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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 002776

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
TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2003


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


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Rumsfeld: Rejection of decree was disappointing - Aksam
Garner: I won't stay for long in Iraq - Hurriyet
CHP defends Gul visit to Syria - Milliyet
Ankara to advise Damascus to cooperate with U.S. - Milliyet
Shiites' protest of U.S. growing - Aksam
Kurdish control over Mosul to end - Aksam
Tarik Aziz: Saddam is alive - Hurriyet
Verheugen: Civilians must control military - Milliyet
One of ten Greek Cypriots go to Turkish side - Vatan
Tikrit celebrates first birthday without Saddam - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Subtle warnings from U.S. Congressional delagation -
Cumhuriyet
Iraqi leaders to Garner: U.S. must leave soon - Radikal
Iraqi opposition to found National Congress - Zaman
U.S. disarming peshmerge - Yeni Safak
Powell to Damascus to break anti-Israel policy - Yeni Safak
Greek Cypriots flow to Turkish side - Yeni Safak
Government prepares 6th EU adjustment package - Radikal
Verheugen: Role of Turkish military must be rearranged -
Cumhuriyet


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
U.S. wants to scrap 13-year of sanctions on Iraq - Dunya
Turkish firms to U.S., UK for Iraq - Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Iraq: Dailies report Secretary Rumsfeld as saying at U.S.
Centcom HQ in Qatar that the U.S. was `disappointed' with
Ankara's rejection of the motion for cooperation with the
U.S. in the war with Iraq. However, General Franks turned
this disappointment into an advantage by ordering U.S.
vessels to leave Turkish waters, Rumsfeld said. Papers also
carry in detail meetings held by Congressman Robert Wexler,
the Cochairman of the Turkey Caucus. Wexler said that the
U.S. was `shocked' to see that Ankara was approaching Iran
and Syria while the war with Iraq was going on, raising
concerns in Washington that Turkey might join the `other
front.' In a meeting with Wexler, opposition party CHP
deupty Onur Oymen reminded Wexler that a former U.S.
Secretary of State had paid 22 visits to Damascus, skipping

SIPDIS
Ankara each time, when Syria was openly supporting
terrorism. Wexler said that Prime Minister Erdogan and
Foreign Minister Gul reaffirmed Turkey's commitment to the
strategic partnership with the U.S., and added that question
marks about U.S. ties with Turkey had been removed. Foreign
Minister Gul is due in Damascus, Syria on Tuesday. Turkey,
Iran and Syria, neighboring countries with significant
Kurdish populations, are worried that a division of Iraq
might produce an independent Kurdish state. Ankara has been
careful to avoid the impression of forming a bloc with
Tehran and Damascus, but now aims to strengthen ties with
them since the U.S. is ambiguous about the future of Iraq.
Gul is expected to urge theSyrian leadership to reduce
tension with the U.S., papers speculate.


Cyprus: Greek Cypriots queued up for 13 km in their cars to
visit the Turkish side on Monday. An estimated 100,000
Greek Cypriots crossed the border to the Turkish Cypriot
sector in one week. The Greek Cypriot administration is
expected to announce new incentives for Turkish Cypriots,
such as granting work permits or allowing marketing of
Turkish goods in South Cyprus. The Greeks are also
considering a deal with Turkish GSM companies to expand
mobile phone communication in Cyprus. The two communities
on the island are expected to celebrate May Day together for
the first time since 1974. Tuesday's TV reported that the
Turkish Cypriot administration has decided to allow Greek
Cypriots visiting the north to stay in hotels for up to
three days. The Turks have also decided to open two new
border crossings to ease passage of Greek Cypriots.


New package for EU criteria: Papers report that Ankara is
preparing new reforms to meet the Copenhagen Criteria, and
thus begin accession talks with the EU in 2004. According
to the package, the role of the National Security Council
(NSC) will be restricted, and Article 8 of the anti-terror
law -- one of the main obstacles to freedom of expression --
will be scrapped. The ban on Kurdish names will be removed,
and broadcast in Kurdish will be allowed. International
observers will be allowed to monitor elections in Turkey.
Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said the government will
cooperate with NGOs to meet the political criteria for
accession. EU expansion commissioner Verheugen said that
accession talks with Ankara could begin in the first half of
2005. Verheugen stressed that the significance of the
military in Turkey is clear, but that new regulations are
needed to rearrange the role of the TGS in politics. He
added that no military representatives should take part in
education and broadcast institutions.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Post Saddam governance


"Rebuilding Iraq"
Turgut Tarhanli wrote in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(4/29): "It seems that the US is inclined to keep the United
Nations out of the picture in the future of Iraq's political
structure. As for the rebuilding, it is odd to see that
American firms are given the major share in construction
projects by the US, which happens to be the occupying force
in the country. . It remains to be seen to what extent the
US will be successful in establishing a legitimate political
and administrative structure in Iraq while at the same time
remaining as an occupation force. Initial signs are not
promising though, because Washington is busy with correcting
the remarks by a retired American general who is designated
to be the chief of the Iraqi restructuring mission. . The
question yet to be answered: How will the US be able to
legitimize the restructuring process even though the
operation itself was suffering from a lack of legitimacy to
begin with?"


"To take a look at Iraq once again"
Omer Celik, an MP of the ruling AKP (and a close advisor to
PM Erdogan) wrote in the tabloid Star (4/29): "Turkey did
not see the full picture on the Iraq issue, and made a
mistake when designing its `red lines.' Turkey viewed the
entire issue through the prism of northern Iraq, and the
northern Iraq issue itself was minimized to the `Turkoman
card.' Northern Iraq is certainly more important to Turkey
than to other countries in the region. However, the Turkish
strategy for Iraq requires a wider perspective. . First of
all, the military operation against Iraq has ended by
turning the US into an immediate neighbor for Turkey. It
seems that the US presence will be longer and will include a
different strategy. . Turkey should pay attention to the
policies the US will pursue in Iraq. It is very likely
that, just as France and the UK adopted their models
everywhere they went, the US will try to adapt its federal
system to the conditions in Iraq. The US began the
operation without legitimacy, so the legitimacy issue will
have to be sorted out during the restructuring of Iraq.
During this process, the US will be more `pragmatic' and
`flexible' in its own red lines. As for Turkey, it is wrong
to pursue a solid and static stance regarding Ankara's `red
lines' which prevents Turkey from adapting itself to the
regional dynamics. . Turkey is in a process which calls for
the reevaluation of its regional perspectives."


PEARSON

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