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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 000358

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
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Turkey to Saddam: Disarm to keep Iraq intact - Milliyet
Amb. Pearson promises to meet Turkey's damages from war -
Turkiye
Gul's formula for peace with Iraq - Sabah
B-2s to strike Baghdad from Istanbul S. Gokcen Airport -
Haberturk
Demonstrators to Denktas: Accept UN plan, or resign! -
Hurriyet
(Turkish Cypriot) demonstrators boo Ecevit - Vatan


OPINION MAKERS
Amb. Pearson: U.S., GOT in harmony - Zaman
HRW calls for pressure on Turkey for war refugees -
Cumhuriyet
U.S. wants `crisis' in Ankara - Yeni Safak
60,000 call for peace - Radikal
Denktas: Rally weakens my hand - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
S&P: Iraq war might downgrade Turkey's rating - Finansal
Forum
Foreign investors doubtful about AKP privatization goals -
Finansal Forum


NOTE: A separate Turkish Press Summary on the events in
Northern Cyprus will follow.


BRIEFING


Ambassador Pearson meets business community: Papers reports
on U.S. Ambassador Pearson's meeting with prominent Turkish
businessmen at a luncheon in Istanbul. Pearson discussed
with business leaders the negative effects of a possible war
with Iraq on Turkey's economy, and made clear the U.S.
determination to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Amb. Pearson
told the press after the meeting that there was no crisis
between the U.S. and Turkey, adding that he believed the GOT
would do its best on the Iraq issue. Some businessmen
voiced the expectation that the U.S. would cover Turkey's
losses from the war. Pearson promised to encourage American
companies to invest in Turkey, and said he hoped for passage
of QIZ legislation once the textile dispute is worked out,
the businessmen said. Pearson told the businessmen that
projected losses from an Iraq operation amounting to $100-
140 billion as reported by the media are exaggerated.


Iraq: "Milliyet" reports that Prime Minister Gul, on behalf
of Iran, Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, has conveyed
a message to Saddam Hussein urging him to decrease tensions
before January 27 and cooperate with UN inspectors. "Sabah"
says that Gul, in coordination with the U.S. and some
international bodies, has drafted a plan for peace: Baghdad
must present a complete list of Iraqi WMD, and replace
Saddam's rule with a democratic regime in exchange for
security guarantees for Saddam and his family if they leave
Iraq. Optimistic that a compromise can be reached before
January 27, Gul is planning to visit London and Washington
next week, Sabah reports. Dailies report that U.S. experts
have begun site surveys at Mersin port and at airports in
Batman, Diyarbakir, Malatya, Mardin, Mus, Corlu, Afyon,
Istanbul and Gaziantep. Experts will consider necessary
upgrades for deployment of military aircraft. The work of
the survey teams will continue until January 23. Citing
"Newsweek," "Yeni Safak" claimed that during his visit to
Ankara next week, General Myers will ask the TGS to convince
the GOT to accept U.S. demands on Iraq.


U.S. funds for warmongering: The tabloid "Star" accused the
USG of allocating $200 million to incite the media in Turkey
to promote war with Iraq. Star points the finger at former
U.S. Ambassador to Ankara, Mark Parris, saying that Parris
was entrusted with the task. Parris allegedly tried to use
contacts among prominent journalists to arrange a meeting
with Prime Minister Gul, but was denied an appointment, the
paper reports. Parris' meetings with the media were
organized by a consultant company in Ankara, `AK Group
Consultancy.,'. Star notes that the company is owned by Ms.
Aydan Kodaloglu, the former TAA board member who was
expelled for financial irregularities, and has a court case
pending against her.


EDITORIAL OPINION


a) Iraq
b) Cyprus


"Iraq"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in mass appeal-conservative Turkiye
(1/15): "There are other factors, besides Ankara's
reluctance, which might delay the operation process. In the
case of the extension of the UN inspection task and the
possibility of a meeting between Russian leader Putin and
Saddam Hussein will delay the start of a military strike.
However, the US cannot afford to wait until the end of May.
Due to weather conditions the operation should start before
the end of May. . Turkey is still trying to shape its
policy. PM Gul notes that Turkey's interests will be taken
with utmost care, which sounds fine. Yet this does not
justify playing with time, making evasive remarks policy.
Time is running against our interests. Turkey should pursue
an Iraq with territorial integrity yet without Saddam.
Giving any signal as if Turkey is protecting Saddam will
only bring us a high cost."


"Cyprus/Civil disobedience"
Guneri Civaoglu wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (1/15): "The
mass demonstration on the Turkish Cypriot side shows that
even the most conservative elements of Turkish Cypriot
society stand against the `no solution' approach. It is
interesting to note one detail: President Denktas's grandson
made a noteworthy comment as he was watching the
demonstrations. He said that in the young generation of
Turkish Cypriots - those under the age of 25 -- the gap
between people's views and official policy is deepening. .
If the Turkish Cypriot leadership fails to reach a
settlement by February 28, the Turkish Cypriots are
preparing a campaign of civil disobedience, to include a
general strike. For the leadership, it would be very wise
to initiate a settlement process, to discuss the Annan plan,
and to abandon `no settlement' as an option."


PEARSON

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