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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 003997

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, JUNE 20, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Powell invites Gul to U.S. - Turkiye
Gul, Powell might meet at WEF in Amman - Sabah
Wolfowitz: Turkey a model country - Aksam
John Kerry says Bush lied on Iraq - Milliyet
Turkish troops for Iraqi peacekeeping - Milliyet
`Crazy Arab' Abizaid to replace Gen. Franks - Hurriyet
U.S. planning war against Iran in 2004 - Vatan


OPINION MAKERS
Iraqi attacks on U.S. troops continue - Radikal
Poll: Only 1 percent of Iraqis happy with U.S. troops -
Zaman
Washington considering 30,000 peacekeepers for Iraq -
Radikal
WP: Incirlik to become logistical base for U.S. - Yeni Safak
British MPs: Israel applies Hitler methods in Gaza - Radikal
Athens to take Aegean problem to EU Thessaloniki Summit -
Cumhuriyet


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Turkey's EU National Program targets 12 percent inflation -
Dunya
Cabinet minister: Low Dollar could signal economic crisis -
Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Parliament approves EU reforms: The 6th package of EU
harmonization reforms was approved by parliament. The
reform package gained the backing of both the ruling AKP and
opposition CHP. Article 8 of the anti-terror law, which
bans separatist political propaganda, was abolished by the
new legislation. Broadcasts in languages other than Turkish
will be allowed, and the ban on Kurdish names has been
removed. Papers regard the only shortcoming of the package
as the removal of the clause allowing foreign observers to
monitor elections in Turkey. Dailies hail the swift
enactment of EU reforms, which moved Turkey `one step closer
to the EU.' Papers believe the EU will provide `generous'
financial aid for Turkey to support accession preparations.


MFA delegation's U.S. visit: MFA U/S Ambassador Ziyal told
the Washington Post that he was satisfied by his meetings in
Washington. Ziyal reiterated Ankara's readiness for
cooperation in Iraq, and noted that Incirlik airbase could
be turned into a logistical support center for coalition
troops. Ziyal also said that Secretary Powell has
officially invited Foreign Minister Gul to the U.S.
Islamist-oriented "Zaman" claims that the `strategic
partnership' phrase was used by U.S. officials during the
Ziyal visit merely as a diplomatic maneuver to prevent Ziyal
from leaving Washington `empty-handed.' Sources close to
the U.S. Administration believe that the erosion of trust
between the two countries is deep. Although Washington was
pleased by the messages issued by Gul at the OIC summit in
Tehran, it wants to see deeds as well as words, "Zaman"
reports.


Investigation into AWACS sale: A parliamentary commission on
corruption has asked the Defense Industry Undersecretariat
about the details of a controversial $1.5 billion purchase
of AWACS from Boeing's AWACS, "Milliyet" reports on its
front page. Boeing allegedly did not meet its obligations
under the agreement, and received an additional $180 million
in a `price adjustment.' "Milliyet" notes that former Prime
Minister Gul had refused to sign the agreement, which was
approved by PM Erdogan shortly after he took office.
Defense Minister Gonul allegedly said in April that Turkey
had approved the agreement in an effort to smooth relations
with the U.S.


Turkey will pay reparations to Greek Cypriot: Ankara will
comply with a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR) by paying $1 million in reparations for the seizure
of the Greek Cypriot Titina Loizidou's private property in
Girne after Turkey occupied North Cyprus in 1974. Dailies
point to some 3,000 pending lawsuits against Turkey on
similar grounds, which could add up to $20 billion. Papers
see the payment as a positive step forward in Turkey's drive
toward EU membership.


Tehran `flirts' with Turkish Alawis: "Cumhuriyet" blames
Tehran on its front page for ongoing attempts to export its
fundamentalist regime to Turkey. Iran's Embassy in Ankara
has invited Turkish Alawi representatives to Tehran, the
paper reports. A few organizations have accepted the
invitation, and Iran is continuing intensive missionary
activities in Turkey. These efforts have resulted in
considerable support for Tehran among Turkey's Islamists.
Alawis are an affluent political community in Turkey, and
are well-known for their commitment to secularism.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Mideast / Iran


"On the eve of a new Middle East"
Erdal Guven opined in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(6/20): "Iran is part of the `Axis of evil,' a fact that
should not be ignored. Iran is now becoming also a part of
a new Middle East design. It requires no prophecy to expect
an eventual regime change in Iran. . But the US is not going
to use tactics that worked in Afghanistan and Iraq for Iran.
In the Iranian case, the US is more of an observer than an
interventionist. The regime change process in Iran is
already working in a very healthy way, through Iran's
internal dynamics. The regime continues to hold power, yet
the moral high ground belongs to its opponents. At this
stage, the US will probably work toward strengthening the
hand of the regime's opponents and weakening the regime by
through secret operations. The new Middle East is about to
be born -- from Kabul to Jerusalem, and from Iraq to Iran."


"Pressing Iran and Turkey"
Sami Kohen observed in mass appeal Milliyet (6/20): "The
international community is exerting intense pressure on
Iran, even though Iran's production of nuclear arms has yet
to be documented. The Bush administration, just like during
the campaign against Iraq, is using the nuclear arms claim
on every possible occasion. The interesting part of this
story comes with the EU decision to support this claim. The
EU has joined the US campaign and started warning Iran,
including the implied threat of military force if diplomacy
fails. . Turkey shares the Western world's worries and
suspicion about Iran's nuclear program. Iran has been asked
to demonstrate to the international community that its
nuclear program is designed for peaceful purposes, as Tehran
claims. . During U/S Ziyal's visit to Washington, Ankara
made it clear that Turkey is on the US side on the Iran
issue. However, more specifics on this matter will be
worked through the efforts of the IAEA, in which Turkey is
one of 35 members."


PEARSON

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