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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 04 ANKARA 003458

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 27, 2003


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


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Gen. Ozkok: No disagreement among TGS command - Milliyet
Wolfowitz continues firing at Turkey - Hurriyet 5/25
Wolfowitz: Turkish military should have supported government
- Radikal 5/25
Papadopoulos: Turkey's EU entry will help solving Cyprus
problem - Turkiye
Gul thinks EU might lift sanctions on TRNC - Sabah
Athens, Ankara might sign `Aegean Accord' - Aksam
Dogfight in Aegean to end - Vatan
Turkey wants to host Israel, Palestine summit - Hurriyet
Israel says `Yes' to Palestine state - Hurriyet 5/26
20,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq - Milliyet
U.S. intends to topple the Iranian regime - Sabah 5/26
U.S. moves to incite rebellion in Iran - Milliyet 5/26


OPINION MAKERS
Gen. Ozkok: I'm proud to be a democrat - Radikal
Gen. Ozkok denounces military coup rumors - Zaman
Gen. Ozkok: TGS concerned about AKP partisan moves -
Cumhuriyet
Arabs, Turkomans might boycott Kirkuk elections - Radikal
5/26
The Observer: Americans mistreating Iraqi POWs - Yeni Safak
Denktas: Don't need the Annan Plan - Radikal
Greece wants solution by Annan Plan - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
UN: Iraq's needs must be met from Turkey - Dunya
Foreign Capital Ass'n. (YASED) plan meetings in New York,
London, Tokyo - Finansal Forum


BRIEFING
Gen. Ozkok on TGS `discomfort' of AKP: In a meeting with
bureau chiefs of dailies on Monday, TGS Chief General Ozkok
responded to press reports about the young military
officers' uneasiness with the AKP government's `regressive'
policies. Gen. Ozkok condemned the report, and said there
was no such thing as `hawks' and `doves' in the military.
Gen. Ozkok has strongly stood against the possibility of a
military take over, papers say. However, he also stressed
that if the reasons that had drawn military intervention in
the past emerge again, the result would be the same. Gen.
Ozkok denied recent press reports about `orchestrated'
cooperation between the government and military. He openly
voiced discomfort over the AKP government's assignment of
fundamentalists to key bureaucratic posts, reports note.
`Not only the young officers, but the whole military is
upset with such partisan appointments,' Gen. Ozkok said. He
also added: `A NATO member, the Turkish army has been part
of Europe for 50 years. Our military is not against EU
membership. However, we believe that Turkey should join the
EU on equal conditions, and by preserving its national and
geographical unity.' Mainstream papers agree that Gen.
Ozkok has issued serious warnings to the AKP government.
Commenting on the Ozkok remarks, Prime Minister Erdogan said
they were part of the democratic process in Turkey, and that
everything was normal.


U.S., Turkey relations: Dailies carried on Sunday excerpts
from Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz's op-ed in the
Boston Globe, in which Wolfowitz allegedly `reiterated' his
criticism of Turkish military for failing to display
leadership during the Iraq crisis. Wolfowitz has sent
supportive messages for the AKP government, papers claim.
Had the military encouraged the government to support the
U.S. in war with Iraq, it would have backed the new civilian
government rather than interfering in Turkey's international
affairs, Wolfowitz is cited as writing. Wolfowitz said that
Foreign Minister Gul, who has read the transcript of his
interview with Turkish journalists, saw his strong support
for Turkey's democracy, papers note. Meanwhile, Monday's
papers report recent meetings General David McKiernan held
with Iraqi political groups. Gen. McKiernan is quoted as
saying at the meetings that he would disarm all Iraqi groups
except the Kurds, and proposed that the `peshmerge army'
should protect Iraq's borders, according to papers. Such a
`rewarding' of Kurds drew significant reaction from Arab and
Shiite leaders, who believe the move will bring
`Lebanization' of Iraq. A Washington official said Gen.
McKiernan's decision was `controversial,' and that it would
probably be withdrawn, says `Sabah.'


