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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 002741

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 28, 2003

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


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
FM Gul: Turkish special teams in coordination with U.S.
military - Turkiye
Barzani: No need for Americans to stay - Hurriyet
Barzani to U.S.: Leave when you are done - Turkiye
U.S. troops order peshmerge to leave Mosul - Milliyet
Americans disarming peshmerge - Aksam
Saddam's family in Syria - Hurriyet
Tarik Aziz sold Saddam for a luxurious residence in England
- Sabah
Americans quietly help the poor in Batman - Hurriyet
Turkey's Baghdad embassy to reopen in May - Sabah 4/27
Historic Easter in Cyprus - Vatan
Greek Cypriots rush North for Easter - Milliyet
Bush: Al-Sahaf was wonderful, a classic - Aksam 4/26


OPINION MAKERS
Rumsfeld to `inspect' Baghdad - Cumhuriyet
Iraqi exiles preparing to return, help the new
administration - Radikal 4/27
Iraqi civilians toughening against U.S. troops - Zaman 4/27
Traces of chemical weapons in Iraq's north - Yeni Safak
Greek Cypriots ignore administration, go North - Zaman 4/26
Thousands of Greek Cypriots attend mass in North -
Cumhuriyet
Greek Cypriots amazed by Turks' hospitality - Zaman 4/27
Easter joy in Cyprus - Radikal
Turks welcome Greeks in North with flowers, family photos -
Cumhuriyet 4/27
Council of Europe: Free passage a historic step in Cyprus -
Radikal 4/26
People, money flowing to North Cyprus - Cumhuriyet 4/26
Bush did not mention `Genocide' - Milliyet 4/26


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Turkish firms invested $1 billion in Balkan countries in
2002 - Dunya
Government to pardon illegally-built tourist facilities -
Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Weekend papers carry Foreign Minister Gul's denial of
reports that a Turkish special forces unit was expelled from
Northern Iraq for providing weapons to the Turkomen. Gul
said that special teams have merely accompanied humanitarian
aid convoys, and added that the misunderstanding over the
issue had been worked out with Americans. However,
Saturday's "Hurriyet" says that Ankara, upset that the
Americans leaked the issue to the press, is expected to
retaliate by disclosing some CIA operatives in Turkey.
Saturday's papers also carry a `correction' by Boucher and
Wolfowitz of Jay Garner's remarks about Kirkuk being a
`Kurdish city.' Monday's papers report that U.S. forces in
Northern Iraq have ordered Kurdish peshmerge in Mosul and
Kirkuk to cease armed patrols or face possible force by
coalition units. KDP leader Barzani reiterated his call for
U.S. forces to leave Iraq once an interim government is
formed. Monday's "Hurriyet" reports that U.S. and Dutch
troops that who had been in Batman to set up Patriot systems
during the war distributed 7 tons of humanitarian aid to
poor families before leaving town. Batman's poor families
voiced their appreciation to the press, saying it was
considerate of the Americans and the Dutch to do the
distribution quietly.


President Bush's Armenian Day message: President Bush
followed recent practice by refraining from use of the word
`genocide' in his message to commemorate the Armenian Day,
Saturdays' papers report. Bush praised the dialogue between
Turkish and Armenian groups in an effort to research their
common history.


Congressman Wexler in Turkey: Congressman Robert Wexler
attended the Turkey- U.S. Business Council meeting in
Istanbul on Sunday. Wexler said during meetings with
Turkish businessmen that the economy, not politics, should
be given priority in Iraq's rebuilding process. Wexler was
positive about Turkish businessmen having a role in Iraq's
reconstruction. Wexler later proceeded to Ankara, where he
will hold meetings with Turkey's political leaders on
Monday.


Cyprus: 15,000 Turkish Cypriots have made day trips to the
south, and about 45,000 Greek Cypriots visited the north
during the first five days of unrestricted travel on the
island, all dailies report. Greeks who visited the Turkish
sector for the first time after leaving their homes in 1974
were `astounded' by the Turks' hospitality. Turks visiting
the Greek sector were also given a warm welcome. The
unexpectedly high number of Greek Cypriots traveling to the
north has given a considerable boost to the ailing tourism
industry in the Turkish sector. Weekend papers report that
in an effort to preempt the Greek Cypriot administration's
effort to facilitate bilateral trade, the Turkish Cypriot
government is preparing to implement new measures to boost
bilateral commercial activities. The Turkish administration
is considering allowing overnight stay for Greeks visiting
the north on weekends. Papers expect free trade to begin
between the two sides on the island.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Post Saddam governance


"Future of Iraq and Shiites"
Yasemin Congar wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (4/28):
"Washington plans for a transition democratic regime in Iraq
to begin functioning by the end of May. The Bush
administration is aware that time is short, but is not
pessimistic about achieving the goal. . Regarding the
ongoing worry about an Iranian-type radicalism in Iraq, US
officials are not singing with a single voice. Secretary
Rumsfeld clearly said that the US will not allow an Iranian-
type of regime in Iraq. Yet State Department officials
acknowledge that the US continues to be in dialogue with the
Shiites, and note that the Tehran-based Supreme Council of
Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SCIRI) could play a positive
role in the transition process. Their message is `an
Islamic-based regime in Iraq is a possibility if the
majority of Iraqi people support it.' . When I mentioned
all of this to a US diplomat, the response was as follows:
`It is up to the Iraqis to decide. We will not let a new
dictatorship emerge, but we are not going to impose a model
either. Yet I don't think that Iraq will adopt a Turkey-
style secular model.'"


"Turkey-Iran and the Turkmen"
Asli Aydintasbas wrote in mass appeal Sabah (4/28): "The
Turkish foreign policy mechanism has become isolated on the
Iraq issue. Even today, Turkish foreign policy makers
continue to produce `worried' statements instead of
producing new policies in the light of colossal developments
in our immediate neighborhood. . For instance, Jay Garner
talked about Kirkuk as being a Kurdish city, and received a
harsh reaction from Ankara, which resulted in Ambassador
Pearson being summoned to the Foreign Ministry. Ankara is
right to react, and Garner's statement is certainly
unpleasant. However, Turkey has also failed to present an
active policy on the Kirkuk issue, contenting itself instead
with declaring `red lines.' . While Turkey fails to be an
active player in the game, Iran continues to push the
limits. During the Iraqi opposition meeting in Erbil, the
Iranian presence was significant with its agents,
journalists, and an official delegation. Iranian influence
is a fact, not only in the Shiite areas in the southern
Iraq, but also in the north and in Baghdad. ... There was
even an indirect negotiation between Iran and the US in
order to give final shape to the statement at the Erbil
meeting. Iran is certainly one of the major players during
the transition period of Iraq, and will remain so in the
upcoming administration. Meanwhile, Turkey is simply not
seen at all."


PEARSON

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