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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 004737

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
FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEAL
Powell says U.S. asked for Turkish troops for Iraq -
Hurriyet
U.S. growing impatient - Milliyet
Saddam's men retaliate; three U.S. troops are killed -
Sabah
U.S. official thinks Uday committed suicide - Sabah
Powell to Ankara: Hurry up! - Turkiye
Wolfowitz admits U.S. did `stupid things' in Iraq -
Turkiye
Gul: Turkish troops to Iraq in exchange for Iraqi
contracts - Vatan
Demining attempt by Denktas - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
U.S. steps up Iraq pressure on Turkey - Cumhuriyet
Washington doesn't want delay in Turkish decision for
Iraqi peacekeeping - Zaman Powell proposes NATO
umbrella for Turkish troops - Yeni Safak
Bremer welcomes Turkish troops for Iraq - Radikal
`Last' photos of Uday, Qusay - Zaman
U.S. Congress says intelligence failure led to 9/11 -
Zaman
U.S. House blocks media monopoly bill - Radikal


BRIEFING


FM Gul in U.S.: In a joint press conference with
Foreign Minister Gul, Secretary of State Powell urged
Ankara to send troops for Iraqi peacekeeping. Powell
said that the U.S. request for troops was conveyed to
Ankara by CENTCOM Chairman General Abizaid last week.
Gul said it would be easier for Turkey to deploy troops
to Iraq under a NATO umbrella. Secretary Powell also
asked for Ankara's support for the UN-sponsored Cyprus
peace plan, and added that an $8.5 billion loan for
Turkey would be released following the completion of
the IMF's fifth review. Dailies report U.S.
Administration officials as saying that Turkish troops
could be deployed in any part of Iraq except in the
north. Commentaries believe Ankara has demanded a
considerable share in Iraq's rebuilding in exchange for
a Turkish military contribution to Iraqi security. Gul
has also demanded a role in the central administration
in Baghdad, mainly to prevent a prospective Kurdish
state in Northern Iraq. Powell has given Gul the
message that the U.S. will not bargain over the issue,
and will not meet the cost of any troop deployment.
Dailies report that U.S. officials are uncomfortable
about Turkish efforts to create the impression that the
Americans first raised the issue of a Turkish troop
deployment.


Turkey, U.S. cooperation against PKK: Foreign Minister
Gul told the parliamentary foreign affairs committee
that the U.S. has been positive about cooperation with
Turkey against the PKK/KADEK presence in Northern Iraq.
The two allies will launch a joint military operation
against terrorists who don't lay down their arms in
light of the forthcoming repentance law now before the
Turkish parliament. The decision to carry out a joint
operation against the terrorist presence in the region
was taken during CENTCOM Chairman General Abizaid's
visit to Ankara last week.


Cyprus: In a letter to the UN Secretary General Annan,
Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas offered to help clear
landmines deployed near Nicosia. Denktas said such a
move would enhance mutual trust. Greek Cypriot leader
Papadopoulos welcomed the offer, dailies report.


Banking watchdog warns Uzans: Turkey's banking
watchdog, the Banking Regulatory Board (BDDK), has
accused the Uzan family of mafia activities and tax
evasion. The BDDK said that the Uzan group must pay
its debts to account holders of Imarbank before being
considered eligible to buy PETKIM, Turkey's state-owned
petrochemical industry. Imarbank, owned by the Uzans,
was recently taken over by the BDDK because of illicit
money transfers to the Uzan family's other companies.
In the meantime, the Uzan group was the top bidder
($605 million) in the PETKIM privatization tender.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/Foreign troops commitments


"Why is it so difficult?"
Ferai Tinc observed in mass appeal Hurriyet (7/25):
"The Turkish government still continues its vague
stance that it has adopted since the early stages of
the Iraq operation. The request for foreign troops to
Iraq became public knowledge over a month ago, yet the
government is still confused and indecisive instead of
formulating a concrete policy on this very important
issue. . Sending our troops to Iraq requires a serious
decision. That decision must be made. Turkey should
either insist on taking action only within an
international framework, which I believe is the right
thing to do, or agree to send its troops to Iraq as a
police force for the occupation. Both options require
a decision, but we do not see the government making a
case for any of the options. Instead, it is busy
trying to bargain."


"Partnership for shame"
Mehmet Ocaktan argued in the Islamist-intellectual Yeni
Safak (7/25): "What is the justification for Turkish
soldiers going to serve in Iraq, where the people of
Iraq are struggling for their salvation. It would be
the most shameful act by Turkey if a Turkish military
presence is designed to help the murderous gang which
takes instructions from the two liars, Bush and Blair.
. Nobody should dare to throw Turkey into a new
adventure on the pretext of improving Turkish-American
relations. If Turkey takes any step to please the
occupying force in Iraq, it will not only harm its
image in the international community, but will also
lose its credibility under international law. . The
occupation forces of the US and the UK should leave
Iraq and let the UN decide on what to do next. Turkey
should then take its place within the peacekeeping
force under the UN."


DEUTSCH

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