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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 005205

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 15, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEAL
Shiites revolt, U.S. apologizes - Turkiye
Turkey wants buffer zone on border with Iraq - Milliyet
Turkish troops to area north of Baghdad - Milliyet
Iraqi tribal leaders to Ankara for bargaining - Sabah
Turkish Airlines to Basra - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
No room for the UN in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Israel kills Islamic Jihad leader - Yeni Safak
Schroeder: No German troops for Iraq - Yeni Safak
Taliban, Al-Qaida attacks intensify in Afghanistan -
Cumhuriyet
Saddam flirts with Shiites - Radikal
Lights go out, U.S. back to stone age - Zaman
Power outage causes panic in U.S. - Cumhuriyet


BRIEFING


Turks for Iraq peacekeeping: Ankara has asked Washington to
set up a demilitarized buffer zone between Iraq and Turkey
to prevent terrorist infiltration. Ankara is considering
sending 10,000 troops to be deployed to the west and
northwest of Baghdad. Dailies expect Ankara to demand a
share in Iraq's rebuilding. Foreign Minister Gul said on
Thursday that Ankara will ask the U.S. to eliminate the
threat posed by the PKK. Turkey will not go to Iraq merely
for security reasons, but to extend a helping hand to the
Iraqi people, Gul added. A "Cumhuriyet" report suggests
that Islamic militants from Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia are
behind attacks on U.S. soldiers in the Fallujah-Tikrit-
Bakuba zone. Turkey will warn these countries to prevent
similar attacks against Turkish troops deployed in the
region. "Milliyet" claims that Turkey and the U.S. have
agreed that the Turks should be deployed in the Salahaddin-
Diyala-Bakuba triangle near Tikrit. A Turkish delegation of
military, intelligence and MFA officials will visit Iraq
next week for talks with representatives of local ethnic
groups. Another delegation of lawmakers and NGO members
will go to Iraq to meet the influential Shammar tribe,
"Milliyet" reports. Dailies also expect Iraqi tribal
leaders to pay a visit to Ankara next week.


Turkey, Iraq ties improving: Ankara has welcomed the
election of two prominent Turkomen to the 25-member
Constitutional Council for a democratic Iraq, papers report.
Turkey and Iraq have signed an agreement to resume civilian
flights between Istanbul and Basra, and train services from
Turkey to Baghdad have also resumed.


Transfers to AKP: Independent lawmaker Mustafa Zeydan and
CHP's Nezir Nasiroglu formally joined the AKP on Thursday.
With 368 seats in parliament, AKP now has a comfortable
majority to pass constitutional amendments without support
from the opposition.


Turkey in EU by 2012: A survey of 39 leading EU specialists
concluded that Turkey's EU membership is unlikely before
2012. Only 40 percent of the EU experts believe that the EU
will begin accession negotiations with Turkey in late 2004
or early 2005. EU experts from leading European think-tanks
and financial institutions believe that religion and the
Cyprus problem are the main obstacles on Turkey's path to
the EU.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"Azeri soldiers in Iraq"
Ferai Tinc observed in mass appeal Hurriyet (8/15): "The
decision of Baku to send its troops to Iraq has more
significance for Ankara than Washington because of the
critical ties between Turkey and Azerbaijan. Turkey and
Azerbaijan collaborated in peacekeeping missions in both
Bosnia and Kosovo. This time Azerbaijan acted alone, due to
the lack of political sense in Ankara. . The Bush
administration does not see developments in Iraq negatively.
Therefore, the involvement of the UN has remained at a
relatively low level. There are ongoing efforts, however,
to increase the legitimacy of the Iraqi Governing Council
(IGC). The IGC will eventually ask Ankara for help in
establishing stability and peace. Yet the current picture
in Ankara is confusing. Ankara has become used to pursuing
a policy of avoidance - always waiting for Washington's
stance before defining its position. It is a wrong-headed
tactic. Now, however, we see that the same mistake is being
repeated again. We don't need evasive remarks or confusing
hints. We should all know in clear and direct terms under
which conditions Turkey will or will not send its troops to
Iraq."


"Establishing stability is not the US goal"
Serdar Turgut argued in the mass appeal-sensational Aksam
(8/15): "Turkey is considering sending its troops to Iraq,
as FM Gul explained, `for the establishment of order and
stability, and to help Iraqis improve their daily lives.'
This is actually against the ongoing US strategy for Iraq,
and Ankara's thinking has the potential to put Turkey at
political risk. . The US presence in Iraq is not concerned
with making daily life better for Iraqis. There is no
electricity, no water, and no justice system. There are
reports about `self-declared' justice in Shiite-controlled
areas. . The US strategy for Iraq is to ensure a permanent
local anarchy and to institutionalize the instability. By
doing that, the US hopes to manipulate the system to its
benefit. . Turkey wants to be in Iraq to establish order.
This does not make sense if we carefully analyze the long
term objectives and regional strategy of the United States."


DEUTSCH

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