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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 02 ANKARA 001702

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 18, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Bush to Saddam family: Leave or fight - Hurriyet
Bush to Saddam: Leave or I'll strike - Vatan
Second Bush War - Sabah
Turkish leadership says `Yes' to U.S. - Sabah
Powell to Gul: Now or never - Aksam
First refugee flow toward Turkish border - Hurriyet
U.S. money depends on troops decree - Milliyet
UN inspectors leave Baghdad - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Powell to Gul: Decide before Saturday - Radikal
Bush goes mad, disregards UN - Yeni Safak
Countdown to war; decree to parliament again - Zaman
Iraqi civilians move toward Turkish border - Cumhuriyet
Markets aflame - Radikal


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
U.S., UK giants to control Iraqi oil after war - Dunya
War fear hits markets - Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Turkey's political leadership agreed at a summit
meeting at the presidency on Monday that war is inevitable,
and decided to take to parliament a second decree for
deployment of foreign troops on Turkish territory.
"Radikal" claims Secretary Powell called Foreign Minister
Gul to urge him for a decision by Saturday. The Council of
Ministers will convene in an extraordinary session today,
and the decree will be taken to parliament before the vote
of confidence for the Erdogan cabinet. Papers expect the
motion to be voted on by the parliament on Thursday.
Commentators agree that Erdogan will have a difficult time
trying to convince his deputies that Turkey's interests
require working together with the U.S. Dailies say the AKP
leadership has asked the U.S. to put into effect the
military, political, and economic cooperation package once
the motion is approved. Dailies report U.S. officials
issuing clear warnings about possible damage to U.S.-Turkish
relations at the American-Turkish Business Council meetings
(ATC) in Washington. Iraqi opposition groups will meet in
Ankara at a summit meeting Tuesday under the auspices of
Turkey and the United States. Northern Iraqi Kurdish groups
will voice concern about a possible unilateral Turkish
intervention in the region, and Iraqi Shiite and Arab
representatives are expected to join discussions on a post-
war Iraq tomorrow. Ankara will seek to secure a place for
the Turkomen in a post-Saddam administration. Commentaries
fear that Kurds, Arabs and Turkomen might engage in Balkan-
type ethnic fighting over Kirkuk, the oil-rich town in
Northern Iraq. Residents have started evacuating Kirkuk and
Mosul, and are fleeing to the north near the Turkish border,
according to reports.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"Along with the war, authorization issue is back"
Hasan Cemal wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (3/18): "Realizing
the urgency, the government now has two options: Asking for
parliament's approval for both the deployment of troops and
airspace rights following the vote of confidence, or moving
the motion through parliament ahead of the confidence vote.
Yet the financial markets cannot sit and wait to see which
option is taken. We have already seen the initial signs of
instability in the markets. . Secretary Powell gave a clear
message by saying that `the time for diplomacy has ended.'
Following the ultimatum from George Bush, Ankara is now once
again seized by the issue of the decree. Bearing in mind
the urgency, the government will probably go for the second
option. The summit at the Presidential Palace acknowledged
that war is imminent and inevitable. Yet the real question
is this: wouldn't it have been more appropriate if Turkey
had taken these steps earlier?"


"Declaring the loser"
Fehmi Koru argued in the Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak
(3/18): "The war-mongering trio did their best to take
others to their side. Moreover, the world witnessed an
unprecedented method of threats, blackmail and false
information. Yet the US, the UK and Spain did not get any
support for their war project except from each other. This
is clearly a defeat for the war-mongering lobby. The war,
even though it targets a very hated man like Saddam Hussein,
failed to gain international support. Thus the project can
be implemented, but will suffer from a lack of vitality. If
they begin the war as they now threaten to do, the very
first bullet will turn the US and UK into defeated powers in
the eyes of the world."


PEARSON

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