US embassy cable - 02ANKARA8087

ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2002

Identifier: 02ANKARA8087
Wikileaks: View 02ANKARA8087 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ankara
Created: 2002-11-08 13:03:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
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 03 ANKARA 008087 
 
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 
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2002 
 
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE 
THEMES: 
 
 
HEADLINES 
BRIEFING 
EDITORIAL OPINION 
                    ------- 
HEADLINES 
 
 
MASS APPEAL 
Sezer green light for AKP candidate for Prime Minister - 
Milliyet 
Sezer to leaders: Let's go to Copenhagen together - Hurriyet 
Erdogan, Baykal bargain on Constitutional change - Aksam 
Iraq: Ready to cooperate with Erdogan - Turkiye 
Sezer neutral between Erdogan, Baykal - Sabah 
Meeting Sezer relieves Erdogan - Vatan 
 
 
OPINION MAKERS 
AKP economic regulations encourage dirty money - Cumhuriyet 
Erdogan issues clear messages to EU - Radikal 
AKP wants to join European Democratic Union - Zaman 
Baykal vows to scrap political bans - Yeni Safak 
 
 
FINANCIAL JOURNALS 
AKP's `tax peace' project envisions amnesty - Dunya 
Boom in real sector, exports - Finansal Forum 
 
 
 
 
BRIEFING 
 
 
Government formation process: President Sezer gave a green 
light to an AKP candidate for Prime Minister, and will take 
into account AKP views on the issue, papers say.  Papers 
expect the President to wait for the oath-taking ceremony 
before choosing a candidate.  Erdogan said after meeting 
Sezer on Thursday that the new Prime Minister would be a 
trustworthy figure who is known at home and abroad.  Erdogan 
added that Sezer has welcomed the tone of compromise between 
AKP and the opposition CHP.  CHP leader Baykal said after 
being received by Sezer that the President would be in close 
cooperation with both parties in the parliament.  Baykal 
also noted that CHP would support a constitutional amendment 
package which includes removal of political bans, scrapping 
parliamentary immunity and reducing the parliamentary 
election term from five to four years.  The new government 
could be completed before the end of November, reports say. 
 
 
Leaders on EU: Dailies claim that President Sezer urged 
Baykal to continue cooperation with the AKP on EU accession, 
and said Baykal and Erdogan should accompany him to the EU 
Copenhagen Summit.  Erdogan told the press on Thursday that 
relations with the EU would continue even if Turkey is 
denied a date for membership negotiations at the Copenhagen 
Summit.  Erdogan reportedly briefed EU envoys about his 
party's reform pledges: freedom of expression and 
association; changes in political parties law and election 
regulation; an end to torture; facilitation of activities by 
foreign and domestic associations; religious foundations 
will be allowed to purchase real estate; decisions of the 
ECHR will be implemented. 
 
 
Ambassador Pearson calls on Erdogan: U.S. Ambassador to 
Ankara Robert Pearson paid a courtesy visit to AKP leader 
Erdogan on Thursday, conveying to him congratulation from 
President Bush on AKP's election victory, papers report. 
Pearson said the U.S. backed AKP efforts for a breakthrough 
in ties with the EU, in economic and democratic reforms, and 
in fighting corruption, reports say.  Responding to a 
question after the meeting, Pearson said that the Iraqi 
issue was also discussed, and noted that the U.S. preferred 
to work together with the UN for a solution.  Erdogan in 
turn has congratulated President Bush for the Republicans' 
election victory.  He said the AKP leadership intended to 
visit the U.S. after the new government is formed. 
 
 
Economy: Ali Coskun, portrayed by the economic daily "Dunya" 
as the `architect of AKP economic policy,' said the AKP 
would carry out an economic transformation through a special 
economy ministry, and that privatization would be 
accelerated.  Instead of axing jobs, AKP prefers personnel 
reform in the public sector based on productivity and merit, 
Coskun said.  `In order to ease the burden on the public 
sector, we are considering shifting some authority from the 
central government to local administrations,' Coskun added. 
"Cumhuriyet" criticizes the AKP intention to abolish 
`financial year zero' regulation, saying it would deal a 
heavy blow to the fight against money laundering.  The paper 
claims that AKP market regulations will strengthen Islamic 
capital.  Meanwhile, S&P has revised its outlook on Turkey's 
debt from negative to stable.  S&P analysts said they did 
not expect significant economic changes under the new 
government, but a possible war on Iraq might increase risks 
in Turkey.  The international investment bank Morgan Stanley 
said that single-party government had significant chances to 
accelerate democratization in Turkey.  IMF official Tom 
Dawson said it was natural for the new government to make 
some minor changes to the IMF-sponsored economic program. 
The new leaders have voiced a willingness to work with us, 
and the IMF is ready to cooperate, Dawson said. 
 
 
EDITORIAL OPINION:  US Mid-Term Elections 
 
 
"George Bush the Cowboy, the Unstoppable" 
Ali Sirmen commented in social democrat-intellectual 
Cumhuriyet (11/8): "The mid-term election results 
represented not only a victory for the Republican Party, but 
also broke a record in the Party's history.  The Bush 
administration has now obtained sufficient power to pass any 
legislation in Congress. . It looks like the Republican 
Party victory stemmed not only from the post-9/11 
circumstances, but also from the failure of Democrats to 
produce alternate policies.  Nevertheless, the Bush 
administration manipulated the September 11 events very well 
and convinced the American public to follow Bush's 
unrealistic approach: `what is good for the US is good for 
the world.'  . With the help of the off-year election 
results, the Bush administration has received the voters' 
support for its biased and arbitrary policies.  That means 
that no one can possibly stop President Bush and his cowboy- 
mentality policies on world issues such as Iraq." 
 
 
"The Republican Victory" 
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in conservative-mass appeal Turkiye 
(11/8): "The election results were somehow surprising, as it 
has generally been the opposition party that enjoyed greater 
popularity during mid-term elections.  It seems that the 
September 11 syndrome continues to be a major motivating 
factor for Americans.  The voters are giving the message 
that the most vicious terrorist attack is not yet avenged. 
This message clearly gives an extra bonus to President Bush, 
particularly for his militaristic policies in Iraq and 
elsewhere.  The current UN initiative will most likely 
produce a resolution leading to the elimination of Iraq's 
WMD as well as complete control of Iraq.  However, even that 
is not going to be sufficient for the Bush administration, 
which is determined to topple Saddam Hussein at all costs." 

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