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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 006488

SIPDIS

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 22, 2006


In Today's Papers

Turkish Economic & Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) Survey
All papers gave extensive coverage to a poll carried out by TESEV in
which 1,492 people in 23 cities were surveyed on a wide range of
social issues. Papers highlight that while the rate of those who
define themselves as Muslim rose to 44.6 percent, the rate of women
wearing headscarves fell to 11.4 percent and the rate of those who
want Sharia (Islamic law) declined to 9 percent, down from 21
percent in 1999 and 16 percent in 2002. Seventy-three percent saw no
threat to secularism and 61.3 percent rejected allegations that
fundamentalism is on the rise. At the same time, 20.3 percent of
those surveyed define themselves as secular, and 48.5 define
themselves as "Islamist." The percentage of people who prefer a
President whose wife does not wear a headscarf is 50.8 percent.
According to the survey, people see unemployment and inflation as
the most important problems in Turkey.

EU Negotiations and the Cyprus Issue
Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Yeni Safak and others: Yesterday, PM
Erdogan, FM Gul and State Minister Babacan held a meeting to discuss
the Cyprus issue. FM Gul said that making concessions regarding
Cyprus it is out of question to problem on the road to EU. Gul said
that issues like Cyprus cannot be solved using "deadlines or
blackmails." Gul stressed that Turkey has fulfilled its
responsibilities concerning the Cyprus issue and now it is the EU's
turn to keep its promises and begin direct trade with Turkish
Cypriots. Gul will go to Finland for the EuroMed Foreign Ministers
meeting which will be held on November 27-28.

Columnist Murat Yetkin wrote in Radikal that, although the official
rhetoric says differently, Turkey is moving forward on finding a
settlement to the Cyprus question before the deadline. Yetkin says
there has been a series of talks between the EU presidency and
Turkish government which were not made public. The basis of the
Turkish government approach is to open ports for Greek Cypriots
simultaneous with an EU action to end the trade isolation against
Turkish Cypriots. Along with Finland, France is also working on
this formula which would keep Varosha/Maras off the table to allow
the UN to make a deal as part of a lasting settlement for the long
run.

Nationalist MHP and Opposition leader CHP Moving Closer?
Milliyet reports on the improving relations between the nationalist
MHP and leading opposition party CHP. Responding to CHP leader
Baykal's comments praising the MHP yesterday, a warm message to CHP
and its leader Baykal came from MHP, saying that "the past tensions
are over. Now MHP and CHP share many common values and it is
possible that Turkey will have a CHP-MHP coalition government in the
future."

Metin Ozkan, a columnist in Tercuman believes that the MHP-CHP
rapprochement became clear during the recent MHP convention, noting
that leader MHP Bahceli did not make any negative references to CHP
in his overlong party address. Ozkan thinks that closeness between
the right and left wing might harm the MHP since it may confuse the
voters. There is also a possibility according to Ozkan, that the
MHP-CHP coalition may be able to reach a broader conensus on some
controversial issues, includingthe presidential election and the
headscarf debate.

University Rectors Criticized Education Convention Decisions
Cumhuriyet reports that the Rectors' Committee issued a declaration
in which it criticized the recommendatory decision aiming to
eliminate the differences between the graduates of ordinary and
vocational high schools when entering the universities. Higher
Board of Education (YOK) chairman Tezic said that they heard that
during the Convention, the National Education Council would discuss
paving the way for graduates of the Imam Hatip high schools to
university education in fields other than theology, and therefore

ANKARA 00006488 002 OF 002


they did not participate in the council meeting.

TV Highlights
NTV (7 A.M.)

Domestic News
- The trial of 56 Mayors who had sent a letter to Danish Prime
Minister Rasmussen to give support to ROJ TV continued yesterday in
Diyarbakir
- National Education Council decisions trigger tensions in the
Parliament. CHP deputies walk out during debates on the proposal in
Parliament's Budget Commission.


International News
- Greek Cypriot Administration has approved a bill envisaging seven
year prison sentences for people who acquire, sell or use property
belonging to Greek Cypriots in Northern Cyprus
- Lebanese Christian cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel, an outspoken
critic of Syria and Hezbollah, was assassinated near Beirut on
Tuesday.
- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said the United States was trapped
in Iraq
- Iraq restores diplomatic relations with neighboring Syria

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at

http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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