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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for March 8, 2007

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 000033

SIPDIS

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR MARCH 8, 2007

This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for March 8, 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

EKSPRES / BOLGE / HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) / SABAH (GUNEY):
Cahit Kirac, Adana Governor, who has recently been assigned to
the governor's position in Izmir, told the journalists that he
will be leaving Adana with very warm feelings from his
experience here. Kirac worked as the governor of Adana for 2.5
years. Saban Bas, Chairperson of Chamber of Commerce, issued a
press release about governor's reassignment and said that the
services Kirac rendered for Adana would never be forgotten.


EVRENSEL: Following the recent prison sentences issued against
the chairperson and vice-chairperson of DTP (see press summary
for March 7), and, the police raids conducted at DTP provincial
premises and arrests, reportedly this time the pro-Kurdish
Gundem daily's publication has been suspended by a court and the
daily has been withdrawn from shelves. 13th Heavy Penalty Court
reportedly indicated the grounds for suspension of publication
as the recent news Gundem published about Ocalan's alleged
systematic poisoning by the authorities at Imrali prison.

ZAMAN / HURRIYET: Zaman daily reports that Gulcihan Simsek,
chairperson of DTP's Bostanici chapter in Van, apologized in a
speech he delivered at a March 8 World Women's Day event that he
had to continue talking in Turkish. Simsek used a courtesy
title before the name of Abdullah Ocalan and suggested that
Kurdish speakers should always try to use Kurdish in most of
their daily lives. Hurriyet and Zaman dailies further report
that following the six month prison sentence issued against DTP
national chairperson for using a courtesy title before the name
of Abdullah Ocalan (see press summary for March 7), former DEP
(Party of Democracy) deputy Sedat Yurttas has also been
sentenced to six months in prison on the same charges.

ZAMAN / EVRENSEL / RADIKAL / HURRIYET: Diyarbakir
Prosecutor's Office started a probe against two attorneys who
announced allegations about poisoning of Ocalan in a meeting
held in Rome. The probe was initiated on grounds that the
attorney's announcement was misleading the public and the
attorneys were abusing their professional capacities. The probe
results will determine whether a trial process would be started
against the attorneys or not. Meanwhile, Ocalan's attorneys
decided to lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human
Rights on grounds their client's right to preserve his life,
which is a clause of the Universal Human Rights Declaration, was
being violated. Separately, Hurriyet daily notes that the
brother of Abdullah Ocalan went to the Imrali prison yesterday
to pay a visit to Ocalan.

ZAMAN / HURRIYET: MHP national chairperson Devlet Bahceli warned
the party's ultra-nationalist supporters that they should not
yield to ethnical provocations that would be carried out on
Newroz day and that they should preserve their common sense and
peaceful attitude at all times.

ZAMAN: CHP established a committee to research reasons why
CHP was not successful in getting votes for CHP candidates in
the eastern and southeastern region during elections. The
committee conducted studies in ten separate provinces: the
reasons they found out for why the people in those regions had
always stayed aloof from CHP were ethnical structure and
people's devotion to religion in those regions. According to
people in the region, the CHP was a party that was distant from
religion. The report of the committee also said that DTP was
striving to strengthen ethnic nationalism in those regions
without paying attention to issues of the rest of the country.

ONLINE GUNDEM DAILY:

- Youth in Van's Hacibekir and Yuniplik quarters held a march
and shouted slogans in support for Abdullah Ocalan. Police
intervened when youth in Mardin's Kiziltepe district attempted
to hold a demonstration to protest the alleged poisoning of
Ocalan by authorities. Demonstrators continued their activities
as they dispersed in the back streets. Youth in Adana's
Gulbahcesi, Sakirpasa, Denizli and Barbaros quarters clashed
with the police as they attempted to draw attention to Ocalan's
health condition through a demonstration. Police intervened

ADANA 00000033 002 OF 002


with gas bombs and the crowd dispersed. Tension still persists
in the aforementioned quarters, reports the online daily.
Thirty-one of eighty-eight women, who were detained during a
police raid on the DTP Cizre chapter in Sirnak on grounds that
they attended a demonstration that aims to draw attention to
Ocalan's health condition, have reportedly been arrested.
Nearly 1000 people waiting outside the court hall clapped their
hands to protest the arrests.

- DTP Batman Provincial Chairperson Ayhan Karabulut, who was
detained for his alleged pro-PKK propaganda made on March 3 in
Batman, has been arraigned and arrested.

CRIME / LAW ENFORCEMENT

ZAMAN: During an anti-human-trafficking operation, police
found out that a human-trafficking ring police dissolved, which
enabled PKK terrorists to go abroad with fake documents, were
themselves swindled by the PKK members.

CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT

SABAH (GUNEY): Attorneys at the Court Hall of Adana held a
meeting and conveyed their complaints about a new regulation to
Ibrahim Gazioglu, chairperson of the Adana Bar Association.
According to the attorneys, the new regulation was breaching the
rights of the attorneys and was incapacitating the bar
association leaving all the authority to courts and prosecutors.
GREEN

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