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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 004190

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, JULY 2, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


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


MASS APPEALS
U.S. praises General Ozkok - Milliyet
Iran key country in U.S.-Turkey relations - Milliyet
Bush: Who is supposed to find WMD? - Sabah
Parliament sends Armenian genocide letter to Congress -
Hurriyet
Government will send EU package to Sezer unchanged - Turkiye
Israel plans total withdrawal from Palestine - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
U.S. concerned that Iraqi resistance might turn into freedom
fight - Yeni Safak
Americans fear `Vietnam syndrome' in Iraq - Radikal
Invaders' casualties increasing in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Pentagon used 5,842 as guinea pigs between 1962-1973 - Yeni
Safak
Pentagon tested chemicals on 6,000 Americans - Zaman
Sharon, Abbas put up show of compromise - Radikal
Gul expects full EU membership in 2010 - Zaman
Afghan people want Taliban - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Washington praises Gen. Ozkok: The Washington Administration
has sent a letter to Chief of Staff General Ozkok, lauding
the strong leadership displayed by the top commander of
Turkey's military, "Milliyet" reports. Milliyet regards the
letter as a `correction' to the controversial remarks by
Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz, who blamed the Turkish
military for failing to demonstrate strong leadership during
the Iraqi campaign.


Government prepares new EU reform package: The AKP
government is busy drafting a 7th package of EU
harmonization laws, and has asked for advice from the
military about changes to the structure of the National
Security Council (NSC). The government wants to change the
NSC regulation to enable the political leadership to appoint
a civilian to the post of NSC secretary general.


Survey: Civilians more liberal than officials: "Radikal"
gives details of a survey carried out by academics on 3,060
civilians and some members of Turkey's judiciary in 15
Turkish provinces. 73 percent of Turks believe that
violations of human rights are widepsread in Turkey, while
only 48 percent of the judiciary agree. 89 percent of
civilians and 73 percent of judiciary members think that
freedom of expression should not be restricted. 54 percent
of Turks and 62 percent of the judiciary are against
education in Kurdish. 74 percent of civilians and 73
percent of judiciary members support Turkey's EU membership.
Radikal comments that the survey results demonstrate that
the judiciary is `lagging behind' the Turkish public with
regard to human rights and EU issues.


Lawmakers send `Genocide' letter to U.S. Congress: Ruling
AKP and opposition CHP parliamentarians have sent a letter
to U.S. Congressmen expressing `deep concern' about a
possible U.S. endorsement of Armenian `genocide' claims,
which lack historical support, "Hurriyet" reports.


EDITORIAL OPINION: IRAQ


"Problems for the U.S"
Taha Akyol opined in mass appeal Milliyet (7/2):
"Other than the Kurds, no one seems to be happy with the
Americans in Iraq. It is obvious that an anti-American
regime will be established immediately when the US turns
over the administration to the true representatives elected
by the Iraqi people. Was this the reason George Bush went
to war?! The reaction of the masses increases in Iraq as
the US extends its stay in its attempt to establish
stability. Unfortunately, the US did not fully understand
the 1,400-year tradition of Shiite opposition, and could not
foresee the reaction of the Iraqi people. The US had
wrongly expected to be welcomed with flowers! The US,
recalling the countless Shiite rebellions against Saddam, US
believed the Shiites would support the occupation.The fact
that the US has asked for troops from Turkey and Pakistan
for Iraq does not mean that the US will be met with flowers
by those two countries either. Of course, our relations
with the US are highly important, and we cannot ignore Iraq.
However, Turkey should avoid the being part of a `police
force' against Iraq, and should try to convince the US to
shape developments for Iraq's benefit."


"Now it is understood who needs whom"
Semih Idiz comments in mass appeal Aksam (7/2):
"If Joseph Biden, the well know Democrat from Delaware, is
talking about Turkey, you can believe me that there is no
good that can come from that! Biden is also a respected
member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee and, until
a short time ago, he never missed the chance to embrace an
anti-Turkish cause. After visiting the region with a group
of congressmen, Biden suggested that some countries,
including Turkey, should assume greater responsibilities in
Iraq. Moreover, he called for Turkish troops to `guard the
street corners' in Baghdad! Obviously, this is related to
the swamp the US is sinking into in Iraq. Let me phrase
this differently: the US has begun to understand that not
only France and Germany, but also Turkey, should play a role
in Iraq.What should Turkey do in this situation? In my
opinion, the worst thing for us would be to jump into the
middle of this fire in order to make up with the US. We
have to evaluate the issue in its real dimensions, meaning
that we should not `pick the US chestnuts out of the
fire.'.If the US fully realizes the Iraqi reality and
decides to pass this operation to the UN, then we should
consider a serious role. Otherwise, there is no point in
throwing our own troops into unknown dangers just to save
the Americans. Before the war, I consistently told the
Americans: `Obviously you will win this war. That is
definite. But have you ever thought about the aftermath?!'
Obviously, they did not."


PEARSON

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