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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 000971

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 7, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
308 votes in support of base renovation, 193 votes against -
Hurriyet
Ankara Palas Agreement-We'll meet in Baghdat-Milliyet
Kurdish Groups Promise not to Establish Independent Kurdish
State-Turkiye
Historic Decision-Tercuman
US Adds Germany to its Black List for Opposition to the War
Against Iraq-Aksam
Erdogan is Officially a Candidate from Siirt-Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
200 US Troops for Iraq-Cumhuriyet
Parliament approves first Resolution: US will renovate
Turkish Bases-Zaman
Turkey Presses For Peace-Yeni Safak
Closed session at the Parliament --- Radikal


BRIEFING


Iraq: All papers and TV channels gave extensive coverage to
Parliament voting on the renovation of Turkish bases by the
US. Despite fierce protests by the opposition, the
parliament voted to approve the resolution in a closed
session by a count of 308 to 193. 44 AKP deputies did not
support the decision for upgrading the Bases. Papers note
that the decision was praised by President Bush, who
described Turkey as `a brave friend and loyal NATO ally.'


"Hurriyet" led with a story about military planning for a
`third front' in Jordan. General Aytac Yalman, Commander of
Turkish Land Forces, recently went to Jordan to represent
Turkey in a series of official meetings. The story claims
that, as part of the long-term plan, there might be a third
front opened from Jordan in the event that a second front
from Turkey is approved.


Northern Iraq meeting: All papers carry extensive details of
the meeting in Ankara between Turkey, the US, and
representatives of Iraqi Kurdish groups (PUK, KDP) and the
Turkomen. The importance of Iraq's territorial integrity is
the main highlight. "Hurriyet" notes a disagreement on a
possible post-Saddam structure in Iraq. Reportedly, Turkey
and the Turkomen emphasized a strong central authority,
while the Kurdish groups favor a `loose, federal structure.'
Papers highlight that the KDP opposes the possible military
presence of Turkey in northern Iraq, even for the
humanitarian purposes. In a statement following the
meeting, Ali Tuygan, Deputy U/S at the Turkish Foreign
Ministry, said that efforts to work out a peaceful solution
to the problem in Iraq will continue. "Milliyet" reports
that during the meeting, Tuygan said that Turkish troops in
the region should be regarded as a friendly force. He
warned the Kurdish groups not to try to benefit from Iraq's
current turmoil. US special envoy Khalilzad in turn urged
the Kurdish groups to consider these warnings seriously.


John Taylor: Papers and television news highlight the visit
of US Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor to Ankara.
Reports speculate that Turkey and the US are about to
finalize a `compensation plan' for Turkey. Turkey seeks a
binding commitment from the US side. Sedat Ergin of the
mass appeal Hurriyet argued that Taylor has a concrete plan
in hand, and that the two delegations will work on the fine
tuning. According to his estimate, the US will provide 4
billion dollars in grants and 10 billion dollars in
`conditional credits.'


Erdogan to run for parliament: "Hurriyet" reports that AKP
leader Erdogan applied to the Higher Electoral Board
yesterday to stand as a candidate in the Siirt election next
month. The election could pave the way for Erdogan to win a
seat in Parliament and take up the post of Prime Minister.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Powell's presentation to the UNSC


"Powell proved Washington's determination to strike"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (2/7): "As
expected, Secretary Powell's presentation to the UN divided
world opinion. Yet those who consider the proof
`unconvincing' constitute a larger group than those who take
it as credible evidence. In addition, the overall majority
considers the documents not sufficient to justify a war. In
fact, what Powell proved with his presentation was the
determination of Washington to strike Iraq. . Following the
second report by UNMOVIC to the UNSC, we shall see if there
will be a second resolution, which would set the legal basis
for the US military operation."


"Cold peace"
Omer Celik, a deputy from AKP wrote in tabloid Star (2/7):
"The September 11 events brought a new political era which
can be called a `cold peace', i.e. the reversal of the cold
war era's equilibrium. As can be seen by the US reaction to
the 9/11 events, the cold peace requires an activist
approach to protection as well as a new international law
and order. In this new era, the world system must be able
to cope with crises so that the global power equilibrium is
not shaken. The clear indication of this danger can be seen
within the European Union, particularly about their stance
on the Iraq crisis. . The Iraqi regime failed to comprehend
the parameters of the cold peace, and neglected to rid
itself of weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi regime has
completely lost its credibility, especially in view of its
history of using WMD against Iran and its own people.
Nobody considers Saddam's regime as legitimate. Currently,
the question centers on how to get rid of this regime in
Iraq. . The UN has failed to be influential in the crisis,
and the EU has proven incompetent in its effort to resolve
it. Thus the US is inclined to act and use force
unilaterally. Actually, Saddam Hussein is doing his best to
provoke this process. There is only one option left to stop
the process: Saddam Hussein must undertake active
cooperation with the UN."


PEARSON

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