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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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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
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2006


In Today's Papers

Erdogan and Gul to go to Turkmenistan for Niyazov's Funeral
All papers report that PM Erdogan and FM Gul will attend the funeral
ceremony of the Turkmenistan President Saparmurad Niyazov on Sunday.
It is not yet clear whether President Sezer will attend the
ceremony. Some Turkish officials expressed concerns that the death
of the Turkmen leader could cause chaos in the country.

Turkey Linked to Enfal Massacre in Northern Iraq
Sabah, Cumhuriyet, Hurriyet, Zaman and others report that a document
linking Turkey to the massacre of 180,000 Kurdish civilians in 1998
in Anfal, was read by a Shite prosecutor in the Iraqi court trying
Saddam Hussein. The prosecutor claimed that Saddam Hussein wrote to
Turkey and asked for the extradition of a group of Kurdish leaders.
FM Gul said that Turkey always stood with Iraqi Kurds and gave
instructions to the MFA to look into the allegation. Meanwhile,
Koksal Sonmez, Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad in 1986-1990, said that
Saddam was planning to force Kurds towards Turkey and catch them
between two fires to liquidate them. Turkey, however, immediately
rejected the plan and Saddam pushed the button for the Anfal
massacre.

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Commentary on Iraq
Haluk Ulman, writing in the economic-political daily Dunya, is
pessimistic about prospects for peace in 2007: "The New Year always
comes with hopes for a better future for humanity. Looking at 2006,
unfortunately there is no way to be hopeful about 2007. Moreover,
the coming year seems to be even more difficult for the course of
international politics. This year has been marked by the total
failure of President Bush's dream to eradicate international
terrorism and to create a pro-American Middle East. The American
intervention started with the goals of creating a peaceful and
democratic Middle East and ended with sheer chaos and civil war. The
year 2006 has also become the year where the Bush administration
finally admitted its failures in Iraq. Listening to what Rumsfeld
and Bush are saying now on Iraq demonstrates that even the strongest
supporters of the war in Iraq have awakened. However, in the new
period to come, there is no way of turning a negative picture into a
better one. The sectarian conflict in Iraq has already become
regional. When you add the situation in Lebanon as well as in
Palestine, it is obvious that the year 2007 will be even more
disastrous."

Intellectuals Issue a Joint Declaration on the Kurdish Issue
Hurriyet, Milliyet and Radikal wrote that 100 academics and 320
intellectuals issued a joint declaration and called for a "civilian
solution" to the Kurdish issue. They invited the public to think
about the reasons that led to violence and suggested making
arrangements for the youngsters hiding in the mountains to legally
come down. The declaration said violence did not help to solve the
problem, but that, on the contrary, violence was harmful for
everyone. Among those who signed the declaration, were Yasar Kemal,
Adalet Agaoglu, Prof. Baskin Oran and Prof. Dogu Ergil.

Operations against Corruption in 14 Provinces
All papers reported over fifty contractors, including two
bureaucrats from the Health and Public Works Ministries and Ankara
Metropolitan Municipality and were detained under allegations of
corruption in tenders. The police were tipped off by Metropolitan
Mayor Melih Gokcek.

TV Highlights
NTV (6 a.m.)

Domestic News
- ANAP Leader Erkan Mumcu has to pay 10,000 YTL compensation to
Prime Minister Erdogan for insulting the Prime Minister in a speech
in Parliament


ANKARA 00006730 002 OF 002


- New Political Initiative, a new party headed by Ertugrul Gunay and
Mehmet Bekaroglu, has released a written statement to reject
allegations that it was an Islamic Left party.

- A 4.8 magnitude quake was been reported in the Aegean.

- PM Erdogan kicked off the construction of a tunnel under the
Bosphorus


International News
- 13 people were killed and dozens injured when a suicide bomber
blew himself up among a crowd of police volunteers in Baghdat

- Europeans have offered to ease a proposed travel ban on Iranian
officials in an effort to get Russian support for a UN resolution
barring Tehran from importing dangerous nuclear materials.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at

http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

© Scoop Media

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