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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 02 ANKARA 004867

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, AUGUST 1, 2003

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


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


MASS APPEAL
Two Blows Against the Uzan - Sabah
$4 Billion Fine and Arrest Warrant for the Uzans - Hurriyet
PM's Wife's Head Scarf Cancels High Military Council (YAS)
Dinner - Hurriyet
Erdogan Cancels YAS Dinner - Milliyet
Head Scarf Overshadows YAS Reception - Sabah
FM Gul: We did not say `yes' to US Troop Deployment Request
- Milliyet
Two Resignations from CHP - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Bad News for Uzan Family-Cumhuriyet
High Military Council Convenes Today-Zaman
Deputy Sec. Armitage: `No UN Decision for Deployment in
Iraq' - Cumhuriyet
Approval of Repentance Law Brings Second Resignation from
CHP - Zaman
Europe Welcomes 7th Package-Radikal


BRIEFING


Uzan Family: All papers report that a US federal judge has
ordered the Uzan family to pay $4.3 billion for fraud in the
Nokia-Motorola case. The judge also issued an arrest
warrant for 5 members of the Uzan family. According to the
court, Motorola and Nokia transferred $2.7 billion to
Telsim, which was owned by the Uzans. The Uzan family spent
$1billion of this money for their personal use. The judge
ordered the Uzans to transfer their Telsim shares to the
registry of the court within one week. Meanwhile, another
blow against the Uzans came from Turkey. Through a last-
minute adjustment in the banking law, a bank's owners will
be personally responsible for any differences between
official bank records and the records of bank customers.
"Sabah" draws attention to the fact that the new regulation
will allow the government to seize all of the Uzans'
property in order to claim the money deposited illegally in
Imar Bank.


Higher Military Council (YAS) Meeting: "Hurriyet" reports
that today's meeting of the High Military Council (YAS) has
been overshadowed by the headscarf of PM Erdogan's wife.
Dinners are traditionally given by the General Staff Land
Forces commander and by the Prime Minister during the course
of the four-day meeting. The commanders reportedly
canceled the two dinners to avoid the participation of the
PM's wife, who wears a headscarf. "Milliyet" reports that
the generals canceled only the dinner traditionally given by
the Prime Minister on the second day of the meetings. The
Prime Minister is expected to participate in all the other
events by himself.


Troop Deployment: "Hurriyet" reports that at parliament
speaker Arinc's reception, Foreign Minister Gul told
journalists that `Turkey has not reached a decision yet
about a troop deployment in Iraq.' Gul noted that Turkey
does not want to act as a `gendarme' for the United States
in Iraq. According to Gul, Turkey wants to go to Iraq if
Turkish troops will be welcomed by the Iraqis as they were
in Bosnia. Turkish inteliigence officers are studying what
kind of welcome Turkish forces are likely to receive in
Iraq. Todays papers also report on British envoy John
Sawers' visit to Ankara. Sawers told journalists that the
UK would welcome the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq.
CHP Defections: Two parliamentary deputies have resigned
from the CHP in the past two days, after a disagreement with
the CHP leadership about the party's opposition to the
repentance law. The deputies, both of whom are Kurdish,
criticized their party's `anti-democratic' tendencies.
"Sabah" reports that three CHP provincial chairmen in the
Southeast strongly criticized Baykal for his opposition to
the repentance law.


EU Welcomes 7th package: Papers report that the EU has
welcomed the approval of Turkey's 7th package of EU
harmonization reforms. Turkey's EU General Secretary. Murat
Sungar, noted that the package was passed by the government
despite the objections of the Turkish military. EU
expansion chief Verheugen said that the EU `expects Turkey
to actively implement all reforms that have been passed.'


EDITORIAL OPINION


"A Kurdish state if Iraq disintegrates"
Mehmet Ali Birand commented in the mass appeal Posta (8/1):
"Kenneth Pollack, a leading expert on Iraq, predicts that
the Kurds might declare sovereignty if the confusion in Iraq
evolves into a civil war. . The U.S., struggling to handle
such a chaotic situation, might not do anything to hold back
the Kurds. . Despite his negative views of the Bush
administration, Pollack believes Turkey should send
peacekeeping troops to Iraq. . Washington has understood
that fighting with Turkey over differences on Iraq will not
be beneficial. The U.S. has seen the need to share the
responsibility in Iraq with other countries, and now wants
to turn a new page in its relations with Turkey. Pollack
notes that the Bush administration was successful in
toppling Saddam quickly, but believes that Washington failed
in planning for the post-war period."


"War is bad, but what about occupation?"
Erdal Guven wrote in the intellectual/opinion-maker Radikal
(8/1): "Compared with the period before the rejection of the
March 1 decree, the current situation in Iraq is worse for
Turkey. You cannot find a reasonable explanation for
sending troops to an occupied land from a country that had
denied military access to its soil during the Iraqi
campaign. . Sending troops for peacekeeping in Iraq will
erase all the credit Turkey won worldwide by its March 1
decision. Ankara is playing a dangerous game once again."


DEUTSCH

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