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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 003093

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, MAY 12, 2003


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


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Ambassador Pearson: We must now look at the future -
Hurriyet
Bush to change his Iraq team - Vatan
U.S. couldn't find Iraqi WMD - Turkiye
Iraq's Khomeini, Al-Hakim, back from exile - Milliyet 5/11
Ahmad Chalabi invites Turkish firms to Iraq - Sabah
Papandreou moves to scrap Aegean Wall - Hurriyet 5/11
Papadopoulos: We've made mistakes - Aksam
Erbakan rolls sleeves against Erdogan - Aksam


OPINION MAKERS
Garner's Iraq mission terminates - Yeni Safak
New colonial governor Bremer to Iraq - Yeni Safak
Greek Cypriots can file court cases to claim property -
Zaman
Denktas, Papadopoulos do not inspire hope for peace -
Radikal
Denktas says Greeks can apply to Turkish courts - Cumhuriyet
Turkey excluded from U.S., Mideast Free Trade Zone -
Cumhuriyet 5/11


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Koc Group: Exports must not slow down due to diving Dollar -
Dunya
Defense Undersecretariat to announce Hews systems contracts
- Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


U.S. Ambassador defends removal of Iraqi sanctions: In an op-
ed on Turkey's leading daily "Hurriyet"s front page on
Monday, U.S. Ambassador to Ankara, Robert Pearson wrote that
friendship between the U.S. and Turkey would continue, and
stressed that this friendship must be a cooperation that
eyed the future. Ambassador Pearson pointed to the fact of
UN sanctions as an impediment to the recovery of the Iraqi
people, and underlined the necessity that Turkey, having a
leadership position in the region and at the UN, should make
its voice heard to see an end to sanctions. `Working
together with Turkey in the new Iraq will be a cooperation
that will build our relationship on solid ground. It will
provide a huge benefit for Turkey's economy, creating new
market and business partnerships for Turkey,' Pearson noted.
He also added that Americans, after removing Saddam through
military means, have now targeted building a democratic and
prosperous Iraq living in peace with its neighbors.
Ambassador Pearson said that was the main objective behind
the U.S., British and Spanish move at the UN, proposing
removal of economic sanctions on Iraq.


Iraq: Weekend papers speculate that the messages issued by
Wolfowitz and Grossman were designed to persuade Ankara to
comply with U.S. demands. The U.S. is pressing Turkey to
pull back troops from Northern Iraq, but Ankara is reluctant
to do so unless the Iraqi national army takes over control
in the region, and can control terrorist groups, Sunday
papers say. Turkey maintains a limited number of troops in
Northern Iraq in an effort to monitor PKK activities. U.S.
has been vowing to the Turks that the issue of the PKK/KADEK
would be resolved. All papers note that Ankara expects
clearer messages from Washington. Weekend papers also
highlight the opening of the Turkish embassy in Baghdad,
despite warnings from U.S. that the Turkish envoy's safety
could not be guaranteed. Turkey's Baghdad Ambassador, Osman
Paksut said Turkey would not be excluded from Iraq, and that
Ankara was planning to open consulates in Mosul and Kirkuk
as well, according to papers. Meanwhile, President's office
on Friday has stated that `Turkish-American strategic
relations date back 50 years. Disagreement among allies
over issues such as Iraq is natural. Dailes reported on
Saturday that the sides must leave behind such discord, and
look at the future,'. Weekend papers also quote the head of
the Turkey-U.S. Caucus, Congressman Robert Wexler as finding
`insolent' the assessment of Turkey by Deputy Secretary of
Defense Wolfowitz. Wexler also advised Ankara to establish
stronger relationship with Israel, and to act in line with
U.S. sensitivities against Iran and Syria.


New Aegean opening by Greece: Sunday's "Hurriyet" reports
that the Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou was pressing for
EU permission to lift visa requirement for Turkish tourists
doing day trips to the Greek islands in the Aegean.
`Papandreou wants to tear down the wall that divides the
Aegean,' Hurriyet says on front page, reporting also about
Papandreou's project for transfer of Turkish water to arid
Greek islands, which might help establish lasting peace in
the region.


EDITORIAL OPINION:
US-Turkey relations in the post Iraq war period


"Turkish-American relations in the long run"
Kamuran Ozbir wrote in nationalist (MHP Party) Ortadogu
(5/12): "Let's be clear and candid. The Turkish government
has made a mistake during the Iraq war by fooling itself
with the `the US is incapable of taking action without
Turkey' idea. Thus the statements from Wolfowitz and
Grossman should be taken seriously and should not be
misinterpreted. Both of them have a long-standing record
for being on Turkey's side. There is a common message in
both statements of Wolfowitz and Grossman: `Turkey should
refrain from making evasive or unclear moves if it wants to
go back to good old days of Turkey-US relations. Turkish
policy adjustments should take Washington's expectations
into utmost consideration.' I believe this is a clearcut
and well-phrased message and it tells us the truth. If
Turkey starts being adventurous in foreign policy it will
definitely do a great harm to itself. Turkey's interest is
to move forward along with its friend of 50-years, the US."


"Where did we go wrong?"
Retired diplomat Gunduz Aktan noted in liberal-intellectual
Radikal (5/12): "The fact of the matter is that the
government has made a serious political mistake, and it
requires the AKP government to admit its mistakes vis--vis
the Turkish people first, not before Washington. Any
government is doomed to correct its mistakes and policy
mishandling, unless they are admitted. In normal western
standards, a policy failure is subject to investigation by
an independent commission. We unfortunately do not have
such a tradition in our political system. . On the other
hand, those in the US who are close enough to Turkey and who
are shaped Washington's policy by taking Turkey for granted
have gone wrong, too. They are now either disappointed or
bitterly angry against Turkey. Turkey and the US should
start cooperation and utmost coordination to tune each
other's policy especially on Syria and Iran. Our relations
cannot possibly tolerate another mistake or failure."


PEARSON

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