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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.

251340Z Aug 03

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 005416

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
MONDAY, AUGUST 25, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEAL
Provocation - Milliyet (8/24)
Peshmerges Play with the Fire - Hurriyet (8/24)
U.S. Notified Turkey in Advance about the Raids against
Turkoman and PUK Bureaus -Hurriyet
U.S. Mediates Cease Fire Between Turkomans and Kurds -
Milliyet
U.S. Pressure on Turkomans Grows - Turkiye
Chaos Continues in Iraq - Aksam


OPINION MAKERS
US Opens Fire on Turkomans - Cumhuriyet (8/24)
Turkish Liaison Officers Monitor Tensions in Iraq -
Cumhuriyet
Newsweek: Americans Believe that US is Mired in Swamp in
Iraq - Yeni Safak
Tensions in Kirkuk Eases, Turkish Government Monitors the
Developments-Zaman
Cabinet Meets Today - Radikal
Iraqi Religious Leaders Do Not Want Turkish Troops in Iraq -
Radikal


BRIEFING


Turkoman Tension in Iraq: Weekend papers give extensive
coverage to growing violence and turmoil in Iraq.
Saturday's "Cumhuriyet" reports that PUK militants opened
fire on Turkomans in Kirkuk during a demonstration over a
destroyed sacred Turkoman tomb. Sunday's "Turkiye" reports
that 8 Turkomans were killed during `Peshmerge-Turkoman'
clashes. Sunday's "Milliyet" describes the killing of the
Turkomans as a provocation. Sunday's "Zaman" reports that
the US troops raided the Iraqi Turkoman Front Headquarters
and seized some weapons. However, today's papers carry
conflicting reports about the incidents in Kirkuk. Today's
"Cumhuriyet" reports that the US raid wasn't only against
the Turkoman Bureau but the PUK bureau as well. "Milliyet"
draws attention to the five-hour meeting which took place
yesterday in Iraq between US military officials, ethnic,
political and religious leaders. At the meeting Kurds and
Turkomans agreed to pay compensation to families of people
from both sides who were killed. With that agreement, US
was able to establish a cease fire between the Turkomans and
the Kurds. "Turkiye" stresses that pressures on the
Turkomans is growing in Kirkuk. Today's "Cumhuriyet" draws
attention to the words of Turkoman rep. Ahmet Muratli that
Barzani and Talabani's militants were trying to avert the
deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq by creating tension.
FM Gul said that Turkey issued a warning to PUK
representative in Ankara and PM Erdogan stressed that Turkey
was cooperating closely with Washington and Baghdad. On
Sunday, police moved against a radical nationalist group
protesting the incidents in Kirkuk, in front of the PUK
bureau in Ankara. Twenty three policemen were injured and
150 demonstrators were detained.


Cabinet Meeting: All papers report that the main item on
the agenda of today's Cabinet Meeting will be the Turkish
troop deployment in Iraq. The issue will be discussed once
again at the NSC meeting in September and the final decision
will be left to the parliament.


EDITORIAL OPINION


"Prudence and calm"
Semih Idiz noted in the mass appeal Aksam (8/25): "Kurds are
worried about the enhanced cooperation between the U.S. and
Turkey on Iraq. . Americans have understood that even in a
federal system, the central authority in Iraq should be
strong enough to work for the integrity of Iraq, not for a
particular region or ethnicity. Kurds dislike such a
development, for they are seeking a loose federation for
Iraq with extensive rights for them. . Turkey and Kurds
will have to learn to live together. They will either
choose living under constant tension, or cooperate for the
sake of stability. . It is Turkey's responsibility to
establish dialog channels with the Kurds."


"Turkey's interest in Iraq"
Asli Aydintasbas commented in the mass appeal Sabah (8/25):
"For many years, the Turkomen have been the natural
supporters of the Iraqi opposition that suffered under the
Saddam regime. However, Ankara removed all Turkomen leaders
who had preferred independent action. . Ankara has
unnecessarily ordered the Turkoman Front to withdraw from
all forums which included Shiite Kurds and independent Arab
dissidents. Shiite Turkomen are excluded from the Front. .
Turkey must now actually strengthen the Turkoman Front it
had largely weakened in the past. Autonomy is essential for
the Turkoman Front. . An independent and powerful Turkomen
block can be a guarantor for stability. Is Ankara ready for
it?"


EDELMAN

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