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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for March 12, 2007

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TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR MARCH 12, 2007


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for March
12, 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. YASAMDA GUNDEM: Gundem daily reappeared on the shelves
today as under the following newspaper title: "Yasamda Gundem"
(Life's Agenda). (This summary is from March 9 edition.)

3. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) / EKSPRES / BOLGE: Police and
anti-riot teams went to Barabaros quarter of Adana upon
receiving a tip-off that an unauthorized demonstration would be
held there. As the police waited at the entrance of the
quarter, children started gathering around the officers,
conversation developed between police and children, and the two
groups decided to play football as they formed two teams each of
which was comprised of nine players. The game ended 2-2.

4. YASAMDA GUNDEM: Mardin Deputy from AKP, Nihat Eri, who
responded questions from opposition parties over why TSK
(Turkish Armed Forces) was not undertaking de-mining on the
southeastern border and the government was instead preparing to
hold tenders for that task, said that TSK actually undertook
that task initially, but, at the end of one year of work
reportedly decided that it would not continue it. The daily
claims that TSK's withdrawal revealed a conflict between the
government and the army.

5. YASAMDA GUNDEM / EVRENSEL: Evrensel daily points out
that ahead of Newroz celebrations, Ilker Basbug, Land Forces
Commander, went to Diyarbakir the other day to issue messages
about upcoming Newroz. Basbug reportedly told people that
ending the PKK's existence in the northern Iraq and Iraq's
territorial integrity were two top priorities for Turkey.
Yasamda Gundem daily reported that Basbug told people that they
would not allow people to wear clothes or use fabric or material
in colors representing Kurdish identity, namely green, yellow
and red, and, that using those colors would be deemed a
terrorist act. The Yasamda Gundem daily interprets that
development as TSK pressuring people from attending DTP-led
Newroz celebrations in mass numbers. The daily further reports
bitter rivalry between official bodies and DTP-led committee
concerning Newroz celebrations in Igdir province. The governor
announced that they declared state of mobilization for official
celebrations to be participated by more people than DTP's
celebrations. DTP Kiziltepe party organization in Mardin will
renew its application to hold its celebrations on March 21
because authorities did not grant permission to Newroz committee
for March 18. Committees in Van and Mus requested permission
from authorities to hold Newroz on March 21. Committees in
Hakkari and Bitlis requested permission from authorities for
March 17.

6. EKSPRES / BOLGE: Adana Governor Cahit Kirac, who is
assigned to a new post in Izmir, is paying farewell visits to
political parties, to associations, to media organizations, to
official bodies and to local figures of Adana.

7. YASAMDA GUNDEM: Members of the Democratic People's
Initiative in Sirnak's Cizre district will hold a protest march
against PM Erdogan's visit to the district on March 13.

8. YASAMDA GUNDEM: Ferhan Turk, DTP Mardin Provincial
Chairperson, who was detained along with five other persons as
they were making a press announcement to draw attention to
Abdullah Ocalan's health condition the other day, has been
arraigned and arrested. The other five people have been
released.

9. YASAMDA GUNDEM: People in Diyarbakir will turn off the
lights for five minutes every day to protest alleged poisoning
of Ocalan, who has been serving lifetime imprisonment at Island
Imrali.

SECURITY

10. YASAMDA GUNDEM: The daily reports that a 160-vehicle
military convoy has been dispatched from Diyarbakir's 7th Army
Corps Command to Sirnak's border areas. The convoy reportedly
includes a generator, water barrels and armored vehicles.
Meanwhile, three soldiers and one PKK member died in an ongoing
military operation in Sirnak's Mountain Gabar.

ADANA 00000040 002 OF 002

11. YASAMDA GUNDEM: Police in Siirt conducted unannounced
raid at houses in some quarters of the province the previous day
and detained four people. The people reportedly are being
interrogated currently.

12. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Unidentified people hurled a
Molotov cocktail at a bus waiting at the traffic lights in
Mersin. Six passengers and the driver was able to get out of
the bus without being hurt. Material damage on the bus was
reported.

CRIME / LAW ENFORCEMENT


13. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Jandarma teams that searched an
intercity passenger bus traveling from Sanliurfa to Istanbul
found 8 kilograms of heroin in luggage of three passengers.

ECONOMY

14. SABAH (GUNEY): Gaziantep businessmen were finally given
an appointment date by PM Erdogan for March 20 to discuss the
government incentive list that excluded the Gaziantep province.
A crowded delegation will go to Ankara to meet Erdogan on March
20. Chairperson of Gaziantep Chamber of Industry said that they
were hopeful that a positive outcome would ensue their meeting
with the premier.

15. SABAH (GUNEY): Three women, who received small amount
of loans from a microcredit project in Diyarbakir, opened a
small business selling "gozleme" pastry. The women, who got
successful in the job, are planning to establish chain shops to
sell their food product.

CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT

16. EKSPRES / HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) / SABAH (GUNEY): The local
dailies once again carried on their front pages the light rail
project the authorities have not been able to realize for 20
years in Adana.

17. YASAMDA GUNDEM: A 22-year-old women hung herself and
committed suicide in Diyarbakir's Bismil district the previous
day.

18. YASAMDA GUNDEM: The daily reported that March 8 World
Women's Day activities such as meetings and panels were still
going on provinces such as Van, Hakkari, Kahrmanmaras, Bursa,
Istanbul and Manisa. The dailies claimed that in activities
where women hit the streets shouted slogans in support for
Abdullah Ocalan.
GREEN

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