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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 000524

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 22, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Turkey wants security belt in Northern Iraq - Milliyet
Gul convinces Assad to join Iraq summit - Aksam
Buildup continues: 37,000 U.S. troops to Gulf - Turkiye
Bush: Saddam playing hide-and-seek - Vatan
Iraq splits nation: Divided States of America - Sabah
Ankara asks U.S. about alleged talks w/PKK - Milliyet
Clerides: Denktas must stay- Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Gen. Myers: Iraq operation after Sacrifice Holiday -
Cumhuriyet
U.S., Turkish military bargaining over size of troop
deployment - Radikal
Yakis: TGS authorized for military bargaining with U.S. -
Zaman
UNSC foreign ministers: Inspections must continue -
Cumhuriyet
Diplomatic war: Germany, France, Russia, China vs. U.S., UK
- Yeni Safak


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Turkey Davos Summit's main topic - Dunya
Businessmen: Turkey's trade w/Iraq might amount to $2
billion - Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Foreign ministers of Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Iran,
Saudi Arabia and Syria will meet at a `peace summit' on
January 23 in Istanbul. The Syrian head of state, Bashar
Assad, has decided to join the Istanbul meetings after
receiving assurances from Prime Minister Gul that a second
summit would be held in Damascus next week, papers report.
"Milliyet" reports that the U.S., failing to secure full
Turkish support for military action against Iraq, has
decided to plan the most intense portion of the operation
from the South of Iraq, and use the Northern front as a
support and logistics center. Turkish officials have
notified the U.S. of plans for setting up a buffer zone 12
km from the border into Northern Iraq, Milliyet adds.
Turkey aims to control the PKK, prevent attempts to
establish a Kurdish state, and halt a possible wave of
refugees. Milliyet also claims that Ankara has given the
nod to deployment of 15,000 special U.S. troops in Turkey.
"Cumhuriyet" claims that Gen. Myers told TGS Chief Gen.
Ozkok that late February would be the most suitable time for
an operation against Iraq. Myers said that the U.S., afraid
of inciting Muslims' sensitivities, preferred to strike Iraq
after the Muslim Sacrifice Holiday. Turkey and the U.S. are
working on the details of a Northern front plan, according
to Cumhuriyet. Meanwhile, papers report that U.S.
Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson will brief the
parliamentary foreign relations, human rights, budget, and
defense committees at the Parliament on January 27.
U.S. officials, PKK meeting allegations: The U.S. Embassy in
Ankara has denied a January 21 report by "Milliyet" claiming
that U.S. officials have held several meetings with
PKK/KADEK representatives. Wednesday's papers report that
Ankara asked Gen. Myers about the allegations, stressing
that such activities are against the spirit of the global
fight against terrorism. The U.S. Embassy statement
underlined the fact that the PKK and KADEK are in the U.S.
list of terrorist organizations.


Cyprus: Greek Cypriot leader Clerides hosted a group of
"Hurriyet" columnists in Nicosia, Cyprus. Hurriyet reports
that Clerides said he wanted to continue peace talks with
Denktas, for he believes that with a new negotiator, the
bargaining will never end. Clerides described as `positive'
AKP leader Erdogan's call for a solution in Cyprus.
`Erdogan says that the policies followed thus far are wrong.
However, we need to know about his notion of policies to be
followed in the future,' Clerides stressed. On the other
hand, Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Cassoulides is quoted
by the foreign press as saying that Denktas and the Turkish
military presence on the island are the main hurdles to
Cyprus' accession to the EU as a unified island.
Cassoulides finds Denktas to be obsessed with the past,
saying an agreement is unlikely under his leadership.


Erdogan acquitted of irregularity: AKP leader Erdogan was
acquitted on Tuesday of allegations of illegal acquisition
of property and wealth, papers report. The court case
concerned an alleged TL256 billion increase in Erdogan's
wealth between 1998-2001. On Wednesday, the Constitutional
Court will decide whether to restrict Erdogan's authority as
AKP chairman.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"The Iraq situation"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in conservative-mass appeal Turkiye
(1/22): "Saddam is aware of the fact that he has absolutely
no chance to withstand an American attack. Instead, he will
most likely resist US and UK troops until Iraq is demolished
and thousands die. In this way, he will be the `winner' in
terms of inciting hatred against the Americans and British
among the people of Iraq. . On the other hand, the US
apparently has various game plans for Iraq and the choice
among them will be shaped according to conditions. Yet
whatever the scenario might be, it is going to be a major
source of concern in the region. The countries in the
region are already very disturbed about the massive military
build-up. . Ankara finds itself rather puzzled and in a very
difficult position. Turkey is trying to support its
strategic allies while at the same time tempering their war-
mongering acts."
"US tactics"
Nazli Ilicak argued in conservative Tercuman (1/22): "What
is the US plan for Iraq exactly? Will Saudi Arabia be next
on the list? It should be if the US is sincere enough about
its Iraq arguments. Unless the real intention is to control
oil fields, the US should take Saudi Arabia onto the list in
order to prevent the financing of terrorism. Let's not
ignore the fact that terrorists are predominantly of Saudi
origin. Those who live in Saudi Arabia are full of hatred
against the Saudi authoritarian regime as well as the US,
which supports it. In other words, injustice in the Islamic
world has become the main motive for terrorism. The US
should be as determined as it is for the Iraqi regime by
making the case against the Saudis as well."


PEARSON

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