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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 004019

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
MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Warm chat between Gul, Powell, Bremer - Hurriyet
Iranians urge mullahs to leave - Vatan
John Bolton: U.S. retains right to strike Iran - Aksam 6/21
U.S. seeks looted uranium in Iraq - Turkiye
Iraqi Kurds to unite their administrations - Milliyet 6/14
Iraq to exchange oil for diesel with Turkey - Sabah 6/22
Bush vows to continue Cyprus effort - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Hundreds of students missing in Iran - Radikal
Washington locked on Iran target - Cumhuriyet
Ankara prefers `evolution' in Iran - Cumhuriyet 6/21
Iraqis not happy with U.S. troops - Radikal 6/21
Bush determined to find Iraqi WMD - Zaman 6/22
Sabotage on pipeline delays Iraqi oil flow to Turkey - Yeni
Safak
Powell: Hamas the enemy of peace - Zaman 6/21
Gul: Turkey a source of inspiration for Middle East - Zaman
Erdogan thanks Greece for EU support - Radikal
Washington urges Ankara to back Annan plan - Cumhuriyet
Saudi intellectuals demand reform - Zamn 6/22


BRIEFING


Gul meets Powell at WEF: Foreign Minister Gul had a brief
meeting with Secretary of State Powell and Paul Bremer, the
U.S. overseer in Iraq. Gul discussed with his American
counterparts ways to boost bilateral relations, as well as
recent developments in Iraq and the Middle East. In his
speech to the World Economic Forum (WEF) summit, Gul said
that Turkey's democracy, respect for civil rights, and
transparency could inspire change in the Middle East.


EU summit at Thessaloniki: The EU praised Ankara for
enacting the 6th EU reform package, and stressed at meetings
in Thessaloniki, Greece that accession negotiations with
Turkey would begin in late 2004. Turkey has been invited to
an EU conference in October as an observer. Turkish leaders
Erdogan and Gul had dinner with the German, French, Italian
and Greek leaders, which was seen as an indication of Greek
support for Turkey. The final communique of the summit
urged Turkey to continue the reform process and to finalize
all legal changes before the end of 2003.


Americans meet KADEK: A delegation of U.S. officials held a
meeting with KADEK officials on June 12 in the region
controlled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK),
Saturday's "Cumhuriyet" reported under a front page headline
that read `Bush plays the KADEK card.' The American
delegation, headed by a colonel from Kirkuk, urged KADEK to
disarm, and promised them security guarantees.
Military service to be reduced: The TGS announced on Sunday
that compulsory military service would be reduced from 18 to
15 months, and tours for reserve officers will become 12
instead of 16 months. The decision will reduce the number
of soldiers in the Turkish military from 546,000 to
approximately 450,000. Papers expect the move to please EU
countries, which had been urging Turkey to cut defense
spending.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iran/US-Turkey


"New illusions"
Ali Aslan observed in Islamist-intellectual Zaman (6/23):
"From the public affairs perspective, the characterization
of U/S Ziyal's visit to Washington for public opinion has
the potential to create new illusions in Turkish-American
relations. Both Ziyal and Grossman spoke strongly about
`two strategic partners and allies.' Yet the real picture
was not as good. It seems that the two countries used the
media to disseminate their arguments, and now have decided
to make things up by using the media. . The fact of the
matter is that Turkish-American relations are suffering from
the lack of depth, which is the true measure of a strategic
partnership. There are efforts to upgrade bilateral
contacts, and Ziyal's visit is one of them. The visit did
make a positive impact on Washington. . Another illusion is
about the future of Iran. There is an overall picture
given in the media that Turkey has assured the US that `we
are with you on Iran.' Both the Bush administration and
certain lobbying groups managed to eliminate Ankara's
concerns about possible US plans for Syria and Iran.
However, this does not necessarily mean that Turkey is
committing itself to support the US no matter what. On the
other hand, Ankara and Washington have a common vision of
the future of Iran as a democratic country free of nuclear
weapons."


"Making up with the US"
Zafer Atay wrote in the economic-political Dunya (6/23):
"Turkey's new message on Iran was fine-tuned according to
what Washington wants to hear. Yet it requires a
clarification on Turkish policy to set the criteria for
supporting US policy and action in Iran. . Iran, on the
other hand, is in real trouble. The IAEA has issued some
very strong claims, including that Iran is secretly
producing nuclear weapons. Apart from the international
troubles with the US and IAEA, Iran is also suffering from
domestic disturbances which seem to be leading to a strong
anti-regime effort. . Turkish FM Gul has been invited to
the US in the midst of these developments. His visit should
be very carefully prepared so that he does not find himself
in trouble in Washington."
PEARSON

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