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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 005186

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
THURSDAY, AUGUST 14, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEALS


UNSC to adopt Iraqi peacekeeping resolution - Aksam
Oil flow from Kirkuk to Turkey resumes - Hurriyet
Survey finds Bush neurotic, dogmatic - Milliyet
CHP against troops deployment in Iraq - Vatan
Erdogan, Gul due on EU tour - Sabah
AKP turns two - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS


AKP government to discuss w/ U.S. number of Turkish
peacekeepers - Zaman
Armitage vows to stay in Iraq until WMD are found -
Cumhuriyet
Iraq expects 10 million tourists - Radikal
Libya to pay reparation for Lockerbie victims - Yeni Safak
Israel might hit Iran's nuclear power plant - Zaman
Modern Don Quixote, Castro turns 77 - Radikal


BRIEFING


Turkish troops for Iraq peacekeeping: Turkey is expected to
send 10,000 troops for Iraqi peacekeeping, becoming the
third largest power in Iraq, dailies write. Major General
Umit Sahinturk, the Turkish liaison officer in Tampa,
Florida will be in command of Turkish troops in Iraq,
reports say. Papers expect a delegation of lawmakers,
military officers, and NGO members will visit Iraq for talks
with local people. Ankara is also planning to invite
prominent Iraqi politicians and communal leaders to exchange
views about the dispatch, papers add. The parliament is
expected to discuss a related motion for deployment in
September.


Despite objection by the KDP and PUK, Turkish troops will be
given transit passage through Northern Iraq to Baghdad,
dailies say. Ankara will give the Northern Iraqi Kurdish
leaders Barzani and Talabani the message that Turkish
soldiers would carry out a humanitarian mission in Iraq,
that they would mainly be engaged in health, education and
infrastructure projects. Ankara has warned the Kurdish
groups of strong retaliation in the face of any attack
against Turkish troops during the passage, papers stress.


U.S. military visits to Turkey: Dailies expect some U.S.
military delegation visits to Turkey to discuss the
technical details of troops deployment before the National
Security Council (NSC) meeting on August 22. Ankara will
ask the U.S. for safe passage guarantees through Northern
Iraq, and will also discuss with the Americans logistical
support, the number and location of Turkish troops, and the
expense of deployment, papers say.


AKP divided on troops deployment: Deputy Prime Minister
Mehmet Ali Sahin said Turkey wanted a share in Iraq's
rebuilding, and that a motion proposing deployment solely
for security reasons would be rejected by AKP lawmakers,
according to papers. Some AKP deputies told the papers they
would not vote for a motion envisaging a gendarme role for
Turks in Iraq. Some AKP members are concerned that possible
Turkish casualties during Iraqi peacekeeping might shake the
AKP government. However, mainstream papers see a decrease
in the number of AKP lawmakers objecting to the deployment.


Turkey to buy Russian helicopters: "Yeni Safak" reports the
chairman of Russia's Kamov Co., Sergei Miheijev as
announcing in a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday that
an agreement was about to be tied with Turkey regarding sale
of 145 KA-50-2 attack helicopters jointly produced by Russia
and Israel. U.S. Bell-Textron Co. had won a contract
offered by Turkey's Defense Industry Undersecretariat in
2000. The deal was cancelled when Americans objected to
Ankara's demand that King Cobras should be produced in
Turkey.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"The Fireman"
Soli Ozel commented in mass appeal Sabah (8/14): "The gist
of the argument to justify Turkish military presence in Iraq
stems from `fire in Turkey's next door neighbor' rhetoric.
It is indeed a fact that instability in Iraq is something
Turkey cannot afford to live with. And not only Turkey but
also the world cannot afford any failure of the US, either.
It is not realistic to believe that the US would consider a
withdrawal from Iraq at the current stage, yet due to
growing expenses, the Bush administration will have to go to
the UN eventually. . Turkey is in the process of either
taking an immediate decision to send Turkish troops or wait
until the UN mechanism works. In principle Turkey should
send its troops for Iraq's stability yet it should be
carried out within the framework of a peacekeeping force,
like in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan."


"The pragmatic approach"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (8/14): "It seems
the government is inclined to send Turkish troops to Iraq
but it has certain conditions. The most important one is
about Turkey's role. Turkey wants more than a security role
in Iraq to cover the restructuring as well. In that
respect, Turkish military image in Iraq will be way too
different than American military. When Turkey manages to
achieve this goal, those who speak against the decision will
completely lose their arguments, such as helping for the
occupation force and protecting imperialistic aims etc. It
is for sure that Turkey's possible mission in Iraq will not
be an easy task and contains risks. Let's not forget
however Turkish military assumed many risks and conducted
difficult tasks and achieved success, such as in Kosovo and
Afghanistan. . Moreover, if Turkey sits and watches the
developments in its next door neighbor, it would cause
Turkey to alienate itself."


DEUTSCH

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