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.




E.O. 12958: N/A
FRIDAY, JULY 11, 2003


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

Gen. Sylvester admits Suleymaniye incident was
unpleasant - Hurriyet
Talabani scared, cancels Ankara visit - Milliyet
Dervis: Suleymaniye arrests a gross mistake - Milliyet
Ankara to review its 7-year military presence in N.
Iraq - Sabah
Cheney kept his promise on Armenian bill - Sabah
Cheney, Wolfowitz team-up against Armenian bill - Aksam
Bush intervenes, Armenian genocide bill suspended -
Yerevan ready for dialog with Turkey - Turkiye
Barzani, Talabani write joint op-ed on `Kurdistan' -
Bush: Uranium information was false - Sabah

Gul: Evidence shown by U.S. not convincing - Cumhuriyet
Monthly cost of Iraq invasion to U.S.: $4 billion -
Yeni Safak
10,000 civilians missing in Iraq - Yeni Safak
Blair in Iraq swamp - Radikal
Jewish lobby intervenes against Armenian bill - Zaman
7th EU package will clear Turkey's path - Yeni Safak
Bush meets Africa - Cumhuriyet
Israel detains Palestinian children - Cumhuriyet


Detention crisis: Foreign Minister Gul said the
evidence presented by the American side at the joint
fact-finding commission investigating the Suleymaniye
crisis was `not convincing.' The Americans told the
commission that Turkish troops in Northern Iraq had
been involved in activities going beyond the scope of
their mission. The Turks criticized the mistreatment
of their troops. The head of the American team,
Lieutenant-General John Sylvester, admitted that
Turkish soldiers were badly treated, but said he was
not authorized to apologize over the incident. General
Sylvester went to Northern Iraq Thursday evening and,
after his return on Saturday, the commission is
expected to issue a joint statement regarding the
future nature of Turkish military activities in the
region. The U.S. has agreed that Turkey's military
presence in Northern Iraq should continue until the
PKK/KADEK threat is eliminated, according to "Radikal."
"Sabah" says that Americans want the estimated 10,000
Turkish troops in Northern Iraq to leave the region.
Meanwhile, PUK leader Talabani, who was scheduled to be
in Ankara for talks on Thursday, cancelled his visit to
avoid a possible clash over the his alleged role in the
Suleymaniye incident.

Armenian genocide bill: Vice President Cheney, upset by
the recent strain in U.S., Turkey ties, lobbied hard
against a controversial Armenian genocide draft from
being discussed in the U.S. Congress. "Sabah" reports.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz and Assistant
Secretary of State Armitage also urged Congressmen to

block the motion. The American Jewish Committee (AJC)
also sent a letter to Congress opposing the bill.
Reports quote the Armenian parliamentary speaker as
saying that Yerevan is open to dialog for normalization
of ties with Turkey.
EU reforms package: A parliamentary commission approved
the amendments to the anti-terror law in the 6th EU
harmonization package. The amendments had previously
been vetoed by President Sezer. Justice Minister and
government spokesman Cemil Cicek also said that the 7th
reform package would be submitted to parliament next
week for enactment before the summer recess. The
package would bring changes to the structure of the
National Security Council (NSC), the penal code, the
military penal code, and the law of associations.

Cyprus: "Cumhuriyet" cites a report in the Greek
Cypriot daily "Politis" that the U.S. has a `new
formula' to re-start the Cyprus peace negotiations.
"Politis" claims that U.S. Special Cyprus Coordinator
Tom Weston will discuss the formula with Turkish
officials in Ankara next week.

EDITORIAL OPINION: US-Turkish Relations/N. Iraq

"The Suleymaniye Aftermath"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the mass appeal-conservative
Turkiye (7/11): "From our perspective, we should be
able to see the big picture and realize our mistakes
during the Iraq war. Turkey's position in northern
Iraq has already been weakened because of these
mistakes. Certain other countries also defied the US
and stood against the military operation. Yet the
Europeans will make it up with Washington sooner or
later. At this point, Turkey should be very careful to
take the necessary steps in order not to fall back into
the Third World. This issue should be considered as a
national cause. From the US perspective, the `Pax
Americana' cannot possibly be achieved if Turkey is
alienated. Originally, the US wanted to achieve its
goals with Turkey's help, but the parliament's
rejection of the motion gave Washington serious doubts
about Turkey. In its long-term planning, Ankara should
formulate a policy that embraces the US rather than
standing against it."

"The Turkish military, CENTCOM and EUCOM"
Sedat Ergin observed in the mass appeal Hurriyet
(7/11): "Washington has sent a General to conduct the
negotiations with Turkey over the Suleymaniye crisis.
General Sylvester is part of US EUCOM, which is
headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. However, those
responsible for the incident in northern Iraq are part
of CENTCOM, based in Tampa, FL. . This interesting
situation brings up once again one of the major sources
of tension between the Turkish and American militaries.
The Turkish military established a healthy working
relationship with the US military over the last 50
years within the framework of NATO. . The cooperative
military relationship with the US did not face any
serious issues until the current structural change.
Today, the military relationship has moved from NATO to
the Middle East (i.e. from EUCOM to CENTCOM), and this
new relationship has not yet been well defined."

© Scoop Media

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