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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 004630

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,
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2004


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:

HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
--------------------------------------------- -----
HEADLINES

MASS APPEALS
S&P Upgrades Turkey's Credit Rating - Sabah
RTUK Permits Private Radio Broadcasts in Kurdish - Sabah
US Repeats Request for `extensive use' of Incirlik -
Hurriyet
Al-Yaver: "We Won't Allow PKK Presence in Iraq" - Hurriyet
First Civilian Secretary General for NSC - Hurriyet
Internal Divisions in PKK - Milliyet
Iraq Visas to be `Convenient' for Turkish Businessmen -
Turkiye

OPINION MAKERS
Scattered Promises from Al-Yaver - Radikal
Sezer Approves Alpogan's for NSC Secretary General -
Cumhuriyet
US Insists on wider use of Incirlik - Cumhuriyet
US Wants to transfer 48 F-16s from Germany to Incirlik -
Zaman
Shiite Leader el-Sadr Accepts Pope's Mediation Offer - Yeni
Safak
US Continues Discussions With Turkey Over Incirlik - Yeni
Safak
Cyprus Expert Assigned as NSC General Secretary - Yeni Safak

BRIEFING

Incirlik Air-Base: All papers and TV channels report that
Incirlik Air Base has moved to the top of the Pentagon's
agenda with Turkey. Under the US global force posture
review, the US has asked Turkey for the use of Incirlik as a
`forward operating area' for military operations against a
common threat. "Zaman" reports that a senior Pentagon
offical told reporters that discussions will continue with
Turkey for more flexibility for the use of Incirlik air
base. Reportedly, the US would like to transfer 48 F-16s
from Spangdahlen air base in Germany to Incirlik. "Zaman"
adds that a State Department official said that the US had
given Turkey information about the restructuring plans
without making any official proposals. "Hurriyet" quotes a
US official in Washington as saying that `the Turks are hard
bargainers, and we don't expect these negotiations to be any
different.' The official said that the US will not make any
requests outside of Incirlik within the framework of the
Global Force Posture Review. He emphatically denied that
the US would request a military presence in northern Cyprus.

Intra-PKK Clash Reported in Mosul: "Milliyet" reports that
militants from the hard-line PKK faction in northern Iraq
attacked a house in Mosul where other PKK elements loyal to
Osman Ocalan had been living. One of the hard-line PKK
militants was wounded in the ensuing gunbattle and was later
captured by Iraqi security forces.

Al-Yawar Concludes Visit to Turkey: "Zaman" reports that
at the end of his two day visit to Turkey, Iraqi Interim
President Al-Yawar said that agreement had been reached in
all issues discussed. Yawar announced that Turkey will
resume activities of its Mosul Consulate, which was closed
in 1995. He added that talks for a second border gate
between Turkey and Iraq will continue, and said he could not
foresee any obstacle to the proposal. In response to a
question on the PKK, Al-Yawar said that no terrorist
organizations would be allowed to harm neighboring countries
from Iraqi territory. Al-Yawar also repeated the Iraqi
government's commitment to a unified Iraq. "Sabah" reports
that new Iraqi visa regulations were designed to prevent
terror attacks and sabotage, and that al-Yawar promised that
the visa process would be made convenient for Turkish
businessmen. Turkish Trade Minister Tuzmen predicted that
the Iraqis would make visa issuance available to Turkish
businessmen at border points of entry.

Civilian Appointed to Head National Security Council:
President Sezer approved the assignment of Yigit Alpogan,
currently Turkey's Ambassador in Athens, as Secretary
General for the National Security Council. The assignment
has been published in the official gazette and is now
official. Alpogan's assignment opens a new chapter in the
NSC, as he is the first civilian to serve as Secretary
General.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Venezuela; US Global Defense Posture
Review

"Chavez hands the US a defeat"
Deniz Kavukcuoglu commented in the social democrat-opinion
maker "Cumhuriyet" (8/18): "Hugo Chavez has long been a
thorn in the side of the US because of his political
position, which emphasizes national independence, economic
sovereignty, a fair share of oil revenues, and the fight
against poverty. The US hasn't liked him since the day he
was elected, and did everything possible to topple him. The
US provided enormous financial support for the opposition.
In order to prepare the ground for a coup attempt against
Chavez in 2002, the Bush administration had given 877,000
USD to the opposition via the National Endowment for
Democracy. Yet Chavez was able to fend off every effort
against him, largely because of his strong popular support.
The recent referendum was another US-sponsored attempt to
topple Chavez. The people of Venezuela did not allow this
to happen. The result of the referendum is not only a
victory for Chavez, but also a significant defeat for the
US."

"The New US Global Defense Posture"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal "Milliyet" (8/18): "It
may seem that a withdrawal of American forces from abroad
would reduce US security, but the main point of the recently
announced changes is an expanded and more flexible military
able to meet current threats. US forces will be withdrawn
or downsized from certain areas, yet a `forward base'
strategy will also be implemented, and that includes Poland,
Romania, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Such a change in US
military strategy is quite natural, since the areas of
challenge and threat have moved to the Eastern
Mediterranean, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. The nature
of the challenge has also changed with the rise of global
terrorism. ... The most important impact of the US decision
will be on the future of NATO. It remains to be seen to
what extent the decision will effect the future of the
Alliance. Some European military strategists have already
started a debate, calling on the EU to take up defense and
security initiatives where the US has left off. But the EU
has never shown a willingness to take on such a
responsibility alone. ... The withdrawal of US forces from
`old Europe' and the transfer of some of them to `new
Europe' is a decision important enough to create a new
chapter in the strategic equilibrium. Turkey will also take
its place in this structuring, with Incirlik airbase
becoming even more important than before."

EDELMAN

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