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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 02 ANKARA 004451

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
TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEAL
Turkish liaison officer to Baghdad - Hurriyet
US does not apologize; Gul goes to Washington - Aksam
The US: We're sorry - Turkiye
Duel of words with the US - Sabah
The AKP's gamble on referendum - Sabah
Crisis over the Turkomen - Milliyet
Ankara is unhappy about Turkoman representation - Vatan


OPINION MAKERS
Not mistrust; lack of communication - Radikal
Talabani seeks ways for reconciliation - Yeni Safak
Greenpeace act in Izmit - Radikal
Turkey-US to coordinate in Iraq - Zaman
Turkey will remain in northern Iraq as long as PKK
threat exists - Cumhuriyet
Greenpeace prevented the burn - Cumhuriyet
US has acknowledged its mistake - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Turkish-U.S. commission for Suleymaniye detentions: The
Turkish-American commission probing the detention of
Turkish troops in Northern Iraq released a joint
statement early Tuesday. The U.S. side admitted that
the arrests were wrong, but declined to apologize.
`Both sides expressed regret over the incident, and for
the treatment of Turkish soldiers during the detention
period,' the statement read. Both sides have agreed to
take additional measures to improve cooperation and
coordination to prevent a recurrence of similar
incidents. "Sabah" claims that at the commission
meetings on Monday, U.S. officials presented to the
Turks documents proving that Turkish troops in Northern
Iraq had given weapons to the Turkomen. The Turks
responded by showing the Americans photos of U.S.
officials meeting with PKK/KADEK members.


U.S. wants Turkomans disarmed: "Milliyet" writes that
U.S. troops in Northern Iraq will launch an operation
against Turkomen offices in Irbil, Kirkuk, Mosul, and
Suleymaniye because the Turkomen have so far refused to
relinquish their weapons. The Turkomen have told the
Americans that they wished to keep the weapons because
of safety concerns, and agreed to be disarmed only if
KDP and PUK also lay down their arms.


Talabani sends warm message to Ankara: PUK leader
Talabani has encouraged Ankara to open a consulate in
Suleymaniye, according to "Yeni Safak.". Believing
Talabani to be the main figure responsible for the
Suleymaniye incident, Ankara has refused to renew the
PUK leader's Turkish passport. The paper regards the
Talabani offer as a goodwill gesture to mend fences
with Turkey.


Ambassador Pearson expects no delay in aid for Turkey:
Speaking to the press after a farewell visit to
Turkey's Union of Chambers (TOBB) on Monday, U.S.
Ambassador Pearson said that the U.S. would not delay
the $1 billion grant to Turkey for damages suffered
during the Iraq crisis. Pearson said that the U.S.
side is expecting a Turkish delegation in Washington to
discuss final details of the assistance package.


Turkey downsizes military: Turkey's military has
decided to reduce its troops by 17 percent, and began
dismissing 90,000 soldiers, dailies report. The
duration of compulsory military service has been
reduced from 18 to 15 months, and from 16 to 12 months
for reserve officers.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"The Turkoman Shock for Ankara"
Sedat Ergin evaluates the Iraqi governing council in
mass appeal Hurriyet (7/15): "For the Turkoman
representative, Ambassador Paul Bremer's choice was a
lady from the Turkoman Women's Union as opposed to
Ahmed Aga, leader of Iraqi Turkoman Front. This choice
is completely against what Ankara had been expecting to
see, and it has a special meaning. The US took care to
include all political organizations in Iraq, with the
notable exception of the Turkoman. The Turkoman
community has been given representation in the
governing council not through its main political
organization, but through a non-governmental
organization. The US apparently does not want to
involve Turkey in the process of Iraq's political
future. . Bremer's final list clearly says to Ankara
that Turkey will not be a part of the political
dialogue with the US about Iraq. . After all, this is
the `political operation' that comes after the recent
military operation against the Turks in Suleymaniye."


"The Global Gangster"
Ozgen Acar argued in the social democrat-intellectual
Cumhuriyet (7/15): "It seems the situation for
President Bush is getting messier every day. He is now
labeled as a `liar,' and things are not promising for
the future, since the Iraq occupation is becoming an
increasingly complex issue. . Popular support for Bush
has dropped from 90 percent to 58. The Defense
Secretary is after supplemental budget, which signals

SIPDIS
that in Iraq the US will have to spend more than it can
possibly earn from oil revenues. . The US failed to
capture Usama Bin Laden in Afghanistan or Saddam in
Iraq. Yet US intelligence managed to capture 11
Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq prior to their
assassination attempt against the governor of Kirkuk.
It looks like the day is approaching when nobody will
take the CIA seriously."


PEARSON

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