Search

 

Cablegate: Turkey's New Parliament Convenes to Elect Speaker

VZCZCXRO2135
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAK #2004/01 2181020
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061020Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3279
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5//
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEUITH/TLO ANKARA TU
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002004

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY'S NEW PARLIAMENT CONVENES TO ELECT SPEAKER
AND FORM NEW GOVERNMENT

1. (U) This cable is Sensitive But Unclassified. Please
handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) Summary. Turkey's newly elected MPs took their oaths
without incident on August 4 and will convene again on August
9 to begin electing a Speaker and forming a government. PM
Erdogan is expected to announce his new cabinet soon after
President Sezer re-appoints him prime minister, likely to
occur August 6. A cabinet shake-up is rumoured, with new
faces to reflect the ruling Justice and Development Party's
(AKP) more centrist image. How the pieces fit may provide
another clue regarding FM Gul's still fuzzy presidential
plans; he reportedly may remain foreign minister or be
elected Speaker. Turkey could have a new Speaker and
government as early as August 9. MPs may then take a ten day
break before launching the 30-day presidential election
process. End Summary.

3. (SBU) Turkey's 549 MPs were sworn in at a decorous,
ten-hour ceremony on August 4. All eyes were on 21
pro-Kurdish deputies, elected as independents but now
officially recognized as Democratic Society Party (DTP) MPs;
in 1994, their colleagues were ejected from parliament for
reciting the oath in Kurdish and wearing terrorist PKK
colors. This time, all used Turkish, taking their seats
alongside MPs from the Nationalist Action Party (MHP),
Republican People's Party (CHP), Democratic Left Party (DSP)
(which separated from CHP before the ceremony) and AKP. DTP
leader Ahmet Turk made a point of shaking MHP Chairman Devlet
Bahceli's hand in a goodwill gesture that set a harmonious
tone for the new parliament. Given contentious agenda items
including constitutional reform and addressing Turkey's
Kurdish question, commentators viewed the constructive start
as promising.

AND THE NEW SPEAKER IS...

4. (U) Nominations for Speaker are underway, with a vote
possible as early as August 9. The election must be
completed by August 13. Former Speaker Bulent Arinc has said
he will not run; he will likely be appointed a Deputy PM.
AKP deputies reportedly will vote on the party's candidate,
with former Justice Minister Cemil Cicek the front runner.
Koksal Toptan, Vecdi Gonul, Ulku Gunay, Murat Basesgioglu and
Mehmet Ali Sahin are also possible candidates. Even Abdullah
Gul's name has been mentioned. Depending on AKP's candidate,
MHP may also nominate an MP. AKP reportedly offered one of
its four Vice Speaker positions to MHP and may also offer one
to CHP.

NEW FACES IN THE CABINET

5. (SBU) President Sezer is expected to re-appoint Erdogan
prime minister on August 6. Erdogan reportedly has his
cabinet nominations in hand, ready to present to Sezer for
approval. Sezer's approval is expected, meaning Turkey could
have a new government as early as August 7. If a cabinet
cannot be formed within 45 days of electing a Speaker, new
elections may be called, however, the process is expected to
proceed smoothly. Within a week of the cabinet's
appointment, the prime minister must read the government's
program to parliament. MPs will take a vote of confidence
after approximately five days to complete the procedure.

6. (U) Contacts predict a cabinet shake-up, with new faces
designed in part to reassure the public and secular
institutions of AKP's more centrist approach. Where Gul
falls in the mix will be key; he may hold the foreign
minister position to keep his presidential options open or
stand as AKP's Speaker candidate. Ali Babacan could step in
as foreign minister or remain in charge of Turkey's EU
accession process. If the EU slot opens up, AKP insider
Saban Disli, Suat Kiniklioglu, Cevdet Yilmaz or Zeynep Dagi
are possible contenders. Mehmet Simsek, a former Merrill
Lynch advisor and Embassy FSN, may be named Economic
Minister, with Kemal Unakitan remaining Finance Minister.
Mehmet Saglam is a possible candidate for Education Minister,
and Idris Naim Sahin may replace Abdulkadir Aksu as Interior
Minister. Three women MPs reportedly will take State
Minister positions, with Edibe Sozen expected to be take the
Media Affairs portfolio, and Selma Kavaf and Nimet Cubukcu
possible contenders for Women's Affairs and Culture

ANKARA 00002004 002 OF 002


portfolios.

7. (U) Former ministers will likely move to head
parliamentary committees or high-level positions at AKP
headquarters. Arinc reportedly is unlikely to land the
Justice or Interior Ministry due to Sezer's objection but may
end up as Labor Minister and one of several Deputy PMs.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>