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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 007019

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
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Gen. Ozkok: Iran, Syria also oppose a Kurdish state -
Hurriyet
US surrenders to peshmerge - Aksam 11/8
Gul warns US not to favor Iraqi Kurds - Hurriyet 11/9
Gul urges fair elections in Cyprus - Sabah
Massacre in Riyadh - Aksam 11/9
US F-16s bomb Fallujah - Aksam
Georgia a powder keg - Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Al-Qaida strikes in Riyadh - Cumhuriyet
Ozkok: We'll react differently to another Suleymaniye
incident - Zaman
Gen. Ozkok: Situation in Iraq is discomforting - Radikal
11/9
Government abandons plans for troops to Iraq - Cumhuriyet
11/8
Al-Qaida might strike in US via cargo planes - Cumhuriyet
11/9
Ankara closes Iraq chapter - Radikal 11/8
Government suspends Iraq troop deployment - Zaman 11/8
US unhappy with the IGC - Yeni Safak
Racist security wall must be scrapped in Palestine - Yeni
Safak


BRIEFING


Army chief on US, Kurds, Greek Cypriots: TGS Chief General
Hilmi Ozkok said Turkey had acted with restraint during the
July 4 Suleymaniye crisis, but would not tolerate another
similar incident. Turkey will not withdraw its 1,500 troops
currently deployed in Northern Iraq, Ozkok added, unless the
security situation improves. Turkish troops in Cyprus are
not occupiers, Ozkok claimed, but are stationed on the
island in line with international agreements. Ozkok warned
that the Greek Cypriots should not fully trust the EU on
this issue, because no European country will drive Turkish
soldiers away from Cyprus. An independent Kurdish state
will pose a threat for Turkey's national interests and
regional security, Ozkok warned. Such a development would
affect not only Iraq, but Iran, Syria and Turkey as well, he
emphasized.


Ankara abandons plans for sending troops to Iraq: At the
request of the US, Ankara has decided to abandon its plans
for deploying troops to Iraq, Saturday papers report.
Secretary Powell phoned Foreign Minister Gul Thursday

SIPDIS
evening to acknowledge that the US has not been able to
break the Iraqis' resistance to Turkish peacekeepers. Gul
told Powell that Turkey would be happy if the US manages to
resolve the security problems in Iraq on its own. Secretary
Powell addressed Turkish concerns over security in Northern
Iraq, vowing to eliminate the threat posed by the PKK/KADEK.


Talabani due in Ankara: Iraqi Governing Council (IGC)
temporary chairman Jalal Talabani said that the IGC's
objection to Turkish peacekeepers in Iraq should not be
regarded as Iraqi animosity toward Turkey. Had Turkey sent
troops to Iraq, Talabani said, Turks would have been dying
instead of American soldiers. Talabani stressed before his
official visit to Ankara next week that the new Iraq will
remain a friend of Turkey.
Turkey stepping up humanitarian aid for Iraq: With the
possible troops deployment now off the table, Ankara will
focus its efforts in Iraq on meeting the humanitarian needs
of the Iraqi people, according to Saturday's "Cumhuriyet."
At a recent meeting in Ankara, Turkey's envoys to Middle
Eastern countries proposed launching a civilian campaign in
Iraq aimed at improving the daily lives of ordinary Iraqis.
The US and Britain are preoccupied with security problems,
they argued, and cannot tackle other daily problems in Iraq.
The Turks are currently building hospitals in Baghdad and
Mosul, and intend to extend humanitarian aid in all fields.
Ankara is not happy with the amount of business given to
Turkey in Iraq's rebuilding. FM Gul told Secretary Powell
that Turkey's hopes to receive a considerable share of
contracts issued in Iraq.


Azerbaijani president to Turkey: Azerbaijan's new president
Ilham Aliyev is expected to visit Turkey after the Ramadan
holiday on his first official foreign visit, papers report.
Aliyev is expected to discuss with Ankara mainly the Baku-
Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project.


Ankara uneasy over Israeli activities in N. Iraq:
"Hurriyet" columnist Yalcin Dogan claimed that Prime
Minister Erdogan met two weeks ago with an Israeli
businessman willing to make a $1 billion investment in
Turkey. Dogan goes on to describe what he claims are
Israeli efforts to meddle in Northern Iraq. 150,000 Kurdish
Jews are currently settled in Israel, and Israel is buying
land in Northern Iraq, the column claims. Israel wants to
establish a Kurdish investment bank in Northern Iraq, and
offered to activate the Haifa pipeline to carry Iraqi oil to
world markets. The columnist speculates that the US might
have urged Ariel Sharon to visit Turkey, and claims that
Ankara had been disturbed by Israeli aspirations in Northern
Iraq since the end of the war.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq/Mideast


"The Fragmented Pieces of Iraq"
Ferai Tinc warned in mass appeal Hurriyet (11/10): "It is
beyond comprehension to see the continuing mistakes made by
the US. As hard as it is to believe, the policy method
being applied in Iraq is trial and error. One wonders if
this is a reality necessitated by conditions or a political
choice? The way the US has conducted US-Turkish relations
since the beginning of the Iraq crisis is not very
encouraging for the future. The US did not do enough to
eliminate the overall negative impression about a Turkish
troop deployment in Iraq. The intention of Turkish forces
was mistakenly portrayed as an effort to control the Kurds.
Now Turkey finds itself in a position of hearing that its
`vicious intentions' have been prevented by the annulment of
the troop deployment. .. What is going to happen now? It
remains to be seen how the US will overcome the problems in
Iraq, especially after giving up on its request for troops
from Turkey and other Muslim nations. There are reports
about training local militia for providing security. That
means a group of forces consisting of members of the KDP and
PUK as well as Shiite groups. If that really happens, it
would mean total chaos."
"For Democracy in the Middle East"
Yasemin Congar commented in mass appeal Milliyet (11/10):
"President Bush's speech on November 6 was an important one.
The US has always considered the Middle East as an exception
to democratic principles and ignored its oppressive regimes.
Yet in his speech, President Bush officially declared the
end of long-standing US policy for the Middle East. .
Unlike his predecessors, Bush has clearly identified the
countries in the Middle East -- not only Syria and Iran, but
also US-friendly countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia -
that need democratization. . Now this is the time to look
for deeds as well as words. We shall see if Bush will take
forceful measures against the Saudis and other regimes in
the area. . Iraq stands as a litmus test for his remarks
that democracy and Islam should live together and that all
peoples deserve to live free. We shall see if Iraq will be
successful enough to establish a new democratic state order.
We shall see if Washington will provide enough political
liberty for achieving that goal."


EDELMAN

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