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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 006880

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
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Gul: Turkey To Take Necessary Steps in case of Threat in N.
Iraq - Milliyet
Holbrooke Asks Turkey Not to Send Troops to Iraq - Milliyet
Reforms of Public Administration - Sabah
EU Report to be Released Tomorrow - Sabah
Public Administration Reform Draft is Ready - Hurriyet
Bush's Rating Drops - Hurriyet
Gul: If Any Threat Comes, We Will Enter Iraq - Turkiye


OPINION MAKERS
American People Do Not Believe President Bush - Cumhuriyet
Corruption Report To be Discussed in Parliament Today-
Cumhuriyet
Public Administration Reform Gives PM Increased Authority -
Cumhuriyet
Belgian PM: Cyprus is not a Pre-Condition for Turkey's EU
Accession - Yeni Safak
`Diet Prescription' for the Bloated State - Radikal
Iraq Discussed at Planning and Budget Meeting - Radikal


BRIEFING


Public Administration Reforms: All papers today cover the
details of the Government's draft reform of the public
administration laws. The draft will be sent to parliament
for approval in coming days. At a press conference
yesterday, Deputy PM Mehmet Ali Sahin gave details of the
draft. Sahin claimed that the reforms would result in a
downsizing of Turkey's `bloated' bureaucracy and a transfer
of authority from Ankara to local administrations. Sahin
added that with the reforms will introduce pluralism,
transparency, and accountability into public administration.
"Cumhuriyet" says that the public administration reforms
will increase the authority of the Prime Minister. "Yeni
Safak" claims that the reforms will eliminate the cumbersome
structure of the Turkish State and open a new era in public
administration. "Turkiye" reports that under the proposed
reforms, the bloated state mechanism will be replaced by a
smaller but more effective and powerful state.
Implementation of the reforms will result in a savings of
about 500 trillion TL.


Parliament To Discuss Corruption Report: A report prepared
by the Parliamentary Corruption Investigative Committee will
be discussed in parliament today. The report is expected to
lead to investigations and possible trials of 25 former
ministers including former prime ministers Bulent Ecevit and
Mesut Yilmaz.


EU Entry: "Milliyet" gives details of the Strategy
Document of the EU enlargement report that will be released
tomorrow. According to "Milliyet," while the Cyprus issue
is covered very briefly in the enlargement report, the
strategy document directly links the start of accession
negotiations with the Cyprus issue. "Vatan" writes that the
report praises the Turkish Government for passage of reforms
and shows the military and the bureaucracy as the major
obstacles for implementation. "Vatan" adds that the report
contains some warnings to Turkey on the Cyprus issue and
highlights that not finding a solution to the Cyprus issue
could affect Turkey's EU entry.


Holbrooke Comments: "Milliyet" reports comments by former
US Deputy Secretary of State and Cyprus Special Envoy
Richard Holbrooke at a conference sponsored by the
Washington Institute. Holbrooke said that it had been `an
unbelievable mistake' by the US administration to ask Turkey
for troops without first consulting the Iraqis. At this
point, due to Iraqi sensitivities and objestions, it would
be best for Turkish troops not to be sent to Iraq. The US
Administration should accept the October 7 decision as a
goodwill gesture to improve Turkish-American relations and
postpone the troop deployment. Alternatively, Holbrooke
said, the Turkish troops could play a role in Afghanistan.
Holbrooke remarked Denktas' `stubbornness' on the Cyprus
issue. He said that Denktas' position would have a negative
effect not only on the 200,000 Turkish Cypriots, but also on
the interests of 70 million Turks in Turkey.


EDITORIAL OPINION


"Cyprus is next"
Mehmet Ali Kislali wrote in the mass appeal Milliyet (11/4):
"Marc Grossman has served twice in Turkey. . I remember
telling him, using examples, how the US was making erroneous
evaluations of a multi-faceted issue like Cyprus. Grossman
first misguided Clinton by telling him that he could solve
the Cyprus issue easily before his term in office expired.
Clinton was eventually embarrassed after he got himself into
a problem that could not be resolved by the Grossman
formula. Now he is attempting to do the same thing with the
same staff under the Bush administration. He has not been
able to evaluate the reality of the situation in Turkey.
They have sent the former secretary of state of the
unsuccessful team, Madeleine Albright, to Istanbul in an
attempt to use her in their Cyprus campaign through
manipulated questions on television. The US and the EU are
striving to ensure that the Turkish Cypriot opposition
emerges victorious from the general elections. We will see
what those who have been unsuccessful in the first two
covert operations will do this time."


"AKP is missing the Bartholomeos opportunity"
Mehmet Ali Birand observed in the mass appeal "Posta"
(11/4): "The official state ideology in Turkey has long
regarded the Patriarchate as an empire of evil. . However,
Archbishop Bartholomeos has now become an advantage for
Turkey. The Patriarch in Athens as well as the Orthodox
churches in the US and Russia, in an effort to consolidate
power, are trying to take away Bartholomeous' ecumenical
authority. The only way out for Bartholomeous in this power
struggle is through the reopening of Halki Seminary. . We
have so far repudiated Ecumenism and kept the seminary
closed. We are reading the Lausanne Treaty incorrectly,
asking for some progress regarding the ethnic Turks in
Western Thrace in exchange for reopening the seminary. .
Meanwhile the Patriarch, a Turkish citizen, is providing
support for Turkey at the international level. His support
for Turkey will grow even more if Ankara backs his request.
Ankara should loosen its grip on the Patriarch's Ecumenical
title, and open the theology school. . If the AK Party is
realistic, it can pull Bartholomeos to our side, making him
a spokesman for Turkey and strengthen his hand against the
Vatican and his Orthodox rivals. . Are we really afraid
that our 2,000 Greek-origin citizens will convert an
overwhelmingly Muslim country to Orthodoxy?"


EDELMAN

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