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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 006757

SIPDIS

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
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2006


In Today's Papers

Iraqi Court Upholds Saddam's Death Sentence
All papers: Iraq's highest appeals court upheld the death sentence
for former President Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity and
said that he should be hung within 30 days. The decision of the
appeals court must be ratified by President Jalal Talabani and
Iraq's two vice presidents.

Regarding the future of Iraq, columnist Kamuran Ozbir sees little
hope for a change in the US policy. Commenting in the nationalist
daily Ortadogu, he observed: "There are several indicators that a
new chapter could be about to open in the Middle East: a Democratic
majority in the US Congress, the resignation of Rumsfeld, and the
Iraq Study Group's report. However there is as yet no indication
that the Bush administration is softening its stance on Iraq. As
the content of the ISG report suggested very clearly, the Bush
administration left a mess in Iraq. But this does not necessarily
mean a change of Iraq policy in the future. The US policy makers
consist of the military and commercial sectors and the lobbies,
including the Israeli lobby. Moreover, one of the main reasons for
the US presence in Iraq is due to vital long-term American
interests, including the control of energy resources as well as
decreasing the role of OPEC in the oil market and gaining strategic
supremacy over China and Russia in this region. As long as these
vital US interests prevail, it is almost impossible for Washington
to admit defeat and pull out of Iraq."

Religious Leaders Summit in Cyprus
Radikal reports that Turkish and Greek religius leaders in Cyprus
will visit each other in January. TRNC Religious Affairs Director
Ahmet Yonluer stressed that this is a joint decision taken together
with the Greek Orthodox bishop Hrisostomos II, as a good will
gesture.

Parliament Speaker Arinc: "F Type Prisons are Inhuman"
All papers report that Speaker Arinc received the family of attorney
Behic Asci, who is on a hunger strike to protest 'isolation' in
F-type prisons, and argued that in implementation, conditions were
"inhuman." Arinc called Behic Asci to end his protest immediately
and promised a review of prison conditions in the new year by saying
'if he ends his hunger strike, I want to say that in the first week
of January a delegation will work on the issue.'

DTP Chairman Ahmet Turk Comments on PKK
Hurriyet quoted DTP Chairman Ahmet Turk as saying that if the
Republic of Turkey preferred to resolve the Kurdish issue through
democratic and civilian methods then they would appeal to the PKK
either to sweep the mines that it laid or to tell the whereabouts of
the planted land mines. Turk stressed that if the state took a step
then the DTP would have stronger influence over the PKK, otherwise
their efforts would be fruitless.

Editorial Opinion: Iran and the UN Sanctions
Sami Kohen commented in the mainstream Milliyet: "Members of the UN
Security Council were pleased with the Iran decision as they finally
were able to reach a consensus. However they should also be aware
of the fact that the decision, even though it came with unanimity,
has no practical value. Resolution 1737 talks about sanctions
against Iran, but its content and force of application are limited.
Sanctions on commercial or economic areas are not part of this
resolution. Besides, the Iranian regime has already declared its
obvious intention to continue the nuclear program at all costs as it
was planned. As a second step, a series of tougher measures can be
imposed upon Iran even though it may trigger Iran's harming of
international interests via reprisals. Both the US and Israel
consider bombing Iranian nuclear facilities as one of the options on
the table. But the use of this option will inevitably lead to more
serious conflicts and clashes in the world. Given the situation,
dialogue seems to be the only rational option; however, the dialogue

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channels have not achieved anything so far. All of this means that
the Iranian nuclear crisis presents an obvious impasse and there is
no magic way to overcome it. Turkey is very uncomfortable with the
crisis. Ankara, on one hand, is trying to improve its relationship
with Iran but has declared at the beginning that UN decisions will
be obeyed. The latest resolution does not force any commitment from
Turkey because Turkey is not a supplier of nuclear technology and
materials. As one Turkish official describes it, 'at this point,
the resolution does not pose any problem for us.' However there
might be new resolutions against Iran or an economic embargo against
Iran which may toughen the situation for Turkey as well. "

Turkey Heals the Wounds of Indonesia
Sabah, Turkiye and others: Asians remembered the 2004 tsunami
victims yesterday. Thousands lit candles, visited mass graves and
observed two minutes of silence for the victims. National and
international media praised the aid granted by Turkey to Indonesia.
State Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin attended the ceremony during which
700 houses built by Red Crescent were given to their new owners.
The British Telegraph noted that everyone agrees that the best
houses in Ache are the ones built by the Turkish Red Crescent.

TV Highlights
NTV (6 A.M.)

Domestic News
- Yimpas President Dursun Uyar and ten other company officials have
been given two-year prison sentences for holding unauthorized public
offering
- A Retired Colonel has been given five years and ten months in
jail for irregularities in military procurement
- Ankara-Bolu highway was closed to traffic yesterday as a result
of heavy snow


International News

- A ruptured gas pipeline that burst into flames in Nigeria
yesterday as thieves collected the fuel and killed at least 200
people
- A powerful earthquake struck off southwestern Taiwan yesterday
- A series of car bombings killed at least 44 people in Baghdad
yesterday.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at

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

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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