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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 004593

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 22, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEAL
Wolfowitz warns Iraq's neighbors not to intervene -
Hurriyet
Iraqi peacekeeping tough mission for Turkey - Turkiye
AKP discusses new decree for troop deployment -
Hurriyet
Erdogan: U.S. wants Turkish troops for Iraq - Sabah
Talabani objects to Turkish troops in N. Iraq - Aksam
John Wolf to replace Bremer - Aksam
Gul: Northern Iraqis our relatives - Milliyet
Bush threatens Iran, Syria - Turkiye
Turkey to train Afghan army - Aksam


OPINION MAKERS
Half of Americans doubt Bush's leadership skills - Yeni
Safak
Bush, Berlusconi meet in Texas - Cumhuriyet
Islamists attack U.S. troops in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Amnesty International criticizes U.S. for mistreatment
of Iraqis - Radikal
Blair is cornered - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Turkish troops for Iraqi peacekeeping: Dailies report
that the issue of Turkey's contribution to the Iraqi
peacekeeping mission will be clarified during Foreign
Minister Gul's visit to the U.S. 12,000 troops will be
deployed in central parts of Iraq, including Baghdad
and Tikrit, according to "Milliyet." Turkish forces in
Northern Iraq will maintain their positions. The
Turkish troops will stay in Iraq for at least three
years. Ankara wanted to send troops to Northern Iraq,
but the U.S. prefers for the Turks to be in the most
troubled Iraqi cities. PUK leader Talabani said on
Monday that the Turks have attempted to remove the
federal administration and the Kurdish parliament in
Northern Iraq, and he voiced strong objection to a
Turkish military presence in the north. Ruling AKP
deputies, disturbed by the Suleymaniye arrests, are
reluctant to send soldiers to Iraq. Some AKP lawmakers
told the press that the parliament would be unwilling
to approve a motion to that end. "Hurriyet" thinks
that because of the opposition by a large number of AKP
deputies, the government is planning to use the March
20 motion endorsed by the parliament to send soldiers
to Iraq.


FM Gul to U.S.: Turkey's contribution to Iraqi
peacekeeping, unofficially discussed in Ankara through
military channels last week, will be the top issue
during Foreign Minister Gul's calls in Washington this
week. Gul and Secretary Powell are expected to
announce political aspects of U.S.-Turkish cooperation
after a meeting on July 24. Cyprus, the Arab-Israeli
conflict, and the struggle against terrorism will be
other issues of discussion during the Gul visit.
"Sabah" expects Gul to offer a helping hand to U.S.
efforts to ensure stability in Iraq in exchange for a
continuation of Turkey's military presence in Northern
Iraq.
Ankara did not respond to $1 billion grant offer: U.S.
Ambassador to Ankara W. Robert Pearson said on Monday
that Ankara has not yet responded to the U.S offer of
$1 billion in grants to compensate Turkey's losses for
the Iraqi campaign. Pearson told "Hurriyet" that
Washington had presented to Ankara a draft agreement
about the aid last month.


Gallup shows decline in support for U.S.: "Vatan"
carries a Gallup survey conducted between April 16 and
May 8 in 45 countries. 64 percent of Turks disapprove
of the Iraq war. 75 percent regard the U.S. as an
aggressor and a threat for the world. Only 13 percent
of Turks see the U.S. as a friend.


Syrian PM due in Ankara: Papers report that Syrian
Prime Minister Mustafa Miro will be in Ankara next
week, the first official visit between the two
countries in 17 years. Miro will discuss with Turkish
leaders issues including Iraq, the struggle against
terrorism, economic cooperation, and border security.
Miro's meetings might pave the way for a visit by the
Syrian head of state, Bashar Assad, this fall.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/WMD controversy


"Turkish troops to Iraq"
Fehmi Koru argued in the Islamist-intellectual (7/22):
"Sending Turkish troops to Iraq has once again been
brought onto the agenda; this is like the resurrection
of a big mistake. The US is trying to share with
others the responsibility of being an occupying force
in Iraq. India and France have already said `no' to
Washington, and there is no reason for Turkey to act
differently. It seems that the US has realized the
emerging impasse with respect to its position in Iraq,
and there is no need to make it more complicated. The
best thing is to arrange a calendar to schedule the
departure of the occupation forces from Iraq, and hand
over the responsibility to the UN. It is certain that
the Iraqis would treat a UN peacekeeping force better
than they do the Americans. At that stage, Turkey
could join a UN peacekeeping force and also contribute
to Iraq's political restructuring. Otherwise, dragging
Turkey into the a military swamp is not going to serve
US interests, either."


"The death of Dr. Kelly"
Turgut Tarhanli wrote in the liberal-intellectual
Radikal (7/22): "If the David Kelly case turns out to
be a suicide, an explanation from the Blair
Government's is in the interest not only of the UK, but
the whole world. . The Kelly event and the emerging
facts about the distortion of intelligence on Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction clearly indicate an
aggressive foreign policy on the part of the US and the
UK. The US remains in confusion over the intelligence
reports about alleged WMD, and the controversy
continues on the political level. The issue has now
reached a new level in the UK with the tragic death of
Dr. Kelly."
PEARSON

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