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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 002198

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, APRIL 4, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
U.S. troops enter Saddam's palace - Milliyet
Powell: UN must have a role in Iraq - Aksam
President Sezer: Powell visit timely, productive - Vatan
Iraqi troops withdrawing inside Baghdad - Vatan
Allied forces besiege Mosul - Sabah
Pentagon's `Mogadishu fear' - Sabah
Pentagon sends 65,000 body bags to front - Turkiye
King Abdullah: U.S. an invader - Aksam
Annan: All sides will lose - Turkiye
Missile in marketplace: 8 killed - Hurriyet
Iraq deports Al-Jazeera correspondent - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Allies readying for Baghdad onslaught - Radikal
Death pouring down Baghdad streets - Radikal
Council of Europe to U.S., UK: Stop this crime against
humanity - Cumhuriyet
Coalition troops turn war into massacre - Yeni Safak
Desert heat worries coalition troops - Zaman
U.S. hits marketplace a third time - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
UN permits Turkish firms to transfer goods to Iraq - Dunya
Lion's share in Iraqi contracts to Halliburton, Brown&Root -
Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


War on Iraq: Secretary Powell has asked Ankara for
permission to deploy special U.S. forces for search and
rescue purposes. As such a permit would require
parliamentary approval, however, the Turks were forced to
deny the request, "Hurriyet" reports. Worried that
humanitarian aid could go to terrorist organizations in the
region, Ankara has insisted on maintaining tight control
over such supplies. "Yeni Safak" strongly criticizes the
transfer of Hummer jeeps to Northern Iraq, saying that
sophisticated missile systems might be mounted on them.
"Radikal" reports on a disagreement between Americans and
Turks on the location of the coordination center for
representatives of the U.S., Turkey, KDP, PUK, and Turkomen
representatives. The Americans say that security
considerations require the center to be in Diyarbakir or
Silopi, while Turks believe it should be set up in Northern
Iraq to enable monitoring of developments in the region.
The information received by the center regarding PKK/KADEK
and Al-Ansar organizations and mass movement of displaced
persons will determine the scope of a Turkish military
presence in Northern Iraq. Special Iraq Envoy Khalilzad is
expected in Ankara on Tuesday to finalize discussions,
according to reports. "Aksam" claims that during his
meetings in Ankara, Secretary Powell agreed to give the
Turks written guarantees on regional issues of concern such
as Mosul and Kirkuk, security of the Turkomen, and the
terrorist threat. Turkey is reconsidering a U.S. demand for
expelling Iraqi diplomats allegedly linked to terror groups.
Thus far, Ankara had turned down the U.S. demand.
"Cumhuriyet" reports that during his meeting with Secretary
Powell, TGS Chief General Ozkok warned of Turkish military
action if American promises on Northern Iraq's stability are
not kept. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Gul elaborated on his
remark that Turkey is part of the coalition against Iraq by
saying that Turkey is not a combatant country, but still a
member of the U.S.-led coalition. Parliamentary Speaker
Arinc strongly criticized the U.S. and UK for acting
insensitively not only regarding cultural heritage and
monuments, but also with respect to human life. Dailies
report that the Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers will
visit Ankara next week for meetings about Kurdish activities
in Northern Iraq. The visit is taking place amidst
speculation that Iran and Syria, alleged developers of WMD,
could be the next targets of the United States.


Positive Images of Coalition Forces: For the first time
since the opening of hostilities, there have been photos in
Turkish newspapers and film clips on Turkish television
showing positive interaction between coalition forces and
Iraqis. Today's "Aksam" carries an article/photo of Iraqis
and UK troops playing soccer. (The Iraqis won the match.)
In today's "Sabah," there is a photo of a British soldier
playing pattycake with a little Iraqi girl, with a caption
explaining how UK forces are trying to reach out to
children. "Vatan" had a full page of photos including U.S.
troops giving medical aid to an Iraqi civilian, and British
and UK troops playing with Iraqi children. The soccer game
and video of U.S. soldiers singing for Iraqi kids while
standing on their vehicle have been replayed on NTV,
national network TRT, and CNN-Turk. It is a beginning.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Post war scenarios / Powell visit


"The US is in need of allies"
Ferai Tinc commented in mass appeal Hurriyet (4/4):
"Secretary Powell's next stop after Ankara was Belgrade,
where he found a city of never-ending crime and corruption.
He was in a country, Yugoslavia, where a lasting peace has
yet to be established. Belgrade represents a striking
example of why we cannot talk about peace and democracy in
the post-Saddam era in Iraq. . The US does not appear
willing to leave Iraq to anyone in the post-Saddam period.
It is interesting to observe that the US has left all Iraqi
opposition elements out of the game, with the exception of
the Kurds. Things in Iraq are getting messy, and the visit
by Secretary Powell to Ankara shows that the US feels the
need for allies at this stage."


"After Powell"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative/mass appeal Turkiye
(4/4): "US-Turkish relations were nearing an irrational
stage, and Turkish foreign policy was headed for a serious
crash. Meanwhile, that kind of atmosphere has become a very
good opportunity for anti-Turkey groups to intensify their
efforts. The sudden visit of Secretary Powell is an attempt
to heal bilateral relations. We should thank Foreign
Minister Gul for doing the right thing by declaring that
Turkey is `in the coalition' even before Russia and France.
. Secretary Powell's visit helped a great deal to prevent
Turkey from becoming isolated or alienated. It was also
very important to note US remarks about not allowing an
economic crisis in Turkey."


PEARSON

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