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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 002376

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 11, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Looting in Kirkuk-Sabah
Iraqis Switch to the Side of Power-Sabah
FM Gul to Powell: If you can not Control Peshmerges, Let us
Intervene-Hurriyet
US Troops are in Mosul-Hurriyet
"Get Ready" Orders from TGS-Milliyet
Powell: We Shall Remove Peshmerges from Kirkuk-Milliyet
Planned Looting in Kirkuk-Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Diplomatic Intervention Against Kirkuk Occupation-Zaman
Chaos in Baghdad-Cumhuriyet
Kirkuk Discussions With US- Radikal
Government Prepares Broad Package of Reforms for EU entry-
Radikal


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Toward the New Oil Century-Dunya
Kirkuk Jolts the Markets-Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: All papers and TV channels extensively cover the
invasion of Kirkuk by Kurdish militias. Turkey launched a
diplomatic effort after the Peshmerge incursion and
incidents of looting being reported from Kirkuk. Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul called US Secretary of State Colin
Powell and told him that Turkey was ready to help if the US
was not able to cope with the turmoil. However, Secretary
Powell rejected the offer and assured Turkey that the United
States would take the situation under control within a very
short period of time. Prior to FM Gul's phone call, Foreign
Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ali Tuygan called US
Ambassador Pearson twice to share Turkish concerns and to
reiterate the conditions of the Ankara declaration signed by
US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. "Radikal" reports that TGS Chief
General Ozkok also called his counterpart, General Richard
Myers, to highlight Turkey's concerns. "Milliyet" reports
that after the harsh reactions from the Turkish side,
Peshmerge militants started to leave Kirkuk in the evening,
and US troops penetrated Kirkuk and began to assert control.
"Hurriyet", "Zaman", and "Sabah" report that Turkish
military observers will go to Northern Iraq to monitor
developments.


EU Reform Package: "Radikal" reports that the government is
undertaking new measures to meet EU accession criteria.
Within this framework, a new package of reforms has been
prepared by the Government which covers the expansion of
language freedom, amendments to Radio and TV broadcast laws,
and changes in housing and development regulations.
According to Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, the new package
would permit political propaganda to be made in Kurdish and
eliminate the ban on Kurdish-language private television and
radio stations. It would also sharply reduce the scope of
Article 8 of Turkey's anti-terror law, which penalizes
certain `speech' and `thought' crimes.


EDITORIAL OPINION


"Why did the U.S. let them?"
Sedat Ergin commented in mass appeal Hurriyet (4/11): "It's
no secret that the Iraqi Kurds see Kirkuk as their capital,
and consider the town as the `Jerusalem of Kurdistan.'
Encouraged by Barzani and Talabani, they've attempted to get
recognition as `Kirkuk's liberators.' It's no coincidence
that they first targeted the deed office in town. . It's
significant that the U.S., having managed to deter Kurds
from Kirkuk thus far, has suddenly removed this pressure. .
It is clear that U.S. has not even attempted to block Kurds'
access to Kirkuk, because the U.S. Administration believes
that after Baghdad, the fall of Kirkuk will bring a faster
victory. This attitude will intensify the doubts prevailing
among Turkish decision-makers and the people about the U.S.,
and will further shake bilateral relations. By silently
winking at the Kurds, the U.S. has carried them to an
advantageous position regarding Kurdish claims on Kirkuk.
In this way, the loyalty of the Northern Iraqi Kurdish
groups is being rewarded."


"Kirkuk and the Kurds' Korea"
Cengiz Candar opined in mass appeal Tercuman (4/11): "The
Kurds have established a close solidarity with the U.S. in
Northern Iraq, a relationship comparable to the cooperation
that was established between the U.S. and Turkey in Korea in
1952. . By denying access to the 4th Infantry, Turkey has
made its ally America's job more difficult in Iraq,
increasing both the human and material costs. What is more,
Turkey is seeking a rapprochement with Iran and Syria,
countries which, as Secretary Powell put it, create
`uneasiness' for the U.S. Whether through ongoing confusion
or a deliberate attempt by this government to undermine
Turkey's relations with the West, Turkey appears to be
seeking a place in the Third World. . Turkey has blocked
the Northern Front, and the war was carried out only from
the South, resulting in the fall of Baghdad and Kirkuk
without fighting. Are you still dreaming that the U.S. will
fight against the Kurds just to please Turkey? Do you think
Turkey will enter Northern Iraq even though the U.S., just
like Turkey, has drawn some `red lines' in the region? .
After having fought, with American support, in its Southeast
for 15 years, do you think Turkey, at odds with the U.S.,
should venture a conflict with an unpredictable ending in
Northern Iraq?"


PEARSON

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