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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for February 16, 2007

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 000021

SIPDIS

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR FEBRUARY 16, 2007


This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for February 16,
2007. Please note that Turkish press reports often contain
errors or exaggerations; AmConsulate Adana does not vouch for
the accuracy of the reports summarized here.

POLITICAL

HURRIYET / SABAH / ZAMAN: The dailies report that some
businesses at parts of the provinces in eastern and southeastern
Turkey closed their businesses for one day in protest of the
eighth anniversary of arrest of Abdullah Ocalan by the Turkish
authorities on February 15; sporadic illegal demonstrations took
place. Businessmen in parts of Diyarbakir did not open their
businesses in the morning hours. The dailies report some
businesses as choosing to stay open in Hakkari. Around 10 a.m.
in the morning, Hakkari Deputy Governor, Hakkari Commando
Brigade Commander and Provincial Jandarma Commander and the
Security Director paid visits to tradesmen and thanked those who
chose to stay open throughout the day. Sabah daily reports that
when tension broke out between a jewelry shop owner and a group
of DTP members who tried to convince the jeweler to close his
business in Yuksekova, the 17-year-old son of the DTP district
chairperson was wounded by gunfire. The daily observed that
some businesses in Mersin, Sirnak, Siirt, Mardin, Batman,
Sanliurfa and Adana acted in accordance with the call of the
terrorist organization. In Batman, police detained 11 people
making preparations to launch activities with Molotov cocktails.
In Diyarbakir, tradesmen in Baglar, Surici, Sehitlik and
Kayapinar quarters observed the rule of shutting their
businesses, however, the tradesmen in the main streets of
Diyarbakir, in Ofis and Yenisehir quarters reportedly stayed
open. People, mostly children, conducted illegal demonstrations
in Mersin. Diyarbakir Governor's Office circulated a request
from the public institutions to report staff members and workers
who boycotted work yesterday and the students who boycotted
school.

GUNDEM: The pro-PKK newspaper Gundem reports that ninety
percent of tradesmen in Diyarbakir closed their businesses
yesterday. Hundreds of people, civil society organizations,
some mayors and DTP members reportedly gathered in front of the
DTP party headquarters and held a silent march towards the
Kosuyolu Park in Diyarbakir. Women wore white headscarves and
put on a black ribbon around their heads as if they wore a
shroud. The protests occurred in Mardin's Nusaybin, Kiziltepe
and Derik districts despite strict security measures taken by
the police there. The daily reports that there was a high level
of tension in Kiziltepe throughout the day and tradesmen there
strictly complied with practice of not opening their businesses.
The demonstrators, most of whom were comprised of children and
youth, set small fires with tires, carried posters of Abdullah
Ocalan and flags of so-called democratic confederalism, chanted
slogans in Kurdish and Turkish in support for Abdullah Ocalan.
Some clashes took place at times when police intervened in the
ongoing protest activities. The daily further gives detailed
reports about demonstrations that went on throughout the day
yesterday in sections and districts of Diyarbakir, Van, Batman,
Siirt, Hakkari, Mersin and the refugee camp in Maxmur in
northern Iraq. The brochures being delivered in those places
urged people to close down their businesses for one day and
urged students to boycott schools. The brochures further told
people to fast, wear black apparel, and not go out in the
streets, as a sign of protest against Ocalan's arrest.

ADANAHABER ONLINE / BOLGE: A group of pro-PKK protestors held
a protest in Barbaros quarter of Adana and reportedly used many
children in their protest activity. When the demonstrators
built barricades, burned tires in the street and threw stones at
the police, the police intervened with armored police vehicles.
The demonstrators dispersed into the back streets and the police
put out sporadic fires caused by burning tires. The anti-riot
teams have been striving to control the situation at the site of
the protest.

GUNDEM: The U.S. is increasing its pressure on Denmark
against the broadcast of pro-PKK Roj TV. Danish Royal
Prosecutor placed a request to initiate a new investigation
process against Roj TV. Opposition parties indicated that this
move came as a result of pressure exerted by the U.S.

GUNDEM: The court continued to hear the case against Cizre
Mayor Ayhan Budak and six other people for making statements
praising the PKK during the March 21 Newruz celebrations in 2006
in Sirnak's Cizre district.

ADANA 00000021 002 OF 002

SECURITY

GUNDEM: A 37-year-old police officer was found shot in the
head in front of his house in Diyarbakir. Diyarbakir police
started investigating the incident.
CRIME / LAW ENFORCEMENT:

SABAH (GUNEY) / HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): A 21-year-old person,
who fled the scene after running into a 20-year-old medical
faculty student on December 12, 2005 with his car in Adana, has
been sentenced to 6 years in prison. The mother of the victim
protested the verdict.

HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Regarding the case of a 10-year-old boy
who died when a bullet from an unknown source hit him as he was
playing in the street in a section of Adana on February 8 (see
press summary for February 13), the daily reports that the
sister of the victim has identified the perpetrator as the son
of the mayor of Havutlu district (from AKP) in Adana.

HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Police found more than 3 kilograms
hashish in the luggage of a passenger in an inter-city passenger
bus in Hatay's Belen district.

ECONOMY

HURRIYET / ADANAHABER ONLINE / ZAMAN / BOLGE / SABAH (GUNEY):
Hilmi Guler, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, came to
Adana to attend the ceremony marking the loading of 100th
petroleum tanker at the Ceyhan end of the Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline in Adana. The minister announced that 300 million
dollars were earned from 76 million barrels of oil that was
loaded onto tankers from the Ceyhan terminal. The general
manager of Botas International Limited said that the 100th
tanker was the biggest tanker that was loaded at Ceyhan to date
with a capacity of 2 million barrels.

CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT

GUNDEM: When the petroleum pipes of Perenco Petroleum
Corporation located within the borders of two hamlets in
Diyarbakir exploded as a result of an accident twenty days ago,
oil spilled and polluted the water in the area. People, whose
drinking water has been cut off, have been covering long
distances to get water from clean sources. Because of the
spill, large numbers of fish and birds also died in and around a
lake where fish were being cultivated.
GREEN

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