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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 004318

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 9, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
--------------------------------------------- -
HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Make-up visit by General Jones - Milliyet
General Jones rushed to Ankara - Sabah
Washington sees Turkey as a problem - Hurriyet
CHP: U.S. should apologize - Hurriyet
Bush admits Iraqi uranium story a lie - Turkiye
U.S. admits Iraq had no uranium - Aksam
General Franks replaced by `Crazy Arab' - Aksam
Blair fully backs war decision against Iraq - Vatan
Israel's dream: Turkey a bridge between Israel, Arabs -
Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
U.S. sends NATO commander to make Ankara happy - Zaman
Bush did not apologize for slavery on Africa tour -
Cumhuriyet
General Franks retires - Yeni Safak
Sezer: Turkey ready to support Mideast peace - Radikal
Turmoil in Palestine, Abbas might resign - Zaman
Katzav: Turkey should mediate in Middle East -
Cumhuriyet
Armenian genocide crisis at doorstep - Yeni Safak
Tension high in Tehran - Radikal
Mullahs get richer, people poorer in Iran - Cumhuriyet
Saddam takes stage on Lebanese TV - Radikal


BRIEFING


Detention crisis: Foreign Minister Gul said the
detention of Turkish troops in Suleymaniye last weekend
would stir instability in the region. Gul said that it
would not be in the U.S. interest to provoke anti-
American sentiment in an ally like Turkey. He added
that Turkey would keep its troops in Northern Iraq
until security conditions improve. U.S. Ambassador
Robert Pearson told the semi-official Anatolian Press
agency that preliminary information had been given to
the Turkish side regarding the detentions in
Suleymaniye. Pearson added that any dialogue with the
PKK/KADEK would take place in coordination with the
Turkish government. EUCOM General James Jones arrived
in Ankara on Tuesday to defuse tensions between the two
NATO allies. During his call on the TGS, General Jones
was given the message that Turkish troops in Northern
Iraq would retaliate to new attacks. The TGS told the
American side that Turkish troops had the right to stay
in Northern Iraq in order to eliminate threats from
terrorist groups based in the region. General Jones
and the Turks agreed to discuss the matter in Ankara on
Wednesday at a joint commission with officials from
both sides.


"Hurriyet" says the U.S. Administration has no
intention to apologize over the Suleymaniye incident.
U.S. officials are complaining about unacceptable
activities by Turkish troops in Northern Iraq, and
demanding the withdrawal of soldiers from the region.
Papers believe that the GOT, alarmed by the incident in
Northern Iraq and the Armenian genocide bill, will
review Turkey's strategic cooperation with the U.S. at
the National Security Council (NSC) meeting later this
month.


Armenian genocide draft: Dailies believe that the
Armenian genocide bill submitted to the Senate for
approval could contribute to a further souring of ties
between the U.S. and Turkey. Vice President Cheney has
been working to ensure a rejection of the bill.
Justice Minister and government spokesman Cemil Cicek
reportedly said that the genocide issue was an
opportunity for the U.S. to repair the strain in its
ties with Turkey.


Israeli President in Turkey: Visiting Israeli President
Katzav said after meeting with his Turkish counterpart
Sezer and Prime Minister Erdogan on Tuesday that Turkey
could mediate to help improve Israel's ties with the
Arabs. Katzav also responded warmly to Erdogan's offer
to host a summit meeting between Israel and Palestine
in Turkey. Katzav stressed the significance of the
U.S.-Israeli-Turkish strategic partnership for peace in
the region, and asked for Ankara's support against
Iranian nuclear programs targeting Israel.


EDITORIAL OPINION: US-Turkish Relations/N. Iraq


"Strategic Tuning"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (7/9): "The
incident in northern Iraq is clearly the end of the
strategic partnership between the two countries. The
detention of Turkish soldiers is like `putting the nail
in the coffin' of the partnership. The concept of
strategic partnership was created in the post-cold war
era and developed over the course of time. However,
the Iraq crisis has put an end to this concept, which
actually means that the ties were never at the level of
a genuine partnership. . The Turkish military presence
in northern Iraq is designed to address three goals:
the elimination of the PKK/KADEK; the monitoring of
political and military activities of the Kurds; and
providing assistance to the Turkomen. . Rhetorically,
the US does not have a different position from Turkey's
in any of these three areas. Yet in practice we see
some differences stemming from skepticism or mistrust.
These differences can be eliminated as long as Ankara
and Washington agree on the fundamental parameters.
Both countries are in need of strategic fine-tuning."


"What the US is doing?"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in mass appeal-conservative Turkiye
(7/9): "It seems credible that the US is actually
trying to give a clear warning to Turkey in order to
get Ankara on its side in upcoming operations against
Iran and Syria. The US wants Ankara to realize that
there is no room for neutrality in this game.
Washington has been issuing indirect or verbal
warnings, yet Ankara did not take them seriously to
this point. In a possible operation against Iran, it
is very likely that the US will ask Turkey to join.
There is one more possibility which is also credible:
The US may be trying to eliminate the Turks in the area
and weaken the Turkomans and Arabs in order to pave the
way for an autonomy for its loyal allies Barzani and
Talabani. . The incident in northern Iraq is
unacceptable and incompatible with the spirit of the
NATO alliance. This incident is only turning the US
into a loser. The US captured Iraq very quickly, but
what comes next is unknown even to the US. Such
policies will make it even harder for the US to retain
its hegemony in the region."


PEARSON

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