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




Powell congratulates Gul on troop approval - Sabah
Turks going to Iraq for peace - Hurriyet
AP: First Muslim troops to Iraq - Hurriyet
Iraqi governing council against Turkish troops -
KDP rep Dizayee threatens Turkey - Turkiye
California's choice: Schwarzenegger - Milliyet

U.S. gets what it wants: Turkey joins Iraq's occupation
- Cumhuriyet
Motion passes, Turkish soldiers to Iraq - Zaman
Both U.S., EU happy with troops decision - Zaman
AKP government takes a deep breath - Radikal
Erdogan: We are not going to war - Yeni Safak
Erdogan: We are not an occupation force - Radikal
KDP's Dizayee: Turks can't pass through N. Iraq -
Israel increases tension, threatens Syria again - Zaman
Chalabi to do business in Iraq with Perle's man - Yeni
Bashar Asad: Israel provokes war - Milliyet
FBI gave Hamas money in 1998, 1999 - Cumhuriyet


Parliament approves Turkish peacekeepers to Iraq:
Turkey's parliament voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday --
358 to 183 -- to send troops to Iraq. The parliament
authorized the government to deploy troops to join the
international stabilization mission in Iraq for one
year. The size of the Turkish troop contingent and the
route for their passage into Iraq will be determined in
talks with the Americans. Dailies regard the voting as
an AK Party initiative to gain influence in the region,
and as an effort to repair strained relations with the
U.S. Ankara is obliged to respond positively to
Washington's request for cooperation in Iraq to avoid
larger security risks in the future, "Zaman"
emphasized. The struggle against the PKK/KADEK will be
tougher without support from the U.S., the paper notes.
A prospective Kurdish state in Northern Iraq might
become a threat for Turkey's unitary state structure,
"Zaman" added. "Cumhuriyet" denounced the approval of
the motion, and claimed that Turkey is providing
support for the occupation of Iraq. Parliament's
approval of the motion is in line with the conditions
on the $8.5 billion U.S. loan for Turkey, "Cumhuriyet"

Iraqi interim government reaction: While Turkish
lawmakers were debating the motion in a closed
parliamentary session, Iraqi Governing Council
representatives said they had agreed unanimously to
reject peacekeepers from neighboring countries,
including Turkey. It soon became clear that this was a
Kurdish move designed to influence the decision of the
Turkish parliament, papers report. Dailies believe
that Washington intervened to halt the release of the
Iraqi interim council declaration. KDP Turkey
representative Safeen Dizayee voiced opposition to a
Turkish military presence in Iraq, and warned that
Turks would not be allowed to use Northern Iraq for
transit passage. Dizayee added that a recent attack on
Turkish truck drivers around Baghdad should be seen as
a message to Ankara.

Washington's reaction: Secretary Powell phoned Foreign
Minister Gul and thanked Ankara for the troop decision.
White House Spokesman Scott McCallen said that the U.S.
and Turkey would work out details, including the size
and location of Turkish troops. "Hurriyet" reports
that a member of the U.S. Senate foreign affairs
committee said Turkey was acting in the way a friend
and ally would be expected to act.

U.S., Turkey to discuss technical details for
deployment: Turkey and the U.S. will soon sign an MOU
on the technical details of the Turkish peacekeeping
mission in Iraq, "Milliyet" reports. Ankara is
inclined to send 5,000-6,000 troops initially, and will
set up a logistical coordination center in Silopi.
"Aksam" expects an American delegation in Ankara early
next week for detailed discussions. "Zaman" believes
that Ankara would be reluctant to send soldiers during
the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Foreign Minister Gul
told AK Party lawmakers before the voting that his
government is planning to deploy about 10,000 Turkish
soldiers in the Dohuk-Mosul-Tikrit triangle.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/Turkish parliament's decision

"Turkey begins its Iraq adventure"
Murat Yetkin wrote in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(10/8): "Turkey has launched its adventure in Iraq
following the parliament's authorization. Now the talk
is about the upcoming meetings with the US regarding
Turkey's mission. Turkey is likely to control the area
north of Baghdad with a brigade. If other Muslim
countries such as Pakistan contribute to the Turkish
brigade, it would go a long way toward eliminating the
current "Crusader" image of the occupying force. It is
also obvious that Kurdish groups are reacting
negatively because they fear losing their gains with
the presence of Turkish forces. Such objections will
not have an effect in the long run, but let us hope
that the Kurdish groups will not shed blood in the
short run."

"This is the nation's will"
Editor-in-Chief of mass appeal daily Hurriyet, Ertugrul
Ozkok noted (10/8): "Turkey has made an historically
important decision, and Turkey has done the right
thing. . The same Turkish parliament's previous
decision was a negative one. Today the parliament
voted for the deployment of troops. The former was
interpreted as a `victory of democracy,' but the latter
should be viewed in the same context. .With this
decision, Turkey will take its place in the western
world and distance itself from post-cold-war
turbulence. Turkish forces will not serve in Iraq for
the sake of the 8.5 billion dollars. Turkish forces
will protect Turkey's regional interests and ensure
regional peace by serving in Iraq."
Fehmi Koru argued in the Islamic-intellectual Yeni
Safak (10/8): "Both Washington and London have failed
dramatically in their estimations and calculations for
Iraq. The Iraqis were happy to get rid of Saddam, but
they did not welcome the occupation forces. The Iraqi
people's reaction turned into resistance in a short
period of time. This is the main reason for the US
asking Turkey to join the effort. . Are we ready for
the consequences if the calculations based on which the
Turkish parliament based its decision are proven false?
Are we prepared for the consequences if the internal
balances are turned upside down? If we face a similar
failure as the US and UK, who is going to pay the


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