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 003305
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
WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2003
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
Talabani: U.S. determined to eliminate all terror groups in
Iraq - Turkiye
Talabani: I know whereabouts of Saddam's family - Hurriyet
Barney Frank (D): Turkey a model country - Turkiye
ABC TV: Al-Qaida militants in Turkey - Sabah
Wolfowitz visits Turkish peacekeeping troops in Tuzla -
U.S. to change Iraqi currency - Sabah
U.S. considering fingerprint, iris scan for visitors - Aksam
Parliament to do overtime for EU - Milliyet
Gen. Ozkok: TGS not against EU - Vatan
Human bomb in the heart of the capital: 1 dead - Cumhuriyet
PKK militia moves toward Turkish border - Cumhuriyet
Britain's Sawers: Kurdish zone must be expanded - Zaman
Heavy diplomatic traffic between Turkey, Israel - Zaman
Gul: We won't miss EU opportunity - Yeni Safak
20,000 Turkish Cypriots apply for Greek Cypriot passport -
Amnesty International: BTC project a humanitarian
catastrophe - Radikal
JP Morgan: If adheres to IMF program, Turkey can break debt
cycle - Dunya
Dollar keeps diving - Dunya
Bomb blast in Ankara: Dailies give extensive coverage to a
bomb blast in a caf in downtown Ankara Tuesday morning.
Extreme leftist DHKP-C (Dev-Sol) member Songul Alpyurt was
killed when the bomb accidentally went off while she was
trying to set the mechanism in the caf toilet frequently
visited by students. Investigation continues to find out
the real target of the suspected suicide attack, papers say.
IMF: An IMF team begins the fifth review of Turkey's package
on Wednesday. Ankara has made key pledges to the fund to
revise a public procurement law, pass legislation
encouraging foreign investment and reduce public sector
employees. The U.S. Treasury's John Taylor has announced
last week that the $1 billion American grant for Turkey
depended on Ankara's commitment to the IMF program.
"Cumhuriyet" claims that the AKP government was hiding from
the public an IMF staff report drawing attention to troubles
in implementation of the economic program, saying Turkey has
missed a chance for stabilization. The report stressed that
the AKP government has made a gross mistake by trying to
abandon the IMF-backed program in the bargain with the U.S.
during the Iraq campaign, according to Cumhuriyet.
Meanwhile, "Milliyet" reports that a parliamentary
commission was drafting a report to investigate corruption
charges against former center right ANAP and DYP leaders,
Mesut Yilmaz and Tansu Ciller, and former ministers Cumhur
Ersumer, Koray Aydin and Recep Onal. The former politicians
might be taken to the Supreme Court for irregularities in
the Blue Stream project for transport of Russian natural gas
to Turkey, and for several other corruption charges as well.
Iraq: A MFA delegation was sent to Baghdad to meet with
regional leaders, papers report. The team met with the PUK
leader Talabani, who said in the face of Turkish warning on
Northern Iraq that Kurds would not allow terror actions on
Iraqi soil. Talabani also claimed he knew whereabouts of
Saddam Hussein's family. Saddam has written a letter to me
urging protection for his family, and they are being
sheltered somewhere in the Kurdish controlled area, Talabani
said. Meanwhile, in an attempt to become the third
significant actor in Northern Iraq and thus gain an
advantageous hand in bargaining with the U.S., the PKK/KADEK
has moved about 300 of its militia to the Iraqi border with
Turkey, papers report.
Legislators to work overtime: Prime Minister Erdogan has
announced on Tuesday that the parliament would work in
summer to pass EU adjustment laws, dailies say. AKP has
submitted a proposal to the parliament for reducing the
summer recess from three months to one month. Justice
Minister Cicek said on Tuesday the EU reforms package would
be sent to the cabinet for approval on Thursday. Cicek
noted that despite objection from the military, the Article
8 of the Law on Struggle Against Terrorism, banning
propaganda and demonstrations against the integrity of the
state, would be scrapped soon. In a meeting with Prime
Minister Erdogan on Tuesday, TGS Chief General Ozkok has
voiced the military's sensitivity regarding EU adjustment
reforms while stressing that the TGS was not against the EU.
Opposition party CHP and Turkey's powerful businessmen's
group TUSIAD have announced support to the government's EU
initiative, all papers report.
Jewish lobby in U.S. upset with Turkey: All-news broadcaster
NTV reported on Wednesday that the Jewish lobby groups in
the U.S. were reconsidering their relationship with Turkey.
The Jewish lobby is expected to withdraw for a while its
support from Turkey in the U.S. Congress, NTV claimed.
Israel, too might reevaluate strategic ties with Turkey, NTV
commented, saying that after the war with Iraq, concern was
raised in U.S. and Israel that Ankara was moving toward Iran
and Syria. NTV believes that particularly JINSA, the
powerful Jewish group with close ties to the hawks of the
Pentagon, was upset about Turkey.
EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq in the post war era
"The US should make a self criticism as well"
Cuneyt Ulsever commented in mass appeal Hurriyet (5/21):
"The US should go through a process of self criticism in
order to fix up its image. There are certain points about
Iraq and Middle East policies that put the US into a
deadlock. The Iraq operation was basically designed to
bring order in Iraq. Yet so far a functioning social order
to meet the basic needs of Iraqi people could not be
established, not to even mention the lack of political
order. . In spite the official statements from the US side,
terrorism is not yet under control, and it seems the
terrorist organizations, including Al Qaida are more active
than before. . The US failed to comprehend the sociologic
structure of Iraq and the region. Any measures for the
region only is shaped from a military perspective. The US
plan for social re-structuring of Iraqi identities,
including Shiite, Kurd, Arab and Turkoman is still unknown.
There is also no indication of a settlement on the Palestine
issue. US efforts are likely to fail if that issue is not
resolved. If not the US will have to dictate its authority
via forceful means, and that will only aggravate terrorism.
. The US is the winner militarily speaking, but the
political struggle already contains many mistakes."
"Issues and more"
Gunduz Aktan wrote in liberal-intellectual Radikal (5/21):
"The Shiite factor is emerging as a colossal problem in
Iraq. This issue can be resolved by shaping an overall
policy against the Shiite influence. Iran on one hand is
trying to influence the Iraqi Shiites, and on the other hand
supporting Shiite-led Hizbullah in Lebanon. By doing that,
the Iranian regime hopes to ensure its legitimacy vis--vis
the Iranian people. It seems the Syrian regime tends to
pursue a similar policy as Iran. In the eyes of Damascus,
this is the only way to survive both politically and
militarily - not only in-country, but in Lebanon as well.
That brings a chain of issues for US policy in the region,
not only for Iraq-related policy, but also US policy related
to Shiites in Iran and Lebanon, and the Alowites in Syria."