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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 002432

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 14, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
FM Gul: We Shall Take Part in Iraq's Reconstruction -
Hurriyet
Now it is Syria's Turn - Milliyet
Saddam Might be Hiding in Beirut- Milliyet
Baghdad Museum Looted-Sabah
Syria Summit At the White House - Turkiye
Turkish Military Officers are in Critical Region - Aksam,
4/12
Talabani Assigns his man to Kirkuk as Governor-Hurriyet,
4/12


OPINION MAKERS
US Guns Aimed at Syria - Radikal
Bush Threatens Syria and Iraq - Yeni Safak
Cheney's Daughter Meets with Baath Party Members-Yeni Safak
Kirkuk Puzzle - Cumhuriyet
US Calls Saddam's Police for Duty- Zaman
Israeli Foreign Minister Comes To Turkey-Zaman
Peshmerges Withdraw-4/13
Looting, Chaos, Poverty in Baghdad-Radikal-4/12


BRIEFING


Iraq: Saturday's "Cumhuriyet" reports that Turkey wants to
play an active role in the reconstruction of Iraq. Within
this framework, Turkey has already prepared a list of Arab
and Turkoman officials who should definitely take place in
the new Iraqi administration. Weekend papers report that
Kurdish groups have started leaving Kirkuk and Mosul, but
Turkish troops remain on the highest alert to intervene if
necessary. Meanwhile, 15 Turkish military officials went to
Northern Iraq to monitor developments in Mosul and Kirkuk.
"Sabah" covers the military delegation's report, saying that
`there have been no systematic attacks against the
Turkomen.' The majority of peshmerge militants have left
Kirkuk, but a few have remained to assist US troops until
the arrival of reinforcements. "Radikal" reports that Syria
has become the new US target following the fall of Iraq.
The Bush administration accuses Syria of giving military
support to Saddam, providing shelter to fleeing Iraqi
officials, and hiding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Today's "Turkiye" reports that the US is considering
launching a military operation against Syria. Sunday's
"Hurriyet" reports that portraits of Saddam have been
removed from the walls of the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara.
"Yeni Safak" reports that during the first week of the
operation against Iraq, the US administration , in order to
change the war situation through diplomatic channels, sent a
delegation to Iraq led of Dick Cheney's daughter Elizabeth
Cheney. Elizabeth Cheney, who works for the State
Department's Middle and Near East department, is also an
advisor to Israeli PM Ariel Saron, according to "Yeni
Safak."


EU: "Radikal" reports that the Cyprus issue will be at the
top of the agenda of Turkey-EU relations this week. Today
the EU will approve an updated Accession Partnership Accord
for Turkey. FM Abdullah Gul will go to Luxembourg today to
participate at the EU Foreign Ministers meeting.


EDITORIAL OPINION


"The cost of war to the U.S."
Cuneyt Ulsever opined in mass appeal Hurriyet (4/14): "The
war with Iraq has brought the U.S. some long-term costs. .
Unlike the Clinton-era understanding of the U.S. as a
`gracious imperial state,' the U.S. has now become a state
that will mainly be viewed from a position of pure fear.
Coercion breeds coercion. Unfortunately, terrorist acts
against the U.S. will increase henceforth, and without
receiving the sympathetic reaction the world displayed
against the September 11 attacks. . Palestinian-inspired
terrorist acts will expand their area of legitimacy, and the
U.S. will feel, more than ever, obliged to solve the
Palestine problem. The U.S. has shattered essential
organizational models such as the UN and NATO. However,
America badly needs such organizations if globalization is
to gain legitimacy. The U.S. will have to pay a high cost
for its ambition."


"After Saddam"
Yasemin Congar wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (4/14): "A day
before the collapse of the Baath regime in Baghdad, a U.S.
official said to reporters that a democratic Turkey should
be pleased with the change in Iraq. `Turkey will have the
largest trade volume with the new Iraq. . Turkey has got no
reason to be worried about the rights of the Kurds. We want
the Kurds, as all other Iraqi ethnic groups, to get an equal
share from Iraq's national wealth. If Turkey continues to
implement democratic and economic reforms, the Turkish
nation, and Kurdish-origin Turks, will live a more
prosperous life. There will be no reason for Ankara to
worry that Iraqi Kurds will act as a model in the region,'
he said. . In a briefing for Arab and Muslim journalists,
Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz said that Turkey's
concern regarding Northern Iraq is legitimate, for
terrorists who found shelter in the region have killed
thousands in the 1990s. He noted that not only the U.S.,
but the KDP and PUK have also helped `a great deal' in
Turkey's fight against the PKK. Wolfowitz stressed that
both the Kurds and Turkomen have been targeted in Saddam's
ethnic cleansing operations. He reminded that Arabs were
settled in place of displaced ethnic groups, and claimed
they would be allowed to return home through a `systematic
legal process' instead of by `brute force.' . How does
Ankara regard Wolfowitz's assertion? Is it possible for
Turkey to establish a relationship of trust with the KDP and
PUK in a new Iraq? . How many in Ankara believe that
removal of Saddam will be the beginning of a much better
future for Iraq and Turkey?"


"Who is threatening world peace?"
Semih Idiz commented in mass appeal Aksam (4/14): "Allowing
the destruction of the National Museum in Baghdad, which
stood witness to Mesopotamia's five thousand years of
history, will be remembered as a crime against humanity by
the U.S. Washington had planned measures for the protection
of oil wells months before the operation, but did nothing to
protect the museum. . It's gradually becoming clear that
this war has got nothing to do with the welfare of the Iraqi
nation. It is now understood that it is related with the
`black gold' and Israel, a country essential for America's
regional interests. The evidence for the latter is seen in
U.S. statements that Syria might be next because of its
support for Hizbullah, the enemy of Israel. It seems that
the Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle `cabal' has developed an
extremely dangerous master plan. Those who claim that Bush,
not Saddam was a threat to world peace are right."


PEARSON

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