Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

Published: Tue 5 Nov 2002 02:38 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
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
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
Business world extends credit to AKP -- Dunya
International rating firms prefer wait-and-see - Finansal
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
"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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