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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 001094

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, FEBRUARY 19, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Bush: Another UN resolution not necessary - Turkiye
American press: U.S. can do without Turkey - Sabah
U.S.: Take the $26 billion package - Vatan
Erdogan: U.S. should consider our sensitivities - Milliyet
Bush: Turkey has no better friend than U.S. - Aksam
EU wants Iraq intervention under UN umbrella - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Washington steps up pressure: Time is up - Cumhuriyet
Bush: We are best friends with Turkey -- Radikal
President Sezer: A second UN resolution essential - Radikal
U.S. to Turkey: We're friends, so decide now - Zaman
Ankara resists U.S. pressure - Yeni Safak
200,000 U.S. troops in Gulf region - Cumhuriyet


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Central Bank: Structural reforms to minimize war damages -
Dunya
Iraq war will hit global tourism, agriculture - Finansal
Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Dailies comment that the U.S. is uneasy about the
tough bargaining with Turkey over economic support in the
event of a war with Iraq, and claim that the Bush
Administration wonders whether Turkey's demand for $92
billion as war compensation is a pretext to shy away from
cooperation with the U.S. Papers quote Ari Fleischer as
stressing that the U.S. will continue to work with Turkey,
and that President Bush is awaiting Ankara's decision. AKP
leader Erdogan said on Tuesday that the permission extended
by Turkey to the U.S. regarding modernization of bases is
`not irreversible.' President Sezer has joined Erdogan in
`thwarting the American blackmail' by saying that foreign
troops would be allowed in Turkey only under a framework of
international legitimacy. Erdogan said at his party group
meeting on Tuesday there are two options Turkey could
choose: either to shape historical developments, or merely
observe the course of those developments. "Hurriyet" claims
that President Bush has offered to send a letter to
President Sezer to ease Turkey's economic concerns, but the
Turks insisted on a memorandum of understanding on such
issues. Dailies claim that Turkey has presented five
conditions to the U.S.:
- U.S. plans regarding the future of Iraq should be shared
with Turkey;
- Turkey will not accept divisions along ethnic lines in
Iraq;
- The control of northern Iraq, except for Mosul, should be
left to Turkey;
- British or Kurdish groups to join the coalition against
Saddam Hussein should not enter Mosul;
- Written guarantees by the U.S. are needed for Turkey.
Prime Minister Gul reportedly said that Ankara is awaiting
the U.S. response to Turkey's demands before taking the
issue of foreign troop deployment to the parliament.
"Cumhuriyet" reports that the Turkish and U.S. militaries
will command their own troops in northern Iraq through a
structure of close coordination. Only U.S. troops will
enter Mosul, and Turkey will send observers there, papers
report.
IMF postpones departure: The IMF delegation now in Turkey is
reportedly awaiting the outcome of negotiations between the
U.S. and Turkey before finalizing its fourth review.
Completion of the review will bring $1.6 billion to Ankara.
Dailies speculate that talks with the IMF are deadlocked due
to the ongoing bargaining about deployment of U.S. troops in
Turkey, and that the U.S. is using its influence on the IMF
to step up pressure on Ankara. The IMF delegation, chaired
by Turkey Desk Chief Kahkonen, held meetings with economic
officials on Tuesday, and discussed the budget and primary
surplus target for 2003.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"Better stand against both the war and Saddam"
Mehmet Barlas wrote in mass appeal Aksam (2/19): "By
standing only against the US military action, people are
encouraging Saddam and others like him. Therefore, the
Saddam regime considers Chirac, Schoreder, and the anti-war
masses as its allies. . Turkey should think about the
benefits of an Iraq with or without Saddam, both for Turkey
and for all of humanity. Recent history tells us about the
consequences of having despotic regimes in Turkey's
immediate neighborhood. . In the example of today's Iraq,
neither Kurds, nor Shiites nor Turkomen are safe and secure.
We still don't know exactly how many intellectually
brilliant Iraqis were killed only because of their
opposition to Saddam. Saying `no' to war is well and good,
yet it requires a certain degree of intellectualism to be
able to say `no' to both a war and to Saddam."


"Racing against time"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (2/19): "The time
factor has become even more important right now,
particularly in Turkish-American relations, and we have
observed that very critical point over the last couple of
days. This period will be the test of whether or not Turkey
will ask authorization for the deployment of US troops. If
not, Turkey and the US will go their separate ways on a
possible Iraq operation. Yet both sides remain hopeful
about reaching an agreement eventually. It indeed is a
possibility that all the issues will be put on paper and a
settlement will be achieved by this weekend or early next
week. When that happens, the procedure for parliamentary
approval will also begin. . As AKP leader Erdogan duly
noted, history in the region is about to be re-written. It
is a matter of preference for Turkey whether it gets
actively involved in this historic process or remains
outside of it."


PEARSON

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