Monitor: Comment as Abdullah Ocalan, Kurdish rebel leader, is sentenced to death

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IT IS reported that the Justice Ministry is drafting a bill which would abolish the death penalty and introduce in its place "enhanced prison sentences" entailing a minimum 10 years of solitary confinement.

Can Ocalan benefit from the proposed new scheme? Can Turkey make use of this to adopt a policy of "tenderness and understanding" while Ocalan spends time in a one-man cell? Would such a development have any consequences for Cyprus and northern Iraq? What is written on the new page opening up in Turkey's future? The end of the Ocalan trial may be signalling a new beginning in many ways. (Saygi Ozturk) The Daily Star, Turkey

OF GREAT significance is the potential fallout of Ocalan's execution on Turkey's ties with European Union states, especially in light of Ankara's goal of closer economic integration with them. The Kurdish question has been a perennial irritant in the country's relations with Europe; that the Ocalan trial has failed to meet Western standards of fair trial has made matters worse. Sooner rather than later, Ankara has to choose between Ocalan's olive branch and Turks' visceral desire for revenge.

Khaleej Times, UAE

WHAT WILL be the verdict of the parliament and the consequences of Ocalan's execution in Turkey? Different analyses and predictions are made about the opinion of the Turkish parliament but the majority of analyses are unanimous that Ankara must show better political judgment. Since Turkey is suffering from economic problems and its relation with EU is strained, it would be better for Ankara to avoid a crisis or prevent an impending crisis. In fact, by reducing Ocalan's death sentence and respecting the opinion of the Kurds, Ankara can solve its difference with the PKK. Analysts believe that Ocalan's execution cannot solve any problems and that Turkey must profit from its present opportunity when Ocalan is within its power. Otherwise it will add to tensions and, following Ocalan's execution, another Kurdish leader might emerge and replace him.

Iran News

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