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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 02 ANKARA 006478

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 16, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Turkey Might Send 50,000 Troops to Iraq - Milliyet
US Suggests Disarming PKK/KADEK in Northern Iraq -
Milliyet
Government Steps Back in Imam-Hatip Controversy -
Hurriyet
IMF Praises Turkey for Reaching Targets - Hurriyet
US Targeted for the First Time in Palestine - Sabah
PM Reaches Agreement With Rectors - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Kurds Threaten Turkey Again -Cumhuriyet
Latest Suggestion from Washington: "Let's Disarm
PKK/KADEK"
Imam-Hatip Crisis Comes to an End - Radikal
Government Plans Tough Action Against Corruption -
Zaman
Rice: "Turkish Troop Deployment in Iraq is a Sensitive
Issue" - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Government Plans Against Corruption: All papers cover
Justice Minister Cemil Cicek's statement on the new
draft against corruption. "Hurriyet" and "Radikal"
note that the government has pledged to take serious
action, primarily against those who defraud the banking
system. Minister Cicek vowed that those responsible
for bank fraud would stay in jail until their debts are
repaid. Under the new draft, the task of collecting
failed bank debts will be transferred from the Banking
Supervisory Board to the Treasury.


Iraqi Interim Government Repeats Opposition to Turkish
Troop Deployment: "Cumhuriyet" reports that Iraqi
Interim government representatives attending the OIC
summit in Malaysia reiterated that they did not want
additional foreign peacekeeping troops in Iraq. The
IGC members stressed that they are working on a formula
for establishing security in Iraq on their own.


US Proposal on the PKK/KADEK: "Cumhuriyet" reports
that in a meeting with undersecretary Ugur Ziyal on
Tuesday, Ambassador Edelman proposed that the
organization be disarmed rather than eliminated in
Northern Iraq. Edelman reportedly said that if the
PKK/KADEK were disarmed, it would no longer pose a
threat to Turkey. Although Turkey was not happy about
the proposal, MFA officials said that this was the
first concrete step taken by the US on the PKK/KADEK
issue.


IMF Completes Sixth Review: State Minister Babacan
announced that the IMF completed the sixth review of
Turkey's IMF program last night. IMF Turkey Desk chief
Moghadam said that the government had reached or
surpassed hit all IMF targets for 2003. Reports
highlighted the fact that the government was not forced
to raise prices of natural gas and electricity in order
to satisfy the IMF. In addition, the Government
persuaded the IMF to accept an incentive system to
encourage investment in underdeveloped provinces of
Turkey. The IMF had initially opposed such an idea.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"Iraq and America"
Taha Akyol commented in the mass appeal Milliyet
(10/16): "Normally it would expected that immediately
after a parliamentary decree such as that passed last
week, the US would begin negotiating with Turkey about
the terms of its troop deployment. Yet we see that
this is not happening. Condoleezza Rice is making
interesting remarks, referring to Turkey's deployment
as a `sensitive issue.' Rice said that the US is
`continuing talks with the sides.' I think she meant
to say that the US is trying to find a way for Turkey
to send its troops without making Barzani and Talabani
angry. This is what a high-level official in Ankara
told me: `If we hear a suggestion by the Americans
about flying over northern Iraq or passing through
Syria, the negotiation process [with the US] will be
ended right there.' . Turkish officials believe that
Turkey should use the route from Turkey to Iraq, the
same route used for oil and food deliveries to American
troops. The US seems to rely solely on the Kurds in
Iraq. The Arabs are very annoyed about the US's
favoritism, and they are now making efforts to isolate
the Kurds. The US should act with a better vision and
greater common sense. The turmoil in Iraq will harm
Turkey, but it will be the US who will suffer from
terrorism more than anyone else."


"Tougher Days Ahead for Turkey"
Retired diplomat Yalim Eralp wrote in the sensational
Yarin (10/16): "There is constant change in world
affairs, and Turkey cannot consider itself exempt from
this process. However, Turkey has not yet fine-tuned
its foreign policy, particularly on issues related to
the US and the EU. . For instance, Cyprus issue is an
indispensable part of the EU process. There is no way
for Turkey to move ahead before settling the Cyprus
issue. . Turkey will also not be able to keep its
negotiating position with the EU while keeping the
Turkish-Armenian border closed. Turkey should resolve
this problem as well right after the elections in
Azerbaijan. At the same time, these issues are very
much related to Turkish-American relations. Ambassador
Eric Edelman has already reminded Turkey about the need
to open the border gate. Let's not forget that both
the US and the EU share similar views about the Cyprus
issue. . On Iraq, Turkey has moved relatively closer
to the American vision. Now it should be integrated
with U.S. Middle East policy as well. Turkey's
diplomacy toward the US regarding the Iran and Syria
issues will not be easy. We, for instance, cannot
remain blind about Iran's nuclear activities."


EDELMAN

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