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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 001635

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, MARCH 14, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Bush warns Erdogan: Our patience running out - Sabah
Bush demands air corridor fast - Milliyet
Bush to Erdogan: Delay means `No' - Vatan
Cheney calls Ankara, tension rising - Hurriyet
U.S. to GOT: Enough already! - Aksam


OPINION MAKERS
Bush: Open up air space, Erdogan: Not without the parliament
- Radikal
Harsh Bush letter almost broke ties w/U.S. - Zaman
UN, Ankara against war; Bush cornered - Yeni Safak
End of UN road for U.S. - Radikal
The end for HADEP - Cumhuriyet


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
OECD: Turkey to grow 5.7 percent in 5 years - Dunya
950 to attend Turkey, U.S. Business Council Conference -
Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: In a letter to AKP leader Erdogan, President Bush
warned Turkey to refrain from unilateral action in northern
Iraq, and urged him to open Turkish airspace to the U.S.
Vice President Cheney called Erdogan on Thursday, telling
him to speed up the decision mechanism regarding deployment
of troops. Erdogan did not make any commitment on the troop
deployment issue, and said it would be taken up after the
new cabinet is formed. Erdogan reminded VP Cheney of the
Turks' sensitivities, and admitted that the government would
not be able to survive a second defeat of the resolution in
parliament. With hopes to get a new UNSC resolution
gradually fading, reports suggest that the Washington
Administration has stepped up pressure on Ankara. Cheney,
impatient for an immediate response regarding the use of a
Turkish air corridor, was not happy with Erdogan's response,
according to today's press. Papers expect Erdogan to
present his cabinet list to President Sezer for approval on
Friday. The new government program will be discussed in the
parliament on Tuesday, and the vote of confidence will be
sought on Thursday, March 20. Some reports suggest that the
government could submit a second decree for troop deployment
to the parliament as early as March 21.


Court closed pro-Kurdish HADEP: The Constitutional Court has
banned pro-Kurdish HADEP (People's Democracy Party) for
allegedly providing support to terrorist activities. The
Court's justification claimed that HADEP has provided
`concrete support' to the terrorist PKK, and ruled that 46
party members, including chairman Murat Bozlak, are barred
from politics for five years. Chief Prosecutor Kanadoglu
has also filed a case for the closure of DEHAP, a party
regarded as the `continuation' of HADEP. The HADEP
leadership has denounced the court's decision as a
`political massacre,' and the party is expected to appeal to
the ECHR. "Yeni Safak" notes that the closure decision for
HADEP came immediately after the ECHR ruling calling for the
retrial of PKK leader Ocalan. The paper sees the
development as another instance of Turkey's defiance of
Europe.


EDITORIAL OPINION:


1. Post Djindjic assassination in Serbia and the Balkans
2. Iraq and US-Turkey relations


"Djindjic was victimized by foreign intervention"
Ferai Tinc commented on the assassination of the Serbian
leader in mass appeal Hurriyet (3/14): "Djindjic was killed
on the eve of a meeting to shape Kosovo's future structure.
Although a decade has already gone by, the process of the
dissolution of the former Yugoslavia has not yet been
concluded. Djindjic was one of the victims of the `divide
and restructure' process. . Djindjic had found himself
trapped between his efforts to clean out the country's
underworld figures and organizations on the one hand, and
foreign pressure about Kosovo on the other. The internal
situation also did not help him, as some ultra nationalist
movements continued to flourish at a time of economic
difficulty. The demise of Djindjic opens a new page in the
Balkans story. It also shows that none of the Balkan-
related problems, including Bosnia, has been resolved."


"Bush pressures; Erdogan resists"
Murat Yetkin commented in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(3/14): "President Bush sent a letter to AKP leader Erdogan
which, in fact, was an ultimatum about Iraq wrapped in
diplomatic courtesy. Yet Erdogan, with the help of the
Turkish Foreign Ministry, studied the ultimatum as two
separate parts. The decision is to continue cooperation
between Turkey and the US, but to decline, for the moment,
the request for permission to open Turkish airspace for US
air strikes. Erdogan believes that neither the political
nor the legal framework is ready for requesting this
permission from the parliament. The parliament
authorization will be initiated as soon as the new
government is formed, and right after it receives the vote
of confidence. . Nobody can possibly predict where this is
going to go. But one thing is clear: Washington is
increasing the pressure, and Ankara continues to resist."


PEARSON

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