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 008087
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
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2002
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
Sezer green light for AKP candidate for Prime Minister -
Sezer to leaders: Let's go to Copenhagen together - Hurriyet
Erdogan, Baykal bargain on Constitutional change - Aksam
Iraq: Ready to cooperate with Erdogan - Turkiye
Sezer neutral between Erdogan, Baykal - Sabah
Meeting Sezer relieves Erdogan - Vatan
AKP economic regulations encourage dirty money - Cumhuriyet
Erdogan issues clear messages to EU - Radikal
AKP wants to join European Democratic Union - Zaman
Baykal vows to scrap political bans - Yeni Safak
AKP's `tax peace' project envisions amnesty - Dunya
Boom in real sector, exports - Finansal Forum
Government formation process: President Sezer gave a green
light to an AKP candidate for Prime Minister, and will take
into account AKP views on the issue, papers say. Papers
expect the President to wait for the oath-taking ceremony
before choosing a candidate. Erdogan said after meeting
Sezer on Thursday that the new Prime Minister would be a
trustworthy figure who is known at home and abroad. Erdogan
added that Sezer has welcomed the tone of compromise between
AKP and the opposition CHP. CHP leader Baykal said after
being received by Sezer that the President would be in close
cooperation with both parties in the parliament. Baykal
also noted that CHP would support a constitutional amendment
package which includes removal of political bans, scrapping
parliamentary immunity and reducing the parliamentary
election term from five to four years. The new government
could be completed before the end of November, reports say.
Leaders on EU: Dailies claim that President Sezer urged
Baykal to continue cooperation with the AKP on EU accession,
and said Baykal and Erdogan should accompany him to the EU
Copenhagen Summit. Erdogan told the press on Thursday that
relations with the EU would continue even if Turkey is
denied a date for membership negotiations at the Copenhagen
Summit. Erdogan reportedly briefed EU envoys about his
party's reform pledges: freedom of expression and
association; changes in political parties law and election
regulation; an end to torture; facilitation of activities by
foreign and domestic associations; religious foundations
will be allowed to purchase real estate; decisions of the
ECHR will be implemented.
Ambassador Pearson calls on Erdogan: U.S. Ambassador to
Ankara Robert Pearson paid a courtesy visit to AKP leader
Erdogan on Thursday, conveying to him congratulation from
President Bush on AKP's election victory, papers report.
Pearson said the U.S. backed AKP efforts for a breakthrough
in ties with the EU, in economic and democratic reforms, and
in fighting corruption, reports say. Responding to a
question after the meeting, Pearson said that the Iraqi
issue was also discussed, and noted that the U.S. preferred
to work together with the UN for a solution. Erdogan in
turn has congratulated President Bush for the Republicans'
election victory. He said the AKP leadership intended to
visit the U.S. after the new government is formed.
Economy: Ali Coskun, portrayed by the economic daily "Dunya"
as the `architect of AKP economic policy,' said the AKP
would carry out an economic transformation through a special
economy ministry, and that privatization would be
accelerated. Instead of axing jobs, AKP prefers personnel
reform in the public sector based on productivity and merit,
Coskun said. `In order to ease the burden on the public
sector, we are considering shifting some authority from the
central government to local administrations,' Coskun added.
"Cumhuriyet" criticizes the AKP intention to abolish
`financial year zero' regulation, saying it would deal a
heavy blow to the fight against money laundering. The paper
claims that AKP market regulations will strengthen Islamic
capital. Meanwhile, S&P has revised its outlook on Turkey's
debt from negative to stable. S&P analysts said they did
not expect significant economic changes under the new
government, but a possible war on Iraq might increase risks
in Turkey. The international investment bank Morgan Stanley
said that single-party government had significant chances to
accelerate democratization in Turkey. IMF official Tom
Dawson said it was natural for the new government to make
some minor changes to the IMF-sponsored economic program.
The new leaders have voiced a willingness to work with us,
and the IMF is ready to cooperate, Dawson said.
EDITORIAL OPINION: US Mid-Term Elections
"George Bush the Cowboy, the Unstoppable"
Ali Sirmen commented in social democrat-intellectual
Cumhuriyet (11/8): "The mid-term election results
represented not only a victory for the Republican Party, but
also broke a record in the Party's history. The Bush
administration has now obtained sufficient power to pass any
legislation in Congress. . It looks like the Republican
Party victory stemmed not only from the post-9/11
circumstances, but also from the failure of Democrats to
produce alternate policies. Nevertheless, the Bush
administration manipulated the September 11 events very well
and convinced the American public to follow Bush's
unrealistic approach: `what is good for the US is good for
the world.' . With the help of the off-year election
results, the Bush administration has received the voters'
support for its biased and arbitrary policies. That means
that no one can possibly stop President Bush and his cowboy-
mentality policies on world issues such as Iraq."
"The Republican Victory"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in conservative-mass appeal Turkiye
(11/8): "The election results were somehow surprising, as it
has generally been the opposition party that enjoyed greater
popularity during mid-term elections. It seems that the
September 11 syndrome continues to be a major motivating
factor for Americans. The voters are giving the message
that the most vicious terrorist attack is not yet avenged.
This message clearly gives an extra bonus to President Bush,
particularly for his militaristic policies in Iraq and
elsewhere. The current UN initiative will most likely
produce a resolution leading to the elimination of Iraq's
WMD as well as complete control of Iraq. However, even that
is not going to be sufficient for the Bush administration,
which is determined to topple Saddam Hussein at all costs."