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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002909

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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
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2007

In Today's Papers

Calik Group Offers $1.1 Billion for ATV-Sabah
Today's papers report that Calik Group was the sole bidder in
yesterday's auction for the ATV-Sabah media group. Calik submitted
a $1.1 billion offer to Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) for
the media group which includes the second rated television station
in the country, a top circulation daily as well as several other
paper and magazine publications. Milliyet highlights that the
auction lasted only five minutes. Cumhuriyet says that Berat
Albayrak, the son-in-law of PM Erdogan, is a General Manager at the
Calik Group. The Samsun-Ceyhan pipe line project was also given to
the Calik group earlier without any bid. The company manager's
family ties with the government are causing speculation among
opposition parties. CHP leader Deniz Baykal said that "this
government is creating its own media." Milliyet reports that at the
tender, the bidder was asked to raise the initial price, but the
Calik Group refused to do so. The offer will be submitted to the
fund's board for approval tomorrow.

PKK, Northern Iraq, DTP
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Cumhuriyet and others report that security
operations on Gabar Mountain continue. Turkish General Staff (TGS)
announced that eight more terrorists were killed yesterday. Sabah,
Yeni Safak and Zaman quote US State Department Spokesman Tom Casey
saying "Turkey does not need permission from the US" for military
operations that stem from its national security concerns.

Meanwhile, answering journalists' questions in Athens, Foreign
Minister Babacan said that "Barzani and the Kurdish Administration
have not taken concrete steps to work with Turkey to eliminate the
PKK", reported Sabah, Hurriyet, Radikal.

Milliyet adds that, during the budget talks at the parliament, DTP
Mus Parliamentary Deputy Sirri Sakik said that the PKK is a reality
for Turkey and AKP deputies reacted to him, "you are remaining a
spectator to the terrorists".

Ahmedinejad Refers to US Report as Victory for Iran
All papers widely cover the US Intelligence report released Monday,
which concluded that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program in
late 2003 and has shown no signs since of resuming it. Cumhuriyet
and Milliyet said that Iranian President Ahmedinejad highlighted the
report as a victory against the superpower. Sabah reports Secretary
Rice's comments on the issue that "the report does not erase the
danger" posed by Iran.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iran

"End of Iran the Crisis?"
Sami Kohen commented in mainstream daily Milliyet: "The NIE report
on Iran's nuclear program provides key information that contradicts
President Bush's statements on the issue. The report's conclusion,
namely that Iran's nuclear weapons program ceased in 2003, caused
political tremors around the world, including in Washington. The
gist of the issue is whether Iran has fully given up on its nuclear
weapons program. Given the current circumstances, Iran cannot
resume its weapons program because such a measure would validate the
Bush administration's claims against Iran. Even though President
Bush expressed that Iran continues to be a threat, he seems to have
lost the argument. Bush claims that Iraq had weapons of mass
destruction were used to start the Iraq war. Such weapons have not
been found. Because of the NIE report, Iran is acquitted. The
issue is a serious debate in the US, and Democrats are urging the
administration to revise its Iran strategy. Given the current
picture, it's unlikely that Iran will cause a third world war."

"Relief"
Soli Ozel commented in the mainstream daily Sabah: "The NIE report
provides significant information that invalidates claims about Iran

ANKARA 00002909 002 OF 002


made by the Bush administration and Israel. It also indicates that
diplomatic measures and embargoes have actually worked on Iran.
Following the NIE report, it is almost impossible for either the
Bush administration or Israel to launch a military operation against
Iran. It looks as if American intelligence rushed to prepare such a
report in order to prevent VP Cheney from dragging the whole country
into another adventure. With or without an optimistic perspective,
the possibility for a strike against Iran has weakened. This fact
alone offers some relief. In any case, developments in the region
call for a continued close monitoring."


TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News
Defense Industry Executive Committee held a meeting in Ankara
yesterday to discuss new defense projects.

Counter-Terrorism Higher Board met in Ankara and expressed
determination to continue the fight against terrorism.

One woman died in Antalya after she was swept away by flood waters
caused by heavy rains in the area.


International News

Car bombs in Baghdad and three Northern Iraqi cities killed at least
23 people and injured more than 40 others.

Travelers going to Britain will have to submit biometric data by
being fingerprinted and photographed.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has seen no progress in Cyprus over
the last six months.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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