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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 002335

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
THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
U.S. scores a clear victory on 21st day - Hurriyet
Saddam under Iraqis' feet - Vatan
Saddam throws in towel on 21st day - Milliyet
Saddam, statue toppled - Milliyet
U.S. tank `executes' Saddam statue - Vatan
Looting, lynching and joy in Baghdad - Hurriyet
Baath regime's heart Baghdad under U.S. control - Turkiye
End of the dictator - Sabah
Rumsfeld: Saddam's end like Hitler, Stalin - Sabah
Iraq's UN envoy: Game over - Sabah
U.S. our `neighbor' - Aksam
U.S. troops comfortable as tourists in Baghdad - Aksam
Northern Iraq crisis looming - Turkiye
U.S. doesn't expect resistance in Tikrit - Hurriyet
Baghdad's voice, Al-Sahaf silenced - Hurriyet
British Commander: Al-Sahaf's day off - Vatan


OPINION MAKERS
Baghdad in invaders' hands - Cumhuriyet
Baghdad falls in 21 days - Radikal
Saddam Hussein era ends - Zaman
U.S.: Saddam missed opportunity for peaceful exile - Zaman
Cheney: Regime collapsed, war not over yet - Zaman
Invasion in Baghdad, massacre in south - Yeni Safak
U.S. troops kill 1000 civilians in Najaf - Yeni Safak
Pride and breakdown of Arab press - Zaman
Kurds at Mosul doorstep - Cumhuriyet
Kurds joyful in N. Iraq - Cumnhuriyet
Looting, lynching in Basra - Radikal
Door still open for Cyprus - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Baghdad falls, Saddam disappears - Dunya
Saddam regime collapses - Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: U.S. troops met no resistance at all in Baghdad, and
the Iraqi capital fell on the 21st day, bringing the 24-year
reign of the Baath regime to an end. U.S. soldiers and
Iraqis pulled down a 15-meter bronze statue of Saddam in the
city center. "Yeni Safak" says American tanks made a `show
of force' in the heart of Baghdad, and, citing Reuters, adds
that coalition forces carried out terrible massacres in
southern Iraq. Almost all papers drew a parallel between
the overthrow of Saddam's rule and the collapse of communist
regimes in Eastern Europe. "Sabah" says everyone was wrong:
The allied operation in Iraq has disproved several views,
including the idea that Saddam would not be easily toppled,
that Baghdad would not fall without a siege, and that the
war couldn't be won without a northern front. American and
British rule has begun in Iraq, and the process of
reshaping the Middle East has started, dailies report.
Papers highlight the U.S. Administration's warning to Iran,
Syria, and North Korea that Iraq should serve as a lesson to
all. Now Ankara turns its eyes to the Americans and the
Kurdish groups advancing on Kirkuk and Mosul. Citing
American papers, "Zaman" sees a Turkish military
intervention in Northern Iraq as unlikely, but notes that
the U.S. is closely following the reaction of TGS Chief
General Ozkok and political leaders in Ankara. "Turkiye"
reports that KDP forces are near Mosul, and that the KDP has
surrounded Kirkuk. The paper claims that a crisis is
looming in Northern Iraq. "Aksam" reports the TGS has sent
five officers to Northern Iraq to discuss with U.S. officers
the position of KDP forces around Mosul. Ankara has asked
the KDP to end pressure on Turkomen towns. President Sezer
said on Wednesday that Turkey wants Mosul and Kirkuk, eyed
by the Kurds, to remain within a united Iraq. Meanwhile,
the MFA stated that Ankara would not accept the condition on
the $1 billion grant offer by the U.S. that Turkey would
refrain from entering Northern Iraq. Prime Minister Erdogan
said it was the Americans' decision to provide financial aid
to Turkey, so that Washington should refrain from giving the
impression that there is ongoing bargaining with Ankara.


Cyprus: Prime Minister Erdogan, who met with his Greek
counterpart Simitis at the Balkan Summit in Belgrade, said
that the UN peace plan for Cyprus should be reviewed, and
that bilateral talks for a compromise should continue.
Simitis reportedly said the Annan plan offered grounds for
on agreement, and that negotiations should continue within
the UN framework. Both leaders agreed that the Cyprus
problem must be resolved as soon as possible, and that they
must find a way to move the process forward.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Fall of Baghdad


"He did not even fire one honorary bullet"
Editor-in-Chief of mass appeal Hurriyet, Ertugrul Ozkok
observed (4/10): "The Saddam era has ended and the future of
the Iraqi people is now brighter than ever before. In the
next 5 to 10 years, we are going to see the proper use of
oil money - that is, for the welfare of the people as
opposed to building kitsch palaces for dictators or
producing chemical weapons. It is sure that in the years
ahead, we will observe the domino-effect on other `Baath-
like' regimes in the region. . Yet it is also the time for
us to get rid of the `Third world rationale' and `Saddam-
like' mentality in Turkey. It is just the right time to
lift Turkey up to become a full member of the modern western
community."


"Iraq is only the beginning"
Erdal Safak editorialized in the mass appeal Sabah (4/10):
"The fall of Baghdad not only signified the end of Saddam,
but also the end of the Eisenhower doctrine, which had
served as a protective shield for regimes in the Middle East
since 1956. . Following the 9/11 attacks, the US has begun
to shape a new doctrine. As Paul Wolfowitz defined it, `the
US cannot possibly be safe and secure unless the Middle East
is democratized.' . The Iraq war is just the beginning.
Dictatorships and other backward regimes in the Middle East
are next on the list, and it is certain that the most
immediate concern is Syria. . Turkish Foreign Minister Gul
should urgently cancel his upcoming trip to Damascus, which
will only serve to increase misunderstandings between Turkey
and the US."


"Toward the end"
Fehmi Koru argued in the Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak
(4/10): "The planners of the Iraq war did not conceal their
intention to move toward other countries once Iraq is
finished. It will also be interesting to see what kind of
administration is to be formed in post-war Iraq. .The world
is rapidly moving toward a new era, and it will most likely
be formed based on the `superiority of power.' From now on,
the US might target any country in the world by using
`magical' terms such as liberation and freedom."


PEARSON

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