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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 004426

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
MONDAY, JULY 14, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEAL
Gen. Sylvester awaits Washington's approval to release
statement - Hurriyet
U.S. will voice `regret,' not `apology' over
Suleymaniye arrests - Turkiye
Goodwill visit by `Crazy Arab' - Sabah
Ankara shows `red card' to Talabani - Turkiye
The day Baghdad fell declared official holiday -
Milliyet
CIA, U.S. Administration's scapegoat - Hurriyet 7/13
Half of Americans think Bush is a liar - Milliyet 7/13
Democrats press Bush to reveal the truth on Iraqi WMD -
Milliyet 7/13
Incirlik Commander Col. Felman: Turks our best ally -
Milliyet 7/12
Blair voices support for Turkey's EU drive - Vatan


OPINION MAKERS
Bremer convenes interim Iraqi government - Radikal
Bremer ready to share troubles in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
7/13
Americans launch 4th operation to break Iraqi
resistance - Cumhuriyet
Sezer letter to Bush: Suleymaniye raid unacceptable -
Cumhuriyet
`Pinocchio' Blair - Radikal 7/13
Denktas offers Varosha in return for access to Nicosia
airport - Radikal 7/12
Greeks cold to Denktas proposal - Zaman 7/13
Weston: Annan Plan the sole path to Cyprus solution -
Zaman


BRIEFING


Turkish-U.S. commission for Suleymaniye detentions:
Lieutenant-General John Sylvester paid an inspection
visit to Kerkuk and Suleymaniye on Friday. The
Americans were forced to withdraw their accusations
against Turkish special forces in the region, including
the allegation of an assassination attempt against
Kirkuk's Kurdish governor. General Sylvester came back
to Ankara on Sunday, and meetings of the joint
commission resumed. A joint statement by the
commission is expected on Monday. The American
delegation is awaiting Washington's approval to release
the statement, dailies report. General Sylvester has
admitted that the methods used by U.S. soldiers in
detaining the Turks were wrong. The U.S. side is to
launch an investigation against its troops involved in
the raid. Papers also say that President Sezer will
send a letter on the issue to President Bush via U.S.
Ambassador Robert Pearson. Sezer's letter will
denounce the mistreatment of Turkish troops. Prime
Minister Erdogan said that the U.S. side had fulfilled
all promises made by Vice President Cheney following
the arrests. Meanwhile, papers write that Ankara,
believing Talabani to be behind the Suleymaniye
incident, has refused to renew the PUK leader's Turkish
passport.
General Abizaid due to Turkey: The new CENTCOM
Chairman, General John Abizaid, will stop over in
Turkey on his way to Qatar later this week, "Sabah"
reports. General Abizaid will extend an `olive branch'
to Ankara to repair the strain over the Suleymaniye
arrests. The paper quotes an official from the U.S.
Administration as saying that the Abizaid visit could
open a new chapter in bilateral relations.


Erdogan conveys Bush message to Assad: Prime Minister
Erdogan conveyed a message by President Bush to Syrian
President Assad in a telephone conversation on Friday.
Erdogan reportedly urged Syria to make a reliable and
convincing effort to combat terrorism. Assad promised
decisive action in the fight against terror, and said
that the Syrian prime minister would visit Turkey on
July 28 to discuss the matter in detail.


Washington Institute report on Turkey: Saturday's
"Hurriyet" carries excerpts of a report by the
Washington Institute (WI) drawing attention to rising
anti-American sentiment in Turkey. The report urges
Ankara to work together with the U.S. to eliminate the
PKK/KADEK presence in Northern Iraq. Ankara should see
the Iraqi Kurds as part of the `Turkish family,' the
report argues. WI also warns that Congressional
approval of a resolution on the Armenian genocide would
worsen ties with Turkey.


Cyprus: In a letter to the UN, Turkish Cypriot leader
Denktas offered a new package of confidence-building
measures. Denktas suggests that both Turkish and Greek
Cypriots should use the abandoned town of Varosha and
have access to the international airport in Nicosia.
In exchange, Greek Cypriot vessels and planes will be
given access to Turkish harbors and airports, and
Turkey will launch free trade activities with the Greek
Cypriots. Papers believe that the Greek Cypriot side
is unlikely to abandon the UN-sponsored peace plan,
which has firm EU backing.


EDITORIAL OPINION: US-Turkish Relations/Iraq


"The Day After"
Asli Aydintasbas wrote in mass appeal Sabah (7/14):
"The Suleymaniye crisis stemmed largely from US
commanders in CENTCOM acting on their own initiative.
This is not the first crisis between the Turkish
military and CENTCOM. There is ongoing mistrust on
both sides. However, the high-ranking military and
political authorities on both the Turkish and American
sides are working assiduously to find a settlement to
the crisis. On the US side, very important names
including Cheney, Wolfowitz and Powell consider the US
action in Suleymaniye to be a mistake, and take
Turkey's objections as justifiable arguments. Of
course, they don't make these views public. In fact,
the parameters of Turkish-American relations have
changed in post-war Iraq. Turkey has lost its position
as indispensable for the US. The new parameters will
be developed based on the level of cooperation on the
Iraq issue."
"The Wings of Pentagon and Turkey"
Ali Aslan wrote from Washington in the Islamist-
intellectual Zaman (7/14): "It is obvious that the
Pentagon was by-passed in the Suleymaniye incident.
There are two wings at the Pentagon -- the civilian
wing and the military wing. . Leaders of the military
wing are so upset with Turkey because of the its
rejection of US troop deployments that they don't even
want to hear Turkey's name mentioned. This sentiment
will likely continue for at least another 5 to 10
years. . The civilian wing, on the other hand, is under
the control of the `neo-conservatives.' They seem to
be willing to move on with Turkey and put their
disappointment behind them. Their overall attitude
about Turkey coincides with the State Department's
moderate approach. . Both wings of the Pentagon have
something in common: They both want to see the Iraqi
Kurds have more influence and more representation --
not only in the north, but throughout Iraq. They would
like to keep Turkey out of northern Iraq to the extent
possible as long as Turkey resists the US vision for
the Kurds. The neo-cons, however, do not approve of
the way the Turkish soldiers were treated in the
Suleymaniye incident. So in this particular event, it
is the military wing of the Pentagon that should to be
blamed."


PEARSON

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