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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.




E.O. 12958: N/A



Erdogan finds Cyprus maps `ugly' - Hurriyet
Simitis to lay `red carpet' for Erdogan - Hurriyet
American press finds Gul warm, gentle - Milliyet
Erdogan: Political bans will be removed in a month -
Milliyet 11/17
EU officials congratulate Gul - Sabah
Erdogan: Full confidence in Gul - Aksam
Erdogan: My political ban a torture - Turkiye
AKP support to families on brink of hunger - Hurriyet 11/17
Hijacking panic on Israeli plane - Vatan

Baykal: EU not well-intentioned - Cumhuriyet
Erdogan: Cyprus problem must be resolved - Cumhuriyet 11/17
Inspectors return to Baghdad - Radikal
AKP will make fast start - Radikal
Secret agents save Israeli plane - Zaman

Council of Europe: Gul experienced statesman - Yeni Safak
AKP measures to lure back offshore money - Yeni Safak
Pentagon's `Total Information Awareness' draws criticism -
Cumhuriyet 11/17

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Business world: AKP compromise with EU necessary - Dunya
AKP wants transparency in public spending - Finansal Forum


Cyprus: Papers report EU accession commissioner Verheugen's
office reacting to AKP leader Erdogan's remarks that Turkey
and Cyprus should simultaneously join the EU. Monday's
"Hurriyet" carries an exclusive interview with Erdogan, who
is quoted as voicing displeasure with the maps offered in
the UN-sponsored Cyprus plan. Erdogan said that the UN was
demanding too much in territorial concessions from the
Turkish side, and stressed that the document needs
adjustment with regard to land and sovereignty issues. He
welcomed the fact that the plan calls for a partnership of
two equal, sovereign states. Hurriyet believes that Erdogan
is determined to demonstrate a constructive approach on the
Cyprus issue before the EU Copenhagen Summit in December.
Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas has reportedly found
inclusion of the maps in the plan a `mistake,' but has said
that he will still go to the negotiating table.

Erdogan: AKP leader Erdogan said he would not interfere with
the authority of the Prime Minister, as the success of the
new government would bring credit to the AKP. Prime
Minister-designate Gul said he did not expect problems to
result from the arrangement. Sunday papers believe that Gul
will step down as Prime Minister once the parliament lifts
the political ban on Erdogan. CHP leader Baykal on Sunday
welcomed the appointment of Gul as Prime Minister, but added
that it would have been more appropriate to give the post to
Erdogan himself. Erdogan on Saturday unveiled the one-year
emergency action plan for the new government: the IMF
program will be reviewed, public spending will be
controlled under a single budget, and poor families will be
provided financial aid. Sunday's papers expect the AKP to
outline a new privatization timetable. The party vows to
fight graft and corruption. The new government will move to
prevent torture, papers say. Dailies report a positive
reaction from the business community to the action plan,
though some pointed out that additional funds would be
necessary to fulfill the ambitious promises by AKP.
Monday's "Hurriyet" claims that the U.S. Administration kept
its distance to Erdogan during his visit to Washington last
January by denying him access to high-level officials.
Before the elections, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara preferred
to hold contacts with Gul instead of Erdogan, Hurriyet
claims. The paper speculates that the U.S. Administration
was being careful not to former the former coalition
government by forging closer ties with Erdogan.

EU: AKP leader Erdogan will tour Greece and Spain in a day
trip on Monday, papers report. Erdogan will be given the
`red carpet' treatment in Athens, where he will meet with
Prime Minister Simitis to discuss Cyprus and the EU, reports
say. Accompanied by NGO leaders, Erdogan will proceed to
Madrid in the afternoon to meet with Prime Minister Aznar.
In an exclusive to Monday's "Cumhuriyet," CHP leader Baykal
said that the EU's vision of Turkey should not be based
merely on Cyprus and ESDP. Baykal criticized what he viewed
as the `ill intentions' of some in the EU who are now
raising the issue of military-civilian relations as an
obstacle to Turkey's gaining a date for accession talks.
Baykal attended the European Socialists Party meetings in
Warsaw over weekend, where EU expansion commissioner
Verheugen complained to him about the influence of military
in Turkish politics.

The new Turkish government/U.S-Turkey Relations

"New Prime Minister Gul and the Old Problem Cyprus"
Yasemin Congar writes from Washington in mass appeal
Milliyet (11/18): "The new prime minister, Abdullah Gul, is
the best known AKP official in the US. A US diplomat who
previously served in Turkey tells me that Washington has
noticed the moderate messages coming from Gul. The US
diplomat also adds that Abdullah Gul is seen here as a
politician who wants a positive and constructive dialogue
with the US. . The US considers Gul a powerful figure in
Turkish politics as well as in Turkish-US relations. On the
other hand, Washington is also convinced that a
constitutional amendment to pave the way for Erdogan to
become prime minister will increase Turkey's political
stability. Turkey must take a series of important decisions
before Erdogan takes charge, and Washington believes that
Abdullah Gul has a key role to play. . In the eyes of
Washington, there are two conflicting positions in Ankara on
the Cyprus issue: one group wants a settlement on Cyprus,
while another stands completely against a solution.
Washington considers the no-solution approach as a potential
danger, which will put an end Turkey's EU process. .
Washington is very eager to see whether the new AKP
government will really press for a settlement in Cyprus. The
Washington administration will watch every step taken and
every statement made by Ankara on this issue."

"A View from Washington"
Asli Aydintasbas writes from Washington in mass appeal Sabah
(11/18): "The rhetoric pursued by AKP to this point has been
a relief for Washington. The AKP's stated goal of becoming
the Muslim version of the Christian Democrats sounds very
attractive to the Bush administration, which currently is in
trouble with Islamic countries. . The new Turkish prime
minister is a well-known figure both in Washington's
official circles and in international financial
institutions. He very much deserves to be called a Muslim
Democrat, so the Americans depict the current situation in
Turkey as `so far so good.' . In addition, the recent visit
of the Turkish Chief of General Staff increased optimism in
Washington. General Ozkok's statement on Cyprus and his
approach in favor of a solution brought new relief to
Washington following years of a `no solution is best'
approach. . Nowadays, the Washington administration is
looking forward to discussing the issues with Turkey's new
government, particularly Iraq, Cyprus and the EU."

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