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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001879

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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


MONDAY, JULY 23, 2007

In Today's Papers

Parliamentary Election Results
All papers report that PM Erdogan's AKP is the winner of yesterday's
general elections, receiving the 46.6 percent of the votes. With
this percentage AKP will have 340 seats in the Parliament and will
be able to form a single-party government for the second time. Main
opposition party CHP got 20.9 percent of the votes, MHP 14.2
percent, and independents 5.2 percent of the votes, reports
mainstream Sabah. Fifty-two female candidates entered parliament,
31 from AKP, 10 from CHP, 2 from MHP and 9 Independents supported by
the mainly Kurdish DTP. Out of 28 Independent candidates elected to
Parliament, 23 of them are supported by the DTP. Participation in
the general election was 85.1 percent, adds Sabah.

Papers point out that although three parties crossed the 10%
election threshold, there will be seven parties in parliament. DTP
has 23 deputies, DSP will be represented with 13 deputies who ran
under the CHP banner, ODP and BBP will be the 6th and 7th parties in
the parliament because their leaders Ufuk Uras and Muhsin Yazicioglu
were elected as independents. Papers also speculate that former PM
Mesut Yilmaz, who also was elected as an independent, may lead a
political party in the future.

DP leader Agar resigned from his party chairmanship when initial
results showed that his party would remain under the 10 percent
threshold. Party vice chairman Nuzhet Kandemir also resigned.

Mainstream Milliyet reports that MHP leader Bahceli said in a
written statement after learning the results, that the nation had
"designated the party to perform the duty of the opposition" for the
second time and that "holding elections in a democratic atmosphere"
was a "pleasing fact" and "all should respect the decision of the
people."

Milliyet notes that although AKP came out victorious from the
elections, it could not get the 367 seats required for a quorum to
start the Presidential election process which is the most critical
political issue in the near future.

Papers also report that addressing his party supporters in front of
the AKP headquarters PM Erdogan said "we got the message from the
ballot box. The responsibility on the shoulders of the party has
increased and we will "never compromise the basic principles of our
republic." PM Erdogan added that the government will continue
pursuing the EU goal and the fight against terrorism will continue.

Editorial Opinion on Election Results:

"The Victory"
Gungor Mengi writes in the mainstream daily Vatan: "As winner of the
election, the AKP should act with responsibility. They have to act
in the spirit of reconciliation and should take steps to eliminate
the perception that AKP is anti-secular. With this election result,
the center-right parties of Turkey have been dissolved. AKP should
take steps to fit itself into this category. Also it is very
obvious that [main opposition] CHP should go through a
transformation and get rid of its 'pro status quo' and conservative
identity. Deniz Baykal, the leader of CHP, has an immediate task to
fulfill: bringing contemporary leadership to CHP under a young
leader. He should start working on this immediately before even
swimming to Rhodes [as he said he would if his party had a poor
showing]."

"Thanks to the Army"
Avni Ozgurel writes in the liberal-intellectual daily Radikal: "The
AKP has achieved something very unique by managing to increase its
percentage while ruling. No government party in the last 53 years
has done this. Interestingly enough, AKP support was about 26

ANKARA 00001879 002 OF 002


percent as of last April. However, the developments which started
with the military's e-warning and continued with the [disruption of
the] presidential election process, helped AKP and its leader
Erdogan gain more popular support. Let's hope that at least
supporters of the military warning have now realized the big
mistake."

"Civilian Democratic Coup"
Ibrahim Karagul writes in the Islamist leaning daily Yeni Safak:
"The election results indicate two facts: 1) Turkish people neither
favored state bureaucratic nationalism nor ethnic Kurdish
nationalism; and 2) even though CHP is number two in the parliament
in terms of seat-numbers, MHP is going to be the real opposition to
the AKP. The Turkish political structure is undergoing significant
changes. Both the rhetoric and the nature of the debates will
change. With these results, this is clearly a civilian democratic
coup."

"Turkey: One Big Family"
Ertugrul Ozkok writes in the mass appeal daily Hurriyet: "Prime
Minister Erdogan promised to become a political leader for all of
Turkey as part of his election campaign strategy. The level of
support for the AKP indicates that his promise was taken seriously
by people. The fact of the matter is that the percentage of AKP
support should not and cannot be interpreted as religiously
motivated votes. Such an interpretation is not only an irrational
thought but also it is against sociological facts. Erdogan as well
as his party is now located squarely in the center-right of the
political spectrum."


Allegations on US Selling Weapons to Arab Tribes in Kirkuk
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet and Islamist-oriented Zaman report
that the police chief in Kirkuk Serhat Kadir claimed on Kurdistan
Patriotic Union Party's official internet site that the US military
started supplying weapons to Arab tribes in and around Kirkuk.
Kadir added that they are concerned that the Arab tribes will form
illegal militias after owning the US weapons.


TV News:
(NTV, 6 A.M.)
Domestic News

Holiday resorts in the Aegean and Mediterranean emptied out as
voters returned to their homes for the elections

US Deputy Assistant Secretary Matt Bryza praised Turkish elections
saying that 'This is a big success for Turkish democracy."


International News

EC President Barroso urged EU member states not to shut the door on
Turkey for membership negotiations.

Tony Blair, the new special envoy for the Middle East peace quartet
will meet Palestinian and Israeli leaders on Tuesday

Four Lebanese soldiers were killed and 15 wounded when a building
exploded when they entered a Palestinian refugee camp where some
Al-Qaeda militants were living.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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