MASS APPEAL Looting in Kirkuk-Sabah Iraqis Switch to the Side of Power-Sabah FM Gul to Powell: If you can not Control Peshmerges, Let us Intervene-Hurriyet US Troops are in Mosul-Hurriyet "Get Ready" Orders from TGS-Milliyet Powell: We Shall Remove Peshmerges from Kirkuk-Milliyet Planned Looting in Kirkuk-Turkiye
OPINION MAKERS Diplomatic Intervention Against Kirkuk Occupation-Zaman Chaos in Baghdad-Cumhuriyet Kirkuk Discussions With US- Radikal Government Prepares Broad Package of Reforms for EU entry- Radikal
FINANCIAL JOURNALS Toward the New Oil Century-Dunya Kirkuk Jolts the Markets-Finansal Forum
Iraq: All papers and TV channels extensively cover the invasion of Kirkuk by Kurdish militias. Turkey launched a diplomatic effort after the Peshmerge incursion and incidents of looting being reported from Kirkuk. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul called US Secretary of State Colin Powell and told him that Turkey was ready to help if the US was not able to cope with the turmoil. However, Secretary Powell rejected the offer and assured Turkey that the United States would take the situation under control within a very short period of time. Prior to FM Gul's phone call, Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ali Tuygan called US Ambassador Pearson twice to share Turkish concerns and to reiterate the conditions of the Ankara declaration signed by US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. "Radikal" reports that TGS Chief General Ozkok also called his counterpart, General Richard Myers, to highlight Turkey's concerns. "Milliyet" reports that after the harsh reactions from the Turkish side, Peshmerge militants started to leave Kirkuk in the evening, and US troops penetrated Kirkuk and began to assert control. "Hurriyet", "Zaman", and "Sabah" report that Turkish military observers will go to Northern Iraq to monitor developments.
EU Reform Package: "Radikal" reports that the government is undertaking new measures to meet EU accession criteria. Within this framework, a new package of reforms has been prepared by the Government which covers the expansion of language freedom, amendments to Radio and TV broadcast laws, and changes in housing and development regulations. According to Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, the new package would permit political propaganda to be made in Kurdish and eliminate the ban on Kurdish-language private television and radio stations. It would also sharply reduce the scope of Article 8 of Turkey's anti-terror law, which penalizes certain `speech' and `thought' crimes.
"Why did the U.S. let them?" Sedat Ergin commented in mass appeal Hurriyet (4/11): "It's no secret that the Iraqi Kurds see Kirkuk as their capital, and consider the town as the `Jerusalem of Kurdistan.' Encouraged by Barzani and Talabani, they've attempted to get recognition as `Kirkuk's liberators.' It's no coincidence that they first targeted the deed office in town. . It's significant that the U.S., having managed to deter Kurds from Kirkuk thus far, has suddenly removed this pressure. . It is clear that U.S. has not even attempted to block Kurds' access to Kirkuk, because the U.S. Administration believes that after Baghdad, the fall of Kirkuk will bring a faster victory. This attitude will intensify the doubts prevailing among Turkish decision-makers and the people about the U.S., and will further shake bilateral relations. By silently winking at the Kurds, the U.S. has carried them to an advantageous position regarding Kurdish claims on Kirkuk. In this way, the loyalty of the Northern Iraqi Kurdish groups is being rewarded."
"Kirkuk and the Kurds' Korea" Cengiz Candar opined in mass appeal Tercuman (4/11): "The Kurds have established a close solidarity with the U.S. in Northern Iraq, a relationship comparable to the cooperation that was established between the U.S. and Turkey in Korea in
1952. . By denying access to the 4th Infantry, Turkey has made its ally America's job more difficult in Iraq, increasing both the human and material costs. What is more, Turkey is seeking a rapprochement with Iran and Syria, countries which, as Secretary Powell put it, create `uneasiness' for the U.S. Whether through ongoing confusion or a deliberate attempt by this government to undermine Turkey's relations with the West, Turkey appears to be seeking a place in the Third World. . Turkey has blocked the Northern Front, and the war was carried out only from the South, resulting in the fall of Baghdad and Kirkuk without fighting. Are you still dreaming that the U.S. will fight against the Kurds just to please Turkey? Do you think Turkey will enter Northern Iraq even though the U.S., just like Turkey, has drawn some `red lines' in the region? . After having fought, with American support, in its Southeast for 15 years, do you think Turkey, at odds with the U.S., should venture a conflict with an unpredictable ending in Northern Iraq?"