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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 004467

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 16, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEALS
Ankara releases statement without waiting for
Washington - Milliyet
Statement voices regret, not apology - Milliyet
Boucher: Washington's evaluation of joint statement
continues - Sabah
U.S. not sorry enough to apologize - Vatan
Unilateral `regret' over Suleymaniye incident - Sabah
Mere `regrets' from U.S. - Turkiye
Crisis frozen - Aksam
Rumsfeld letter arrives instead of apology - Hurriyet
Bush in Turkey next year - Hurriyet
Denktas: Varosha might be opened to Turks - Hurriyet
North Korea admits plutonium production - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Restriction on Turkey's activities in N. Iraq -
Cumhuriyet
U.S.-Turkey Friendship Group criticizes detentions -
Yeni Safak
Baykal on detentions: Turkey's pride is hurt - Yeni
Safak
Talabani denies involvement in Suleymaniye incident -
Zaman
U.S. watches KDP, PUK officials close to former Iraqi
regime - Cumhuriyet
Attacks prevent U.S. from pulling troops out of Iraq -
Radikal
Scott Ritter: Bush acted on lies, attacked Iraq -
Radikal
Syria pulls back troops from Lebanon - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Detention commission statement: In a joint military
statement on Tuesday, the U.S. and Turkey expressed
regret at "the treatment which Turkish soldiers faced
in detention." Papers say that the statement fell far
short of the expectations of the nation and Turkey's
politicians. The Americans have refused to apologize,
but managed to include in the statement U.S. concern
over Turkey's covert actions in the region. "Aksam"
claims that significant problems remain between the two
allies, and that the crisis has been frozen
temporarily. The U.S. has only `regretted' the
mistreatment of Turkish soldiers, but not the raid
itself, "Milliyet" stresses. The U.S. is annoyed that
TGS released the statement without waiting for
confirmation from Washington. "Cumhuriyet" writes that
details of a regional coordination mechanism between
the two allies will be discussed during the visit of
CENTCOM Chairman General Abizaid this weekend. The
U.S. has tried to restrict Turkey's influence in
Northern Iraq, but wants to make use of Turkish
resources for the reconstruction of Iraq, the paper
comments.


Rumsfeld letter to Erdogan: Secretary of Defense
Rumsfeld, on behalf of President Bush, sent a letter to
Prime Minister Erdogan voicing U.S. concern over the
covert actions of Turkish troops in Northern Iraq,
according to today's "Hurriyet." Sources regard the
letter as `very strange' in that a letter from the
American Defense Secretary to Turkey's Prime Minister
is outside of accepted diplomatic practice.


Bush to Turkey in 2004: "Hurriyet" says that President
Bush has officially notified Turkey of his planned
attendance at the NATO Summit meetings in Istanbul in
May 2004. Bush made a significant goodwill gesture by
saying he could stay for three days in Turkey. Heads
of state and government from 46 countries are expected
to attend the summit.


Delay possible in U.S. loans to Turkey: $8.5 billion in
U.S. loans to help Turkey weather the economic shock of
the war in Iraq could be delayed for months due to
concerns about Ankara's slow progress in meeting IMF
conditions, dailies report. The U.S. loans could be
delayed until September or possibly later unless Turkey
meets its obligations under a $16 billion IMF loan
program. The U.S. loans also depend on Turkish
cooperation in Iraq, according to the press.


Turks may open Varosha for settlement: Papers report
that Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas has warned that the
deserted town of Varosha might be settled by Turks if
Greek Cypriots turn down his offer for joint use of
Nicosia international airport and Varosha under UN
supervision. Papers expect Greek Cypriot President
Papadopoulos to urge UN Secretary General Annan to
respond to the Denktas offer.


Turkey to demine Syria border: Turkey's ministry of
defense has announced that it will provide funds to
sweep for mines along a 700-km line along the Syrian
border from Hatay to Mardin. When demined, the 3.5
million acres of land will be opened for agriculture.
The minefield has killed or injured over 3,000 since
being set up in 1952 for security reasons.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/US-Turkey Joint Statement


"Northern Iraq/Civilian and Military"
Hasan Cemal observed in mass appeal Milliyet (7/16):
"The Suleymaniye incident is inexcusable and is
incompatible with Turkish-American friendship. Yet it
seems that both sides have understood this and
therefore toned down the rhetoric. It is also
important that both sides see the need for greater
coordination and cooperation in the future process in
Iraq. In spite of these efforts, bilateral relations
their current phase and for the near future present a
complex picture. . The fact of the matter is that the
US is now Turkey's southern neighbor. This might
remain the case for years. Turkey has been formulating
its Iraq policy so far based on military
considerations. This should be changed now. Today,
the northern Iraq issue is more of a diplomatic issue
than a military one. Turkey should engage its foreign
ministry more than before, and form a working
coordination between civilians and the military."


"The Suleymaniye Report"
Cuneyt Ulsever wrote in mass appeal Hurriyet (7/16):
"The joint statement contains certain messages hidden
between the lines. . For instance, both sides clearly
admit the lack of mutual trust and confidence in
bilateral ties. Thus Turkey and the US have declared
in the joint statement their intention to work together
toward the rebuilding of that confidence. . The US
acknowledged its mistake about the way that Turkish
military personnel were treated. Yet the statement
also implied that the Turkish military personnel in
Northern Iraq were involved in secret activities as
claimed by the US authorities. . In sum, in this
declaration Turkey has accepted the terms of the US
policy for northern Iraq and has erased its `red
lines.' In return, the US has noted that it will pay
more attention to the PKK issue."


PEARSON

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