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2003-01-31 15:00:00
Embassy Ankara
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Tags:   OPRC  KMDR  TU 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 000810 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 FRI, JANUARY 31 2003 THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE THEMES: HEADLINES BRIEFING EDITORIAL OPINION ------- HEADLINES MASS APPEAL Bush divides EU: 8 Europeans back U.S. - Hurriyet Powell's `multimedia satellite show' on February 5 - Sabah Iraqi Ambassador: We won't forget if you help the Americans - Milliyet France has annual trade of $1.5 billion w/Iraq, opposes war - Vatan Turkey to ask for NATO protection in war - Aksam Erdogan: Still hopeful about peace - Turkiye OPINION MAKERS 21 countries open bases to U.S. - Cumhuriyet U.S. troops in Northern Iraq - Radikal NSC to discuss sending troops to Iraq - Zaman Worlwide reaction to U.S. war craze growing - Yeni Safak Ankara warm to Papandreou's Cyprus approach - Radikal FINANCIAL JOURNALS U.S. discussing future legal owner of Iraqi oil - Dunya Moody's: Turkey will need additional $8-13 billion in war - Finansal Forum BRIEFING Iraq: Prime Minister Gul will try to `feel the pulse of' Middle Eastern leaders on the phone today, and will meet with the EU troika - Greek and Italian Foreign Ministers Papandreou and Frattini -- and EU representative Solana in Ankara on Friday. The National Security Council on Friday afternoon will discuss the issue of Iraq, and alternative war plans drafted by the TGS. Papers regard today's NSC meeting as `critical' because the Council is expected to evaluate U.S. demands from Turkey, and to come up with a response regarding Turkey's involvement in a possible military action against Iraq. The NSC will discuss the possible deployment of U.S. troops in Turkey, and regional countries' reaction to Turkey's likely presence in Northern Iraq in the event of war. The NSC will advise the government to seek parliamentary approval for Turkey's involvement in war. The NSC will also decide on U.S. requests for construction work to upgrade Turkish bases. Papers report that the U.S. Ambassador
to Ankara, Robert Pearson, paid a visit to Prime Minister Gul on Thursday to warn him that time is running short. Pearson urged Turkey to take a decision as soon as possible regarding its involvement in a possible operation. Dailies carry a WP article saying that in an effort to ease Ankara's concerns, the U.S. will warn the Northern Iraqi Kurdish groups not to enter Mosul and Kirkuk. "Radikal" quotes a `high-level' Northern Iraqi official as saying that 2,000 U.S. troops and intelligence personnel will enter the region from Turkey and be stationed around Duhok, Erbil and Sulaimanija. Meanwhile, dailies report Iraqi Ambassador Talib Salih's warnings to the Turkish government not to open bases to the U.S.. The Americans cannot succeed without Turkey's support, Salih said, and if Turkey allows U.S. troops to wage war against Iraq, the Iraqi nation will never forget it. Meanwhile, 35 Turkish citizens have volunteered to join Mike Nichols O'Keefe's group of human shields, who will be traveling from London to Istanbul. The groups will leave for Baghdad on February 5 to stay there for two months. We are not going there to support Saddam, the volunteers said, and if we feel we are being exploited by the Iraqi regime, we will immediately leave Iraq. Turkey, EU Troika meeting: Greek and Italian Foreign Ministers Papandreou and Frattini, and EU representative Solana came to Ankara on Thursday. Papandreou said after a meeting with Foreign Minister Yakis on Thursday that a compromise between Ankara and Athens would serve as a model for the sides in Cyprus. Papandreou noted that political will was essential for a solution to the Cyprus problem, which he said is `very near.' However, Turksih Cypriot leader Denktas sounded a pessimistic note, saying that even is there is an agreement between the two sides on the island, it will be difficult for the two communities to live together. Papers quote EU's expansion chief Verheugen as stressing that even if no compromise is reached on the island by February 28, the Greek Cypriot side will be admitted to the EU as a full member in May 2003. Verheugen added that the EU prefers to see a united Cyprus as a full member of the EU family. EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq "This support is good enough for Bush" Erdal Guven wrote in liberal-intellectual Radikal (1/31): "Following the declaration of support by eight members of the EU for a US operation against Iraq, it seems that the French-German bloc is isolated. . This is the kind of support that will make President Bush very happy and will be good enough to go ahead with his Iraq plan. . As a result of this support, we can conclude that the EU has not yet developed a unified foreign policy; France and Germany are the `engine' but not the `brain' for the Union. We also can infer that the EU enlargement process seems to be working for the US benefit rather than the European Union's." "Waiting for February 5" Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in conservative-mass appeal Turkiye (1/31): "It remains to be seen whether Secretary Powell's arguments and the proof that he will present will be convincing enough for the members of the UN Security Council, especially France, Germany, Syria, Russia, China and Pakistan. It does not appear that they will take the evidence as the basis for granting full support to a US military action against Iraq. The UNSC members will most likely work on the middle-way formula, asking Iraq to comply and suggesting additional time for the inspectors. . Nothing, however, will be able to change the US position. The US will act the way it plans, and reactions from the world will be doomed to remain irrelevant. The US is on the path of no return. The operation will happen. It is a matter of the welfare of the American people and the protection of the Pax-Americana." PEARSON