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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 003052

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
FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2003


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


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
U.S.: We are hurt. However, we will continue to cooperate-
Hurriyet
Bush gives guarantee to Sezer for Iraq's Integrity-Hurriyet
U.S. is against PKK-Kadek-Hurriyet
Defense Minister Gonul criticizes Military for AWACS sale-
Aksam
The New PKK Step-Sabah
Denktas: We will explain the situation to Erdogan today-
Sabah
Defense Minister Gonul: If the Military did not want it,
AWACS would not be purchased-Milliyet
Integrity promise from Bush to Sezer-Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Powell: Turkey was not asked to apologise-Radikal
A Heavy Cyprus Agenda for Erdogan-Radikal
Advise to AKP from IMF-Radikal
AWACS crisis between the government and the TGS-Cumhuriyet
Perle speaks like Wolfowitz-Yeni Safak
Amb.Pearson: Turkish-U.S. relations need mending-Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Perle: Inexperienced government in Turkey is the cause of
the crisis-Finansal Forum
Erdogan: IMF trusts our determination-Dunya


BRIEFING


Turkey-U.S.A Relations: After the harsh criticizes of A/S
Wolfowitz and U/S Grossman, more criticism comes from the
former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle, today's papers
report. Speaking at `Forum Istanbul 2003', Perle stressed
that Turkey missed big opportunities in Iraq and the
relations between Turkey and the US was damaged but
continues. Mending Turco-American bilateral ties depended
on Turkey's cooperation on Syria and Iran policy. "Zaman"
reports that US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher
in turn stressed that Richard Perle is a private citizen and
he does not speak for the U.S. Government. "Zaman" also
reports (inaccurately - Ed.)US Ambassador Robert Pearson
saying that `the ties between Turkey and the US would not be
the same anymore after the crisis faced during the Iraq war.
The article further alleges that the Ambassador said that
Turkey had disappointed the US with its stance during the
war and that relations between the two countries needed
mending.' "Hurriyet" and "Milliyet" report that President
Bush, in order to ease the tension between the two
countries, gave a guarantee to President Sezer on Iraq's
integrity, during his condolence call after the Bingol
earthquake.


PKK: "Sabah" reports that Turkey and the US decide to take
new steps against the PKK. While US issues a call to
surrender to PKK militants, Turkey, as it was discussed at
the last NSC meeting, debates on a "repentance plan"
(limited amnesty) for PKK militants. "Hurriyet" columnist
Sedat Ergin writes that `The PKK-KADEK is in the US'
terrorist organizations list, among others. He adds that if
Turkey had not rejected the motion for cooperation with the
US, Turkish army would be given the right to fight against
PKK in Northern Iraq. The refusal of the motion left the
control of 5.000 PKK-KADEK militants to fellow Kurds,
Barzani and Talabani. It is clear that Turkey has not given
any intelligence reports to the US about the PKK and the
Turkish side complains that so far US had given Ankara no
details about its plan on this issue. The US might issue a
call for surrender to the militants, and Turkey might pass
the repentance law. In this case PKK militants will have to
choose between taking advantage of the repentance law and
incurring US reactions. The PKK-KADEK issue will become a
new test for Turco-American relations. Mass appeal
Milliyet's Fikret Bila noted the intention as well as the
efforts for alternate solutions to the PKK/KADEK issue, in
Turkey's military and civilian authority. One of the ideas
is to announce a `repentance law' to have the PKK militants
to put down their arms and give in.


AWACS: All papers report that Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul
denied the press reports that Turkey had bought AWACS just
to please US. He said that the government had decided to
approve the purchase because the General Staff had indicated
that it needed the AWACS systems.


IMF: "Radikal" covers the meetings with IMF deputy director
Ann Krueger and the Turkish government officials. Krueger
warned the officials on two issues; the money collected in a
recent tax amnesty campaign has to be used for debt
repayments and Turkey should avoid the changes in the public
tender law. Krueger warned the government against the
bureaucratic reshuffle and added that the government should
carry out reforms in social security.


Cyprus: All papers and TV channels cover Prime Minister
Erdogan's visit to Cyprus today. He is expected to
undertake new moves on the Cyprus issue. "Zaman" describes
the visit as "critical" and NTV reports that Erdogan's visit
can trigger the tensions with TRNC President Denktas by
issuing a message for resuming Cyprus talks.


EDITORIAL OPINION: US-Turkey


"Wolfowitz pushed the heads out of the sand"
Mass appeal daily Hurriyet's Fatih Altayli notes that
Wolfowitz was forced to be blunt on Turkey (5/9): "Both the
Wolfowitz and Grossman remarks came as no surprise. These
views reflect the press commentaries in the near past
because, from the very beginning, Americans did not conceal
their thoughts. The comments were necessary for putting
the bilateral relations back into track. Yet the Turkish
side deliberately ignored or avoided the facts. Foreign
Minister Gul, for instance, did nothing but repeat the same
line as `our relations with the US are going well.' When
pressed, he acknowledged the differences about Turkey within
Pentagon and State Department, but he ended his statement
with an optimistic tone. Now Wolfowitz is applying `shock
therapy' in order to stop the never-ending `putting heads in
the sand' policy."


"The way to repair the damage"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (5/9): "Both sides
have made mistakes in the course of the Iraq war. And it
should be for the experts and concerned officials to work on
the mistakes and make sure they will not happen again. Yet
in the meantime, both sides should refrain from making
provocative remarks and sending messages via the media. If
this happens to be the case, then the damage will be easier
to repair. . The way out of the crisis is to take lessons
from the past and move on together. . There are some areas,
which make the cooperation easy, such as Iraq's economic
restructuring. Yet there are some other areas, which seem
to be tough on reaching consensus, such as policies on Syria
and Iran. The best way is, regardless of tough or easy
issues, to ensure a good way of communication. And it is
better to discuss projects rather than focusing on polemical
rhetoric."


"Turkey has to decide"
Erdal Guven argued in liberal-intellectual Radikal (5/9):
"There is no need to fool ourselves. Turkey has never been
a strategic partner of the US in genuine terms. The US has
two strategic partners, UK and Israel, and that's all. .
This does not necessarily mean that the US cannot engage in
strategic cooperation or cannot form strategic alliances
with the others, including Turkey. A strategic alliance
with Turkey is regional and multi-faceted. But the Iraq
issue caused mistrust, and the bilateral relations are going
through a trust test right now. . Actually Wolfowitz is
clearly telling us that `you have made a mistake but it can
be made up.' Thus the decision is to us."


PEARSON

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