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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 002940

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, MAY 6, 2003


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


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Bush conveys Sezer condolences, offers help - Sabah
Bush makes surprise call to Sezer - Milliyet
Arab mayor for Mosul, w/ Kurd deputy - Hurriyet
Mosul polls first free election in Iraq - Aksam
Garner: Barzani in interim Iraqi administration - Turkiye
`Ms. Anthrax' under arrest - Aksam
Poll: No Democrat candidate came close to Bush - Milliyet
TGS strongly denounces speculation on NSC - Vatan
Turkish companies feeling pulse at Equity International
meeting - Turkiye
Rumsfeld: Finding Iraqi WMD might take time - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
`Interim mayor' for Mosul - Cumhuriyet
Shiites, Sunni alliance against invaders - Yeni Safak
Turkish Cypriot opposition: Political solution essential -
Radikal
Papadopoulos appeals to conscience of Greeks going North -
Zaman
Gul to meet with EU envoys in Crete May 25 - Yeni Safak
North Korean missiles `locked' on U.S. - Cumhuriyet


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Government vows to step up fight against corruption - Dunya
Pentagon hurdle for Turkish contractors - Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Bush calls Sezer: Dailies report President Bush's phone call
to President Sezer on Monday, offering condolences for the
Bingol earthquake but also asking for Turkey's support for a
solution on Cyprus. Sezer said Ankara expected some
positive steps forward from the Greek Cypriots, and that the
new openings on both sides of the island inspired hope.
Bush also assured Sezer that the U.S. was acting in line
with Turkey's sensitivities in Iraq, papers underline.


Earthquake/corruption: The prosecutor in Bingol has issued a
search and arrest warrant for the corrupt contractors of
buildings wrecked in the recent earthquake. Dailies claim
that the AKP government was planning to take advantage of
the disaster to make swift changes to the public procurement
law. Government officials want housing and energy tenders
to be excluded from the new law, so that houses for
earthquake victims can be completed before winter. Papers
suspect that the AKP government had been considering changes
to the public procurement law so that it can give its
supporters a larger share from lucrative state contracts
without the transparency required by the new law.


Iraq jobs for Turks: Papers say that the hawks in the
Pentagon were putting pressure on American companies to
refrain from cooperating with Turkish subcontractors in
Iraq's reconstruction. Turkish companies, particularly
giants like Koc and Sabanci groups are alarmed by this
negative course of developments in Washington. The
Washington Administration will force Turkish businessmen to
form partnerships with Northern Iraqi Kurdish companies if
they want to win contracts `easily,' "Star" claims. The
paper goes on to say that both the PUK and KDP leadership
have given Ankara the message that Turkish companies could
bypass the negative attitude of Americans against Turks only
through partnership with Kurdish firms. "Star" comments
that Washington, striving to decrease tension between Ankara
and the Northern Iraqi Kurdish groups, might be using the
Iraqi contracts as a trump card.


TGS uneasy about speculation: The TGS (Turkish General
Staff) issued Monday a strongly worded statement to `show
the military's decisiveness in facing enemies of republic
who attempt to undermine unity.' The statement said that
the military was the foremost guarantor of Turkey's secular
democratic regime. The statement also harshly criticized
foreign and domestic press reports alleging disagreement
among military commanders. The TGS message was aimed at
press reports claiming a duel of words between the
government and military wings of the NSC during meetings. It
declared these reports to be untrue,. Mainstream papers see
the statement as the strongest message issued by the TGS
under Gen. Ozkok's command.


EDITORIAL OPINION: US foreign policy in post Saddam Iraq


"Pax-Americana in the Middle East"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (5/6): "In the
aftermath of the Iraq war, we have been observing the steps
taken by the US in the Middle East as its new strategy.
Washington has started implementing an American order, the
Pax Americana if you will, in the Middle East and beyond. .
These are the current steps that are being taken: The
restructuring of Iraq is underway in its all dimensions, and
it is happening in the way the US desires. . The US is
revising its current alliances with old friends, but also
has started establishing new alliances in the region, such
as with Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. . Syria is the new target
for the US, which was pronounced as part of axis of evil.
Yet it seems things are moving to a direction where
Washington sees no point for a military operation at least
for the moment as proven with the SecState Powell visit. .
The Bush administration has also started dealing with the
Palestine issue, which happens to be the major source of
tension in the Middle East. . All of this indicates that
President Bush's doctrine or the Pax Americana in a broader
sense, is now coming true."


PEARSON

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