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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 004490

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
THURSDAY, JULY 17, 2003

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


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


MASS APPEALS
U.S.: Suleymaniye raid a regrettable, unfortunate
incident - Hurriyet
Gul: Rumsfeld letter voices respect for Turkey's
military - Aksam
Gul to U.S. next week - Milliyet
U.S. troops in Iraq furious at Bush, Rumsfeld - Vatan
Chaos prevails in Iraq - Sabah
Consumers boycott U.S. goods - Hurriyet
Denktas invites Greeks to Varosha - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
U.S. voices regret over Suleymaniye raid - Radikal
Iraq swamp pulling Washington down - Radikal
Wexler slams Rumsfled over Suleymaniye arrests - Yeni
Safak
A PKK member in Iraqi interim council - Zaman
Tehran admits Canadian reporter beaten to death -
Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING


Rumsfeld letter to Erdogan: In a letter on behalf of
President Bush to Prime Minister Erdogan, Secretary of
Defense Rumsfeld emphasized the significance of U.S.-
Turkish friendship and voiced regret about the
Suleymaniye detentions, most dailies report. However,
some papers interpret the letter was concrete evidence
that the detentions were carried out with the approval
of Washington. The Rumsfeld letter says that the
Turkish soldiers were detained for arming the Turkomen,
a clear violation of agreements between the U.S. and
Turkey. Sources close to the ruling AKP are inclined
to regard the letter as a message voicing regret over
the Suleymaniye arrests, an `isolated incident.' All
papers agree that the letter fell outside of
conventional diplomatic practice, and stress that it
should have been signed either by the President or Vice
President.


Washington approves fact-finding commission statement:
Washington approved a statement by the joint fact-
finding commission probing the detention of Turkish
troops in Suleymaniye. The U.S. approval comes 24
hours after TGS released the Turkish version of the
statement. Papers claim that the U.S. had been upset
by the TGS decision to release the statement without
official confirmation from Washington. U.S. officials
said the delay was caused by bureaucratic formalities.


Pro-PKK figure in Iraqi governing council: Dr. Mahmud
Osman, a member of the Iraqi governing council formed
by the U.S., is closely linked to the PKK, "Aksam"
reports. The paper deems the appointment `surprising,'
since the PKK/KADEK is in the U.S. list of terrorist
organizations. The U.S. wanted to silence criticism of
the PKK/KADEK, and to give a message that the new
administration will include representatives of all
Kurds in Iraq, "Aksam" speculates. Foreign Minister
Gul said Turkey is investigating Osman's alleged ties
with the PKK, and noted that Ankara would not recognize
a terrorist in the Iraqi administration.


Palestinian FM in Ankara: Visiting Palestinian Foreign
Minister Shaath asked for Ankara's support in
convincing Israel to move forward in the Middle East
peace process. After meeting with Shaath on Wednesday,
Foreign Minister Gul said that the reform process in
Palestine was being discussed, and that Turkey would
help Palestine to draft a constitution. Gul also noted
that Ankara has extended an invitation for an official
visit by Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas.


Denktas invites Greek Cypriots to Varosha: Turkish
Cypriot leader Denktas said that if the Greek Cypriot
government rejects his offer of jointly opening Varosha
to tourism, the Greek Cypriots would be allowed to
settle in Varosha. Denktas reportedly said the
deserted town of Varosha `cannot remain closed
forever.'


Decline in consumption of U.S. goods: Papers report on
a survey carried out by Roper ASW, which shows a 13
percent decline in consumption of U.S.-made goods in
Turkey since 1999. Roper ASW claimed that the Iraq
crisis has caused consumers worldwide to boycott
American culture and consumer products.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"Can't we be more specific?"
Sami Kohen stated in mass appeal Milliyet (7/17):
"Ankara is suffering because of its failure to present
a clearly defined policy for Northern Iraq. This issue
has not been properly discussed to this point, but
there is an urgent need for an open discussion and to
work toward new strategies based on the facts in the
region. Northern Iraq has turned into an issue that
could determine the fate of Turkish-American relations.
Both Turkey and the US need to fine-tune their policies
on Iraq if there is a common desire to enhance
bilateral ties."


"Iraq and Turkey"
Cengiz Candar commented in DB Tercuman (7/17): "Turkey
has experienced a defeat in Iraq in all military,
political and diplomatic senses. Turkey must
completely change its approach to Iraq, particularly
its `northern Iraq mentality,' as quickly and
thoroughly as possible. Otherwise, we can expect new
challenges with the US, new defeats for Ankara, and
more problems for the Turkoman community."


"Agreeing to disagree"
Ilnur Cevik is back from the region and observed in the
English language Turkish Daily News (7/17): "The
Americans have decided not to pursue the issue any
further for the sake of Turkish-American ties, but the
dispute is still there. Now Turkish leaders have to
sit down and decide what we want to do in northern Iraq
and how. This means the civilian leadership should be
more involved in the decision-making process, and
should not leave everything to the military."


PEARSON

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