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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 000742

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 29, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
U.S. estimates 1 million to flee Iraq - Milliyet
NYT: 20,000 U.S. troops to Turkish bases - Aksam
Saddam, Blix: U.S. must reveal secret evidence of Iraqi WMD
- Turkiye
Erdogan, Baykal duel over Cyprus - Sabah
IMF finds measures insufficient, warns - Vatan
Shocking secret protocol between government, Karamehmet -
Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
U.S., UK think Iraq's time is up - Cumhuriyet
U.S. believes inspectors' report sufficient reason for
operation - Radikal
Anti-American winds in UNSC - Zaman
40 Nobel prize holder Americans against Iraq war - Zaman
Critical week for Iraq: U.S. will bring evidence - Yeni
Safak
Cyprus envoy brings new maps - Cumhuriyet


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Soros believes Turkey attractive for investment - Dunya
Gul: No agreement with U.S. on war compensation - Finansal
Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Dailies point to the `covert threats' laid down by
Iraqi deputy Prime Minister Tarik Aziz, who said that Iraq
would strike neighbors cooperating with the U.S. in a war.
"Hurriyet" says that Turkey and the U.S. will set up a joint
action center for refugees in Diyarbakir, and a support
coordination center in Silopi. The centers, which will be
run by the Turkish Red Crescent, will distribute aid
material to refugees. The paper says reports Turkey is
planning to set up 18 camps for refugees - 12 in northern
Iraq, and 6 in Turkey. U.S. Assistant Secretary for
Population, Refugees and Migration, Richard Greene,
discussed these issues in Ankara with MFA and Red Crescent
officials on Tuesday. Some members of Greene's delegation
will hold inspections along the Iraqi border.


Cyprus: UN Cyprus envoy De Soto met in Ankara with MFA U/S
Ziyal and Foreign Minister Yakis on Tuesday, and will hold
talks with AKP leader Erdogan and Prime Minister Gul today.
"Cumhuriyet" claims that De Soto presented Ankara with
alternative maps for the division of land. De Soto stressed
that revision to the UN Cyprus plan could be possible if
both sides agree on the changes. Opposition CHP leader
Baykal strongly criticized Erdogan, who has slammed Denktas
for pursuing a policy of `non-solution' for the last 20
years. The Turkish people did not elect Erdogan to tie the
hands of Denktas, Baykal said. Erdogan in turn denounced
Baykal, and said that the AKP has no intention of giving
Cyprus away, but wanted a solution to the problem. Turkish
Cypriot leader Denktas said on Tuesday that the UN plan
would be acceptable if the Turks' sovereignty rights are
recognized, the maps are changed, and Turkey's guarantor
status is preserved.


Economy: Papers expect the government this week to work on
reforms necessary for the release of World Bank loans. The
cabinet will discuss the privatization of Vakifbank, Turkish
Telekom, and energy plants. "Turkiye" reports IMF officials
as warning Turkey that the war compensation package promised
by the U.S. would not be sufficient to meet Turkey's losses
in a war. "Vatan" writes that the IMF is uneasy about the
government's pledge to construct new motorways, and state
incentives for farmers and entrepreneurs. The IMF sent a
sharply-worded letter to the Treasury last Friday, saying
that ties with the government would be cut unless
fundamental measures demanded by the IMF are put into
effect. The IMF is still awaiting the government to take
steps to control the inflated employment in the public
sector, according to Vatan. "Radikal" says that the U.S.
Treasury shared the view that Ankara has deviated from the
economic program. Meanwhile, Dogan Media Group papers
"Hurriyet" and "Milliyet" alleged that the government is
using public resources to rescue the Cukurova Group, which
is owned by Mehmet Emin Karamehmet. Cukurova is the former
owner of the troubled Pamukbank. The papers claim that a
secret $6 billion protocol was signed by the government and

SIPDIS
Karamehmet as a way to save Cukurova. Reports also carry a
Financial Times story saying that the IMF wants an
investigation to see whether the Banking Supervisory Board
(BDDK) has provided special privileges for Karamehmet.


EDITORIAL OPINION: State of the Union - Iraq


"Genuine way toward peace: Iraq without Saddam"
Omer Celik, an MP from AKP wrote in tabloid Star (1/29):
"The US should seriously think about the world-wide
reactions about the Iraq issue questioning both the US
`goals' and `methods.' It is very legitimate and very
humane to stand against the war. Yet this is not where the
issue ends. Saddam Hussein represents an incompatibility
with the level of humanitarian progress, which goes from
testing weapons on his own people to posing threat to the
region. His way of leadership, which is fed with weaknesses
and mistakes of his rivals, is no way acceptable to the
people of Iraq or to the world. . The fact of the matter is
that pro-peace methods did not yet produce a mechanism to
end the political careers of Saddam-alike political figures.
On the Iraq issue, standing against the war is a right thing
but it somehow contributes to his political lifespan. .
Today unfortunately the peace-seekers once again overlooked
the issue of Iraqi people who suffers under a dictator's
oppression. There is only way to prevent a war: paving the
way for Iraq without Saddam. No peace initiatives will be
exempt from oversight unless a clear stance against Saddam
is declared. Any peace effort with the lack of anti-Saddam
stance will lead an indirect support for war."


"The speech of his life"
Fikret Ertan gives an early comment on the State of the
Union address in Islamic-intellectual Zaman (1/29): "The
rhetoric of President Bush at his State of the Union address
is critically important to the whole world. We will all see
his approach to the Iraq issue. The speech writers and
editors include Michael Gerson who is a radical Christian,
and Karen Hughes who is a former journalist as well as
Bush's confidant. It seems the speech will predominantly
work on two issues; American economy and Iraq. . Bush is not
the best man of speeches and he was criticized for his
remarks during his other public addresses. But this time
the State of the Union is considered as the speech of his
life."


PEARSON

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