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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 006525

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
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Powell's victory: UN to enter Iraq - Sabah
U.S. convinced UN on Iraq - Turkiye
Sezer issues reform call for Muslim world - Milliyet
OSCE observers believe Azerbaijani elections `dirty' -
Sabah
Azerbaijanis revolt against Aliyev dynasty - Milliyet
Fitch might upgrade Turkey's credit rating this year -
Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
U.S. taking its time on Turks to Iraq - Cumhuriyet
UN provides full support to U.S. bill on Iraq -
Cumhuriyet
U.S. confused on Turkish troops for Iraq - Yeni Safak
U.S. got Iraq visa from UN, cautious on Turkish
peacekeepers - Zaman
Poll: 90 percent of Iraqis against Turkish troop
deployment - Cumhuriyet
PM Erdogan: Ball passed to U.S. on Iraq - Yeni Safak
U.S. sanctions on Syria at doorstep - Radikal
Greek Cypriots pledge not to veto Turkey's EU
membership - Zaman
EU's Kretschmer: Military still intervening in civilian
life - Zaman
S&P upgrades Turkey's credit rating - Radikal


BRIEFING


Turkish peacekeepers to Iraq: Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld said at a joint press conference with
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General
Richard Myers, that a consensus between Turkey, CENTCOM
and the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) was needed for
deployment of Turkish peacekeepers in Iraq, papers
report. Hasty decisions should not be expected on such
a sensitive issue, Rumsfeld said, adding that
international peacekeepers might not be needed in Iraq.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Erdogan reportedly
said TGS and MFA have completed preparations for troop
deployment and that Ankara was awaiting a move by the
US.


Papers speculate that US, concerned about a new wave of
attacks in the face of Turkish troop deployment in
Iraq, prefers not to rush the process. Ambassador
Edelman said to the press after meeting with MFA
officials in Ankara on Thursday that negotiations with
the Turkish side should progress very carefully. We
will continue holding contacts in Iraq as well as in
Ankara and Washington on the issue, Edelman said.
"Radikal" quotes diplomatic sources as voicing doubt
regarding the intentions of the US Edelman has
conveyed to Ankara a message from the US Administration
that Iraqi officials have to be convinced about
deployment of Turkish soldiers, the paper claims. In
the meantime, Turkey and the US should prepare a legal
framework for the dispatch of troops, an anonymous
official told Radikal.
Papers expect Turkish soldiers to go to Iraq in the
first week of December. A Turkish troop contingent of
about 10,000 can reach Baghdad in five days, "Aksam"
writes. The paper adds that a military investigation
team of 25 officials will visit Baghdad on October 20.
The team will investigate the alleged connection
between the Kurdish and Arab tribes and local
insurgents and will pinpoint zones of danger for
Turkish soldiers. The report continues that they will
also check on water resources in the Salahaddin and al-
Anbar regions and determine the food and health needs
of people there.


President Sezer at OIC summit: President Sezer has
issued calls for reform in the Islamic world at the
Organization for Islamic Conference (OIC) summit
meetings in Malaysia. Sezer urged the US to gradually
transfer sovereignty to the Iraqi people. He made it
clear that Turkey has no hidden agenda in Iraq, and
invited Muslim countries to contribute to Iraq's
rebuilding and welfare, papers report.


EU's Kretschmer urges for Cyprus solution: EU
Commission representative Hans Jorg Kretschmer told the
Turkish press that reforms in Turkey were progressing
faster than expected, but that EU accession
negotiations with Turkey are unlikely to begin next
year if the Cyprus problem remains unresolved.
Kretschmer complained that Turkey's military was
intervening in civilian issues despite the EU
adjustment laws passed by the GOT. Kretschmer finds
stunning the military efforts to shape education
policies. Commentators draw attention to the fact that
Kretschmer's assessments will be put in the EU
enlargement report, and advise both the government and
military to be careful in making remarks to the public
about the report.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"Iraq and the US"
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in the conservative Turkiye
(10/17): "The authorization given by the Turkish
parliament for the troop deployment provided legitimacy
even to those who make big fuss about the issue.
Turkey is now trying to correct the mistake of March 1.
The anti-Turkish rhetoric has remarkably increased
immediately after the parliamentary decision, which
shows what type of consequences Turkey might face in
the absence of its presence in Iraq. The anti-Turkey
circles are doing their best to discourage Turkey from
sending troops there. The recent attack against the
Turkish Embassy in Baghdad is a clear example of that,
and unfortunately many more might come. Turkey has a
role in Iraq, which is to support peace and stability
and to help bring more humanitarian assistance to the
people of Iraq. Turkey is capable of teaching a lesson
to those who seek blood and turmoil. ... Turkey is
determined enough to serve in Iraq. There is only one
factor that might deter Ankara from moving forward,
which is Washington's stance. If Washington continues
to be reluctant on the deployment issue, Turkey will
not do it. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the US
will most likely ask Turkey to play an active role."


"The US is having difficulties with the IGC"
Muharrem Sarikaya noted in mass appeal Sabah (10/17):
"On Turkey's side, both the government and the military
are very determined to go ahead with the troop
deployment. As for the Washington angle, there are
various voices overheard and Ankara is somewhat
disturbed about them. Yet the government does not
believe that those who speak against Turkish deployment
can be considered to represent the US administration's
view. . According to Ankara, the major difficulty for
Washington on the Turkish deployment issue is with the
IGC. The US administration is trying to prepare the
ground for a Turkish presence in Iraq. However, `no
foreign troops' statements from both the IGC and from
neighboring countries such as Jordan is only making the
process tougher for the US. . Ankara does not interpret
the delay on the negotiation process as a crisis
between Turkey and the US. On the contrary, the
current delay provides Ankara an opportunity to observe
the evaluation process in the US, and thus to be able
to see the big picture."


EDELMAN

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