A UN decision on Iraq will enable Turkey to get paid for
$1.5 billion of agreements Turkish companies have tied with
Iraq within the oil-for-food program, Sunday's "Hurriyet"
reports. $948 million of the agreements are approved by the
UN, the report claims. State Minister Kursad Tuzmen, who
had paid a controversial business trip accompanied by a
large delegation of businessmen to Iraq under Saddam
Hussein's rule, said he saw no problem regarding the
agreements that were tied with Baghdad on that visit.
Tuzmen claimed a recent UN decision said the oil-for-food
program would be valid for six months, and that Turkish
companies should act fast to get their money.


Cyprus: Greek and Turkish foreign ministers, Papandreou and
Gul came together in the Greek island of Crete have worked
out `confidence building measures' such as the exchange of
army officials and cooperation between military hospitals,
Tuesday's papers say. Papandreou welcomed free passage on
Cyprus and Ankara's decision to allow Greek Cypriots in
Turkey without visas, while Gul called for removal of
international sanctions on Turkish Cypriots, and promised,
in exchange, additional positive steps forward from the
Turkish side. All papers expect an end to dogfights between
Turkish and Greek pilots over the Aegean.


Eurovision Song Contest; Soccer; Plane crash: A military
plane carrying 62 Spanish peacekeepers returning from
Afghanistan crashed near Turkey's Black Eastern province of
Trabzon while attempting to land in thick fog on Monday,
papers report. Spanish soldiers and the 13-memebr crew all
died in the crash.


Turkish singer Sertab Erener won the Eurovision Song
Contest, weekend papers report. Greek Cypriots and Greeks
contributed to Turkey's success by giving high points to
Erener's song `Every Way That I Can,' reports underline.
Papers tie this outcome to the prevailing sympathy in
European countries for Turkey's defiance of U.S. in war with
Iraq.


Istanbul's `Besiktas' soccer club has become Turkey's soccer
league champion after defeating its closest rival
Galatasaray in the derby game on Sunday, all papers report.
Besiktas is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.


EDITORIAL OPINION


a) Iraq sanctions lifted
b) US-Turkey


"United Nations of America"
Haluk Ulman argued in economic-political Dunya (5/27): "The
UNSC resolution is a declaration of the US shaping the Iraq
issue. The resolution which passed after France and Russia
failed to block it, provides extraordinary authority to both
the US and the UK on Iraq's future political and economic
structure. This means that the Bush administration has now
obtained international legitimacy which did not exist during
the Iraq operation. . The latest resolution at the UN is an
indication of France and Russia `turning themselves in'
before the US supremacy. Therefore the US will not be
looking for a new international organizational system in
order to have its policies approved. From now on, the
United Nations will serve to provide approval for the
unilateral acts of the US."


"Tuning the relations with Washington"
Zeynep Gurcanli wrote in tabloid Star (5/26): "There is
going to be an important visit from Turkey to US, --a first
after the parliamentary motion-led crisis about Iraq.
Details are still in the works for a visit by Foreign
Ministry Undersecretary Ziyal to Washington. His mission
will be `tuning up' the bilateral relations. . This visit is
designed to take place in a silent fashion so that a follow-
up by Foreign Minister Gul can be done. FM Gul hopes to go
to Washington if Ziyal comes back with `continuation of
strategic partnership as well as normalization' messages
from Washington. . The main issue for discussion during U/S
Ziyal's visit to Washington will be Iraq, and Turkey's
possible role in the rebuilding process. The US is distant
to the idea for Turkey being part of multi-national
stability force, therefore, Turkey is very much interested
in involving economic and social projects for Iraq. . Among
other things, Turkey will offer Washington to train the
whole Iraqi police force. Ziyal's visit is an important one
to eliminate `back channels' in the bilateral relations.
And the follow up visit, when it takes place, will be even
more important."


PEARSON

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