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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.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 007942

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, NOVEMBER 6, 2002


THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
-------
HEADLINES


MASS APPEALS
Gen. Ozkok: U.S. need not worry - Hurriyet
Erdogan, Baykal hand in hand for EU - Sabah
Elections boost markets' morale - Turkiye
Erdogan: We'll benefit from Yilmaz's EU experience - Vatan
AKP vows to abolish `financial year zero' - Milliyet
Stock markets hit record high - Aksam


OPINION MAKERS
Erdogan's first gaffe - Cumhuriyet
U.S. Administration congratulates AKP - Radikal
Erdogan: No puppet Prime Minister - Radikal
General Ozkok: Election outcome will of nation - Yeni Safak
Erdogan vows to fight poverty, corruption - Yeni Safak
AJC cautious on AKP, will wait-and-see - Zaman


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
Business community says `Gul' -- Dunya
AKP's priority trade, agriculture, transport, tourism -
Finansal Forum


BRIEFING


Erdogan: Papers report that the AKP party administration has
authorized Erdogan to name a candidate for Prime Minister.
All papers believe that Abdullah Gul, a moderate supported
by the West, is the favorite candidate. A survey of 500
businessmen conducted by the economic daily "Dunya" shows
that 40 percent wanted Gul as Prime Minister. Erdogan is
expected to present President Sezer with a list of five
candidates tomorrow. Papers quote AKP sources as claiming
that the new Prime Minister would only stay in office for 60
days, as the ban on Erdogan will be removed in January 2003.
Some reports claim Erdogan will consider party balances by
including in the cabinet a mixture of Islamist figures and
names close to center-right. An AKP delegation led by
Erdogan will tour European capitals to lobby for Turkey's EU
drive, reports note.

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Markets: Papers report interest rates drop by 10 points,
accompanied by a record increase in stock markets. Dailies
speculate that AKP will receive a genuine vote of confidence
from the markets when AKP works out a compromise with the
IMF in the fourth review work and the 2003 budget, and
achieves a breakthrough in talks with the EU. Ali Coskun,
the AKP official responsible for the economy, said that the
IMF wants an end to `financial year zero' implementation,
which Coskun sees as a controversial regulation that has
chased domestic money abroad. Coskun added that in talks
with the IMF, AKP would put the emphasis on social aspects
of the program. Tax rates will be reduced, and the state
will be restructured with authority on the economy under one
minister, Coskun said.


Cyprus: Dailies expect the UN to present to Cypriots on the
island a new peace plan next week, and urge for a resolution
before the Copenhagen Summit in December. "Hurriyet" claims
that President Bush is supporting the new initiative.
Thomas Weston is expected in Ankara this weekend. Speaking
to a Greek TV channel, Erdogan said his party supported the
Belgian model for Cyprus. Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou
said Greece favored the Belgian model as well, with Cyprus
having a united international representation with prevailing
EU resolutions. "Cumhuriyet" characterized Erdogan's Cyprus
remarks as a `gaffe' because he made reference to
`communities' on the island instead of two separate
`states.' Outgoing Foreign Minister Gurel denounced
Erdogan's remarks as an `example of ignorance' which came at
a time Turkey was striving for recognition of the Turkish
Cypriot state. MFA has urgently decided to brief Erdogan on
foreign policy matters to prevent further gaffes,
"Cumhuriyet" notes. Papers report Athens as welcoming
Erdogan replacing Ecevit, who was a hard-liner on Cyprus
issue.


Ambassador Pearson on polls, U.S.-Turkey ties: Dailies
report U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson voicing U.S.
support for the cabinet to be formed by AKP. Appearing on
NTV on Tuesday, Ambassador Pearson congratulated AKP on its
election victory, and vowed continued U.S. backing for
Turkey's democratization effort, economic reforms and EU
drive. Pearson said he expected no change in U.S.-Turkey
relations under the new AKP government. He also emphasized
the U.S. expectation for strong Turkish support regarding
problems with Iraq.


General Ozkok in U.S.: Papers and broadcasters report that
TGS Chief General Ozkok was received at the highest level at
the Pentagon, State Department and the White House, and met
with Powell, Rice and Cheney. "Hurriyet" says General Ozkok
eased concerns of the U.S. Administration by welcoming the
AKP election victory as an indication of the Turkish
nation's will, and assuring that Washington should not worry
about the new situation in Turkey. Ozkok is also quoted as
saying that Turkey prefers a non-military solution to the
Iraqi problem.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Turkish Elections


"Closure of an era"
Cuneyt Ulsever wrote in mass appeal Hurriyet (11/6): "The
great victory of the AKP, and its stance helped the Turkish
public opinion to forget about the past era. We are
discussing about future easily now. Yet shaping Turkey's
future requires a clear description and understanding the
past. What we have just put behind us, with the result of
election, was the era of corruption economy, favoritism as
well as abusing economy for personal interests. The Turkish
people has simply wiped out that during November 3
elections."


"Doesn't have to be like me; ruling the country decently is
enough"
Fatih Altayli comments in mass appeal Hurriyet (11/6):
"There are some pre-conceived ideas or judgements about the
AKP and its leader Erdogan. Turkey should get rid of this
spirit particularly now as the country is going toward a new
era. Otherwise, the members of the AKP will feel themselves
`different' and `alienated' while they are about to start
ruling the country. . What matters is that Turkey deserves
to have good rulers, not necessarily the people that I can
see parallel lifestyles with mine."


"A good start"
Sami kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (11/6): "The
messages coming from Brussels show that the EU has opened a
`credit account' for the AKP. The EU is willing to
cooperate with the AKP government. It clearly indicates
that remarks by Erdogan on Turkey's EU commitment were
encouraging enough for the EU. Yet it is also clear that
the EU will wait a little while to see the actual
implementation of the obligations in Turkey. That means the
upcoming Copenhagen summit will not give Turkey a clear and
precise date for the negotiations. This has nothing to do
with the AKP government, because the same stance was the
fact for the previous government as well. . If Turkey works
diligently, June 2003 might be a more realistic time to
expect a date from EU for negotiations."

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