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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07ANKARA1072 2007-05-07 15:31:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

TURKISH YOUTH PARTY MANEUVERING FOR MERGER

Tags:   PGOV PINR TU 
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VZCZCXRO7739
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHAK #1072 1271531
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 071531Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1989
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
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 001072 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/06/2022
TAGS: PGOV PINR TU
SUBJECT: TURKISH YOUTH PARTY MANEUVERING FOR MERGER

REF: ANKARA 1070 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: DCM Nancy McEldowney, reasons 1.4 (b), (d)



1. (C) As the constitutional crisis over the presidency
begins to wind down and general elections for parliament move
into gear, political parties across the partisan spectrum are
maneuvering for advantage. The recent decision by the
center-right True Path and Motherland parties to unite has
been followed by rumors of an "understanding" between Deniz
Baykal's Republic People's Party (CHP) and the remnants of
the late Bulent Ecevit's Democratic Left Party (DSP).
Jumping into the equation is the Youth party (Genc),
businessman Cem Uzan's party, which garnered over seven
percent in the last election on an anti-western platform and,
according to their own polling, currently has about nine
percent popular support.



2. (C) Emin Sirin, the sole member of parliament from Youth,
claims that the party has formally offered to join with CHP
and a final decision will be taken by May 11. According to
Sirin, CHP Leader Baykal said he "could not ignore" Youth's
strong popular support and thus was seriously interested in a
merger of some sort. However, the demand which Youth has
levied as the cost of collaboration -- an up-front commitment
for the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs -- is likely
to cause heartburn for Baykal and many others in the CHP.



3. (C) Reviewing the political crisis of the past two weeks,
Sirin was scathing and ecumenical in his criticism. He
places primary blame for the crisis on the ruling Justice and
Development Party (AKP), which "foolishly" overreached in
trying to put FM Gul in the presidency. This would have put
AKP in monopoly control of not only parliament, government
and the presidency, but also of the key municipalities -- an
imbalance that neither the military nor the general public
want. At the same time, he described the Turkish General
Staff as "out of line" in issuing its harshly worded
statement. He also characterized the decision by the
Constitutional Court as political and noted that it had now
become virtually impossible to elect a president. Direct
election of the president, along with a reduction of
executive power, is a step that Sirin supports, but he
surmised that it had become such a partisan lightening rod
that the necessary constitutional changes would have to be
delayed for now and dealt with by the next Parliament.



4. (C) Comment: Uzan, the only party leader to snub FM Gul
when Gul made his initial round of party calls as AK's
presidential candidate, is pouring substantial family money
into glitzy TV advertising. He will hitch his populist
party's wagon to whichever train appears most likely to take
him to parliament. His desire to get back at AKP stems from
the State Deposit and Insurance Fund's takeover of nearly all
of his family's corporate empire after the collapse of the
family bank due to massive fraud, which cost the Turkish
taxpayer $6 billion. The Uzans also bilked US firm Motorola
out of $2 billion. None of this has made a dent in Cem
Uzan's popularity -- indeed, it has likely increased his
status as a maverick. End comment.

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

WILSON