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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 002234

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
MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Ankara gives Mosul, Kirkuk note to U.S. - Hurriyet
`Friendly fire' massacre in N. Iraq: 18 peshmerge killed -
Milliyet
Powell asked for action, three Iraqi diplomats expelled -
Hurriyet 4/6
U.S. troops in Baghdad - Milliyet 4/6
Saddam on Baghdad streets - Sabah 4/5
Enraged Shiites attack Saddam statue - Sabah
First U.S. plane lands at Baghdad airport - Vatan
Gul, Kharrazi discuss the `new' Middle East - Turkiye
Kharrazi: If Turkey enters N. Iraq, we'll do the same -
Aksam
Baghdad lies - Aksam 4/5
Tough decision awaits AKP on `Milli Gorus' - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Northern Front opens with `friendly fire' - Radikal
`Friendly fire' on Barzani - Yeni Safak
Baghdad siege tightening - Cumhuriyet
Civilian convoys flee Baghdad - Radikal 4/6
Bush: Iraqi people run to freedom - Zaman 4/6
Post-Iraq scenarios deepen rift between Powell and hawks -
Radikal 4/6
Invaders encounter fierce resistance in Baghdad - Cumhuriyet
4/6
Baghdad resists - Yeni Safak
A defiant Saddam on Baghdad streets - Cumhuriyet 4/5
Allies knock on Baghdad's door - Radikal 4/5
Peshmerges advance on Mosul, Kirkuk - Radikal 4/5
Bush: Northern Front opened - Zaman
Iran, Turkey share concern on Iraq's future - Zaman
Death, smoke on Baghdad streets - Zaman 4/6


BRIEFING


Iraq: Worried about the Kurds' advance on Mosul and Kirkuk,
Ankara presented a note of protest to Washington, saying
that Turkey would not hesitate to intervene if peshmerges
attempt to seize the oil-rich Northern Iraqi towns,
"Hurriyet" reports. Iranian Foerign Minister Kharrazi, in
Ankara for meetings on Northern Iraq and the Kurdish issue,
said that tripartite consultation on Iraq between Turkey,
Iran and Syria should be reactivated. Kharrazi stressed at
a joint press conference with FM Gul on Sunday that Iran is
against a separate state in northern or southern Iraq. He
also voiced objection to any third country intervention in
Northern Iraq, and warned that Iran would follow suit if
Turkey sends troops to the region. A high-level Iranian
delegation is expected in Ankara in the coming weeks.
Ankara declared three Iraqi diplomats persona non grata for
activities beyond their diplomatic authority. Iraqi Embassy
First and Second Secretaries Mohamad Hikmat Ibrahim and
Sabah Al-Duri, and deputy Commercial Counselor Ahmad Matloub
were notified to leave Turkey by April 9. Dailies agree
that the Iraqis are being expelled in line with the demand
of Secretary Powell, who was in Ankara last week.
Mainstream papers over the weekend see the allies' taking
over the Baghdad airport as a strategic victory for
coalition forces, and a psychological defeat for the Iraqi
army. Monday's "Sabah" reports that Shiite residents of
Kerbela took down a five-meter bronze statue of Saddam after
U.S. and UK troops took control of the city. The Shiites
gave water and food to U.S. troops. Saturday's papers
report a circular by the Turkish police, warning that Al-
Qaida has been preparing since November 2002 for attacks
against U.S. and Israeli targets in Turkey through an
Iranian-origin terror organization. Meanwhile, 50,000
demonstrators from NGOs, unions, pro-Kurdish, and leftist
parties rallied against the war in Istanbul.


Germany, Turkey agreement on `Milli Gorus': "Hurriyet"
expects a heated debate in the parliament on the German-
Turkish agreement which labeled the Islamist `Milli Gorus'
(National View) organization as a terror network. The
agreement was sent by the MFA to the parliament for
approval. The justification signed by Foreign Minister Gul
says that `Milli Gorus' should be outlawed. `Milli Gorus'
is a German-based, financially powerful Islamist
organization which is strongly affiliated to Necmettin
Erbakan and his Virtue Party (SP), and has been under tight
scrutiny for years by the German police for alleged ties to
international terror organizations and illicit fundraising
activities in Germany. AKP deputies coming from the `Milli
Gorus' movement voiced strong criticism of the agreement and
said labeling the group a `terrorist' organization is
unacceptable. Pro-Islamic papers see the attempt as
`treason,' and believe the agreement will not be approved by
the parliament.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Post war scenarios / Turkey-Iran


"Questions about Iraq's future"
Intellectual-social democrat Cumhuriyet carried this front-
page editorial opinion (4/7): "What is going to happen after
the war? It remains to be seen if the US, as an occupying
force, will be able to establish a stable order not only in
Iraq, but also in the region. Otherwise, a wave of terror
throughout the region is a high probability. . It is no
longer a secret that the US intention is actually not
limited to Iraq, and many commentators are speculating about
Iran, Syria, and some other Islamic countries on the list.
This scenario recognizes the presence of a colossal American
empire in the region, and Turkey better think clearly about
its stance and policies, without excluding any possible
development."


"Iranian FM visit is a dangerous development"
Ufuk Guldemir opined in sensational Haberturk (4/7): "From
the very beginning of the Iraq issue, Ankara has mishandled
the crisis. Yet recent developments also bring the question
to one's mind if this mishandling is deliberate, and whether
the government's real purpose is to change Turkey's western
orientation and direct Turkey's face toward the Middle East.
. The sudden visit by the Iranian Foreign Minister to Ankara
is an alarming negative development. Giving the appearance
of an alliance with Iran clearly puts Turkey in the anti-
western league. The praise from the Iranian FM about
Turkish foreign policy is also something that should worry
us. What is the purpose of Ankara policy-makers? Are they
going to form an anti-western alliance with Syria and Iran?
Let's not forget that both of them are on the US target
list. . The current policy being pursued by Ankara alienates
Turkey from western ideals and orientation."


PEARSON

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