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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for February 19, 2006

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R 211010Z FEB 07
FM AMCONSUL ADANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4438
INFO RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1041
RUEUITH/AFOSI DET 521 ANKARA TU
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0984
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 0847
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC

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TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR FEBRUARY 19, 2006


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for February
19, 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

2. BOLGE / SABAH (GUNEY) / EKSPRES / HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) /
SABAH / RADIKAL / ZAMAN: Abdulkadir Aksu, Ministry of
Interior, attended groundbreaking ceremonies of two facilities:
a private hospital and a cultural center in Adana. Aksu
congratulated Seyhan Mayor Azim Ozturk for undertaking such
projects. Aksu also attended the opening ceremony of Kizilay's
Mediterranean Center for Disaster Logistics and Relief in Adana.
Aksu further attended TOKI's (Mass Housing Administration)
lottery drawn to determine the owners of 558 houses built in
Adana's Yuregir district. Aksu also paid a visit to BTC
(Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan) facilities in Ceyhan. Sulayman Onatca,
Chairperson of Adana Businessmen and Industrialists Association,
met with the minister at Ceyhan told him that BTC should provide
employment opportunities. (This summary is from February 19
editions.)

3. EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM / ZAMAN: Tension erupted
between police and a group of people who attempted to hold a
march in Mardin's Kiziltepe district against capturing of
Abdullah Ocalan eight years ago on February 15. Police did not
allow the group to march in the main street of the district or
wave banners in support for Ocalan. DTP Mardin Provincial
Chairperson and provincial administrators extended support for
the protest. Meanwhile, hundreds of people reportedly
continued to protest Ocalan's capture in Sirnak's Silopi
district. Silopi Mayor, DTP Sirnak provincial chairperson, DTP
Silopi provincial chairperson, and municipality members from DTP
extended support to the protest. Twelve of the people who were
detained during February 15 protests in Mersin and Hakkari's
Yuksekova district, have been arraigned and arrested for holding
activities in the name of the terrorist organization, reports
Ozgur Gundem daily. Zaman daily reported that five of the six
people arrested in Yuksekova were arrested for damaging public
property, preventing freedom of working to provide support for
terrorism, and inflicting fear and panic among people.

4. HURRIYET: Ibrahim Polat, a PKK member and driver of
Osman Ocalan, who surrendered to Turkish authorities three
months ago at the Habur Border Gate in Sirnak, reportedly
confessed that the senior U.S. military officials were paying
regular monthly visits to Murat Karayilan, the PKK leader, at
the Mountain Qandil in the northern Iraq. Polat further told
authorities that Kurdish groups in the northern Iraq were
providing arms and explosives to the members of the PKK.

5. SABAH / GUNDEM: Two people, who were being prosecuted
for shouting slogans that praised Abdullah Ocalan during an
October 2006 press announcement held in front of the DTP party
premises in Agri, were recently sentenced to 10 months in prison
for making such statements. Prosecutor's Office heeded the
video records of the police shot during the aforementioned event
in 2006.

6. HURRIYET: The daily reports that Abdullah Ocalan's
attorneys helped Ocalan to take his prison writings abroad and
publish them in the U.K. under "Prison Writings: The Roots of
Civilization". The book was reportedly promoted by Ken
Livingstone, the Mayor of London, on January 20. The daily
further reports that a total 50 indictments have been prepared
to date by prosecutor's offices in Istanbul's Beyoglu and Eyup
districts and in Adana against 20 attorneys of Abdullah Ocalan
in the last three years. Nine attorneys were dismissed from
their positions. 21 lawsuits were opened against Ocalan's
attorneys for leaking the information about their visits to
their client and their client's political views to the press.

7. HURRIYET: DTP Chairperson Ahmet Turk criticized Turkish
authorities' recent remarks about Talabani and Barzani, and
further said that the hostile approach of Turkish authorities
towards the administration in northern Iraq would do harm to
Turkey's societal texture.

8. RADIKAL: A heavy penalty court in Adana is specially
authorized to carry out the prosecution process of 37 Al-Qaeda
defendants who were caught as a result of simultaneous
operations carried out in seven provinces of Turkey on January
29. The files of defendants have recently been sent to Adana.
The police are still examining the CDs and computers seized
during the operations.

9. GUNDEM: The daily reported that no progress has been
achieved in the investigation process into the killing of a

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15-year-old boy in Adana on August 2006. The daily alleges that
police officers killed the boy as they opened fire at close
range (for unspecified reasons) at the boy as the boy was
walking in the street while returning to his home. The daily
criticizes authorities for initiating a lawsuit with the Adana
Seventh Heavy Penalty Court against the secretary of Adana
Chapter of the Human Rights Association for claiming after the
incident that the killing of the boy was an 'extrajudicial
execution.'

ECONOMY

10. BOLGE: Fethi Coskuntuncel, Chairperson of Adana's
Commodity Exchange said that transactions amounting to
2,134,482,439 YTL were carried out at the Commodity Exchange
last year in Adana. Coskuntuncel said that all of Adana's
agricultural outputs were registered at the Commodity Exchange,
and that the Commodity Exchange had become a very vital tool in
Turkey in registering the economic activities carried out in the
country.

CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT

11. GUNDEM: Provincial party organizations of DTP and DYP
held a dinner in Diyarbakir for members of two families to
amicably settle the 40-year-old blood feud that was going on
between the families.

12. GUNDEM: Civil society organizations in Tunceli's
Ovacik district held a fundraising night to meet the medical
needs of the Ovacik State Hospital. Over 1000 people, including
the Mayor of Ovacik and Mayor of Istanbul's Sisli district,
attended the event.

CRIME / LAW ENFORCEMENT

13. BOLGE / EKSPRES / ZAMAN: Members of a clan called
'Cono' in Adana attacked the owner of a shop and his son with
sticks, knives and stones after the shop owner had beaten three
clan-member boys whom he accused of stealing items from his
shop. The police had difficulty in quelling the unrest that
broke out between the clan members and the dwellers of the
quarter where the shop was located.
GREEN

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