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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.




E.O. 12958: N/A




U.S. starts writing war resolution - Hurriyet
Blix unveils Iraq report: Visa for war - Turkiye
Blix pressures Iraq, Baradei asks for time - Sabah
Gul: War will turn Iraq into Lebanon - Aksam
Powell: War in March, we'll be done in two weeks - Vatan
Yalman to Denktas: Military on your side - Hurriyet
Turkey off track - Milliyet

UN inspectors: Iraq's cooperation not satisfactory - Radikal
White House unhappy with report, hopes to get war decision
at UN - Radikal
Inspectors ask for time from UN, cooperation from Iraq-
UN arms inspectors worked for Bush - Yeni Safak
Washington blackmails Turkey on debt repayments - Cumhuriyet
Moderate climate in Cyprus shattered by hawks siding with
Denktas - Yeni Safak

Krueger: Turkey's banking system must be restructured -
Gul in Strasbourg: Reforms will carry Turkey to EU
membership - Finansal Forum

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Iraq: Dailies give extensive coverage to the UN arms
inspectors' report revealed on Monday. Inspectors have
asked the UN for more time, and urged Iraq for more
cooperation. "Vatan" claims that Secretary Powell told the
Turkish officials in Davos that the U.S. is planning to
attack Iraq in March, and will conclude the operation in two
weeks. The U.S. is planning to stay in Iraq for a year and
a half, Powell reportedly said. "Turkiye" quotes DOD
Advisor Richard Perle as voicing Washington's
disillusionment by Ankara's reluctance to cooperate. Perle
said that the U.S. will carry out an operation even without
Turkey's support, but warned that if that happens, Turkey
will miss some opportunities. Iraqi deputy prime minister
Tarik Aziz criticized the `peace summit' for its decision to
exclude Iraq from the meetings. Aziz issued covert threats,
saying that the disintegration of Iraq would fuel similar
developments in Turkey. Dailies agree that the U.S. is not
happy with the UN report, and is not willing to wait any
longer. Commenting on the report, Prime Minister Gul said
that only Iraq can stop the approaching war. Gul said that
Turkey, like some European allies, believes that a second UN
resolution is necessary for international action against
Iraq. Papers say that after recent talks with U.S. military
officials, the TGS has drafted a plan with seven alternative
courses of action in the event of war. The plan will be
discussed at the National Security Council (NSC) meeting on
Friday, January 31. "Milliyet" claims that the U.S. and
Turkey have agreed that security in Northern Iraq will be
entrusted to Turkey's second army stationed in Malatya, and
that a buffer zone will be set up to halt refugees and
terrorist attacks.

U.S. Ambassador asks for appointment w/Parliamentary
Speaker: U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson has asked
for an appointment with Parliamentary Speaker Bulent Arinc,
according to press reports. Pearson's anticipated briefing
to parliamentarians on the Iraq issue on Monday was
postponed, but will happen after President Bush's State of
the Union address. Meanwhile, Genc Party leader and
business tycoon Cem Uzan criticized Ambassador Pearson for
not calling on Arinc earlier to congratulate him on his
election as Speaker. Uzan said that the U.S. aims to seize
Iraqi oil, and that Turkey should stay out of the war.

General praises Denktas: Papers give extensive front-page
coverage to land forces commander General Aytac Yalman's
praise of Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas during his visit to
the island on Monday. Gen. Yalman gave the message that the
Turkish military supports Denktas. Yalman said that the UN-
sponsored Cyprus plan would restore the 1963 `atmosphere of
conflict,' and cautioned that the plan offers an `artificial
solution.' `The UN plan will render Turkish Cypriots a
minority. A solution must be based on equal sovereignty of
peoples on the island,' Gen. Yalman said. Foreign Minister
Yasar Yakis, who accompanied Gen. Yalman on his visit to the
TRNC, was given a cold welcome by Denktas, according to the
papers. Yakis tried to ease tensions between Denktas and
AKP leader Erdogan by saying that the TRNC leader has been
very successful, and that he has the backing of Turkey.
"Yeni Safak" blamed `Turkey's hawks' for encouraging Denktas
in his uncompromising attitude, and noted that the problem
is heading toward a new deadlock after 40 years of
unproductive negotiations.

`Secret' U.S. Treasury document: "Milliyet" cites the IHT
report of a classified document of the U.S. Treasury which
says that both the IMF and the Bush Administration believe
Turkey should take emergency measures to carry on its
derailed economic program. The report says that Turkey
should enact critical economic reforms within a couple of
days in order to receive the $1.7 billion tranche of IMF
loans. The $4 billion `war aid' for Turkey by the U.S. is
conditioned on Turkey's compliance with the IMF criteria.
The report claims that the U.S. is not satisfied with
Turkey's letter of intent, which was submitted to the IMF on
January 22.


"The Inspectors' report"
Oktay Eksi opined a front-page editorial in mass appeal
Hurriyet (1/28): "The Bush administration, even before the
report was presented to the UN, had given a clear indication
of its intention to punish Saddam Hussein regardless of the
report's content. The world has come to a stage where all
international law is ignored and all of the essential
humanitarian principles developed over the centuries are
deliberately violated. . The very sad point comes from the
fact that the US, which made enormous efforts for the
foundation of the United Nations with the idea of resolving
international conflicts via diplomacy, is now ignoring all
of its principles and acting with a show of force. . Now is
the time to listen to what President Bush has to say in his
State of the Union address. We will probably see an
explication of Saddam Hussein's crimes, based on weapons
which do not actually exist."

"The most critical week"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (1/28): "The
calendar for the Iraq issue is running. After the UNMOVIC
report, the decision for war will be shaped following the
upcoming Bush-Blair meeting. In other words, this is the
most critical week in terms of the US administration's
policy, which will give us a clue as to whether or not war
is coming. . The UNMOVIC report basically gives a gray
picture, instead of black and white. Also, the call for
additional time to conclude the inspection process fully
coincides with many countries' approach as well as the
desire of the anti-war masses. It remains to be seen to
what extent the Bush administration will take these
reactions into account, but the chances seem very small.
What is the real goal of the US? What is the meaning of
warnings and threats from Washington to Baghdad: a show of
force or a genuine military strike? It could be both.
President Bush likely to implement the former and, if this
does not work, will go ahead with the latter. Otherwise,
the huge military build-up in the region won't make any
sense at all."


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