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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 000298

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
MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
U.S. experts arrive in Turkey - Hurriyet
UN: 800,000 might flee to Turkey in war - Aksam
Saddam to Tuzmen: Turkey can halt U.S. - Vatan
Saddam: Turkey's security in jeopardy if it enters war -
Milliyet
Gen. Myers coming to demand a clear answer - Turkiye
Parris to Ankara: Decide fast, our patience running out -
Hurriyet 1/12
5,000 Americans rally against war: Don't shed blood for oil
- Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Baghdad: Turkey will be hurt severely - Cumhuriyet
U.S. asks for more - Cumhuriyet 1/11
Bad news from UN experts: Iraq passive in cooperation -
Radikal 1/11
Gul: War will bring catastrophe - Yeni Safak
GOT gives U.S. permission for site surveys - Yeni Safak 1/11
U.S. continues Gulf military buildup to strike Iraq in late
February - Zaman
80,000 expected to rally for peace in north Cyprus - Radikal
1/12
Businessmen to issue warning to AKP - Radikal
Greek Naval Commander: Turkish fear over - Radikal


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Iraq's Ramadan tough on Turkish claims over Mosul, Kirkuk -
Dunya
Turkish contractors turn eyes to Iraq's reconstruction -
Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: In a joint press conference with visiting Turkish
State Minister Tuzmen, Iraqi vice President Taha Yasin
Ramadan warned that Turkey would suffer heavy losses in the
event of a U.S. attack against Iraq. In a threatening tone,
Ramadan warned Turkey to refrain from giving support to the
U.S., papers report. Ramadan also said that reports about
Turkey's possible claims on Mosul and Kirkuk served the
intentions of the `evil American Administration and
Zionists.' He then ended the press conference without giving
Tuzmen a chance to speak. Mainstream papers characterize
the press conference as `scandalous.' Tuzmen was also
received by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who urged Turkey to
mediate on behalf of Iraq to prevent war. Prime Minister
Gul wrapped up his Middle East tour after meetings with
Iranian leaders in Tehran on Sunday. Gul said that UNSC
resolutions should be applied, and added that Iraq had
primary responsibility for taking steps to avert war.
Syrian Foreign Minister Al-Shara is expected in Ankara on
Monday to discuss the Iraq crisis, dailies report.
Meanwhile, papers highlight meetings of former U.S.
Ambassador Mark Parris with government and business leaders.
Parris warned that if Ankara further delays a decision on
Iraq, the U.S. would shift its plans and consider Kuwait and
Jordan as alternative sites from which to launch attacks
against Iraq. If support from Turkey does not materialize,
the U.S. will ignore Turkish views regarding a post-Saddam
transition. Parris added that U.S.-Turkish ties would
suffer a setback that would be felt for years, since
President Bush is expected to be re-elected and remain in
office until 2008. Saturday's papers report that U.S.
Ambassador Robert Pearson met with Prime Minister Gul on
Friday. `The U.S. has made certain demands,' Gul said,
adding that the parliament was to decide how to respond.
Weekend papers say that Turkey's Ambassador to Washington
was told that the U.S. expects a swift response, and was
given the message that U.S. aid to Turkey might be increased
to $14 billion. Meanwhile, 150 U.S. experts are expected to
begin site surveys in Van, Mus, Diyarbakir, and Malatya
airports, and in Mersin port on Monday. The TGS issued a
statement saying that U.S. specialists would be accompanied
by Turkish army officials, and that the surveys are expected
to take ten days.


Cyprus: In a statement following talks with UN Cyprus envoy
Alvaro de Soto on Friday, MFA said that discussion of the UN-
sponsored Cyprus plan would begin soon. The Greek and
Italian foreign ministers, EU expansion commissioner
Verheugen, and EU foreign policy chief Solana are expected
in Turkey before late January. Reports say that Parliament
Speaker Bulent Arinc will lead a parliamentary delegation of
20 to the Turkish Cypriot sector January 13-15 for talks
with political, military, and NGO leaders. Meanwhile, DSP
leader and former Prime Minister Ecevit said at a meeting in
Istanbul that if the UN plan is accepted, Turkey will face
difficulty with its access to the Aegean. He claimed that
the Greek Cypriot administration is illegitimate and
violates international agreements.


Economy: An IMF delegation under the chairmanship of the
Fund's First Deputy Director Anne Krueger is due in Turkey
this week to discuss banking sector problems and excessive
employment in the public sector. Monday's dailies expect
the business community to issue a warning to the government
for its controversial moves in economic policy. The
businessmen will stress that the future of the government
depends on the strict implementation of the IMF-sponsored
economic stabilization program.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/General Myers visit


"The Myers Visit"
Fikret Bila highlights the upcoming visit of General Myers
to Ankara (1/13): "Washington hopes to get a clear and final
response to its requests during the Myers visit. This visit
will help Washington determine whether or not to plan for a
second front in the north. Prior to the Myers visit, the
(Turkish) government is doing everything to play for time.
. Washington's hope is to receive a clear `yes' or `no' from
Ankara. However, if the AKP government continues to be
evasive, the Turkish General Staff will only tell General
Myers to wait for a political decision. . It seems even
without a political decision, the Turkish military has
intensified its preparations as if expecting a war. Turkish
and American military officials are working on joint
operational plans. . The government is against a war, but
also concerned about the possible consequences of a refusal
to cooperate with the US. In fact, Turkey does not have
much time to make the decision, which is being eagerly
awaited by both Washington and the Turkish military."


"The US regrets its support for the AKP"
Washington reporter of mass appeal Sabah, Asli Aydintasbas
wrote (1/13): "Washington has started questioning the
support it has given to Turkey's AKP, and to AKP leader
Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish government's delayed answers to
requests for cooperation on Iraq are becoming major
disappointment in the Washington administration. After
waiting for some time for a clear stance from Ankara,
Washington has started sending `alarm signals' as well as
threats for sanctions in the event of Turkey's refusal to
cooperate. A senior US official said last week that the US
was determined to attack Iraq from the north, even if Turkey
refused to cooperate. `But in this case an economic aid
package for Turkey will drop from the agenda, and Turkish-
American ties will deteriorate,' the official warned."


"Alarm Bells"
Washington reporter of mass appeal Milliyet, Yasemin Congar
warns (1/13): "Washington is very disturbed about Ankara's
indecision. The US administration, by looking at the current
picture in Ankara, concludes that the Iraq issue has been
clearly understood by the Turkish military and the Foreign
Ministry, yet the government itself is still not `getting
it.' . Those who look from Washington to Ankara see a
double-headed government. They sense differences between AKP
leader Erdogan and Prime Minister Gul. By evaluating
Erdogan's statements while he was in the US, they thought
that if he were PM, there could be positive changes on both
Cyprus and the Iraq issue. . Those in Washington also
question whether or not Turkey is a real ally. They are
astonished by State Minister Tuzmen, who told journalists
that Turkey's goal is to improve trade relations with Iraq,
and flew to Baghdad with a group of 350 businessmen. .
Turkey better listen to the alarm bells in Washington, and
not rely too much on the notion that it is `indispensable'
to the U.S. administration because of its geo-strategic
location."


PEARSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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