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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 001126

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
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Tough bargaining: Turkey, U.S. make final offers - Turkiye
U.S. steps up pressure on Turkey - Vatan
Turkey, U.S. agree on military issues - Milliyet
U.S., Turkey bargaining deadlocked over aid package -
Hurriyet
522 U.S. military vehicles arrive before parliamentary
decree - Aksam
Kurds, Arabs, Turkomen compete for control of Kirkuk - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Turkey cool to final U.S. offer; tension rising - Zaman
Erdogan challenges: U.S. Congress must approve aid package -
Radikal
Final U.S. offer: $26 billion - Radikal
Minister Babacan: We've turned down final U.S. offer -
Cumhuriyet
Erdogan: No parliamentary approval without written agreement
- Yeni Safak


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
SSSB foresees no trouble between U.S., Turkey - Dunya
NATO's defense wing authorized to shield Turkey - Finansal
Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Dailies say SecState Powell strongly warned Prime
Minister Gul in a telephone call on Wednesday that the U.S.
is growing impatient and that military action against Iraq
could be carried out without Turkey's support. Gul has
asked for written guarantees from Washington in order to
convince the parliament to support a decision on U.S. troop
deployments. Deputy Prime Minister Sener said that the GOT
has not yet reached agreement with the U.S. regarding the
deployment of U.S. troops. White House Spokesman Fleischer
is quoted by Turkish papers as warning that the offer
extended by the U.S. is final, and that there is not much
time left. Papers speculate that the tough bargaining has
increased tension between Washington and Ankara. Reports
suggest a $6 billion discrepancy between the U.S. offer and
Turkey's demands. Dailies write that the U.S.
Administration has rejected Turkey's request for $32
billion, including $10 billion in grants. The U.S. has
promised Turkey a share from Iraqi oil revenues, according
to "Radikal." Papers agree that the U.S. will not give
Turkey more than $26 billion. "Milliyet" carries the
details of a `draft agreement' between the U.S. and Turkey
on military cooperation. Turkish and American troops will
be commanded by national commanders; U.S. troops will be
subject to Turkish law; the security of U.S. troops
transiting into northern Iraq will be provided by Turks;
only U.S. forces will enter Mosul and Kirkuk; the number of
U.S. troops in Turkey will not exceed 50,000, and Turkey
will deploy 60,000 troops in northern Iraq. Papers also
expect the U.S. to make additional trade concessions to
Turkey within the framework of proposed QIZ legislation.
Dailies report that a U.S. vessel unloaded 522 military
vehicles, including tanks, at the port in Iskenderun.
Meanwhile, AKP leader Erdogan said on Wednesday that even if
the U.S. meets Turkey's demands, the GOT still prefers to
see the report by UN arms inspectors before moving ahead.
Erdogan added that the economic aid package for Turkey
should be approved by the U.S. Congress. On the other hand,
"Hurriyet" claims that the TGS has notified the government
of the need to restore emergency rule in Southeast Turkey --
namely in Diyarbakir, Batman, Siirt, Mardin, Sirnak and
Hakkari -- in the event of war.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"The brinksmanship policy"
Ismet Berkan opined in liberal-intellectual Radikal (2/20):
"Despite the final offers, at least so they seem, uttered by
the Turkish and the US sides, the bilateral negotiations are
still going on. This is clearly a brinksmanship policy. .
Interesting part of this story comes with the fact that the
US is not giving up the northern front option, thus the
bargaining continues although it is said to be over. On the
other hand, this kind of brinksmanship style of policy
requires a "Plan B" in case the first one does not work.
The US certainly has an alternative plan and seems
determined to carry out the operation from the south if
necessary. We do not know if this government has a plan B
in this story."


"Who is the ingratitude?"
Fehmi Koru argued in Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak (2/20):
"When you observe the ongoing negotiation process, one
clearly can see that this is not a discussion between the so-
called `strategic partners.' The US is imposing its terms
and conditions upon Turkey, which in no way can be described
as partnership. Yet the worse is to come, because at the
most critical stage of the discussions, the US officials saw
no harm to themselves in threatening Turkey openly by
saying `either our terms are accepted, or Turkey pays for
serious consequences.' . The US is asking Turkey to be on
its side in a war for which the US has failed to convince
the world about its reasons. The strategic partner rhetoric
is so comfortably uttered yet we don't see the
representatives of the US administration have been acting
accordingly. Somebody must remind the fact to the US:
Turkey is not desperate and helpless."


PEARSON

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