delegation headed by State Minister Tuzmen to
Baghdad. Officials in Washington note that this
disappointment could be reflected when Congress takes up the
issues of economic, military, and commercial aid to Turkey.
A US diplomatic source warns that `the degree of US
cooperation with the Arab world seems to becoming more
significant than with Turkey.' . Sources close to the
Washington administration comment that due to Ankara's
reservations and `wait-and-see' attitude, the goal of
creating a deterrent show of force against Iraq has not been
achieved. It seems that the visit of General Myers to
Ankara will play a determining factor for Washington in
deciding whether or not to include the northern front in the
war scenario."


"What kind of policy?"
Sami Kohen criticized in mass appeal Milliyet (1/9): "It is
quite possible to believe that the AKP government does not
have an Iraq policy. There are many conflicting statements
from various official bodies, and it is mind-boggling to try
to figure out which is the real policy. . On the other hand,
we should also see that developments related to Iraq have
caught the government in a helpless position. The `great
advantage' of Turkey, its geo-strategic location, has now
become a painful liability for Ankara. Because of Turkey's
location and political ties, as well as its current economic
situation, it is not possible to define Turkey's role with a
`yes-or-no' kind of clarity. Thus Ankara is trying to shape
its policy based on developments, keeping its options open
and maintaining flexibility. . Turkish officials note that
Ankara does not want to hurry, but that the plan for a front
in northern Iraq will be taken into consideration `when the
time comes.' Reacting to Washington's complaints about
Turkey's position, one Turkish official said that the
problem stems from the definition of time limits. Ankara
wants to shape things in the course of time, while
Washington is asking for an immediate answer."


PEARSON

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