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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 000810

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
FRI, JANUARY 31 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Bush divides EU: 8 Europeans back U.S. - Hurriyet
Powell's `multimedia satellite show' on February 5 - Sabah
Iraqi Ambassador: We won't forget if you help the Americans
- Milliyet
France has annual trade of $1.5 billion w/Iraq, opposes war
- Vatan
Turkey to ask for NATO protection in war - Aksam
Erdogan: Still hopeful about peace - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
21 countries open bases to U.S. - Cumhuriyet
U.S. troops in Northern Iraq - Radikal
NSC to discuss sending troops to Iraq - Zaman
Worlwide reaction to U.S. war craze growing - Yeni Safak
Ankara warm to Papandreou's Cyprus approach - Radikal


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
U.S. discussing future legal owner of Iraqi oil - Dunya
Moody's: Turkey will need additional $8-13 billion in war -
Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Prime Minister Gul will try to `feel the pulse of'
Middle Eastern leaders on the phone today, and will meet
with the EU troika - Greek and Italian Foreign Ministers
Papandreou and Frattini -- and EU representative Solana in
Ankara on Friday. The National Security Council on Friday
afternoon will discuss the issue of Iraq, and alternative
war plans drafted by the TGS. Papers regard today's NSC
meeting as `critical' because the Council is expected to
evaluate U.S. demands from Turkey, and to come up with a
response regarding Turkey's involvement in a possible
military action against Iraq. The NSC will discuss the
possible deployment of U.S. troops in Turkey, and regional
countries' reaction to Turkey's likely presence in Northern
Iraq in the event of war. The NSC will advise the
government to seek parliamentary approval for Turkey's
involvement in war. The NSC will also decide on U.S.
requests for construction work to upgrade Turkish bases.
Papers report that the U.S. Ambassador to Ankara, Robert
Pearson, paid a visit to Prime Minister Gul on Thursday to
warn him that time is running short. Pearson urged Turkey
to take a decision as soon as possible regarding its
involvement in a possible operation. Dailies carry a WP
article saying that in an effort to ease Ankara's concerns,
the U.S. will warn the Northern Iraqi Kurdish groups not to
enter Mosul and Kirkuk. "Radikal" quotes a `high-level'
Northern Iraqi official as saying that 2,000 U.S. troops and
intelligence personnel will enter the region from Turkey and
be stationed around Duhok, Erbil and Sulaimanija.
Meanwhile, dailies report Iraqi Ambassador Talib Salih's
warnings to the Turkish government not to open bases to the
U.S.. The Americans cannot succeed without Turkey's
support, Salih said, and if Turkey allows U.S. troops to
wage war against Iraq, the Iraqi nation will never forget
it. Meanwhile, 35 Turkish citizens have volunteered to join
Mike Nichols O'Keefe's group of human shields, who will be
traveling from London to Istanbul. The groups will leave
for Baghdad on February 5 to stay there for two months. We
are not going there to support Saddam, the volunteers said,
and if we feel we are being exploited by the Iraqi regime,
we will immediately leave Iraq.
Turkey, EU Troika meeting: Greek and Italian Foreign
Ministers Papandreou and Frattini, and EU representative
Solana came to Ankara on Thursday. Papandreou said after a
meeting with Foreign Minister Yakis on Thursday that a
compromise between Ankara and Athens would serve as a model
for the sides in Cyprus. Papandreou noted that political
will was essential for a solution to the Cyprus problem,
which he said is `very near.' However, Turksih Cypriot
leader Denktas sounded a pessimistic note, saying that even
is there is an agreement between the two sides on the
island, it will be difficult for the two communities to live
together. Papers quote EU's expansion chief Verheugen as
stressing that even if no compromise is reached on the
island by February 28, the Greek Cypriot side will be
admitted to the EU as a full member in May 2003. Verheugen
added that the EU prefers to see a united Cyprus as a full
member of the EU family.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"This support is good enough for Bush"
Erdal Guven wrote in liberal-intellectual Radikal (1/31):
"Following the declaration of support by eight members of
the EU for a US operation against Iraq, it seems that the
French-German bloc is isolated. . This is the kind of
support that will make President Bush very happy and will be
good enough to go ahead with his Iraq plan. . As a result
of this support, we can conclude that the EU has not yet
developed a unified foreign policy; France and Germany are
the `engine' but not the `brain' for the Union. We also can
infer that the EU enlargement process seems to be working
for the US benefit rather than the European Union's."


"Waiting for February 5"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in conservative-mass appeal Turkiye
(1/31): "It remains to be seen whether Secretary Powell's
arguments and the proof that he will present will be
convincing enough for the members of the UN Security
Council, especially France, Germany, Syria, Russia, China
and Pakistan. It does not appear that they will take the
evidence as the basis for granting full support to a US
military action against Iraq. The UNSC members will most
likely work on the middle-way formula, asking Iraq to comply
and suggesting additional time for the inspectors. .
Nothing, however, will be able to change the US position.
The US will act the way it plans, and reactions from the
world will be doomed to remain irrelevant. The US is on the
path of no return. The operation will happen. It is a
matter of the welfare of the American people and the
protection of the Pax-Americana."


PEARSON

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