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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 004033

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, JUNE 24, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


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


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Gul: I may visit the U.S. - Sabah
NIE report shows Bush might have lied - Hurriyet
U.S. planning a regular Iraqi army of 40,000 - Aksam
Saddam letter to U.S. outlines surrender conditions - Sabah
`Iron Horse' chasing Saddam - Milliyet
Israel admits assassination attempt on Arafat - Sabah
EU leaders: Turkey might become EU's trump card on Mideast -
Milliyet
German envoy: Turkey's place is in Europe - Hurriyet
Erdogan: Unilateral goodwill moves not enough in Cyprus -
Turkiye
Turkey to cut troops by 90,000 - Vatan


OPINION MAKERS
Invaders depressed: U.S. troops want to go home - Cumhuriyet
Pipeline wars in Iraq - Yeni Safak
WT: Time to kiss-and-make up with Turkey - Cumhuriyet
Tehran bans student demonstrations - Radikal
Belgium obeys U.S. - Zaman
Putin silences last dissident broadcaster - Radikal
Hamas leader: No peace under occupation - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Gul might visit U.S. in July: On his return from the WEF
meetings in Jordan, Foreign Minister Gul said that he would
soon pay an official visit to the U.S. Dailies report that
the date of the visit would be set according to the schedule
of Secretary Powell. Papers also note that the foreign
ministers of Greece and Palestine, and the King of Jordan
would visit Turkey soon.


Turkey to join Iraqi reconstruction: Ankara is being invited
to a meeting on the reconstruction of Iraq in New York next
week, papers say. A delegation from Iraq will also attend
the meeting.


EU officials warmer to Turkey: "Milliyet" reports a
`changing' attitude of EU member countries regarding
Turkey's position vis--vis Europe, saying that EU leaders
began viewing Turkey as a trump card in their relations with
the Middle East. The EU's foreign policy chief Javier
Solana said at the WEF meetings in Jordan that full
membership of Turkey to the Union would make Europe a
neighbor to the Middle East. German Foreign Minister
Fischer said Turkey's EU membership was crucial for peace
and stability in the region.
National Program out for discussion: MFA officials have
briefed on Monday the cabinet on the 977-page National
Program for Turkey's EU drive, papers report. Government
Spokesman Cicek said the draft would be discussed with the
opposition party CHP, and with some NGOs like Turkey's
businessmen's association TUSIAD as well.


Prosecutor to file lawsuit against Uzan: Following a
complaint by Prime Minister Erdogan's lawyers on grounds of
insult and libel, the prosecutor's office has initiated an
investigation into Genc Party leader Cem Uzan's remarks
against Erdogan. The investigation might lead the
prosecutor to demand up to three years prison sentence for
Uzan, papers say. If convicted, Uzan will be banned from
politics.


Parliamentary investigation against former politicians: A
parliamentary commission against corruption has demanded
investigation against a number of certain political figures
for corruption and graft, reports say. A former prime
minister and ex-ANAP chairman Mesut Yilmaz is accused of
irregularities in the Blue Stream natural gas agreement with
Russia, and in construction of the Black Sea motorway.
Former cabinet ministers Husamettin Ozkan (DSP), Gunes Taner
(ANAP), Cumhur Ersumer (ANAP), and Koray Aydin (MHP) are
also under investigation on claims of corruption regarding
energy, construction, and privatization contracts, reports
note.


EU funds for SE Turkey: EU's Turkey representation has
announced on Monday a decision to provide 500 million Euro
aid annually for the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP)
until 2006, papers report. EU representative Hans Jorg
Kretschner said special efforts are needed for
implementation of EU reforms, and noted that EU funds would
be spent for education and, social and cultural projects in
southeast Turkey.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iran / Iraq


"Iran"
Ozgen Acar observed in social democrat-intellectual
Cumhuriyet (6/24): "It is interesting to see some comments
calling for the US to intervene in Iran as they did in Iraq.
The regime in Iran is not only an enemy to Turkey and its
secular system, but also it is hostile to democracy. Yet I
would not sympathize with `the US should intervene in Iran'
rationale. . It is a well-known fact that at least during
the last 10 years Iran has been working on a nuclear weapons
development program. Dictatorships such as Iran may use
nuclear weapons unexpectedly and this possibility itself is
a great threat to Turkey. . However, the motives behind the
nuclear armament should also be inquired into. Iran's
nuclear weapons development began with the need to establish
a defense or offense when necessary against Israel, which
has nuclear weapons as well. What is the reason for the
IAEA not doing a nuclear arms inspection in Israel?"


"Lies and mistakes"
Zafer Atay wrote in the economic-political Dunya (6/24):
"Things are becoming a mess for the Bush administration
because of the way it seems the Hawks have built their Iraq
policy on lies and mistakes. . It seems very unlikely that
the American forces in Iraq will be able to find any weapons
of mass destruction. All over the indications lead us to
the fact that the Saddam regime actually destroyed its WMD
prior to the UN inspection. . The US administration has made
another mistake by convincing itself that it is seen as the
savior of Iraq. And the ongoing instability as well as
social disorder seems to be creating a very painful period
for the US administration. It remains to be seen what other
consequences will occur after carrying out a policy filled
with lies and mistakes."


PEARSON

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