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2003-06-18 14:26:00
Embassy Ankara
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Tags:   OPRC  KMDR  TU 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 003934 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, JUNE 18, 2003 THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE THEMES: HEADLINES BRIEFING EDITORIAL OPINION --------------------------------------------- ------ HEADLINES: MASS APPEALS Iranian demonstrations spread to Europe - Turkiye Women lawyers protest regime in Iran - Hurriyet MFA assures Turkey will side with U.S. against Iran - Hurriyet MFA warns, TGS suspends Iranian commander's visit - Milliyet French police strike blow against Iranian opposition movement - Milliyet 74 percent of Iranians want more dialogue with U.S. - Sabah Ziyal offers new function for Incirlik AB - Milliyet Galbraith: Kurdistan, in 2013 - Hurriyet Americans getting tougher against Iraq - Turkiye Verheugen urges Denktas to seize EU chance - Aksam Simitis: Turkey's made considerable progress toward EU - Vatan OPINION MAKERS Fire spreading in Iran - Cumhuriyet FT: EU, Russia join U.S. against Iran - Yeni Safak France deals heavy blow to Iranian `Mujahedeen' - Zaman Perle: Support U.S. for regime change in Iran - Radikal U.S. State Dept: Turkey our strategic partner - Cumhuriyet Washington confirms strategic partnership with Turkey - Zaman Galbraith: Kurds will part with Iraq someday - Radikal BRIEFING: MFA delegation in U.S.: According to a package presented to the U.S. by MFA U/S Ugur Ziyal, Turkey is willing to take part in various sectors of Iraqi reconstruction. Ankara is ready to supply medical equipment, reconstruct the Iraqi telecommunications system, and reform the banking sector. Amb. Ziyal has told the U.S. that Turkey is ready to spend part of the U.S.-provided $8.5 billion loan for the restructuring of Iraq. Turkey has also voiced its readiness to contribute to the international peacekeeping force in Iraq. The package also envisages that Incirlik airbase could be turned into a logistical support center for Iraq. Dailies believe that Ziyal has assured the U.S. of Turkey's backing for the U.S. position against Iran.
MFA persuades TGS against Iranian army chief visit: A TGS attempt to invite Iran's commander of regular troops to Turkey was halted by the MFA, which told the military that the U.S. might be offended by military exchanges between Ankara and Tehran, according to "Milliyet." The paper quotes unidentified sources as saying that the Turkish military would have triggered a controversy by hosting Iranian commanders at a critical time when allegations are being made by the U.S. and EU against Iran for developing nuclear weapons. Following the warning, the TGS has decided to postpone meetings with Iranian army officials. The paper regards the attempt as a response by the TGS to Wolfowitz and other American `hawks' who blame the military in Turkey for rejection of the March 1 decree that would have allowed foreign troops to be deployed on Turkish soil against Iraq. Cyprus: U.S. Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston said after meeting with the Turkish and Greek leaders on the island earlier this week that the Greeks were ready to negotiate the Annan plan while Denktas maintains his rigid stance. Weston stressed that a settlement is expected before the Greek Cypriots' EU membership begins in 2004. EU expansion chief Verheugen said on Tuesday that Ankara and Denktas should grab the opportunity provided by the Annan plan since, he noted, the Greek side would definitely join the EU next year. Galbraith suggests `loose federation' for Iraq: The former U.S. envoy to post-war Croatia, Peter Galbraith, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that a loose federation based on the Canadian or Bosnian model is most appropriate for Iraq. Kurds have been the most reliable regional ally for the U.S., Galbraith noted, adding that the U.S. should not worry much about a possible `peaceful divorce' between the Kurds and Iraq in ten years time. President approves critical UN accords: President Sezer has approved two UN agreements on civil, political, economic and cultural rights in advance of the EU summit in Thessaloniki this weekend. The agreements, signed byTurkey in August 2000, include the right of minorities to `self- determination' use of their mother tongue. EU wants election threshold lowered: "Hurriyet" claims that the EU has asked Ankara, through various channels, to lower the 10 percent threshold applied in general elections in Turkey. The EU believes that the election threshold was mainly implemented to keep pro-Kurdish DEHAP from winning parliamentary seats. "Hurriyet" expects the new EU demand to put considerable pressure on the AKP, which might lose its comfortable majority in parliament by such a move. EDITORIAL OPINION: Iran "The truth about Iran" Cengiz Candar opined in the conservative DB Tercuman (6/18): "Arguing about whether or not `it's now Iran's turn' only serves the interests of conspiracy-theorists. The fact of the matter is that the US wants to see a regime change in Iran as quickly as possible, and will intensify its efforts toward this goal. However, this goal is not leading to a military operation. There is no need for that. It seems that the internal dynamics of Iran are strong and vivid enough to make this change without the need for external intervention. . The truth about Iran stands as an historic proof of the collapse of political Islam." "Iranians are just fed up" Zafer Atay observed in the economic-political Dunya (6/18): "The street protests in Iran, although minor in number, are very much typical of totalitarian regimes, such as the former Ceauscescu regime in Bucharest. . The US is doing its best to use Iranian anti-regime leaders. However, the real energy stems from the people of Iran, who are fed up with the current system. . The US will not start a military operation at this stage against Iran as long as Iran does its homework. The initial signs, however, are not promising. Iran has declined to accept a team of inspectors from the IAEA. . Washington has already declared to the world that Iran has a `secret' nuclear weapons program. More importantly, the EU is on the US side this time. It remains to be seen whether the Mullahs will take the proper lesson from this though, judging from past experience, it seems unlikely." PEARSON