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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 004559

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 21, 2003

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


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


MASS APPEAL
Turkey's 28th Brigade to Iraq - Hurriyet
Amb. Pearson: N. Iraq should not be a fault line
between the U.S. and Turkey -
Hurriyet 7/20
Ankara bargains on Iraq with U.S. Generals - Sabah 7/20
Amb. Pearson: We'll use force against the PKK if
necessary - Aksam
Abizaid, Jones happy with Ankara visit - Milliyet 7/20
Blair won't resign - Milliyet
Tenet blames Wolfowitz for false info on Iraqi WMD -
Hurriyet
75 percent of Britons want Blair to step down - Vatan


OPINION MAKERS
Gul to bargain in U.S. over Turkish troops for Iraq -
Cumhuriyet
U.S. commanders asked for Turkish troops for Iraq -
Zaman 7/20
U.S. to form army of Iraqi collaborators - Cumhuriyet
Iran tests Shahab-III missiles - Radikal
Dr. Kelly latest victim of Iraq war - Cumhuriyet 7/20
25,000 protest U.S. troops in Najaf - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


FM Gul due to U.S.: Foreign Minister Gul said before
his visit to the U.S. this week that his meetings in
Washington will help to repair strains between the two
countries following the Suleymaniye incident. Dailies
predict that Gul will discuss the issue of Turkey's
contribution to Iraqi peacekeeping, and the terrorist
presence of the PKK in Northern Iraq. Weekend papers
quote Gul as denying press reports that Turkey had
agreed to pull back troops from the region. Gul said
his visit will open a new chapter in strategic
cooperation with the U.S.


Turkish contribution to Iraqi peacekeeping: The Turkish
military's 28th Peace Brigade has started preparations
for an Iraqi peacekeeping mission, Monday's "Hurriyet"
reported. The GOT is positive in principle about
joining the peacekeeping mission in Iraq, but wants
clarification of the status and location of its troops.
The ruling AKP is expected to submit to the parliament
a motion in late July to deploy about 5,000 troops in
Iraq.


Ambassador Pearson's farewell interview: U.S.
Ambassador to Ankara, W. Robert Pearson, gave an
exclusive interview to "Hurrriyet" on Sunday. Pearson
voiced regret over the Suleymaniye incident. He said
the U.S. was waiting to see the impact of the
Repentance Law for defectors from terror organizations.
`PKK/KADEK terrorists will either surrender or face the
alternative, which is removal of their presence in
Northern Iraq through military force,' Ambassador
Pearson stressed. Pearson said the GOT had given U.S.
assurances last year regarding a northern front for
Iraq. `The refusal of the related motion by the
parliament was a big disappointment for all sides,'
Pearson noted.


In a statement following the departure of visiting U.S.
Generals Jones and Abizaid on Saturday, Ambassador
Pearson said the visits were a reaffirmation of the
close ties between the militaries of the two NATO
allies. Pearson confirmed that Turkey's contribution
to Iraqi peacekeeping activities was discussed
`informally' during the meetings in Ankara.


U.S. Generals' Turkey visit: EUCOM Commander General
James Jones, and CENTCOM Chairman General John Abizaid
came to Ankara on Friday to take the pulse of the
Turkish leadership and strengthen mutual confidence in
the wake of the Suleymaniye incident. The generals
reportedly asked Ankara to send at least a brigade to
Iraq to help in infrastructure work and to assist in
the training of an Iraqi army and police force. The
sides have also discussed the possibility of a joint
operation against the PKK. Dailies believe the U.S. is
working on a formula acceptable to Ankara and the
Kurdish groups in Northern Iraq in order to remove the
PKK/KADEK presence from the region.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq and US-Turkey relations/WMD
controversy


"Repair of US-Turkey relations goes through Iraq "
Yasemin Congar commented on the upcoming visit by FM
Gul to Washington in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (7/21):
"Turkey needs a new policy for northern Iraq to ensure
that incidents such as the one in Suleymaniye will not
occur again. It should also make sure that Turkey
would never be involved in improper acts in the region,
which were depicted by US authorities as `paramilitary'
activities. All of this can only be achieved if new
policies are made and implemented not only by the
military, but also under the supervision of Turkey's
political authority. The upcoming visit of Foreign
Minister Gul to Washington will provide an opportunity
to deepen the bilateral dialogue. Yet a solid basis of
trust in the bilateral relationship can only be
achieved once Turkey takes steps to change its policy
in Iraq. The way to heal the Turkish-American
relationship goes is to deal directly with the wound -
that is, in Iraq."


"The change of US thinking after 9/11"
Tufan Turenc argued in the mass appeal "Hurriyet"
(7/21): "It is becoming more obvious every day that
both Bush and Blair lied to the whole world as well as
their own people in order to justify the Iraq
operation. President Bush may have been acting in a
rather irrational way because of the "September 11
psychology," but there is no way to understand Blair's
position. President Bush is likely to lose the upcoming
elections for having led the United States into the
"Iraq swamp." . The incident in Suleymaniye and the way
the Turkish soldiers were treated is another example of
the post-9/11 syndrome. . The normalization of Turkish-
American relations can only come once Bush and the neo-
conservatives leave power in the US."


PEARSON

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