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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 03 ANKARA 005356

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 21, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEALS
Lugar: A `No' by Ankara would disappoint U.S. -
Milliyet
Gul: Baghdad bombings won't affect our decision - Sabah
Turkish rescue team to Baghdad - Milliyet
Terror killed the future UN secretary general -
Hurriyet
Tough mission awaiting Turkish troops in Iraq - Turkiye
Israel opens Haram-al-Sharif to non-Muslims - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Lugar: No U.S. `expectation' from Ankara - Radikal
Annan rebukes occupiers in Iraq - Cumhuriyet
Annan: U.S. did not protect us - Yeni Safak
IMF, WB withdraw personnel from Baghdad - Yeni Safak
Iraqi people denounce attack on UN - Zaman
Annan: We won't leave Iraq - Zaman
De Mello worked for humanity - Radikal
Rumsfeld against reinforcement of troops in Iraq -
Zaman
Mideast cease-fire in jeopardy - Radikal


BRIEFING


Congressman Lugar visits Ankara: Senator Richard Lugar,
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met
with Turkey's foreign, defense, and justice ministers,
and with the head of the Turkish General Staff on
Wednesday. Senator Lugar said after meeting Foreign
Minister Gul that Turkey and the U.S., two strong
allies, would both benefit from democratization in
Iraq. Turkey's participation in the Iraqi
stabilization force would contribute to increased
security in Iraq, he added. Lugar later told CNN-Turk
that although the U.S. would be `disappointed' if
Turkey opts not to participate in a stabilization
force, the U.S. will respect whatever decision Turkey
makes. Lugar said that Turkey should make a decision
in view of its own national interests. After meeting
with Senator Lugar, Justice Minister Cicek said that
the 57-year friendship between the U.S. and Turkey
should not be sacrificed for the sake of gaining the
support of two `tribal leaders.' (Cicek was clearly
referring to Northern Iraqi Kurdish leaders Talabani
and Barzani.) Dailies speculate that the U.S. is in
need of Turkey's support in Iraq more than ever
following the bombing of the UN headquarters building
in Baghdad. Lugar assured Ankara that the PKK would be
neutralized in Northern Iraq, and that the
organization's leaders would not be sent into exile.


Ankara discussing Turkish peacekeepers for Iraq:
Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) will convene
on Friday to evaluate a risk analysis report drafted by
the MFA and TGS. The NSC will also discuss the letter
by NATO Europe Allied Forces Commander, General James
Jones, to General Ozkok in response to a Turkish
questionnaire about Turkey's participation in the Iraqi
stabilization force. Meanwhile, President Sezer has
warned the government to refrain from making any
commitment to the United States on the issue of troop
deployment before parliament makes its decision.


Bombing of UN offices in Baghdad: Foreign Minister Gul
said on Wednesday that the recent bomb attack against
the UN headquarters in Baghdad would not affect
Turkey's decision about sending peacekeepers to Iraq.
Papers regard Gul's remarks as indicating Ankara's
willingness to adopt a decision for deploying troops
for the Iraqi stabilization force.


U.S., Turkey finalize loan talks: Turkey's economic
bureaucrats have wrapped up talks with the U.S.
Treasury and IMF officials in Washington regarding the
$1 billion grant to be given by the U.S. to compensate
Ankara's losses from the war with Iraq. The U.S.
Administration wants the IMF to control disbursement of
the grant. The $1 billion grant agreement, which could
also be taken as a loan of $8.5 billion, will be signed
during the visit of State Minister Babacan to the U.S.
on September 8, an AKP official told the press.


Police searching for the Uzans: An unnamed official
told reporters that Uzan family members had left Turkey
the night they learnt about the arrest warrant that had
been issued for them. Dailies report on the front page
that the Uzans had tapped the mobile phones of Turkey's
top energy, banking and finance bureaucrats and some
prominent politicians. CD recordings of phone
conversations were found in a secret depot controlled
by the family in Istanbul. Police also found CD
recordings containing compromising evidence against
bureaucrats and rival businessmen. Police said that
the Uzans had set up a special unit of 40 technicians
for wiretapping.


EDITORIAL OPINION: UN HEADQUARTERS BOMBING


"The terrorists were created by Bush"
Soli Ozel argued in the mass appeal Sabah (8/21): "The
attack against the UN headquarters is atrocious and
treacherous. It was an assault against an
international organization that stood against the Iraq
war. It was also an attack against the whole world.
This incident will only mean more suffering for Iraqis.
. But the Bush administration, through its aggressive
stance around the world following the US declaration of
war against Islamic terrorism after 9/11, has created
suitable conditions in which its enemies can operate.
. At the current stage, the best solution is that the
UN assume more responsibility in Iraq. There should be
an international force, and authority should be
gradually given back to the Iraqis. These issues also
require an internal debate in Turkey before making a
decision on a possible deployment in Iraq."


"Iraq is turning into Lebanon"
Yalcin Dogan observed in the mass appeal Hurriyet
(8/21): "Unfortunately, Iraq has become hospitable
ground for fundamentalist terrorist organizations such
as Al Qaida and Ansar-al Islam. The UN headquarters
bombing seems to be the first in a series of terrorist
attacks designed to create an impact around the world.
. There is a power vacuum in Iraq, which has created a
very suitable atmosphere for these terrorist
organizations. But the fact of the matter is that the
vacuum is being perpetuated by the Iraqi people
themselves. Iraqis are not only standing against the
US presence, but against any other foreign presence as
well. They appreciated US forces at the beginning,
because the US ended the cruel regime of Saddam.
However, the current image of American soldiers in the
eyes of Iraqis is that of an `occupation force,' not a
liberator. This mentality creates a very high risk for
Iraq's security, and has made Iraq into a place where
terrorists are supported by the locals. . Due to the
ongoing possibility of more terrorism, Iraq is rapidly
moving towards fragmentation. Terrorism and division
is reminiscent of Lebanon in the 1980s or Yugoslavia in
the 1990s."


EDELMAN

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