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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 006697

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 24, 2003

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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Baykal the Sole Leader of CHP - Hurriyet
Washington Warns Turkey Against Fraud in TRNC Elections -
Hurriyet
Rumsfeld's Confession on Anti-terror Effort - Milliyet
Minister Babacan Says Turkey Does Not Need the US Credit Now
- Milliyet
Greece Decides to Reduce its Army - Sabah
A Dull Convention from CHP - Sabah
Rumsfeld and Bremer Say Turkish Troops May Not be Needed -
Sabah
Leaked News on US Anti-Terror Policy Embarrasses Rumsfeld -
Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
Bremer Against Turkish Troop Deployment in Iraq - Radikal
Robertson Asks For More Turkish Troops in Afghanistan -
Radikal
Farewell Visit From Robertson - Cumhuriyet
Talabani Asks Egypt for Troops - Cumhuriyet
White House Shaken by Leaked News on War Against Terrorism-
Yeni Safak
Baykal Eliminates Rivals With the New Regulations - Zaman


BRIEFING


CHP Convention: All papers report on the CHP party
convention, which began yesterday. Despite protests from
within the party, CHP Chairman Deniz Baykal changed party
regulations to consolidate his own power and make opposition
to his leadership more difficult. "Hurriyet" reports that
with these changes, there was no question of serious
opposition to Baykal for the party chairmanship. Baykal was
reelected last night with an overwhelming majority of the
votes.


Rumsfeld Confession on the Lost War Against Terrorism:
"Milliyet" and "Radikal" cite `USA Today' reports concerning
the memorandum written by Secretary Rumsfeld about the
results of the U.S. war on terrorism. In the letter,
Rumsfeld reportedly confessed that the US has not been
successful in combating global terrorism. The memo added
that the U.S. has been defeated not only at the front, but
on the financial side as well. The leak of the memo to the
press reportedly infuriated Secretary Rumsfeld.


A Positive Step From Greece For Peace in the Aegean:
"Sabah" reports that Greece has decided that Turkey no
longer poses a threat to Greek security, and that Greece has
decided to reduce the size of its army. The decision was
first adopted by the Greek government, then approved last
week by Greek military leaders. "Sabah" notes that this is
the biggest step taken for peace since 1930 when Turkey and
Greece signed a peace agreement.


US Warns Turkey Against Fraud in TRNC Elections: "Hurriyet"
reports that the US administration is convinced that TRNC
president Denktas is the biggest obstacle to a settlement of
the Cyprus issue. Washington has warned Turkey three times
against possible fraud in the TRNC elections scheduled for
December. These warnings have been conveyed to Turkey by
Secretary Powell, Ambassador Edelman and Thomas Weston

SIPDIS
during his recent visit to Turkey.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq


"Balancing mistakes with the right steps"
Erdal Guven commented in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(10/24): "Due to the confusion created by anti-war sentiment
before the Iraq war, we ignored the fact that the US never
asked Turkey to send troops there. Washington knew all too
well about the possible opposition among Kurdish groups, the
sole ally of the US, in the event that Turkish soldiers were
deployed in Iraq during the war. In such an atmosphere,
Turkey insisted on a military presence. . In the post-war
era, Washington did not think about Turkish military
contribution -- at least in the beginning. Yet the rise of
terrorist attacks against American soldiers led Washington
to reconsider its policy. As for Ankara, sending Turkish
troops to Iraq was a good chance to restore its bilateral
with the US. . The current situation, on the other hand, is
very interesting. Ankara is insisting on the deployment of
its troops, and the Iraqis -- including the Kurds -- are
clearly giving the message that they don't want Turkish
soldiers. . The resistance of the Iraqi administration has
not been broken despite US efforts and a push from Ankara.
Now PM Erdogan talks about not going to Iraq `unless Turkey
is welcome.' It seems that Paul Bremer has also advised
Washington about the disadvantages of a Turkish deployment.
It appears that the Iraqis have managed to assert their
sovereignty toward the US for the first time since the war."


"Iraq and our interests"
Kamuran Ozbir wrote in the nationalist Ortadogu (10/24):
"Sending Turkish troops to Iraq will serve only to harm
Turkish-Iraqi ties as well as the Islamic brotherhood.
First of all, the Iraqis do not want to see more foreign
troops there. Secondly, other neighbors of Iraq do not
support the idea of a Turkish troop deployment. . If
Turkish troops are stationed as the US had planned -- that
is, in the Sunni triangle - there will be very serious
consequences, including a possible armed conflict between
Iraqi resistance groups and foreign troops. The Iraqi
resistance will view the Turkish presence as part of the
foreign occupation, and react the way it does to the US
forces. . The situation in Iraq poses a danger to
international stability and security, and it should be
settled without Turkey doing anything militarily."


EDELMAN

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