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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 000263

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, JANUARY 10, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
U.S. site surveyors subject to Turkish law - Milliyet
U.S., British press increase pressure on Turkey - Sabah
Blix: No weapons in Iraq - Hurriyet
Military fully backs Denktas - Vatan
Military to government: Decide fast [on Iraq] - Aksam
Turkey, Turkmenistan to pursue joint energy policy - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Inspectors find Iraqi cooperation insufficient - Zaman
Barzani receives warning, takes U-turn - Radikal
Anti-war actions gaining pace in Europe - Yeni Safak
Gen. Ozkok: Turkish army target of fundamentalists -
Cumhuriyet


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Turkish trade mission landing in Iraq under shadow of war -
Dunya
Turkish businessmen, full of hope, to Baghdad - Finansal
Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Papers report that the U.S. and Turkey have sorted out
a compromise regarding the `modus operandi' for site
surveys. According to the agreement, some Turks will join
the U.S. teams of experts, and the U.S. will pay reparation
for any damage caused by Americans during the surveys in
Diyarbakir, Malatya, Incirlik, and Batman airbases, as well
as ports in Mersin and Iskenderun. The agreement reached
between Turkey and the U.S. is valid only for 150
specialists, whereas TGS wanted a broader agreement which
would also cover the status of U.S. troops to be sent to
Turkey. Dailies report that the site surveys will begin on
January 16, and that the U.S. expects work on base upgrades
to take a minimum of 45 days. "Zaman" reports that Turkey's
Ambassador to Washington met with U/S of State Grossman and
U.S. Ambassador Pearson on Monday in Washington. Grossman
stressed that Turkish reluctance regarding the deployment of
U.S. troops damaged the spirit of the strategic partnership,
and warned that Congress could block the economic assistance
package for Turkey. Washington blames both the AKP
administration and the TGS for the delay, Zaman claims. Now
the U.S. Administration is hoping that Gen. Myers will get
good news from Turkey during his upcoming visit to Ankarea.
Dailies report that Deputy Chief of TGS Gen. Buyukanit
urged the government to take a swift decision on Iraq.
Buyukanit stressed that it would be difficult to maintain
peace as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power. Papers
report the U.S. Ankara Embassy DCM calling on parliament on
Thursday to invite the parliamentary defense, foreign
affairs, budget and human rights commissions to a briefing
by U.S. Ambassador Pearson on Iraq. Meanwhile, visiting KDP
leader Barzani met with MFA U/S Ziyal on Thursday. Speaking
to journalists the same day, Barzani stressed that there is
no need for a Turkish military presence in Northern Iraq,
and noted that Kurds would not welcome unilateral Turkish
action in the region. Barzani issued calls for friendship
and cooperation with Turkey, papers report.


Tiff between military, Prime Minister: When asked about
criticism by TGS Chief Gen. Ozkok for the reserve placed by
Prime Minister Gul on the TGS decision to expel some
fundamentalist officers from the army, Gul said that he
would refrain from discussing the issue via the press.
Bearing political responsibility in such a critical time,
Gul said, `I prefer to discuss the issue and express my
views openly in different channels rather than via the
media.'


Babacan on economy: State Minister for Treasury Ali Babacan
acknowledged that the AKP government has had trouble
communicating its intentions to the markets and media. This
failure has led to groundless press reports such as those
indicating that the IMF visit may be canceled. Babacan said
that the ambiguity seen in the markets stems largely from
the Iraq crisis. However, TV reports on Thursday cited JP
Morgan as blaming controversial remarks by Turkish
officials, rather than the Iraq issue, as the reason for the
markets' unease. The IMF, puzzled by conflicting statements
coming from the government, is sending deputy IMF director
Anne Krueger to Turkey for talks next week. A Merrill-Lynch
report claims that the IMF is most interested in examining
Turkey's 2003 budget.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"No bread without sweat"
Ferai Tinc wrote in mass appeal Hurriyet (1/10): "Not only
Washington, but also the Turkish military is waiting for the
AKP government's decision, and the sooner the better. The
Chief of Turkey's Chief of General Staff, General Buyukanit,
commented that `whether positive or negative, an urgent
decision is a must.' In the meantime, Washington is also
sending direct or indirect messages to Ankara requesting a
Turkish response to demands presented some six months ago. .
The Turkish military emphasizes the importance of a second
front in the north, and its determinative role for shaping
the operational structure of an operation. If Turkey agrees
to cooperate with the US on a second front, it is quite
possible that it will eliminate the need for war by boosting
the effectiveness of a deterrent threat against Saddam. In
this regard, Turkish General Buyukanit says that `it is
necessary to cooperate with the US to create a deterrent.'
Buyukanit added that this requires a political decision to
be taken in Ankara."


"Military waits for a political decision"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (1/10): "The
military authority has commented about the plan for a second
front in the north. Chief of General Staff Gen. Ozkok
outlined his approach by underlining the two aspects of the
issue: military and political. From the military
standpoint, the General says that a second front in the
north will serve to shorten the duration of the operation
and will minimize losses. . The Turkish military is sending
signals to the government by using every opportunity to say
that a political decision is urgently required in order to
move ahead with military planning. The military evaluates
the situation and expects more pressure from the Bush
administration, particularly during the visit of General
Myers."


PEARSON

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