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 000586
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
FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2003
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
Bush welcomes Istanbul Summit for Iraq - Hurriyet
Summit issues warning to Saddam - Vatan
Tough compromise at summit - Aksam
Gen. Ozkok says `No' to Brits - Milliyet
Bush Administration considers $14 billion for Turkey - Sabah
Powell targets Iraqi oil reserves - Turkiye
Bush: France, Germany will pay for not supporting us -
Peace winds over Bosphorus - Yeni Safak
Istanbul issues warning to Saddam, peace call to U.S. -
U.S. will let Turkey control northern Iraq in war - Radikal
`Iraq split' between U.S., EU growing - Zaman
Washington to Germany, France axis: `Old' Europe's states -
Future of the world shaped in Davos - Dunya
Economic confidence in government melting away - Finansal
Iraq: In a joint communique, the foreign ministers of
Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia urged
Iraq to abide by UNSC resolutions. Turkey and Egypt blocked
Iranian and Syrian attempts to include a warning to the U.S.
in the final resolution. In the end, the communique issued
a warning to Saddam Hussein, and a peace message to the
U.S.. The declaration said that Iraq must provide open
evidence that it possessed no WMD. The foreign ministers
will decide whether to meet again in Damascus, Syria after
UN weapons inspectors release their report on January 27.
In a message to Prime Minister Gul, President Bush welcomed
Turkey's willingness to cooperate with the U.S. on the
technical level for preparing a possible operation against
Iraq, according to reports. In his message, Bush praised
Gul's diplomatic efforts for peace, and added that an
economic package to meet Turkey's possible losses in a war
is being finalized. In a meeting with TGS Chief Gen. Ozkok
on Thursday, visiting British Chief of Staff, Admiral Boyce,
asked for transit passage for British troops to Northern
Iraq. Gen. Ozkok reportedly turned down the demand, saying
that the government had not authorized him to enter into
joint planning with the UK.
Amb. Pearson rejects U.S., PKK ties allegations: U.S.
Ambassador to Ankara, Robert Pearson, appeared live on all-
news broadcaster NTV Thursday to strongly deny recent
"Milliyet" reports claiming that U.S. officials have held
secret meetings with the PKK/KADEK in Northern Iraq. `This
is an absolutely repulsive, odious, lie, because it is done
deliberately to affect the relationship between the U.S. and
Turkey,' Ambassador Pearson said. `Why in the world would
anybody think that having shed our blood on American soil
for our people and people from 90 countries, that we would
have anything to do with a terrorist organization?' Pearson
continued. `Our soldiers were on the line in the Balkans to
protect the Muslim minorities there against the oppression
of those states. Our efforts against the PKK in the late
90's were designed to bring to justice the people who had to
be brought to justice, and they were later convicted and
imprisoned. So the U.S. has worked closely with Turkey all
those years,' Ambassador Pearson stressed.
Erdogan reelected party chairman: AKP founders reelected
Tayyip Erdogan as party chairman after the Constitutional
Court decision rendering his chairmanship null and void,
papers report. Meanwhile, the High Election Board (YSK) has
decided that the court ruling would have no bearing on the
legitimacy of the November 3 election results.
EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq
"In the case of war, Turkey will control northern Iraq"
Murat Yetkin wrote in liberal-intellectual Radikal (1/24):
"Turkish and the US military are about to reach a compromise
in technical preparations for an operation against Iraq. If
the crisis escalates and war breaks out, the plans for
cooperation will be submitted to the Turkish government and
parliament for approval. With the approval of parliament,
Turkey and the US will divide the main tasks as follows:
- The Turkish army will undertake defense and humanitarian
aid efforts. The Turkish army's priority will be to block a
possible wave of refugees from northern Iraq. The Turkish
army will extend humanitarian aid to the refugees and try to
control activities which might pose a threat to Turkish
security and stability.
- US troops will move on to Baghdad. They will not intervene
in the refugee and humanitarian aid operations unless
requested by Turkey. . In the case of a military operation,
US troops will be stationed in Turkey temporarily and then
be transferred to Baghdad through northern Iraq. Ankara
wants US troops to minimize contacts with the local people
in the refugee region, which will be controlled by Turkey.
Ankara wants to control Kurdish activities in northern Iraq.
This kind of military cooperation requires close military
coordination, which will be ensured by a joint command
center in Diyarbakir. . Both Turkish and American sources
stress that these preparations cannot be put into effect
without the approval of the Turkish government and
Official American sources say that Turkish efforts for
preventing a war will not paralyze cooperation in the case
of war. They say that the Istanbul peace initiative,
organized by a Muslim ally of the West, is important for
deterring Baghdad. . Both American and British sources say
that a peaceful solution would be possible if there is
sufficient deterrent power. For this reason, they want to
deploy a significant numbers of troops in the south and
north of Iraq. . The US understands that Turkey cannot
announce its official decision before the finalization of
its diplomatic efforts and the release of the UN report.
The US wonders whether Turkey will make a decision before
the religious holiday. The holiday will run from February 8
to until 16. If Turkey delays its decision until the
holiday, the US will have to wait until February 17. The US
has asked repeatedly for an idea about when Ankara will come
up with a decision, because it might delay planning for a
war in Iraq to the end of February."
"Diplomatic war against the war"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (1/24): "The US, in
the midst of preparations for war, is facing a diplomatic
war from China to the EU, and from France to Germany. In
the meantime, Turkey has launched a regional summit
initiative for a peaceful solution to the Iraq issue in the
hope for preventing war. . It seems that the Bush
administration voices anger about the anti-war sentiment
particularly in Western Europe. Bush has made a statement
calling for `old friends to take lessons from history' while
Rumsfeld reacted very harshly to both Germany and France. .
Turkey's policy in fact closely parallels EU views. Turkey
had to move very carefully because of its strategic ties
with the US, but at the same time Ankara continues its close
cooperation with the EU on this issue."