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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 005039

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 8, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEAL


Parliament to Hold Extraordinary Session for Troop
Deployment - Hurriyet
Great Dangers in Iraq for Turkish Troops - Turkiye
Psychological Operation - Milliyet
PM Erdogan: "We Might Send Troops to Iraq" - Sabah
444 Militants Applied to Benefit under Repentance Law -
Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS


Kurdish Obstacle for Turkish Troops - Cumhuriyet
Iraq Briefing for President Sezer - Radikal
PM Erdogan: "Turkey's Decision for Troop Deployment in Iraq
Will Not Come as a Surprise" - Zaman
Felluce Trap for Turkish Troops - Yeni Safak
FM Gul: "We Should Consider Sending Troops Even Without UN
or NATO Decision - Yeni Safak
Returning Home Speeds Up - Radikal
444 Applications for Repentance Law - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING


Troop Deployment in Iraq: "Milliyet" reports that Turkey
will send a delegation to Iraq next week to check the
feelings of the Iraqi people against Turkish troops. The
delegation will consist of Turkish military and civilian
officials. To understand Iraqi's feelings against Turkish
troops, the delegation will meet with the local leaders in
Baghdat, Felluce and Tikrit. "Hurriyet" reports that PM
Erdogan and FM Gul met with President Sezer yesterday to
convince him to send troops to Iraq without waiting for a UN
or NATO decision. PM and FM announced at their party
meeting yesterday that, in order to pass the motion for
troop deployment, they might call Parliament for an
extraordinary session at the end of August or beginning of
September. "Hurriyet" also covered Secretary of State Colin
Powell's remarks about Turkish troop deployment. Speaking
at the Foreign Press Center, Powell was quoted as saying
that `I informed Turkish Foreign Minister Gul two weeks ago
that we want Turkish troops in Iraq. Mr.Gul told me that
the issue will be evaluated by the Turkish government in
detail. I presume, it will take time. We trust that
Turkish troop existence in Iraq would be accepted by all the
groups, including Kurdish groups. In order to end the
PKK/KADEK threat, we are coordinating with our Turkish
friends. And we are very pleased with our relations with
Ankara on all these issues'.


Response to the Repentance Law: All papers report that the
response to the law was immense on the first day of the
application. "Hurriyet" reports that at a press conference
yesterday, Interior Minister Aksu stated that so far 444
militants had applied for amnesty. 333 of those are inmates
and 111 are militants. "Milliyet" notes that four PKK
militants had already been set free following their
application.


Turkey and TRNC Delay Customs Union Agreement: "Zaman"
reports that Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus(TRNC) would postpone the signing of a customs union
agreement scheduled for today.


EDITORIAL OPINION:


-- Iraq's Effect on Arab world
-- US-Turkey Relations/Iraq


"Arab World's Stance"
Ahmet Tasgetiren commented in Islamist-intellectual Yeni
Safak (8/8): "The Arab League's decision about not
recognizing the Iraqi Governing Council was interpreted as a
surprise development because the general expectation was to
see a more moderate approach than this. However, members of
the Arab League were pushed to make such a decision due to
their public opinion pressure. . The fact of the matter is
that the US is not a beloved figure in the region, and the
occupation for whatever reason is not approved. Thus any
American initiative, including the Iraqi Governing Council,
is considered as illegitimate. . It looks as though it is
best to suggest the US withdraw from Iraq at once. It will
serve the interest of all parties in the region when and if
authority is left to the Iraqis before any more chaos and
more power vacuums. It will also serve the US interests in
particular when and if Washington saves itself from neo-cons
in policy making."


"Turkish PM Dreams of Hosting Bush in Ankara"
Zeynep Gurcanli wrote in the tabloid Star (8/8): "The
decision process on whether or not to send Turkish troops to
Iraq will be a tough one. . Yet it seems the AKP government
expects a political gain by taking a risk of sending Turkish
soldiers to an unstable area. Turkish government officials
are trying to eliminate the last bits of worry about the
policy and intention of the AKP within the eyes of
Washington. Ankara is aware of the fact that working
together with the US on Iraq is the best possible way to
achieve this goal. And there is more to that. Turkey will
host the NATO summit next year. President Bush will be in
Turkey to attend. The Erdogan government wants to realize
an extended tour for President Bush with the hope that he
will visit Ankara before or after the summit. The idea of
Erdogan hosting President Bush is interpreted by the AKP as
the final stage of AKP's legitimacy vis-a-vis the western
world."


DEUTSCH

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