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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 004068

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 25, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


--------------------------------------------- ------
HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Gul: Foreign troops might be allowed on Turkish bases -
Hurriyet
Turkey to open bases, harbors to U.S. - Vatan
UN: 27 million Iraqis need food, medicine - Turkiye
Reeker unaware of possible Gul visit to U.S. - Hurriyet
WP, ABC survey: 56 percent of Americans support strike
against Iran - Milliyet
AKP's `army of Imams' of 15,000 - Milliyet
Graham Fuller: Turkey indispensable for U.S. - Aksam
Joint contact group between TOBB-CSIS - Sabah
1,000 paid $4 million to have dinner with Bush - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Turkey to open bases for Iraqi humanitarian supply - Zaman
Turkey urges U.S. on tighter control of Habur border
crossing - Zaman
Blair, Berlusconi, Aznar losing popular support - Yeni Safak
6,000 `oil police' to guard Iraqi pipelines - Yeni Safak
Religious Affairs becomes Gargantuan - Radikal
EC plan to decrease Turkish population in Cyprus -
Cumhuriyet
Holbrooke angers Denktas - Cumhuriyet
U.S. court approves `positive discrimination' on behalf of
black students - Radikal


BRIEFING


`Iraq dialogue' between U.S., Turkey: "Cumhuriyet" reports
about ongoing talks between the U.S. and Turkey on Iraq.
Washington has a positive view of Ankara's approach to
PKK/KADEK defectors, but wants the scope of the draft
`Repentance Law' expanded. During a recent visit to
Washington, MFA U/S Ambassador Ziyal presented the U.S. with
a list of possible Turkish contributions to the rebuilding
of Iraq, according to Cumhuriyet. Ankara signaled that
Turkey's airbases and ports would be opened to the U.S.,
that Turkey would send troops for Iraqi peacekeeping, that
U.S. troops in Iraq could spend vacations in Turkey, and
that Turkey's higher education council (YOK) could help in
the restructuring of Iraqi universities.


Northern Iraq disarms: KDP and PUK officials have agreed
with U.S. General Colin Schite that civilians living in
Northern Iraq should be disarmed within two weeks, papers
report. Only peshmerges of the two Kurdish groups will be
allowed to carry weapons.
EC adopts `anti-Turkish' bills: Dailies write about two anti-
Turkish reports adopted on Tuesday by the Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly. The first report claims that the
Greeks and Maronites are living under pressure in Northern
Cyprus, and that their properties have been seized. The
other report demands that migrants sent from Turkey to the
north of the island following the Turkish occupation in 1974
should return home. The movement of settlers has caused
significant changes in the demographic structure of the
island, where settlers from Turkey now outnumber native
Turkish Cypriots.


Denktas rebuffs criticism by Holbrooke: Turkish Cypriot
leader Denktas responded to Richard Hobrooke, who had blamed
him for blocking a solution on the island merely out of
personal ambition. Denktas said: `I have turned 79, and
cannot be obsessed by greed at this age.' Denktas accused
Holbrooke of involvement in financial dealings with the
Greeks.


AKP to hire more Muslim preachers: Ruling AKP lawmakers
voted on Tuesday for a massive increase in the number of
Muslim clerics and preachers employed by the state, papers
report. The AKP backed the increase in the budget for the
Department of Religious Affairs (DIB), the state body that
employs around 88,000 staff and preachers to run mosques
across Turkey and in other countries. They voted to employ
an additional 15,000 clerics and preachers, instead of a
proposed 1,600. Opposition party CHP officials said a total
of 34,000 public sector appointments were planned by the
government in 2003, and that the enormous additional
staffing would make DIB the fifth largest public
institution. The IMF had earlier opposed a similar attempt
by AKP. The decision still needs to be approved in the main
assembly, where the AKP has a strong majority, and signed by
the president before it takes effect.


EDITORIAL OPINION: US-Pakistan; Iran


"The US and Pakistan"
Fikret Ertan wrote in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman
(6/25): "The visit of Pakistan's leader Musharraf to Camp
David is significantly important for the future of Asia as
well as ties between Washington and Islamabad. . Issues on
the agenda range from the Kashmir problem to Afghanistan,
and from changes in the Pakistani army to Pakistan's
official recognition of Israel. . The issues discussed and
results achieved at the Camp David meeting will not only
have an enormous effect on the US-Pakistan relations, but
will also play a determining role in the future of
Afghanistan and other countries in the region. The US-
Pakistani summit could also have an impact on the political
status of General Musharraf."


"Changing regime in Iran"
Ergin Yildizoglu argued in social democrat-intellectual
Cumhuriyet (6/25): "The effort to change the regime in Iran
is part of an American policy to alter the regional
equilibrium. Following the occupation of Iraq, regional
balances have shifted. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries
have lost their strategic importance. By stationing itself
in northern Iraq, the US now has the advantage to be able to
intervene in both Iran and Turkey. . If the Mullahs' regime
in Iran is eventually replaced with a pro-American regime,
the US will have the privilege of controlling an energy
corridor from Iraq to China. In this case, Turkey will lose
its strategic importance and its future will be tied to its
relationship with Washington. . It is in Turkey's interest
as well that Iran changes its regime, yet becomes a
democratic and independent country with which Turkey can
establish a certain degree of alliance."


PEARSON

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