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



Sezer adjustment - Milliyet
Chess game at the Presidential Palace - Sabah
Cabinet of Hope - Turkiye
Moderate and reasonable - Hurriyet
From historical rivalry to strategic partnership - Turkiye
EU delays expansion decision to ease time pressures in
Cyprus - Hurriyet
"Stay on the side" bribe from US to Turkey - Sabah

Sezer makes adjustments in the Cabinet list - Cumhuriyet
The cabinet formed through dialog - Radikal
Sezer requested adjustment on the Cabinet list - Zaman
The history changes in the Aegean - Yeni Safak
Simitis support to Erdogan for EU - Radikal
Simitis: Don't expect date for negotiations - Cumhuriyet
Greek Cypriots ready to discuss Cyprus plan - Cumhuriyet
UN inspectors are in Iraq after four years - Radikal

Markets respond positively to the new Cabinet - Dunya
IMF will love the emergency action plan - Finansal Forum


New Government: All papers and TV channels cover
extensively the formation of the new government. After the
Prime Minister-designate Abdullah Gul presented the new
government list to President Sezer, the President made some
adjustments on the list , mainly on the key ministries such
as education, defense and interior. Sezer's only rejection
was of the proposed education minister Besir Atalay. Besir
Atalay had been sacked from his post as Rector of Kirikkale
University by the Higher Education Board for fundamentalism.
The education ministry has been given to former ANAP deputy
Erkan Mumcu. Initially, the number of the ministers in the
new cabinet was expected to be 23 plus the Prime Minister.
However, the number became 24 in the last minute when Vecdi
Gonul was given a ministerial post after Bulent Arinc's
demand for the Parliament Speaker post. Observers say that
the new cabinet is moderate and reasonable. The list of new
cabinet members is as follows:

Prime Minister : Abdullah Gul
Deputy PM: Abdullatif Sener
Deputy PM:Mehmet Ali Sahin
Deputy PM: Ertugrul Yalcinbayir
State Minister: Mehmet Aydin
State Minister: Besir Atalay
State Minister: Ali Babacan
State Minister: Kursat Tuzmen
Education: Erkan Mumcu
Interior: Abdulkadir Aksu
Foreign: Yasar Yakis
Justice: Cemil Cicek
Defense: Vecdi Gonul
Finance: Kemal Unakitan
Housing: Zeki Ergezen
Health: Recep Akdag
Transport: Binali Yildirim
Agriculture: Sami Guclu
Labor and Social Security: Murat Basesgioglu
Industry: Ali Coskun
Energy: Hilmi Guler
Culture: Huseyin Celik
Tourism: Guldal Aksit
Forestry: Osman Pepe
Environment: Imdat Sutluoglu

Erdogan in Athens, Madrid: All papers front a warm welcome
given to AKP leader Erdogan in Athens as he continues the EU
lobbying for Turkey. Erdogan's statement in Athens about
the AKP's desire to solve the Cyprus issue and readiness to
negotiate the UN's Cyprus peace plan are the major
highlights in Turkish reports. Papers also noted that Prime
Minister Simitis pledged Greek support for Turkey's EU
membership while advising Erdogan to only expect a `date for
setting a negotiation date', not a negotiating date, for
Turkey during the upcoming Copenhagen summit. A large
number of columnists as travelling press for the Erdogan
visit emphasize that Erdogan and Simitis had a long tete-a-
tete meeting without participation of both sides' Foreign
Ministry delegations. Reports note that following a
delegation to delegation meeting in Madrid, Erdogan is
expected to visit EU headquarters in Brussels.

Cyprus: Papers welcome the EU Commission's announcement to
defer the implementation of the enlargement plan until May
1, 2003. Although Brussels announcement cites `due to
budgetary reasons,' Turkish papers and television reports
attribute this decision to the Cyprus issue and the UN peace
plan in particular. The overall approach is the
interpretation of EU's delay as `we are deferring our
decision so that you can reach a settlement on Cyprus.'
Reports note that the new government is to take an
initiative on the Cyprus issue and might declare its
official position on the Cyprus plan once the cabinet starts
functioning. The Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas is quoted
as saying `they need some time to evaluate and come up with
a final decision'. The Greek Cypriot side has already
committed itself to negotiate the UN plan, and so will the
Turkish Cypriot side, the reports surmise.

Iraq: Foreign affairs pages focus on the arrival of UN arms
inspectors in Baghdad. Apart from Hans Blix's remarks, the
reports also note that formal inspection is to start
November 27 and the first results of the inspection to be
reported to the UN on January 27, 2003.
International news pages also highlight a NY Times story
which talks about Washington's plan to comfort Turkey and
Israel's worries. Apart from an extensive aid package for
Turkey, the Pentagon also plans to station US soldiers to
the oil-rich region of Kirkuk in order to prevent any
attempts by locals to establish a separate Kurdish state.

New Turkish Government/U.S.-Turkey/Cyprus

"No government has ever been as lucky as the AKP"
Mehmet Ali Birand noted the foreign support in mass
appeal/sensational Posta (11/19): "One of the facts which
make the AKP government a very lucky one is that it comes
with US support. Due to the Iraq issue, AKP has received
instant support from Washington. Thus its religious
tendencies have not even been questioned. . On the Cyprus
issue, the AKP is lucky as well. After years of great
efforts by Denktas and by the Turkish Foreign Ministry
bureaucrats, we have reached the current stage that calls
for a final step to be taken. That requires courage. Yet
the current stage comes along with a very lucky climate as
well. If the Turkish side manages to achieve what it wants
in Cyprus, Turkey's horizon will be cleared incredibly."

"Dream Might Come True in Cyprus"
Editor-in-Chief Mehmet Y. Yilmaz wrote in mass appeal
Milliyet (11/19): "Turkish people want to see a settlement
in Cyprus. Turkish people want to see Turkey in the EU.
And as for the Turkish Cypriots, they do not want to be left
out while the Greek Cypriots join the European Union. .
This common desire calls Denktas to evaluate the UN plan
very seriously. An experienced leader like Denktas has the
ability to perform a diplomatic juggling act and he is
capable of correcting some mistakes in the plan at the
negotiation table. If Denktas believes he does not want to
discuss this plan at the negotiation table, then I think, he
should retire."

© Scoop Media

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