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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 000329

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 14, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Gul, Gen. Ozkok: No indecisiveness on Iraq - Hurriyet
Airbases to be upgraded for B-2, F-117 - Milliyet
TUSIAD: We must not side with a totalitarian regime - Vatan
Baykal: Turkey humiliated by trade tour to Baghdad - Aksam
James Woolsey: We'll bring democracy to Mideast - Sabah
Tarik Aziz: Saddam won't leave Iraq - Turkiye
Government to abolish red tape for foreign investors -
Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
First warnings from TUSIAD - Radikal
Barzani: Kurds won't join U.S. fight against Iraqi regime -
Yeni Safak
Turkish Cypriot opposition rallies for Annan plan -
Cumhuriyet
Arinc: Turks not responsible for Cyprus dissolution - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Turkey's trade mission to Iraq to bring Euro695 million -
Dunya
TUSIAD: Lower inflation a prerequisite for growth - Finansal
Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: All papers report that 150 U.S. experts have started
site surveys at airbases and ports, with a particular focus
on upgrading runways for B-2 and F-117 aircraft. Dailies
expect construction work to be completed in 45 days.
"Hurriyet," citing the Russian TASS news, claims that Prime
Minister Gul found support in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria
for his peace initiative> This support encouraged the PM to
send a message to Saddam Hussein urging him to step down.
Prime Minister Gul and TGS Chief Gen. Ozkok said after a
meeting on Monday that the Turkish government and military
would work together for a peaceful solution to the Iraq
crisis. "Cumhuriyet" comments that Prime Minister Gul's
Middle East tour has shown that Jordan, Syria, Iran and
Saudi Arabia - the countries to be directly affected by a
war against Iraq -- agree that Iraq's territorial integrity
should be preserved. Turkish Businessmen's Association
(TUSIAD) Chairman Ozilhan criticized the government for
indecisiveness on Iraq and attempts to increase cooperation
with the totalitarian regime in Baghdad. Prime Minister Gul
responded by saying that businessmen should be careful in
their criticism, and noted that the government was
discussing the issue with the U.S..
Cyprus: U.S. Special Cyprus Coordinator Tom Weston met with
MFA deputy U/S Baki Ilkin on Monday. Papers report Weston
as saying that the U.S. has always supported a compromise
acceptable to Turkey, a close friend and ally.
Parliamentary Speaker Arinc, visiting the Turkish Republic
of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) with 20 parliamentarians, met with
Denktas on Monday. Denktas complained that no Turks would
remain on the island if the UN plan is accepted unchanged,
and blamed the Greek Cypriots for using the EU shield to
take control of the island, reports say. Turkish Cypriot
NGOs are expected to stage a rally of about 80,000 in
Lefkosa today in support of the UN peace plan and EU
membership.


Ambassador Pearson: MFA U/S Ambassador Ziyal briefed U.S.
Ambassador Robert Pearson about Prime Minister Gul's
meetings in the Middle East, papers report. Dailies say
that Amb. Pearson sees no trouble in Turkey-U.S. relations,
and is confident that the two countries will work out a
compromise regarding U.S. requests for cooperation against
Iraq.


Economy: Turkish Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) Chairman
Ozilhan criticized the AKP government for lack of
coordination, contradictory statements by government
officials, actions against the spirit of the economic reform
program, and lack of dialogue with the bureaucracy, the
opposition, and civilian organizations. `The government
must refrain from actions which threaten financial
discipline and the fight against inflation,' Ozilhan warned.
On the other hand, Deputy Prime Minister Sener reportedly
said that a number of state enterprises would be liquidated.
Sener said that the AKP government was considering
privatization of the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB), the
Istanbul Gold Exchange, the National Lottery, motorways,
Halkbank, and energy distribution firms in order to achieve
a target of $4 billion in privatization revenues in 2003.
IMF First Deputy Director Anne Krueger is due in Istanbul on
Wednesday for meetings with economic officials. World Bank
Vice President Johannes Linn is expected in Ankara on
January 16. Papers report that the WB will provide Turkey a
$5 billion loan in 2003.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"The US-Turkey and Iraq"
Yilmaz Oztuna criticized the Turkish trade mission to
Baghdad in mass appeal-conservative Turkiye (1/14): "The US
clearly asks for Turkey's full support. The nature of
support requires Parliament's approval and it is interesting
to see that the government has not yet applied for that
mandate. . It is certain that the US will execute this
operation (against Iraq) and Turkey should make its plans
accordingly. In the meantime, the increasing remarks from
Washington, such as busy phone lines at the White House,
should be interpreted as `friendly warnings' not threats. .
The Turkish trade mission has miscalculated the immediate
future of Iraq. Following the military operation, the US
will remain in the country and Turkish businessmen might be
faced with the reality of not getting any of the rebuilding
projects. Because in a few months, our immediate border
neighbor will be the US not Iraq."
"Minister Tuzmen, the Officious"
Hasan Cemal opined in mass appeal Milliyet (1/14): "The
trade mission to Baghdad headed by State Minister Tuzmen is
clearly annoying. Saddam Hussein is desperate to gain
legitimacy and the Turkish Minister is just presenting him a
gift. . Even Saddam knows the current dimension of Turkish-
American relations, yet it seems Minister Tuzmen is not
aware of it. . Working for peace is certainly is a good
thing as long as one can set up the priorities. First of
all, Iraq's near future means America, not Saddam.
Secondly, the UN embargo against Iraq still continues and
agreements with Iraq are doomed to remain on paper.
Thirdly, Saddam is no friend of Turkey. Yet Turkey and the
US are two friends and allies with a strategic partnership.
Last but not least, Turkey managed to overcome a grave
economic crisis with the help and support of the US. The
officious ones should know these facts well."


PEARSON

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