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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 001533

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
TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Bush congratulates Erdogan, asks him to hurry - Hurriyet
Bush could not get decree guarantee from Erdogan - Sabah
Protocol for bases opens door to U.S. troops - Hurriyet
9 more bases for U.S. troops - Vatan
Erdogan puts forth Turkomen condition - Turkiye
9 new U.S. bases will `shield' southeast Turkey - Milliyet
New Annan calendar for Cyprus - Aksam


OPINION MAKERS
Americans speed up military equipment transfer to border -
Radikal
UNHCR: War will bring humanitarian catastrophe to Turkey,
Iran - Yeni Safak
Pentagon signs Iraq reconstruction deal with Cheney-
affiliated Brown&Root - Cumhuriyet
World at crossroads: Russia, France insist on veto -
Cumhuriyet
Iraq war hits Blair first - Yeni Safak
5,000 Turkish troops inside northern Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Erdogan will form new government quickly - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
U.S. reserves $900 million for Iraq's post-war
infrastructure - Dunya
WB says 2003 budget will negatively affect growth - Finansal
Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: President Bush phoned AKP leader Erdogan to
congratulate him on his election victory in Siirt, and urged
him to hurry up with the decree for accepting foreign troops
on Turkish soil. Erdogan declined to give a specific date
for a parliamentary discussion of the decree, saying that
the motion was of significance for the political future of
the AKP. He voiced Turks' concern about remarks of U/S of
State Grossman warning Ankara to avoid unilateral
intervention in northern Iraq. Erdogan also complained that
the Turkomen have been left out of the Iraqi opposition
council. He stressed that leaving northern Iraq's
administration to a KDP-PUK coalition was unacceptable for
Turkey. Dailies claim that Ankara has given the U.S.
permission to set up nine bases for logistics and
maintenance within the framework of the deal on
modernization of Turkish bases that was approved by the
parliament last month. American personnel will be subject
to Turkish law and will carry ID cards approved by Turkish
commanders when they leave the bases. Americans will be
allowed to carry light weaponry for security and protection
of their equipment, according to the papers.


Cyprus: UN Secretary General Annan has offered a new
timetable to Cypriot leaders Papadopoulos and Denktas during
their meeting yesterday at The Hague. According to the new
calendar, negotiations would continue until March 28, and
Greece, Turkey and UK will have to compromise on the UN plan
by March 31. A referendum would then be held on both sides
of the island on April 6. Meanwhile, Erdogan's criticism of
Annan for allegedly `deceiving'Ankara rocked The Hague,
especially the Greeks and Greek Cypriots. Erdogan has said
that the UN should not expect concessions only from the
Turkish side, and noted that there was no change in the
third plan regarding the sovereignty rights of Turkish
Cypriots. Meanwhile, opposition parties in the Turkish
Cypriot sector have announced plans to organize a referendum
on the Annan plan on March 30.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/US-Turkey


"The clash of two calendars"
Sami Kohen notes the nuances between Turkish and American
agenda priorities in the mass appeal Milliyet (3/11): "The
special election in Siirt province has paved the way for
Erdogan's premiership. The reason for the huge
international press interest is simply because of the two
urgent and pending issues -- Iraq and Cyprus. The world is
anxious to see the policies that the new AKP government will
pursue. . The general observation about the Iraq policy can
be summarized as follows: The Erdogan government will
present a second resolution to the parliament, but it will
not hurry. Ankara likely will wait for a second UNSC
resolution, which is due by March 17. According to a story
in the Washington Post, Turkey's final decision will be made
on March 19. Yet it remains unclear whether the Bush
administration will be patient enough to wait until that
date. There is a contradiction between Turkey's calendar
and the US's hurry. A similar contradiction is also valid
on the Cyprus issue."


"End of story"
Fehmi Koru argued in the Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak
(3/11): "This is the most critical week which will shape the
future of the Iraq issue. Washington imposed a deadline of
March 17 to Iraq, and is exerting pressure on Ankara to
bring a second authorization to the parliament before that
date. However, the war-mongering lobby in Washington is not
as strong as it used to be. First of all, the Turkish
parliament did not take Washington's bluff seriously.
Evidently, Washington did not have a `plan B.' . Moreover,
the war-mongering lobby has received another serious blow.
Father Bush, according to a story in the British `The
Times,' advised President Bush `not to act unilaterally and
try to make things up with the European countries.' . In the
meantime, what we see is not only President Bush and the war-
mongerers are facing problems, but also British PM Blair's
political career is at stake. It looks as if we are close
to the end of the story, as long as Turkey continues to
resist."
PEARSON

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