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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 000934

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 6, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Powell: Iraq hid weapons; Iraq: Claims fabricated - Turkiye
Powell: Ankara within new Iraqi missiles' range - Vatan
Gul: Saddam lacks the capacity to attack us - Vatan
Gul: Turkey did all it can, now we're with the U.S. -
Milliyet
Saddam caught red handed - Sabah
Powell puts up evidence show - Hurriyet
Gul: We are with the U.S. - Hurriyet
Gul: Patriots are coming - Aksam
Gul asks for money, U.S. sends Taylor - Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Nothing new from Powell - Cumhuriyet
Don't drag Turkey into war - Cumhuriyet
No evidence, just claims and threats by U.S. - Yeni Safak
Parliament will say `yes' or `no' to massacre - Yeni Safak
Powell: Iraq deceived inspectors - Zaman
Powell wants war - Radikal
No forward movement on Cyprus - Radikal


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
TUSIAD: Rising unemployment might stall economy - Dunya
Merrill Lynch: Ankara's Iraq decision will relieve markets -
Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Papers give extensive coverage to Secretary Powell's
address to the UNSC in which he disclosed evidence regarding
Iraq's WMD program. Powell demanded a UN decision for
military action, but other UNSC members prefer to continue
weapons inspections after analyzing the evidence put forth
by the U.S.. "Vatan" reports in a front-page banner
headline that almost all of Turkey is within the range of
new missiles developed by Iraq. "Hurriyet" describes the
evidence given by the U.S. as `like a horror movie.' Prime
Minister Gul said on Wednesday that Turkey, in line with its
national interests, should act together with its strategic
ally, the United States. Gul stressed that Turkey has
exerted all efforts for peace, and since all peaceful means
have been exhausted, has decided to join the U.S. in a
military action against Baghdad. The government is expected
to submit to Parliament a draft authorizing modernization
work on Turkish bases by U.S. experts. Gul said that
Ankara, in order to secure parliamentary approval on
February 18, would ask the U.S. for solid guarantees about
compensation for Turkey's economic losses in a possible war.
Papers speculate that Vice President Cheney, after speaking
to Gul on the phone on Tuesday, ordered Treasury U/S Taylor
to fly to Turkey to ease Ankara's concerns about war losses.
Dailies comment that Taylor was coming to Turkey to bargain
over the cost of a war, which Turkish economic ministry
bureaucrats estimate at $23.2 billion in a short-term
conflict. Papers also claim that Turkey and the U.S. have
set up a subcommittee to discuss the restructuring of a post-
war Iraq. Ankara is insistent that Turkomen should be
represented in a future Iraqi central administration, which
should be formed by the Iraqi people. President Bush's
advisor on Iraq, Zalmai Halilzad will meet with MFA and
Northern Iraqi Kurdish and Turkoman representatives in
Ankara on Thursday. The U.S. and the Northern Iraqi Kurds
want a federal Iraq, while Turkey demands a concrete
guarantee that the disintegration of Iraq will be prevented
after a war.


Cyprus: U.S. Special Cyprus Coordinator Tom Weston said in
Ankara on Wednesday that Iraq and Cyprus are separate
issues, and that Turkey should make a clear distinction
between the two. MFA Spokesman Buluc disagreed with Weston,
saying that Iraq and Cyprus are strategic issues linked to
each other for both the U.S. and Turkey. Meanwhile, papers
carry Greek Cypriot leader Clerides' `shocking announcement'
that the Greek side is ready to sign the UN plan and maps
without further changes. Denktas, however, strongly opposed
Clerides, and said that the Turkish Cypriots would not
accept the plan without changes. Denktas added that the
Greek Cypriots' willingness to accept the agreement showed
their `true intentions.'


EDITORIAL OPINION: Powell's presentation to the UNSC


"Powell's presentation"
Mehmet Barlas commented in mass appeal Aksam (2/6):
"Powell's presentation to the UNSC is a serious development
in itself, and reminds me of previous actions by Washington.
The US has always acted unilaterally whenever it felt it
necessary and urgent. . Secretary Powell's presentation
about Iraq is similar to the Libya case. The US
administration presented the phone records between Tripoli
and the Libyan Embassy in East Germany, and then-president
Reagan ordered the US bombing of Libya, including the
residence of Qaddafi. . The phone records and other
documents presented by Secretary Powell are a clear
indication of the upcoming US strike."


"The effect of the evidence"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (2/6): "The
presentation by Secretary Powell to the UNSC stirred a
debate in many countries about clarifying their positions in
the event of a war. First of all, there are some question
marks which range from the validity of this proof to the
issue of legitimacy for conducting a military operation
based on them. . It remains to be seen what the reaction
will be, particularly by France and Russia but also in NATO
and the UN. They all have to define the nature of their
support in case of a US military action against Iraq based
on the facts presented by Powell. . If a war is going to
happen - and most probably it will - Turkey should be
provided with a defense system prior to the strike. This
requires a NATO decision. NATO has failed to reach a
consensus on the issue thus far because of France and
Germany. This has caused a serious weakness within the
Alliance. We'll see whether they will change their attitude
following Powell's presentation. If they don't, it will not
only harm NATO's credibility but also damage Turkey's trust
in the Alliance."


PEARSON

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