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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 002847

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, MAY 1, 2003


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


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Government gives secularism guarantee-Sabah
4 Important decisions from the NSC-Hurriyet
Regime Warning-Milliyet
NSC eases the Tension-Turkiye
Rumsfeld in Baghdad-Milliyet
Grossman Warns Kurds: Be careful in your approach-Hurriyet
18-item Package from Greek Cypriots to Turkish Cypriots-
Sabah
Greek Cypriots open the Package-Milliyet
Spring in the island-Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
No Crisis at the NSC meeting-Zaman
NSC draws attention to Secularism-Yeni Safak
NSC: Secularism is the main issue-Radikal
NSC warns AKP: Secularism should be defended-Cumhuriyet
Barzani takes a step back-Cumhuriyet
Britain does not want Turkey in the Peacekeeping Force-
Radikal
Grossman: Turkey did not mislead us in the North-Zaman
Positive Step from the Greek Cypriots-Yeni Safak
Dialog becomes stronger in Cyprus-Zaman


BRIEFING


Earthquake: An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale
shook southeastern Bingol province at 3:27 this morning.
The epicenter of the quake is near the city center of
Bingol. The death toll is already over 100, and the number
is likely to increase. Many buildings collapsed in the
city, and more than 400 people have been injured.


NSC: "Zaman" reports that yesterday's NSC meeting did not
turn into a conflict, as was feared by many. During the 7.5
hour meeting, the military drew attention to the need to
protect secularism instead of issuing warnings about
fundamentalism. A declaration released at the end of the
meeting said that `the importance of secularism, one of the
basic characteristics of the republic, and the need for
protecting secularism carefully was stressed'. The three
other issues in the declaration were developments in Iraq
and Cyprus, and Turkey's energy pipelines.


Iraq: "Hurriyet" reports that US Assistant Secretary Marc
Grossman warned the Kurds to be careful in their approach to
Turkey, and also about their policy toward PKK-KADEK
militants. "Zaman" quotes Grossman as saying that `During
his Washington visit PM Erdogan made no promises for a US
troop deployment. No Turkish leader could make any promises
at that time because that decision required the Parliament's
approval'. "Radikal" reports that Britain has begun the
work of establishing a peacekeeping force in Iraq. Turkey,
however, has not been asked to participate in this force.
Ankara is disturbed by this decision and has already
informed the British Embassy in Ankara of Turkey's
disappointment.


Cyprus: "Turkiye" gives extensive front-page coverage to
the rapprochement on the island. People of both sides
continue to take advantage of free passage. They have
proved that the dispute between the governments is not a
problem for the people, according to "Turkiye." "Sabah"
reports that the Turkish Cypriot decision on free passage
forced the Greek side to make some concessions too, and the
Greeks announced a new set of measures yesterday. The
package offers employment possibilities to the Turks, and
gives them the right to vote in Greek Cypriot elections and
to run for seats in the Cypriot Parliament.


EDITORIAL OPINION:


a) Iraqi rebuilding
b) Turkish foreign policy


"Rebuilding Iraq"
Soli Ozel wrote in mass appeal Sabah (45/1): "The Bush
administration continues to take radical steps in both
foreign and domestic policy. The post-September 11
psychology has to a certain extent deprived the American
people of some basic rights and freedoms. Internationally
speaking, the US is pursuing a policy of `preemptive
strikes', which calls for the continuation of American
military strength. . It will be interesting to see whether
the current US policy will work in the rebuilding of Iraq.
The rebuilding efforts will eventually have an impact on the
Middle East process as well. . Despite all of the power and
authority of the United States, the Iraq case is subject to
a series of benchmark tests. The first test is how to shape
a new structure on the relics of the old system, and whether
that can really work. Second, the US success in rebuilding
Iraq depends not only on the US, but also the decisions to
be taken by the `other actors' in Iraq. The US will
eventually have to cooperate with its allies as well as
regional actors as part of this process."


"A warning for the Turkish foreign policy"
Yilmaz Oztuna warned in conservative-mass appeal Turkiye
(5/1): "Turkey, whether intentional or not, is making a
mistake by its current contacts with Iran and Syria. Let's
not forget that the US is Turkey's ally, whereas both Iran
and Syria are not. Moreover, the US listed both of them as
terrorist states, and both of them will eventually face an
American intervention. . Reading history will tell us
enough about how `one-sided love affairs' between states end
up disastrously. Unfortunately, religiously-based movements
always ignore this fact."


PEARSON

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