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 000087
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 3, 2003
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
TOBB: $70 billion loss; U.S. envoy: $14 billion maximum -
U.S. envoy's Iraq promise: Your loss will be met - Turkiye
200 Turkish businessmen to Baghdad - Vatan
Poll: Americans don't care about Iraq war - Posta
Iranian daily: Saddam will leave without war - Turkiye
Greek Cypriots welcome Erdogan's Denktas remarks - Sabah
Support promise in return for war - Cumhuriyet
U.S. offers Turkey $4-15 billion - Radikal
Syria Gul's first stop in Mideast tour - Radikal
U.S. aims to settle in region, seize Iraqi oil - Yeni Safak
Denktas: Cyprus not my personal issue - Zaman
NYT: U.S. cultural hegemony weakening - Cumhuriyet
Pearson intervenes for bilateral trade - Dunya
U.S. Ambassador: Turkey's economy won't be hurt - Finansal
Ambassador Pearson: Dailies cover Ambassador Robert
Pearson's call on Turkish Union of Chambers (TOBB) Chairman
Rifat Hisarciklioglu on Thursday. After the meeting, Amb.
Pearson pledged support to all sectors in Turkey if Turkey's
business community backs the U.S. in Iraq. Pearson drew
attention to the limited trade volume between the two
countries, and stressed that he would encourage American
companies to cooperate with Turkish businesses. Pearson
also noted that shoes, leather, and textile products could
be included in the QIZ proposal. Ambassador Pearson added
that Turkey and the U.S. could cooperate in reconstructing
Iraq, papers report. Papers claim that TOBB Chairman
Hisarciklioglu told Pearson that Turkey's losses from a war
against Iraq would be $15-25 billion in the short term, and
$70 billion over the next decade. Pearson's estimation was
$4-15 billion, papers say. Pearson said this figure was
derived from research in Istanbul, New York, and London
stock exchanges, and promised reparation for Turkey's losses
in a possible crisis with Iraq.
Iraq: Prime Minister Gul will begin his Mideast tour with an
official visit to Syria January 4, from where he will
proceed to Jorda, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Dailies
quote diplomatic sources as saying that Gul will voice
Ankara's determination to act together with other countries
in the region, and will urge joint action to force Iraq to
abide by UN resolutions. Gul aims to shatter the impression
created by the Arab press that Turkey is fueling war
tensions in order to take control of Mosul and Kirkuk,
papers note. Kursad Tuzmen, Turkey's State Minister for
Foreign trade, is due in Baghdad on a trade mission with 200
businessmen. Ankara is striving to normalize its trade
relations in the region, as Turkey has lost a considerable
share because of the Gulf crisis and terrorism. Meanwhile,
Northern Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader
Barzani is expected in Ankara this weekend for meetings with
MFA, TGS, and Prime Ministry officials. Ankara-KDP ties and
the latest Iraqi opposition meeting in London will be
analyzed during the meetings.
Cyprus: Papers characterize the disagreement between AKP
leader Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas as
growing. "Cumhuriyet" reports that Erdogan's criticism of
Denktas is seen by Greek Cypriots as the end of the Denktas
era in the Turkish sector. Denktas defended himself, saying
he did not regard the Cyprus question as his personal issue,
but that his views merely reflected the public opinion.
After meeting with Denktas on Thursday, Turkish Cypriot
opposition parties told reporters that they did not trust
Denktas, and urged him to resign. An opinion poll conducted
by the Guzelyurt (Morphou) Building Society showed 72
percent of Guzelyurt inhabitants are willing to leave their
residences and soil to Greek Cypriots if a compromise is
reached via the UN peace plan, reports "Radikal."
Siirt elections: Turkey's High Election Board (YSK)
announced on Thursday that because tough winter conditions
in Siirt province could reduce voter turnout, the February 9
election should be postponed until March or April. AKP has
drafted a bill to extend the time period of 60 days for new
polls to 90 days from the date of the original election.
Such a change will give the AKP and its leader time to
consider whether or not Erdogan should take his chances by
running for the parliament from Siirt.
EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq
"Last offers from the US"
Murat Yetkin reveals the financial nature of the US-Turkey
talks on Iraq in liberal-intellectual Radikal (1/3): "When
Ambassador Pearson visited the Turkish Chambers of Commerce,
both the Ambassador and Chairman Hisarciklioglu skillfully
concealed from the press the real issues they discussed. .
In fact, the visit was part of the US effort to get Turkey's
views on the Iraq issue, to eliminate the financial concerns
within the business community, and to provide a message
prior to PM Gul's trip to the Middle East. .
Ambassador Pearson made the following points during his talk
with the business leaders:
- The primary goal of the US is to solve the Iraqi issue
without a military operation, through political means. For
this reason, the US is making efforts to ensure that Iraq
complies fully with UN resolutions. Other options will be
worked out in case political efforts do not produce results.
The request for support from Turkey and other countries are
part of the preparations to cover all possible options.
- Turkey's early commitment to support the US might prevent
a war in the region. Baghdad could still be deterred if
Turkey pledges support for the United States.
- The US is aware that the Turkish economy will be affected
negatively in the event of a military operation. The US
wants to protect the Turkish economic reform program in the
event of a conflict. In the case of war, Turkey's losses,
based on calculations by international market analysts and
investors, is estimated at 4-15 billion dollars. . Building
confidence in the international markets for Turkey's benefit
- something the United States is already working to achieve
-- is one of the ways to minimize Turkey's losses.
Secondly, a reserve fund could be established in order to
minimize Turkey's short-run losses. . The amount of Turkish
support for the US will determine the amounts of US
financial support to Turkey. Deciding against cooperation
with the US would put Turkey in the position of trying to
deal with the potential looses on its own. In the case of a
partial support, the nature of assistance package -civilian,
military or both-will again play a determining role.
- The US compensation package contains both credits and
grants. The amounts will be discussed between the two
countries. Initially, the US offered Turkey a certain
amount in grants, but the Turkish side expressed a
preference for low-interest loans.
US patience for a definitive answer from Turkey is wearing
thin, and the US has started to reveal elements of its
bilateral meetings with Ankara via Turkish non-governmental
organizations. . Washington has started to reveal its cards,
and Ankara should act accordingly."