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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 003934

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
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


--------------------------------------------- ------


HEADLINES:


MASS APPEALS
Iranian demonstrations spread to Europe - Turkiye
Women lawyers protest regime in Iran - Hurriyet
MFA assures Turkey will side with U.S. against Iran -
Hurriyet
MFA warns, TGS suspends Iranian commander's visit - Milliyet
French police strike blow against Iranian opposition
movement - Milliyet
74 percent of Iranians want more dialogue with U.S. - Sabah
Ziyal offers new function for Incirlik AB - Milliyet
Galbraith: Kurdistan, in 2013 - Hurriyet
Americans getting tougher against Iraq - Turkiye
Verheugen urges Denktas to seize EU chance - Aksam
Simitis: Turkey's made considerable progress toward EU -
Vatan


OPINION MAKERS
Fire spreading in Iran - Cumhuriyet
FT: EU, Russia join U.S. against Iran - Yeni Safak
France deals heavy blow to Iranian `Mujahedeen' - Zaman
Perle: Support U.S. for regime change in Iran - Radikal
U.S. State Dept: Turkey our strategic partner - Cumhuriyet
Washington confirms strategic partnership with Turkey -
Zaman
Galbraith: Kurds will part with Iraq someday - Radikal


BRIEFING:


MFA delegation in U.S.: According to a package presented to
the U.S. by MFA U/S Ugur Ziyal, Turkey is willing to take
part in various sectors of Iraqi reconstruction. Ankara is
ready to supply medical equipment, reconstruct the Iraqi
telecommunications system, and reform the banking sector.
Amb. Ziyal has told the U.S. that Turkey is ready to spend
part of the U.S.-provided $8.5 billion loan for the
restructuring of Iraq. Turkey has also voiced its readiness
to contribute to the international peacekeeping force in
Iraq. The package also envisages that Incirlik airbase
could be turned into a logistical support center for Iraq.
Dailies believe that Ziyal has assured the U.S. of Turkey's
backing for the U.S. position against Iran.


MFA persuades TGS against Iranian army chief visit: A TGS
attempt to invite Iran's commander of regular troops to
Turkey was halted by the MFA, which told the military that
the U.S. might be offended by military exchanges between
Ankara and Tehran, according to "Milliyet." The paper
quotes unidentified sources as saying that the Turkish
military would have triggered a controversy by hosting
Iranian commanders at a critical time when allegations are
being made by the U.S. and EU against Iran for developing
nuclear weapons. Following the warning, the TGS has decided
to postpone meetings with Iranian army officials. The paper
regards the attempt as a response by the TGS to Wolfowitz
and other American `hawks' who blame the military in Turkey
for rejection of the March 1 decree that would have allowed
foreign troops to be deployed on Turkish soil against Iraq.


Cyprus: U.S. Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston said
after meeting with the Turkish and Greek leaders on the
island earlier this week that the Greeks were ready to
negotiate the Annan plan while Denktas maintains his rigid
stance. Weston stressed that a settlement is expected
before the Greek Cypriots' EU membership begins in 2004. EU
expansion chief Verheugen said on Tuesday that Ankara and
Denktas should grab the opportunity provided by the Annan
plan since, he noted, the Greek side would definitely join
the EU next year.


Galbraith suggests `loose federation' for Iraq: The former
U.S. envoy to post-war Croatia, Peter Galbraith, told the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee that a loose federation
based on the Canadian or Bosnian model is most appropriate
for Iraq. Kurds have been the most reliable regional ally
for the U.S., Galbraith noted, adding that the U.S. should
not worry much about a possible `peaceful divorce' between
the Kurds and Iraq in ten years time.


President approves critical UN accords: President Sezer has
approved two UN agreements on civil, political, economic and
cultural rights in advance of the EU summit in Thessaloniki
this weekend. The agreements, signed byTurkey in August
2000, include the right of minorities to `self-
determination' use of their mother tongue.


EU wants election threshold lowered: "Hurriyet" claims that
the EU has asked Ankara, through various channels, to
lower the 10 percent threshold applied in general elections
in Turkey. The EU believes that the election threshold was
mainly implemented to keep pro-Kurdish DEHAP from winning
parliamentary seats. "Hurriyet" expects the new EU demand
to put considerable pressure on the AKP, which might lose
its comfortable majority in parliament by such a move.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iran


"The truth about Iran"
Cengiz Candar opined in the conservative DB Tercuman (6/18):
"Arguing about whether or not `it's now Iran's turn' only
serves the interests of conspiracy-theorists. The fact of
the matter is that the US wants to see a regime change in
Iran as quickly as possible, and will intensify its efforts
toward this goal. However, this goal is not leading to a
military operation. There is no need for that. It seems
that the internal dynamics of Iran are strong and vivid
enough to make this change without the need for external
intervention. . The truth about Iran stands as an historic
proof of the collapse of political Islam."


"Iranians are just fed up"
Zafer Atay observed in the economic-political Dunya (6/18):
"The street protests in Iran, although minor in number, are
very much typical of totalitarian regimes, such as the
former Ceauscescu regime in Bucharest. . The US is doing its
best to use Iranian anti-regime leaders. However, the real
energy stems from the people of Iran, who are fed up with
the current system. . The US will not start a military
operation at this stage against Iran as long as Iran does
its homework. The initial signs, however, are not
promising. Iran has declined to accept a team of inspectors
from the IAEA. . Washington has already declared to the
world that Iran has a `secret' nuclear weapons program.
More importantly, the EU is on the US side this time. It
remains to be seen whether the Mullahs will take the proper
lesson from this though, judging from past experience, it
seems unlikely."


PEARSON

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