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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 006365

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, OCTOBER 9, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Powell: We will warn the Kurds - Hurriyet
Bremer warns Kurds - Hurriyet
Turkish troops will pass through N. Iraq - Milliyet
Turkish troops in Iraq in November at the latest -
Turkiye
TGS considering 16,000 troops for Iraq - Milliyet
Bremer can't convince the Iraqis - Sabah
Israel might strike 17 targets in Damascus - Hurriyet
Governor Arnie - Huriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Rumsfeld appreciates Turkey's Iraq decision -
Cumhuriyet
Bremer to Iraqis: U.S. will have the last word -
Cumhuriyet
Rumsfeld angered at transfer of Iraq authority to Rice
- Zaman
EU respects Turkey's Iraq decision - Zaman
Dutch PM supports Turkey on Iraq - Yeni Safak
Yearly cost of Turkish troops in Iraq, $540 million -
Yeni Safak
EU respects Turkey's Iraq decision, Athens criticizes -
Radikal
Israel stepping up tension - Radikal
Bush considering economic sanctions on Syria - Zaman


BRIEFING
Location of Turkish peacekeepers in Iraq: "Hurriyet"
says that Ankara wants to deploy troops around
Salahaddin to be closer to the Turkmen population in
the north. However, the Americans believe that having
Turks around the Kurdish town of Salahaddin would cause
serious concerns, and the U.S. prefers that they be
deployed in the al-Anbar zone, northwest of Baghdad.
Turkey is considering sending 5,000-6,000 troops
initially under the command of Major General Umit
Sahinturk, who will work in coordination with General
Ricardo Sanchez. "Milliyet" writes that the TGS has
drafted plans for deployment of 6,000-16,000 soldiers
in Iraq. Poland and Iraq will send delegations to
Ankara to discuss economic issues related to the
deployment.
Ankara wants transit passage through N. Iraq: The MFA
said that Turkey wants to use a Northern Iraq corridor
for transit passage of troops into Iraq. An MFA
spokesman dismissed objections by members of the Iraqi
Governing Council, saying that they had voiced only
their personal views. "Turkey has no hidden agenda in
Iraq. It is out in the open for everybody to see," MFA
Spokesman Huseyin Dirioz told reporters at a news
conference in Ankara on Wednesday. Ankara also wants
to use Syrian territory for the transport of armored
brigades via railroad into Iraq, according to
"Milliyet." Ankara is planning to establish a direct
motorway connection between the Turkish logistical
support center in Silopi and the headquarters of
Turkish troops in Iraq. The U.S. thinks Turkey should
not open a corridor through Northern Iraq for transport
of logistical supply, and offered to meet the costs of
sending and sustaining Turkish peacekeepers to Iraq.
Turkey rejected the offer, saying it would provide for
its own troops in Iraq, "Sabah" reports.
Washington moves to silence Kurds' opposition to
Turkish peacekeepers: Secretary of State Powell phoned
Foreign Minister Gul to assure him about statements by
Iraqi governing council officials objecting to Turkish
peacekeepers in Iraq. Papers report Paul Bremer as
reminding that the final decision regarding a Turkish
military presence in Iraq will be made by the
coalition, not by the Iraqis. "Vatan" believes Bremer
failed to convince the Kurds to accept Turkish troops.
Papers also report Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld as
assuring Turkey that such problems would be resolved.
Turkey might receive additional U.S. loans: The U.S.
State Department has signaled that Turkey might be
given financial support in addition to the $8.5 billion
loan provided recently by Washington. "Radikal"
speculates that the U.S. could meet the cost of the
Turkish troop deployment in Iraq. "Hurriyet" thinks
the U.S. will meet some of the cost of the deployment.
"Hurriyet" estimates the yearly expenses of Turkish
troops in Iraq at $60 million, while "Yeni Safak"
claims it would amount to $540 million.
FM Gul briefs mission chiefs on Turks to Iraq: Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul briefed all foreign ambassadors
based in Ankara on the deployment decision on
Wednesday. Gul reportedly gave the following messages:
Turkey, acting in line with UN Resolution 1483, will
enhance the stabilization of Iraq. But Turkey would
still regard a new UN resolution as significant.
Turkish troops will face fewer problems in Iraq, since
the Iraqis are relatives and brothers of the Turks.
Responding to a question about the opposition voiced by
some Iraqi Governing Council members, Gul said that
convincing the Iraqis was a U.S. responsibility.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/Turkish troops for Iraq


"The Decree Success"
Fikret Ertan wrote in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman
(10/9): "The parliamentary decision is an important
step toward Turkey's possible role in Iraq. Following
the negotiation process with the US, and after making
sure of the protection of crucial Turkish national
interests, the Turkish forces will have their place in
Iraq. . In the meantime, there are circles who try to
undermine Turkey's possible involvement in Iraq. Anti-
Turkish statements by Kurdish groups are deliberately
highlighted in an exaggerated tone. . Such efforts led
to the rejection of Turkish involvement by the Turkish
parliament on March 1. This time, despite the
opposition's efforts, the authorization decree has been
approved. The credit should go to the AKP leadership,
including Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister
Gul."


"Historic Decision by Turkish Democracy"
Cengiz Candar commented in conservative DB Tercuman
(10/9): "The parliament's decision has provided a clear
and strong message: The Turkish military presence in
Iraq will be a temporary peace mission, it does not
intend to become an occupational force. The decision
also provides support for the US. Let us not forget
the fact that any failure the US might experience in
Iraq will have a colossal effect and would be directly
against Turkey's regional interests. . The technical
details to be worked out with the US. However, Turkey
should not wait for the UN decision, nor even mention
it. Being part of a UN force will only lessen Turkey's
role and influence. Turkey should arrange its mission
by having bilateral contacts with the US, and it should
be given equal status with the UK. Turkish forces in
Iraq should be significant, and more the better.
Sending only a symbolic number of troops does not make
any sense. As far as Turkey's involvement is
concerned, Turkey should think of sending possibly more
than 10,000 troops. The issue of Turkish military
presence in Iraq should be worked out via consensus
within the Iraqi Governing Council as well


EDELMAN

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