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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001705

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
TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2007

In Today's Papers

Hrant Dink Assassination Trial Starts
All papers report a court in Istanbul decided during the first
hearing on the case to release four of the 18 suspects accused of
participating in the assassination of Hrant Dink, an Armenian
Turkish journalist. The prosecutor asked for life imprisonment for
the main suspects Erhan Tuncel and Yasin Hayal on charges of
inciting the murder, and demanded a prison sentence between 18-24
years for the assailant Ogun Samast. Prison terms ranging between
7.5 and 35 years were requested for other suspects. The trial was
held behind closed doors because Samast is a minor. The trial date
was set for October 1.

Some 1,000 people gathered in front of the courtroom yesterday,
shouting "We are all Hrant Dink; we are all Armenians" and "We want
justice." "Go to hell, you're all Armenians," shouted Fuat Turgut,
one of the lawyers of the defendants, to the crowd.
Dink's widow Rakel submitted a petition to the court urging those
responsible for the murder be brought to justice. Rakel Dink
criticized the court's reluctance to deepen the investigation over
fears that links between the members of the judiciary and the murder
would be disclosed. Dink's lawyers have expressed concerns about
the possible involvement of Turkey's so-called "deep state" in court
proceedings.

DP Unveils Election Manifesto
Hurriyet, Sabah, Radikal, Zaman and others report the leader of
Democrat Party (DP) Mehmet Agar, disclosing his party's election
manifesto, which called for students to be allowed to wear the
headscarf at universities; and an "expanded EU forum" with the
participation of political parties, universities and NGOs to change
to the method of "open-ended talks" between the EU and Turkey. The
DP manifesto also called for a cooperation mechanism between Turkey
and Iraq which would secure Iraq's territorial integrity, adding if
it fails, Turkey will withdraw from the 1926 Ankara Agreement which
had marked the border between the two countries. Resolution of the
problems stemming from unemployment, social security, and unbalanced
wealth distribution will also help bring terrorism to an end,
declared the manifesto.

US Military Attach Found Dead in Cyprus
All papers report the Greek Cypriot police yesterday found the body
of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Mooney, the defense attach at the US
Embassy in Nicosia, who had been missing since June 28. Papers
speculate Mooney's death could be related to nuclear smuggling, or
could be an Iranian act of retaliation for the "abduction" of
Iranian Ali Reza Asgari in Istanbul earlier this year, or that he
could have been poisoned. Papers also note Mooney was a graduate of
the Turkish military academy and was a military anti-terror
specialist.

Turks Seize Uzans' USD 250 Million in Switzerland
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and Yeni Safak
report Swiss and Turkish officials have launched joint operations to
track the assets of the Uzan family in Europe. The officials have
seized cash, gold and stock exchange certificates totaling USD 250
million in Swiss banks. State banking fund (TMSF) officials are now
working to transfer the funds to Turkey. The accounts had been
frozen by an international court order on a telecommunications
company controlled by the Uzan family. The family is estimated to
have at least USD 1 billion in Swiss banks.

In 2004, Turkish financial authorities seized over 200 companies
belonging to the Uzans for failing to repay debts of more than USD
5.5 billion. Arrest warrants have been issued for father Kemal
Uzan, his brother Yavuz and Kemal's younger son Hakan, on charges of
embezzlement, fraud and irregular off-shore transactions. Another
son of Kemal Uzan, Cem Uzan, is currently running for parliament in
Turkey as the leader of the Genc (Youth) Party.

ANKARA 00001705 002 OF 002

Editorial Commentary on International Peacekeepers for Gaza
Erdal Safak observes in the mainstream Sabah: "As if Turkey doesn't
have enough troubles, now, there is an attempt to push it into hell
in Palestine. PLO Secretary General Yaser Abed Rabbo recently
suggested that deployment of an international force in Gaza
consisting of troops from countries such as Turkey, Indonesia and
Qatar, could establish security there. Sending Turkish troops to
Gaza would be a nightmare for various reasons: an international
force in Gaza would be interpreted among both the Turkish and Arab
publics as defending Israel against Hamas; Hamas already announced
they would consider such a force an occupation force and promised to
greet them with missiles; there are more radical organizations in
Gaza than Hamas, like the "Islamic Army;" Israel is against the
international force having only observer -coordinator status; and,
as a last reason, this international force will indirectly be
involved with Iran because Hamas gets its weapons and financial
support from Tehran. Just one of these reasons alone is enough for
Turkey to keep away from this hell. If a peace force is sent to the
region, then, Egypt should contribute troops as a neighbor of the
Gaza strip. If Egypt doesn't have sufficient troops, then the EU
countries should contribute. However, they are hesitant to send
troops to such a dangerous region, even though they support an
international force there."

TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News

- Abdullah Demirbas, the Kurdish mayor of Sur municipality in
Diyarbakir, has stepped down after the Council of State (Danistay)
ruled to remove him from office for providing municipality services
in languages other than Turkish.

- In Antalya on Tuesday, the chief of the Turkish General Staff
Yasar Buyukanit will deliver a speech at the Silk Road seminar held
with the participation of defense ministers and army chiefs from
NATO, Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul
Cooperation Initiative.

- World Chambers Federation will hold a congress in Istanbul on July
4-6 with the participation of 1500 businessmen from 140 countries.


- State Minister Ali Babacan said electricity and natural gas prices
will not increase this year.

International News

- The new EU term president Portugal reportedly plans to open two or
three new chapters in accession negotiations with Turkey.

- British police held seven people on Monday in their pursuit of a
suspected al-Qaeda cell which rammed a fuel-packed jeep into the
Glasgow airport and left two car bombs in London.

- The US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad said the Taliban and
other extremists try to use civilians as shields.

- Iranian President Ahmadinejad and his Venezuelan counterpart
Chavez broke ground Monday on a joint petrochemical complex south of
Tehran.
WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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