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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 003524

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 30, 2003

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


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Gen. Buyukanit: Terror impediment to mother tongue broadcast
- Milliyet
Gen. Buyukanit: Turkey will definitely enter EU - Hurriyet
Safire: AKP government `amateurs' - Milliyet
Wolfowitz: Iraqi WMD was a pretext - Aksam
Blair warns Iran, Syria: Don't support terror - Turkiye
Ahmad Chalabi: Saddam alive, behind terror attacks in Iraq -
Turkiye
IMF's Kahkonen: Everything's going well - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Bremer complains of Iranian destabilization activity in Iraq
- Radikal
U.S. bans diplomats' access to Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Safire: U.S. might forgive Turkey, but won't forget - Yeni
Safak
Blair inspects his Basra colony - Yeni Safak
Iraqi public servants fear losing jobs - Zaman
Russian press: U.S. will hit Iran from Baku - Radikal


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Government hopeful to reach growth target - Finansal Forum
Cenbank buys $30 million daily - Dunya


BRIEFING


Military on EU: Deputy Chief of Staff, General Buyukanit
said at a symposium in Istanbul on Thursday that EU
membership was a geo-strategic necessity for Turkey. `TGS
believes Turkey must join the EU if it wants to modernize,'
Gen. Buyukanit said. He warned against using the EU as a
domestic policy tool, papers note. "Cumhuriyet" comments
that Gen. Buyukanit has issued a warning to the
fundamentalists attempting to exploit EU norms and values in
order to make their goal a reality. Gen. Buyukanit is
against broadcast in mother tongues, particularly in Kurdish
until the terror threat is brought to an end, papers say.
`It's impossible to control broadcasts in Kurdish, even on
state TV,' Buyukanit stressed. Meanwhile, objections from
the military wing of the National Security Council (NSC)
obliged the government to delay the EU adjustment package
until July, dailies say. The government was planning to
enact the reforms just before the June 21 EU summit in
Thessalonica, Greece reports underline. Foreign Minister
Gul and some cabinet members are reported as voicing the
government determination to pass the reforms as soon as
possible.


TUSIAD in U.S.; Gul: All papers report the visiting TUSIAD
delegation's call on NYT's William Safire in New York on
Thursday. TUSIAD Chairman Ozilhan told Safire that some
minor disagreements should not disrupt relations between
U.S. and Turkey, according to papers. Safire, as appeared
in an op-ed, reportedly told the delegation that the GOT
should do something to eliminate the senseless Kurdish
phobia in Turkey, adding that Ankara should put an end to
domestic pressure on Kurdish culture and language. Foreign
Minister Gul, on his way back from the OIC meetings in
Tehran, criticized Ozilhan's notice to the government that
time was not yet appropriate for a high-level official
Turkish visit to the U.S. Gul reportedly said that `Turkey
has an ambassador in Washington. Channels between U.S. and
Turkey are not blocked. People in Turkey should cease
taking initiative for the sake of their own PR.'


Iraq: Foreign Minister Gul said on Thursday that he might
have the opportunity of meeting with Secretary Powell at the
NATO summit in Madrid. Responding to a question about
Poland's invitation for Turkey to the international
peacekeeping mission around the Iraqi towns Najaf and
Karbala, Gul said (although not very enthusiastically) that
Turkey would consider contribution for the sake of stability
in Iraq. Meanwhile, "Yeni Safak" reports the Northern Iraqi
KDP leader Barzani as welcoming the election of a Kurd mayor
for Kirkuk, and as stressing that he would support the
return of exiled Kurds to Kirkuk.


U.S. warns against immunity of diplomats in Iraq: Papers
report on a U.S. Administration announcement that the U.S.
would not recognize the diplomatic status of foreigners in
Iraq. State Spokesman Boucher said the U.S. reserved the
right to deport `unwanted persons' from Iraq, and advised
diplomats not to go there until a new administration is set
up. Turkey's Baghdad embassy might be closed, papers think.
"Zaman" predicts a new `diplomatic crisis' between
Washington and Ankara.


Iraqi rebuilding: "Milliyet" reports a Bechtel Corp.
announcement saying its subcontractors would be given Iraqi
reconstruction jobs between $300,000 - $1 million. Turkey's
Constructors' Association said current conditions in Iraq
are discouraging, and that the best business with the war
ravaged country would be exports.


EDITORIAL OPINION


A general view
Cengiz Candar wrote in mass appeal DB-Tercuman (5/30):
"There are signals that the damaged relationship between
U.S. and Turkey can be repaired. For instance, Turkish
troops might take part in an international peacekeeping
force for Iraq. . However, Ankara must stay away from
meaningless and dangerous formulations such as offering to
police the holy Iraqi Shiite towns Najaf and Karbala, which
have the potential to draw Turkey into a regional blood
feud. Foreign Minister Gul's OIC speech in Tehran, in which
he urged the Islamic world for reforms regarding human
rights and democracy, and his call for a search to explore
the origins of violence, can be read as an effort to repair
the strain in ties with the U.S. Apparently, the addressee
was Washington rather than Muslims."


Changing alliances
Zeynep Gurcanli commented in the tabloid Star (5/30):
"Foreign Minister Gul has supported democracy and
transparency in messages for the Muslims at the OIC
meetings. American sources say that lately, AKP has been
sending `back-channel' messages to Washington, to the effect
that the U.S. can trust Turkey on Iran. . During the
Israeli Defense Minister's call on Ankara earlier this week,
the AKP government and Israel have decided to carry out
`espionage cooperation' against the Iranian threat and
terror. . The cold winds between Turkey's military and EU
seemingly affected our army's relationship with the U.S. as
well. The U.S. wants a `reliable ally' in the fragile Iraqi
geography, which is totally at odds with the Turkish army's
Kurdish policy. NSC Secretary Gen. Kilinc said a year ago
that Turkey could form an alliance with Russia and Iran.
Washington, believing it was said on behalf of the Turkish
military, carefully noted that statement. TGS Chief Ozkok's
latest assertion highlighting the significance that Turkey
attributes to the strategic partnership with U.S. might not
be enough to change the picture in the short term."


PEARSON

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