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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 002646

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 24, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
--------------------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Garner nonsense: Kirkuk a Kurdish town - Hurriyet
Garner: Kirkuk to Kurds - Turkiye
Iraqi Shiites pose a problem for U.S. - Sabah
Shiites protest U.S. in Karbala - Turkiye
Bush calls to thank Erdogan - Aksam
Bush promises not to mention Armenian `massacre' - Sabah
Dream becomes reality: Two sides of Cyprus wall meet - Vatan
Second Berlin Wall down after 29 years - Sabah
Peoples unite Cyprus - Milliyet
EU pleased by free travel in Cyprus - Milliyet
Erdogan angered at Arinc for turban row - Vatan


OPINION MAKERS
Garner is Kurds' merchant of hope - Radikal
Kurds seize Iraqi army weapons in Kirkuk, Mosul - Cumhuriyet
Erdogan complains: Europe has abandoned Turkey on Iraq -
Yeni Safak
White House corrects Powell: France won't be punished -
Zaman
Weapons manufacturers real winner of war - Cumhuriyet
`Day without frontiers' in Cyprus - Cumhuriyet
Turkish, Greek Cypriots happy with free travel - Zaman
Green Line becomes Open Line - Radikal
Unnecessary row over headscarf - Radikal
Erdogan calls for common sense against reception boycott -
Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Turkish food exporters in Iraq - Dunya
Industry Minister: Turkey must get rid of IMF, WB - Finansal
Forum
BRIEFING


Iraq: Wednesday's papers report that Turkey notified the
U.S. of its willingness to send 1,400 troops for a
peacekeeping force in Iraq, and to contribute to health,
humanitarian aid, and construction efforts as well. Ankara
insists that the flow of Iraqi oil from Kirkuk to Yumurtalik
should begin as soon as possible. Turkey and the U.S. have
agreed to use the port of Iskenderun as a key shipping point
in the reconstruction of Iraq, papers report. Uneasy with
the attitude of KDP leader Barzani, Ankara is preparing to
open a new border gate to Iraq, close to the border with
Syria, to by-pass the Kurdish-controlled Habur crossing,
thus depriving Barzani of a major source of revenue,
Thursday's "Zaman" reports. Kurds have been alarmed by the
proposal, and have voiced hope that the UN would not allow
such a move. Papers highlight `Iraqi Governor' Jay Garner's
remarks about Kirkuk being a Kurdish city after he was given
a cheerful welcome by the Kurds. Garner was given a king's
welcome by Kurds in Kirkuk and Irbil, where he said the U.S.
would stay in Iraq until a democratic regime is established.
The U.S. has a strong relationship with Turkey, Garner said,
and voiced hope that Ankara would get along well with the
new administration in Iraq.


Turkish Cypriot government allows passage to South: Papers
continue extensive coverage of Turkish Cypriot leader
Denktas' decision to bring down the wall dividing the island
by opening border checkpoints so the island's ethnic Greeks
and Turks can cross over for day trips. Thursday's papers
report that 2,000 Turkish and 1,300 Greek Cypriots crossed
the border on the first day of the implementation of
unrestricted passage. All papers hail the end of travel
ban, particularly highlighting the warm welcome given to
Greek Cypriots returning to the Turkish sector.


`Turban' crisis at reception: President Sezer, opposition
party CHP, and the military boycotted the April 23
Children's Day reception in a dispute over the possibility
that the wife of parliamentary speaker Arinc would wear a
headscarf. The incident highlights tensions between the
ruling AKP and secularists. In an effort to reduce the
tension, Arinc and Prime Minister Erdogan opted not to bring
their wives to the reception. However, about a half dozen
spouses of parliamentary deputies did turn up in scarves.
AKP officials said that the boycott was an insult to the
parliament. Erdogan criticized the president and military
commanders, saying they had no right to boycott the national
holiday. Arinc's announcement the day before the reception
that his wife would not attend the event was not enough to
convince Sezer and the TGS, papers note. Mainstream media
believe that the headscarf tension has exacerbated a rift
between the government and the state. "Vatan" claims that
Prime Minister Erdogan was uneasy with the attitude of
Speaker Arinc. Erdogan dreams of becoming president by
introducing a presidential system to Turkey, and wants to
avoid tension with key national and international actors,
according to "Vatan," while Arinc is trying to increase his
power in the AKP by taking advantage of his post.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Post War Iraq


"The US strategy for Iraq"
Umit Kardas commented in Islamic-intellectual Zaman (4/24):
"The post-war situation has proved that none of the
arguments for the Iraq war was real, but only served to
justify the genuine intention: the invasion of Iraq. The US
is not worried about the democratization of Iraq. The US is
clearly trying to establish a puppet regime to serve its
interests in the post-Saddam era. . It also seems that the
US will continue to promote more military spending and
implement serious cuts in the social security budget. The
US focus will be to encourage global rearmament under the
guise of the war against terrorism. The reelection campaign
of President Bush could run into serious opposition. As
Noam Chomsky put it, we will either have a world without
war, or we won't have a world."


"The Shiite lessons for Washington and Ankara"
Cengiz Candar noted in the conservative Dunden Bugune
Tercuman (4/24): "In the post-war Iraq, there are two new
major players on the Iraqi political scene that the US will
have to deal with: Iraqi Shiites and Iraqi Kurds. . It seems
that due to the Iraqi Shiite factor, the US will be even
more sympathetic toward the `secular-democratic-federal
Iraq' thesis of the Kurds. The US will definitely not
tolerate a sympathetic approach from Turkey toward the
possible establishment of an Islamic Republic of Iraq. The
lesson for Ankara is that since there is no way of bringing
back Saddam to power, Turkey better make its policy clear
about what type of Iraq it wants to see."


PEARSON

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