|Wikileaks:||View 02ANKARA7919 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||OPRC KMDR TU Press Summaries|
|Redacted:||This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ANKARA 007919 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, Press Summaries SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2002 THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE THEMES: HEADLINES BRIEFING EDITORIAL OPINION ------- HEADLINES MASS APPEAL Erdogan: No weak, caretaker PM - Hurriyet Erdogan invites Baykal to work together for EU - Milliyet Markets, EU give AKP vote of confidence - Sabah U.S. congratulates, EU ready for cooperation - Turkiye U.S., EU to AKP: Ready to cooperate - Aksam Moderate messages boost markets - Vatan OPINION MAKERS World optimistic, EU on stand-by - Radikal Erdogan on EU: No time to lose - Zaman Markets issue AKP vote of confidence - Zaman West questions AKP: Islamist government - Cumhuriyet Bye-bye to old leaders - Yeni Safak FINANCIAL JOURNALS Business world extends credit to AKP -- Dunya International rating firms prefer wait-and-see - Finansal Forum BRIEFING Erdogan: AKP leader Erdogan has accepted an invitation by Greek Prime Minister Simitis to visit Greece within the next week, according to a party statement. Erdogan reportedly told Simitis that cooperation with Greece would have a positive impact on Turkey's relations with the EU. EU accession seems to be Erdogan's top priority, and he is expected to begin a European tour within ten days, papers note. Meanwhile, dailies speculate that Abdullah Gul, who is supported by the party's grassroots and well known abroad, is the most likely figure to emerge as Prime Minister. Abdulkadir Aksu, a former ANAP member and a minister during the Ozal's era, is seen as another good candidate. Bulent Arinc, a hard-liner on certain sensitive issues such as the headscarf, has the support of Islamists and is viewed as another possible candidate. Koksal Toptan, who left DYP to join AKP just before the election, might be chosen to show that AKP has indeed moved to the center right, papers speculate. On the other hand, papers report that CHP leader Baykal, leader of the parliamentary opposition, has extended an olive branch to Erdogan by saying he is ready to help AKP to abolish the political ban on Erdogan. Markets; business community: Dailies report that the markets reacted positively to AKP's election victory - the stock exchange rose by 6.1 percent, and the Turkish Lira strengthened against the Dollar. Turkish Union of Chambers (TOBB) Chairman Hisarciklioglu welcomed the single-party government, and added that from now on politicians would have no excuses for not implementing economic and political decisions. Ali Coskun, AKP deputy chairman for the economy, said that legal regulations for meeting IMF demands would be passed by the parliament. IMF Turkey Desk Chief Kahkonen said that the outcome of the fourth review would depend on the attitude of the new government. IMF Spokesman Conny Lotze welcomed AKP messages supporting the IMF-sponsored economic stability program. Fitch Ratings said on Monday that it has maintained Turkey's B rating after the election. Defeated leaders to quit: Following the decision of MHP leader Bahceli to quit politics, ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz said on Monday that he would step down from party leadership and leave active politics in December at an extraordinary party congress. DYP leader Tansu Ciller also announced that she would leave the party leadership. A decade-long rivalry between the leaders of the two center-right parties has brought about the end of each, reports comment. Prime Minister Ecevit on Monday presented his resignation to President Sezer. Ecevit will remain in office until a new government is formed. International reaction to Turkey's polls: All papers report that State Department Spokesman Boucher congratulated AKP for its election victory, and urged the coming government to continue political and economic reforms, and to make efforts to solve the Cyprus problem. Assistant SecState Grossman, following his meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou in Athens, said that Turkey is a NATO ally and a democratic country, and that the U.S. is ready to work with the new government. The Greek Foreign Ministry voiced hope that the new Turkish government would enhance Turkey's EU entry bid. British Prime Minister Blair has welcomed the election victory of AKP. The German government welcomed AKP's vow to continue with the EU accession drive, and asked for continued cooperation with the IMF. The EU Commission expects Turkey to meet EU criteria. EU foreign policy chief Solana said that the Turkish people have opted for democracy and welfare. EU expansion commissioner Verheugen's office said that the EU is not biased toward the new government, but would wait to see concrete actions. Verheugen called on the new government to prevent torture, and to release people jailed for non-violent expression of opinion. Verheugen noted that the former pro-Kurdish parliamentarian Leyla Zana is still in prison, and stressed that the EU Commission and EU Parliament were sensitive about this issue. TGS Chief in U.S.: Head of TGS General Ozkok has begun meetings in the U.S., `at a time Washington is busy drafting war plans about Iraq,' "Radikal" reports. During his five- day stay in the U.S., Ozkok and his delegation will meet with high-level Defense, State and White House officials, reports say. The Iraqi operation will be the top priority at the meetings, in which bilateral military cooperation and regional developments will also be discussed. EDITORIAL OPINION: Turkish Elections "The Landslide Election" Cengiz Candar wrote in the Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak (11/5): "The collapse of the center-right and center-left does not necessarily take us to a radical environment. On the contrary, the AKP victory indicates that `the radical environment' is moving towards the center. The Turkish people's message to AKP is this: We do not consider you the continuation of RP or FP [the two former pro-Islamic parties]. The AKP's 35 percent electoral support should be interpreted in this way. . It seems that the AKP has got the message right, which can be seen in senior AKP officials' statements. . Turkey has left `old-fashioned politics' behind. Turkey will not be a paradise for corruption any more. The November 3 elections represented a political earthquake, and more will follow, it seems." "Opportunities Before the AKP" Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal Milliyet (11/5): "Western diplomats hope that the AKP will not get involved in `adventures', i.e. changing the direction of Turkish diplomacy. As a matter of fact, I do not see that this is going to happen. I believe the AKP government will preserve the ongoing trends of Turkish diplomacy. This is actually dictated by Turkey's geographical location as well as by international circumstances. The new Turkish government will have to make very important decisions on foreign issues, and the conditions will force AKP to take courageous steps. That is a double chance for the AKP government; to prove its maturity as well as to pave the way for Turkey's progress." "AKP and CHP to the EU Capitals Together" Taha Akyol highlights the enhanced cooperation for the EU in the mass appeal Milliyet (11/5): "Even before the elections, AKP leader Erdogan had requested that EU ambassadors in Ankara arrange for him to meet with their Prime Ministers. Right after the election results were announced, we see some concrete developments in this area. Erdogan will first visit Greece, and there is also a positive response from Italy. The AKP leader is waiting for an appointment from the German Prime Minister. . The determination of AKP to intensify its efforts for EU accession is also a positive sign for the stability of the economy, not to mention that it eliminates some worries or pre-conceived ideas about the AKP. . Erdogan will also ask CHP leader Deniz Baykal for support in the EU shuttle diplomacy. He might even ask CHP to provide a group to join the AKP delegations during its visits to Europe, or ask CHP to conduct some of the EU visits. It is a good thing that Erdogan is seeking cooperation with CHP without any prejudices. . Erdogan's method of politics actually reminds me of the late Prime Minister Ozal and his golden years in politics between 1984 and 1987. AKP leader Erdogan is acting with maturity and a sense of responsibility. Thus he must be given a chance to prove himself."
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