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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 005154

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
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEAL


Parliament to have the final word on Iraq - Hurriyet
Turkish troops getting ready for Iraq - Milliyet
Bush targets U.S. middle class voters - Sabah
U.S. troops missed Saddam again - Turkiye
Bombs on Mideast peace process - Milliyet
Suicide attacks hit Mideast peace - Sabah
Banking watchdog might confiscate Uzan assets - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Presidential approval for Iraq deployment - Radikal
`Hawkish' U.S. ambassador to Ankara - Cumhuriyet
U.S. applies pressure on UN for Iraq Decision - Yeni Safak
Iraqi Kurds want a federal system - Zaman
Israel violated cease-fire - Yeni Safak
Suicide for Mideast roadmap - Zaman
Denktas won't recognize Greek Cypriot passport for Turks -
Cumhuriyet
Prodi: Turkey's EU membership unlikely in near future -
Radikal


BRIEFING


Presidential summit for Iraqi peacekeeping: President Sezer
discussed the Iraq stability force issue with Prime Minister
Erdogan, Foreign Minister Gul, TGS Chief General Ozkok, and
MFA officials at a summit meeting in Ankara on Tuesday. A
presidential statement issued after the meeting said that
parliament would adopt a final decision on the issue in line
with Turkey's national interests. The statement did not
specify the need for international consensus before
deploying peacekeeping troops in Iraq. Dailies regard the
summit as a compromise between the president, the
government, and the military. The Iraq deployment issue
will be discussed at the August 22 National Security Council
(NSC) meeting before it is submitted to parliament in early
September.


New U.S. Ambassador to Ankara: Papers view the assignment of
the new U.S. Ambassador to Ankara as the first move in a
scenario to introduce radical reforms in the region.
"Zaman" writes that Ambassador Eric Edelman has witnessed
the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the collapse of the
Warsaw Pact, and the division of Czechoslovakia. Edelman is
being portrayed as an influential figure in the reshaping of
Turkey and the Middle East. Edelman, a `hawk' of the U.S.
Administration, is coming to Ankara when U.S.-Turkish
relations are on a razor's edge, "Cumhuriyet" notes.


Turkey, TRNC customs union: Having signed an agreement for
the free circulation of goods and services, Turkey and the
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) are about to
implement a customs union, "Cumhuriyet" reports. Sub-
commissions are working to harmonize Turkish and TRNC
regulations. The new deal will have positive effects on
TRNC tourism, exports, and citrus fruit production.
However, TUSIAD, Turkey's influential businessmen's
association, voiced disappointment about the agreement with
the TRNC, predicting that it would cause suspicion in Europe
and delay Turkey's EU membership drive.


Uzans might be tried for irregularities: The Uzan family,
blamed by Turkey's banking regulatory board (BDDK) for
unregistered double accounts, the sale of non-existing
bonds, and for draining the family-owned Imarbank, might
have to stand trial following an investigation by the
prosecutor's office. The prosecutor has launched a second
investigation against the Uzans for money laundering,
according to press reports.


EDITORIAL OPINION


- NATO in Afghanistan
- Iraq


"Afghanistan and NATO"
Fikret Ertan wrote in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman
(8/13): "Things will go more smoothly now that NATO has
assumed charge in Afghanistan. It will certainly help ISAF
to function more efficiently and provide better results in
easing the pain of the Afghan people. . Apart from the ISAF
mission, however, Afghanistan is urgently in need of many
other things, such as facilitating NGOs, measures to help
the economy, and moves toward establishing a national army.
NATO now has a brand-new mission in Afghanistan, which
basically extends the Alliance's responsibilities outside of
Europe for the first time. The core of the NATO mission is
to secure peace and stability in all of Afghanistan. This
will require ISAF to take on some additional duties, a step
that should be taken as soon as possible."


"Turkish soldiers in Iraq, for what?"
Zafer Atay argued in the economic-political Dunya (8/13):
"Turkey should think very carefully about the mission for
Turkish troops and the area to which they are to be
assigned. If Turkey sends its troops in the absence of a
NATO or UN resolution, we should be prepared for some
serious problems. . There is an armed resistance against
the occupation force in Iraq. If Turkey is assigned to the
Baghdad-Tikrit area, the country's `hot spot,' our soldiers
will be at risk as much as any American soldier. . There is
an argument that says that Turkey cannot remain aloof to
development in the restructuring of Iraq. This view has
some truth in it, as Iraq plays an important role in
Turkey's national political and economic interests.
However, it remains to be seen whether the US will give us
credible assurances about Turkey having a strong say in
Iraq's restructuring? So far, US promises about the Turkmen
have gone unfulfilled, as is the commitment to eliminate the
PKK/KADEK threat. We must get tangible assurances from
Washington rather than simply accept American reassurances
not to worry about these problems."


DEUTSCH

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