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2003-03-28 16:39:00
Embassy Ankara
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Tags:   OPRC  KMDR  TU 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 002059 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, MARCH 28, 2003 THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE THEMES: HEADLINES BRIEFING EDITORIAL OPINION ------- HEADLINES MASS APPEAL Bush: We will fight until Saddam is removed - Hurriyet Powell blames Rumsfeld for failure in operation - Turkiye Warm messages by Wolfowitz - Milliyet War might take months - Aksam U.S., UK urge UN to provide Iraq food for oil - Sabah People dying while Bush, Blair enjoy themselves - Vatan Saddam sends teenagers to the front - Milliyet Robert Fisk: `Saviors' burn people alive - Vatan OPINION MAKERS U.S. dream of `fast result' shattered in a week - Radikal 1000 U.S. paratroopers in N. Iraq - Radikal Gen. Ozkok's N. Iraq statement relieves U.S., Kurds - Cumhuriyet Fierce Shiite, tribal resistance toughens invasion plans - Yeni Safak Desert storm, mud weaken U.S., UK troops - Zaman `Friendly fire' kills U.S., UK troops - Cumhuriyet U.S. to get lion's share in post-war contracts - Yeni Safak U.S., UK fight over Iraq's riches - Zaman Hackers put U.S. flag on Al-Jazeera webpage - Zaman FINANCIAL JOURNALS Powell lobbies for Turkey at Congress - Dunya U.S. doesn't want UN involved in post-war Iraq - Finansal Forum BRIEFING War on Iraq: Dailies report that the U.S. has landed military equipment and about 1,000 paratroopers in Northern Iraq, an action regarded as a move to open the North Front against Baghdad. Papers speculate that U.S. forces will march on Baghdad from the north within one month. "Cumhuriyet" reports that Secretary Rumsfeld stressed that the landing should be seen as an action that will assure that Iraq remains intact. Iranian Foreign Minister Kharrazi phoned his Turkish counterpart on Wednesday to explore possibilities for cooperation to cope with a possible refugee crisis. "Radikal" reports that Prime Minister Erdogan is complaining about ongoing pressure for deployment of U.S. troops in Turkey, but said that
his government would not yield to pressure. Papers also report that Spanish Foreign Minister Palacio `threatened' Turkey, saying that Spain would consider new policies toward Ankara on certain issues if Turkey deploys troops in Northern Iraq. The National Security Council (NSC) will convene on Friday to discuss the war and developments in Iraq. The NSC will evaluate anti-Turkish sentiment in the U.S. and Europe over alleged secret Turkish deployment plans for Northern Iraq, and will shape a policy to counter such accusations. Press op-eds predict that the U.S. will ask for full cooperation from Turkey if coalition forces continue to have trouble in Iraq. The Americans blame Turkey for their failure thus far, but at the same time recognize that launching the attack without Turkey's support has been a mistake, according to the reports. Papers report Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz saying at a House of Representatives hearing that Turkey has suffered financial loss by denying access to U.S. troops, but could still realize economic gains in the medium term. Wolfowitz defended the $8.5 billion financial aid proposal for Turkey, stressing that Ankara has contributed a great deal by granting unconditional overflight rights to coalition aircraft. Iraq will be a highly profitable market for Turkey once things become normalized, Wolfowitz added. Papers also report SecState Powell's defense of Turkey at a House Appropriations Committee hearing. Powell praised the GOT for taking the `troops decree' to parliament on March 1 despite public opposition. Meanwhile NGOs, unions, and political parties rallied in Istanbul Thursday to protest the war in Iraq. Retrial of jailed Kurdish politicians: A State Security Court (SSC) on Friday began the retrial of four Kurdish politicians of the closed Democracy Party (DEP), who have been in jail for the past nine years. The four former parliamentarians - Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Dogan and Selim Sadak - were given 15-year jail sentences in 1994 for alleged links to the outlawed PKK. Zana had caused tension in parliament by taking part of her oath in Kurdish. EU observers, journalists, and human rights activists are expected to observe the hearings. EDITORIAL OPINION: War in Iraq "From Vietnam to Iraq" Hincal Uluc commented in mass appeal Sabah (3/28): "Anyone who wishes for a `humanitarian' war is living in a fantasy world. There is no such thing as a humanitarian war. The US should hasten to finish the job in Iraq, yet it seems impossible because of the failure of its early-stage planning and predictions. . US intelligence has obviously failed in the Iraq war, so the American administration is now sending positive messages to Ankara once again. . The failure of the American war strategy, based on faulty intelligence, has deadlocked for the US administration. The only way to capture Iraq is to wipe out the capital city. The US is capable of doing that with its military technology. The question is how to make this digestable to the American public and to the world. . On the other hand, Saddam's war strategy is based on defending Baghdad until the bitter end, and US forces should expect strong resistance there. Baghdad will be the most challenging part of the war. Given factors such as the climate and Iraqi resistance, the longer the battle for Baghdad lasts, the more the Bush administration will suffer politically. It may even lead to events which could signal the end of the Bush era." "Losing by winning" Fatih Altayli argued in mass appeal Hurriyet (3/28): "In a war situation, the time factor always poses disadvantages to the occupying force. . Another vital factor for the occupying force is to be able to capture the main target at the peak point of the war. In the Iraq war, this means capturing Baghdad. This has not yet happened. Evidently the US does not have enough forces to pursue this peak point yet. The CentCom Command is now asking for an additional three brigades, which will take time. This will favor the Iraqi regime. The time factor is creating a dilemma for US forces. The only way to eliminate the time risk is to conduct the battle with increased rage and violence. However, this option would only create another obstacle for the US by outraging the people of Iraq and the world. It seems that although the US may win the war, it will be on the losing side in the longer run. As for Iraq, it has been on the losing side ever since Saddam began ruling the country." PEARSON