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.




E.O. 12958: N/A


--------------------------------------------- -

TGS Chief General Ozkok: `Only I Can Speak on Behalf of the
Military' - Hurriyet
Generals Speak As They Retire - Milliyet
Kirkuk in a Knot - Turkiye
Gen.Ozkok: Only the Authorized People Can Talk on Behalf of
the Military - Sabah
Harsh Farewell Messages from NSC General Secretary General
Kilinc - Posta
A "U-Turn" from Colonel Mayville - Aksam
Assistant Treasury Secretary Taylor: "We Can Sign the
Agreement with Turkey for $8.5 Billion Credit in September"
- Hurriyet
US Ambassador to Turkey Presents His Credentials Without Any
Delay - Milliyet
Ambassador Edelman Presents His Credentials to President
Sezer - Turkiye

Bitter Farewell - Zaman
General Kilinc: "There are Still Sharia Supporters in the
Country" - Cumhuriyet
General Ozkok: "No Disagreement Among the Turkish Military"
- Radikal
Ultimatum to Retired Generals From TGS Chief - Yeni Safak
New US Ambassador Eric Edelman Resumed Office - Yeni Safak


Turkoman Tensions in Northern Iraq: "Turkiye" reports that
the developments in Kirkuk have come to a deadlock as all
the groups there have been blaming each other for the recent
tensions which had led to the death of 11 Turkomans. The
paper adds that the Turkomans blame the US for the unrest,
saying that the US showed too much tolerance of the
Peshmerge militants' violence. "Hurriyet" reports that US
Colonel William Mayville, who is in charge of security in
Kirkuk, said that the US was cooperating with the Turkish
special forces to end ethnic tensions in the region. The
paper notes that Colonel Mayville was the commander who
detained Turkish special force members in Suleymania on July
4. "Aksam" reports that Turkish and American generals
recently met in Iraq and agreed to cooperate on the
gathering and sharing of information. The statements of
Mayville and the new developments in the region show that
from now on Turkish and US security forces will cooperate in
northern Iraq, adds "Aksam."

Council of Ministers Meeting: Following yesterday's Council
of Ministers meeting in Ankara, government spokesman Cemil
Cicek told journalists that the government had not made a
decision about a Turkish troop deployment in Iraq and would
not hurry to make a decision. Cicek added that the Turkish
delegation sent to Iraq was evaluating the different aspects
in the region and a decision will be based on the
delegation's findings.

General Kilinc Statement: All papers today cover harsh
warnings made by outgoing National Security Council (NSC)
General Secretary General Kilinc at the handover ceremony
yesterday. Kilinc criticized the seventh EU harmonization
package, saying that the amendments weakened the NSC.
General Kilinc also drew attention to fundamentalist threats
and said that there are still people in the country willing
to bring about Shariah rule. Lastly, he stated that
Turkey's decision regarding sending troops to Iraq should be
based on Turkish, not American interests. At a reception
following the ceremony, TGS chief General Ozkok was asked if
there are disagreements in the military. General Ozkok was
quoted as saying that `There are no disagreements; however,
in the military only a small number of officers are
authorized to make statements on behalf of the military.
General Ozkok added that comments made by retiring First
Army General Dogan reflect Dogan's personal views and it
would have been better if he had waited until his retirement
to speak out. "Yeni Safak" describes the messages of Ozkok
as an `ultimatum' to retired generals.

Ambassador Edelman Presents Credentials: Most papers cover
Ambassador Edelman's presentation of credentials to
President Sezer yesterday. "Milliyet" adds that the wife of
the Ambassador and US Embassy officials were also present at
the ceremony. "Milliyet" notes that Ambassador Edelman was
able to present his credentials relatively quickly, just 10
days after his arrival.


"US must review Kirkuk policy"
Sedat Ergin observed in the mass appeal Hurriyet (8/26):
"The US signed an agreement with the Iraqi Turkoman Front
before the war, but later ignored the Turkomen. The US made
a gross mistake and presented the governor's office to the
Kurds on a silver plate. US has merely observed attempts to
transform Kirkuk, which shelters four ethnic groups, into a
Kurdish town.. Kurdish groups have advanced significantly in
reaching their goal of including Kirkuk in a `federal'
Kurdish zone. By allowing one of the several ethnic groups
to exert influence on Kirkuk instead of remaining impartial,
the US is sowing the seeds of long term ethnic enmity in the
region. After the First Gulf War in 1991, the US did not
define Kirkuk and Mosul within the boundaries of the Kurdish
region, but left those two cities under the authority of
Baghdad. It is a contradiction for Washington to allow a
change of status today for Kirkuk, a city Americans had not
regarded as part of the Kurdish region for twelve years."

"Chatting with Senator McCain"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal Milliyet (8/26): "'We
finished the war with Iraq faster than expected, but could
not establish peace. We haven't been successful in the
security and restructuring of Iraq,' says Senator John
McCain. The Iraqi people are furious that water,
electricity, and infrastructure systems are not working
properly due to the heavy damage inflicted by war. This
creates a suitable milieu for terror, McCain believes. The
US Administration must appropriate $13-15 billion for Iraq's
infrastructure, he adds. McCain also believes that
Washington should send at least an additional brigade to
Iraq for security. . An old soldier, McCain thinks Turkish
troops are needed in Iraq. Ankara's refusal regarding troop
deployment will cause disillusionment in the Congress, he
says. `In that case,' he stresses, `our relations should
not be shaken. We can do lots of other things in Iraq. But
our relations will get stronger if we establish peace and
stability in Iraq together.'"

© Scoop Media

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