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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 001161

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
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
U.S. irritated over Turkish demands for immediate money -
Hurriyet
NYT warns Bush: Iraq war a catastrophe without Turkey -
Turkiye
Bush, Erdogan poker - Vatan
Turkey will pay dearly again in second U.S. Gulf War venture
-Aksam
Ankara warns Barzani to stay away from Kirkuk - Milliyet
Erdogan asks U.S. guarantees for Turkomen - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Bargaining with U.S. locked - Radikal
Turkey's Second Army in northern Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Gul: Turkey cannot prevent war alone -- Yeni Safak
TUSIAD praises government's peace efforts - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Central Bank: Short-term war won't bring lasting pressure
on economy - Dunya
U.S. wants IMF to control $3 billion grant - Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: AKP leader Erdogan responded to President Bush's call
for a decision about deployment of U.S. troops in Turkey by
saying that the issue would be taken to the parliament
Tuesday, dailies report. Papers comment that U.S. has the
IMF `trump card' in hand against Turkey. U.S. might go
further and bar Turks from entering northern Iraq, and
cooperate with the Kurds in the region, papers say. U.S.
might also withdraw support from Turkey on crucial issues
like the EU, Cyprus, and Armenian genocide, papers indicate.
However, closing of northern front will claim more money and
lives on the U.S. side, comments note. U.S. cannot afford
to break the U.S., Israel, Turkey triangle or let Turkey
join the Germany, France axis in Europe, papers add.
"Hurriyet" says the visiting U.S. House of Representatives
delegation did not attend a scheduled meeting with Turks at
the MFA on Thursday as a reaction to Turkey's demands for
more economic aid. Prime Minister Gul is expected to make a
statement about Turkey's position after talks with the
Americans today. Observers expect the parliament to approve
soon deployment of U.S. troops in Turkey. Papers agree that
the U.S. has presented an ultimatum to Turkey, but then
chose to tone down. "Hurriyet" quotes a `senior AKP
official' as saying Turkey could not wait for the
Congressional approval of aid, and that the money should be
transferred to Turkey via private banks. "Aksam" claims
that in talks, the U.S. was putting the emphasis on the
status of U.S. troops to be deployed in Turkey, exemption of
troops from VAT, and the cost of ID cards for American
soldiers. Meanwhile, following reports about Iran deploying
5,000 special troops in northern Iraq, Turkey sent 7,000
soldiers to control strategic points in the region,
"Cumhuriyet" reports.


Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas strongly criticized
the UN Cyprus envoy De Soto for presenting the third Annan
plan to Ankara before submitting it to the Turkish Cypriots,
say papers. Denktas said the revised plan has increased the
number of Greek Cypriots to be settled in the Turkish sector
to 85,000 from the previous 60,000. Under the new plan,
Turkish Cypriots will be given the status of `protected
minority,' Denktas reportedly said. U.S. Special Cyprus
Coordinator Tom Weston is expected in Ankara over the
weekend before proceeding to the island next week, papers
say.


Erdogan eligible to run in by-elections: High Election
Board (YSK) has rejected objections to AKP leader Erdogan's
participation in Siirt by-elections on March 9, and
announced that Erdogan was eligible to run for parliament.
Siirt elections might clear the path for Erdogan to the post
of the Prime Minister.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Standoff with Iraq


"Ankara's stance"
Murat Yetkin noted in liberal-intellectual Radikal (2/21):
"Ankara refrains from giving an image as if declaring a war
to its neighbor in the absence of a UNSC resolution. The
Turkish decision experiences delay also due to both NATO and
the EU's failure to reach a unanimous stance on the Iraq
issue. On the other hand, keeping up the good relations
with the US is a major concern for Ankara. Turkey does not
want to see bilateral relations get hurt. It looks like
there is a formula to be applied in order to break the
current deadlock. The government might prepare the
authorization request for the movement of US troops in
Turkey, and send it to the parliament. Due to the
parliamentary calendar, the Parliament will reconvene on the
25th, which practically provides an extra four days for both
the ongoing negotiations between Turkey and the US and the
ongoing efforts for a peaceful settlement with Iraq. As it
seems, Washington is not going to decline such a formula."


"If Turkey says `yes'"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (2/21): "Regardless
of whether Turkey stays in or out, the war will present
Turkey with a series of serious economic losses.
Cooperation with the US is the only way to be able to
compensate the loss to a certain degree. In the case of a
`no' answer, Turkey will have to deal with this issue alone.
What the government is doing right now is actually a neck-to-
neck bargaining to provide the best possible compensation
plan for Turkey. . Yet it is very important not to be
eccentric or excessive with the demands and not to push the
other side's limits of tolerance. Despite some tactical
mistakes along the way, Ankara pursued a good negotiation
process with the US on military, political and economic
issues. . Once Turkey comes up with a clear `yes' answer,
it will also help Turkey for the implementation of a policy
on northern Iraq and the whole Iraq based on Turkey's
interests and security concerns. . To be able to have an
active say in the regional reshaping, Turkey should be able
to act under the requirements of its geo-strategic
importance."


PEARSON

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