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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 003151

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 13, 2003


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


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Bremer, an American in Baghdad - Milliyet
Saudi bombs a warning for Powell - Hurriyet
Bush: Still got a lot to do in Iraq - Turkiye
U.S. cease search for Iraqi WMD - Aksam
U.S. fooled Saddam by Northern Front bluff - Turkiye
U.S. holds secret talks with Iran - Milliyet
British cabinet reshuffle over Iraq war - Sabah
Berlusconi: Great Europe possible with Turkey - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Iraq's new boss Bremer in Baghdad - Cumhuriyet
Powell to Syria: Choose Hamas or U.S. - Yeni Safak
U.S. brings chaos, fear to Iraq - Yeni Safak
Damascus to allow private banks, broadcasters - Radikal
`Dr. Microbe,' `Saddam's chief of staff' detained - Zaman
European Parliament targets Turkish military - Cumhuriyet
Gul: We'll enact Copenhagen reforms this year - Yeni Safak
Gul: Troops might leave if peace comes to Cyprus - Zaman
Cenbank intervenes to halt sinking Dollar - Radikal


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Cenbank intervention on Dollar didn't work - Dunya
Plenexis Satellite winks at Iraq via Turkey - Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Turkey, U.S. relations: A "Hurriyet" commentary points to
the emerging trouble between Turkish and U.S. military,
formerly close allies. The paper claims it was a deliberate
action on behalf of Americans to detain the alleged Turkish
special team members smuggling weapons for the Turkomans in
Northern Iraq three weeks ago. Ankara believes the incident
and the subsequent leaking to the press was part of a
psychological operation which aimed to exclude Turkish
troops from Northern Iraq, Hurriyet writes. U.S. holds the
Turkish military to be responsible for the rejection of
troops deployment decree, the paper claims. Hurriyet thinks
disagreement between Turkish and American government
officials affected the military relationship between the two
countries as well. "Milliyet" defends the idea that both
countries will win if U.S. decides to cooperate with Turkey
in Iraq's reconstruction. The paper advises tight
coordination and consultation between Turkey and the U.S. to
deal with the potential terror threat in Northern Iraq, and
the status of Turkomans in the new regime. "Sabah" reports
a U.S. Ankara Embassy official as saying that U.S. held
responsible, not only the AKP government, but all related
state institutions for rejection of the decree to permit
foreign military presence in Turkey. `Secretary Powell has
not mentioned a Turkey-U.S. strategic partnership during his
last visit to Ankara. We can't easily forget that Turkey
has not helped us at all in our Iraq policy,' the official
reportedly said. Another "Hurriyet" commentary criticizes
the approach of U.S. Ambassador to Ankara, Robert Pearson in
an op-ed published in the same paper on Monday. The article
carps at the `false picture in pink' drawn by Ambassador
Pearson, without bringing to attention the `insolent'
warnings by Wolfowitz and Grossman.


Iraq: Rebuilding, aid: A convoy of 59 trucks took cooking
fuel from Turkey to Northern Iraqi cities over the weekend,
U.S. Ankara Embassy said on Monday. Dailies and Turkey's
Union of Chambers (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu
welcome the move as a positive first step regarding Turkey's
economic presence in Iraq. Reports agree that the removal
of UN sanctions on Iraq in line with a recent proposal by
the U.S. and Britain, will boost Turkish exports. Turkish
companies continue meetings with American firms involved in
Iraq's rebuilding, according to papers.


Italy's Berlusconi in Turkey: The visiting Italian Prime
Minister Berlusconi said on Monday that only a "great
Europe" encompassing Turkey and former Soviet-bloc states
could counter-balance U.S. economic and military might. He
said he would devote his efforts as the EU's next president
to backing Muslim Turkey's drive to join the bloc, and would
seek to resolve the long standoff on Cyprus. Berlusconi
said after talks with his Turkish counterpart, Erdogan, in
Ankara that he believed Europe should develop a strong
military capability so that the U.S. does not have to
shoulder the burden of policing the world alone. He also
supported the U.S.-led war in Iraq, papers note.


Turks hopeful of tourism season: Turkish tourism, which came
to a standstill during the war on Iraq, is coming back to
life, papers report. The first U.S. cruiser, "Golden
Princess" came to Turkey's coastal town Kusadasi in the
Aegean with over 2,000 tourists on board.


EDITORIAL OPINION


a) Middle East
b) US-Turkey relations in the post Iraq war period


"The Road and the Map"
Hadi Uluengin commented in mass appeal Hurriyet (5/13):
"President Bush's statement in South Carolina is a clear
indication of Washington's determined initiative for the
settlement of the Middle East issue. This is an imminent
issue on Washington's agenda in order to minimize the anti-
American sentiment in the post-war period. . Following both
the Bush statement and Secretary Powell's meetings in
Israel, we can draw a conclusion that there is no
significant achievement on the horizon. Sources close to
Arabs are saying that the road map for the Middle East has
no chance of success unless there has been a concrete
gesture from the Israeli side. And the same sources
indicate that even the new PM of Palestine, Abbas, agrees
with this. . As for Israel, it depicted its terms for
settlement as even tougher than before, and Ariel Sharon
evidently was aloof to Secretary Powell. . There might be
some hope for the Sharon-Bush meeting which is scheduled for
next week. On the other hand, the Jewish lobby in the US
will do its best to prevent Sharon from facing American
pressure. If that is the case, the roadmap is doomed to
fail."


"The Strategy-tuning with the US"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (5/13): "It seems
both Ankara and Washington agree on the need for moving
ahead and overcoming the difficulties in the bilateral
relations. There is also a need for a fine tuning of
policies. The question is how will that happen and who is
going to take the first step? The Ankara diplomatic circle
is ready to put some steps forward. But the officials in
Ankara believe the necessity for diplomatic contacts as a
first step, and to follow it with more high level visits and
contacts if the initial results are encouraging. . The Iraq
crisis was the main reason for casting a shadow on bilateral
relations. Now it is Iraq-related issues again which are
capable of determining the phase of future Turkish-American
relations. Therefore the Iraq issues should be taken up
first in order to do a fine tuning in the strategic
relations."


PEARSON

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