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.




E.O. 12958: N/A



AKP candidates lobby for Prime Minister post - Milliyet
Calling card shock - Hurriyet
Erdogan's day of destiny - Hurriyet
U.S. State Dept. against party closure - Turkiye
Ecevit: Secularism jeopardized if AKP in power - Sabah
World eyes on Turkish polls - Vatan

EU accession date depends on torture prevention - Cumhuriyet
Ankara to give counter dipnote to Moscow - Cumhuriyet
Election Board: Court's ruling on Erdogan won't affect polls
- Zaman
Human Rights Watch to issue `head cover' report after polls
- Yeni Safak

Treasury U/S: Economic program going well - Dunya
Turkish businessmen to continue textile lobby in U.S. -
Finansal Forum


EU troika: Officials from EU president Denmark, next-term
president Greece, and the EU Commission, in Ankara for talks
with Turkish officials, praised moves for reform and urged
continued effort on implementation of regulations against
torture. Ankara stressed that it would not accept
conditions for an accession date, and added that Turkish
support for a possible operation against Iraq should not be
taken for granted. MFA Spokesman Buluc said Turkey hoped to
begin accession negotiations with the EU in 2003. "Radikal"
claims that Ankara hinted at an EU compromise on the issue
of the European defense mechanism.

Cyprus: UN Cyprus envoy De Soto said after meeting MFA U/S
Amb. Ziyal on Thursday that he hoped to see the Cyprus
problem resolved before the EU Copenhagen Summit in
December. De Soto denied reports that Annan would present
the Turkish and Greek Cypriots a new plan for peace. The
MFA praised Annan's `good will mission,' but urged him not
to interfere in direct talks between the two sides.

Papandreou in Istanbul: Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou
met in Istanbul with his Turkish counterpart Gurel to watch
the soccer game between Istanbul's Fenerbahce and Athens'
Panathinaikos. Papandreou told the press that he backed the
UN attempt to resolve the Cyprus issue, and reiterated
support for Turkey's EU bid. Accompanied by the
Panathinaikos soccer team, Papandreou paid a visit to the
Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomeos before the game.
Bartholomeos voiced hope that the new Turkish government
would contribute to the friendly atmosphere between Greece
and Turkey.

MFA on Chechens: Dailies claim Ankara was preparing a note
of protest to Moscow in order to reject allegations
regarding the presence of Chechen organizations in Turkey.
MFA Spokesman Buluc said on Thursday that there was no
`Chechen-Ichkeria organization' in Turkey. However, a CNN-
Turk reporter showed Buluc a business card from a member of
the organization. Buluc did not take this seriously,
pointing out that anybody could print a business card.
Turkey's Ambassador to Moscow Kurtulus Taskent said that any
outlawed Chechen organization raising money in Turkey would
be closed, and added that Turkey was ready for cooperation
with Russia in the fight against terror.

Election: The AKP leadership toned down criticism against
President Sezer, and recognized that the presidency has the
ultimate authority to appoint a new Prime Minister. Papers
claim that after Erdogan was barred from taking office, a
heated rivalry has erupted among possible AKP candidates
Abdullah Gul, Bulent Arinc and Abdullatif Sener for the post
of Prime Minister. DSP leader Ecevit accused AKP of hiding
its true intentions, and said that Turkish secularism might
be damaged if AKP came to power. Ecevit told "Milliyet"
that he would leave DSP leadership within a year. The
Constitutional Court is to decide on the injunction against
Erdogan today. If the high court upholds the injunction,
Erdogan will have to step down as AKP chairman. The High
Election Board (YSK) said the name of Erdogan appearing on
election ballot will not lead to an annulment of ballots.
Papers report State Spokesman Boucher's response to a
question, saying that the U.S. was against the closure of
political parties for the peaceful expression of their


a) Terrorism/Turkey-Russia
b) Turkey-EU

"Russia is right"
Fatih Altayli commented on the recent tiff between Turkey
and Russia over Chechen terrorists in the mass appeal
"Hurriyet" (11/1): "Chechen behavior has served to justify
the Russian depiction of Chechens as `terrorists.' Russia
is also accusing Turkey of supporting the Chechens. There
is no `state policy' to support Chechens, yet we should
acknowledge that Turkey has presented a negative picture. .
If we look at Belgian support for the DHKP-C, for example,
Belgium can also claim that it does not have a state policy
to support this terrorist organization. At the same time,
Belgium does not interfere when DHKP-C gets organized in the
country and is involved in illegal acts against Turkey,
including terrorism. . There is simply no difference between
what Belgium is doing to Turkey and what Turkey is doing to
Russia. The Chechen groups are terrorists for Russia as
much as the PKK or DHKP-C are terrorists for Turkey. Russia
is right to criticize Turkey. Tolerance and friendly
feelings do not mean supporting, or even ignoring,

"Minds are even more confused!"
Sami Kohen commented on Turkey's EU prospects in the mass
appeal Milliyet (11/1): "It looks like the upcoming EU
summit will do its best not to send Turkey home empty-
handed. The chances that Turkey will be given a clear and
firm date for negotiations are nil. However, we might
expect `something like a calendar,' such as a conditional
negotiation date. The EU conditions will not be new, but
rather a series of expectations that Turkey fulfill all of
its current obligations, particularly in the area of human
rights and freedoms. . Let's hope that the Copenhagen summit
reaches such a decision. If that happens, it is quite
possible that Turkey would begin the negotiations with the
EU during the Greek chairmanship. . Turkey should not sit
and wait. As soon as a decision is given toward Turkey's
negotiation process, we have a lot to accomplish. I hope by
that time Turkey has a new government with the EU issue as
one of its priorities."

© Scoop Media

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