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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 000417

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 16, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
U.S. asks for NATO support against Iraq - Sabah
Gul: War will hurt all regional countries- Hurriyet
Gul: U.S. happy with my meetings in Mideast - Milliyet
Ankara denies U.S. access to Erhac base - Aksam
IMF begins discussions - Vatan
MFA: Denktas must take a lesson from Lefkosa rally -
Milliyet
Enktas: Will meet Clerides for changes to UN plan - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
U.S. to NATO: Protect Turkey against Iraq - Radikal
Following Gul's Mideast tour, Turkey drafts peace plan -
Yeni Safak
TIME survey: Peace threatened by U.S. - Cumhuriyet
12th anniversary of Gulf War: Same movie, different actors -
Cumhuriyet
IMF will take into account Turkey's war losses - Zaman
MFA: Lefkosa rally expression of democratic preferences -
Radikal


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Krueger: Came to see the situation - Dunya
IMF passes the ball to U.S. about Turkey's war losses -
Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: "Radikal" reports that the U.S. has asked NATO for
military assistance regarding use of allies' airports,
ports, and airspace. The U.S. also wants early warning
aircraft (AWACS) and air defense systems deployed in Turkey
in the event of war with Iraq, Radikal reports. The paper
also says that the U.S. Embassy in Ankara was notified by
the MFA about the regional peace initiative launched by
Prime Minister Gul. MFA has said that Turkey, Egypt,
Jordan, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia agree that Iraq must
fully cooperate with the UN and follow the timetable on
implementation of UNSC resolutions. The six countries
believe that a military operation launched by the U.S., UK
and Australia with Kuwaiti support could upset regional
balances. Dailies report that Egyptian President Mubarak
said that Turkey and the Arab countries are working on a
formula acceptable to both the U.S. and Iraq. Some Arab
diplomats said that the peace initiative envisions
convincing Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq.


General Myers: Papers speculate that the Myers visit is a
last chance for Turkey to clarify its position on US demands
regarding Iraq. The northern front option and deployment of
ground troops are the two major concerns of Washington
requiring an immediate answer from Ankara. Meanwhile, all
papers highlight the U.S. survey teams' continuing
inspections at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport and the port
of Mersin. Dailies say that Ankara has canceled permission
for inspections at Malatya's Erhac Airbase. Papers expect
the details of U.S.-Turkey military cooperation to be
discussed during the upcoming visit of General Myers. The
U.S. is reportedly not happy with Ankara's restrictions on
deployment of large numbers of U.S. troops in Turkey, which
will eventually make Turkey the focus of criticism for
causing an unnecessarily long military operation with
significant casualties.


Cyprus: The MFA Spokesman said on Wednesday that Turkish
Cypriot leader Denktas should draw some conclusions from the
rally in Lefkosa on Tuesday in support of the UN Cyprus
plan. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is a
democratic state, the spokesman said, and in democracies it
is natural that the public express preferences through
democratic means. Dailies claim that Turkey has asked for
U.S. support for some changes to the Annan plan. Papers
report that Parliamentary Speaker Arinc voiced support to
Denktas on his return to Ankara after meetings in the TRNC.
Arinc said in a press conference on Wednesday that insulting
Denktas would mean betrayal. Denktas' supporters told the
Turkish parliamentary delegation that the EU and the U.S.
have extended financial support to proponents of the UN
peace plan, and blamed Turkish Cypriot NGOs for being in
close ties with the Greek Cypriots.


Prime Minister denies claims of U.S. funds for media: Prime
Minister Abdullah Gul denied on Wednesday press reports
claiming that the U.S. was using clandestine payoffs to
increase media support in Turkey for a war with Iraq. Gul
noted that such speculation aimed to damage U.S.-Turkey
ties. Some papers claimed earlier this week that the U.S.
was planning to give the leading media groups in Turkey $200
million to buy support for Washington's Iraq policy. The
U.S. Embassy in Ankara also released a statement denying the
accusations.


EDITORIAL OPINION:


a) Iraq
b) Cyprus


"Pressure mounts and time shortens"
Sami Kohen warned in mass appeal Milliyet (1/16): "Turkey is
under increasing pressure and a fast-approaching deadline on
the Iraq issue. Ankara needs some time to continue its
peace efforts via diplomacy, yet it does not have time left
to answer the US about the second front in the north and
deployment of American ground troops on Turkish soil. .
January 19, the visit of General Myers, will be the most
critical deadline for Ankara's response. The US has already
sent messages via diplomatic channels urging Turkey to
define clearly its political decision during this visit. A
preliminary decision to make the northern front issue open
for discussion will also be acceptable to the US. . US
sources confirm that they are awaiting for Ankara's decision
as soon as possible so that the issues related with northern
Iraq, both the operational details and the terms of the
economic support package, can be negotiated."


"The Betrayal on the Cyprus issue"
Altemur Kilic argued in sensationalist Haberturk (1/16):
"The demonstrations in Nicosia present a clear picture of
betrayal and treason. It was interesting enough to see EU
flags, while neither the Turkish flag nor the Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus flag were carried by the
demonstrators. It is sad that there are certain figures in
Turkey who justify these treasonous scenes. . Finding a
fair and just solution to the Cyprus issue and protecting
Turkey's interests cannot be achieved through the Annan plan
or EU formulas. The solution goes through a rather belated
radical step: Northern Cyprus should be annexed to Turkey."


PEARSON

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