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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for April 06, 2007

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TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR APRIL 06, 2007


This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for April 06,
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

EVRENSEL: The support Cizre people are extending to Cizre
Mayor Aydin Budak (from DTP), who was arrested recently, has
reportedly been increasing and spreading (see press summary for
April 5). Diyarbakir Democracy Platform organized a sit-in
protest yesterday in front of the Diyarbakir Municipality and
many employees of the municipality attended the protest as well.
People chanted slogans and shouted, "Pressure will not
discourage us" and "Cizre people are not alone." The protests
in Cizre are still continuing as well. Despite the heavy rain,
people gathered in front of the Cizre Municipality, wore black
attire and black ribbons, and shouted slogans saying
"Prosecutor, resign!", "Governor, resign!", "Aydin is the same
with people, people are down here."

CNNTURK ONLINE / HURRIYET ONLINE: Soon after the probe two
inspectors started at the Diyarbakir Municipality was completed,
the Ministry of Internal Affairs initiated three ensuing
investigations against Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir
concerning the greeting card Baydemir sent to the Hakkari
Governor in Turkish and English during Ramadan, the Kurdish
invitation sent to the same governor about a festival program,
and the posters in Kurdish hung on the billboards of the
Diyarbakir city about a cleaning campaign of the municipality.

EVRENSEL: Sixty-six people detained as they attempted to visit
the birth place of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, namely
Omerli village of Halfeti district in Sanliurfa to mark the
birthday of Ocalan, are still being kept under detention in a
jandarma station. Some Sanliurfa municipality assembly members,
Ceylanpinar district municipality assembly members, and ten
TUHAD-FED (Federation of Prisoners' Relatives Associations)
members, who organized that activity, are also among the
detainees.

CNNTURK ONLINE: The website reports that fifteen people,
including Salih Karaaslan, DTP Ankara chapter's provincial
chairperson, and, Ismet Aras, the chairperson of Human Rights
Association's Ankara chapter, were detained the previous day in
Ankara on charges that they made propaganda for a terrorist
organization during demonstrations held separately on February
15 and March 10. Thirteen of the detainees have been arraigned,
and, the two chairpersons and other two detainees have been
arrested after arraignment. (This summary is from an April 3
online news article.)

BOLGE / EKSRPES: Local Adana papers are making positive news
stories every day about Adana Governor Ilhan Atis's activities
carried out in the town and quoting in big captions his remarks
about the people and the potential of Adana. The papers display
photos of events Atis attended everyday: Today, Atis attended
the opening ceremony for the first international literature
festival of Adana, and he paid a courtesy visit to the Cukurova
Journalists Association.

BOLGE / EKSPRES: April 10 marks the 162nd anniversary of
foundation of the Turkish National Police, report the dailies.
Governor Ilhan Atis praised the efforts of the police in an
announcement he made and said, "police employed most reasonable
common sense in the face of difficult times and provocations as
they emerged, and approached the issues in a calm and
even-tempered manner. The police have been very successful in
maintaining peace and order while at the same time they never
discriminated against people because of any racial, religious,
or ethnic concerns while undertaking their duties." The dailies
separately noted that Seyhan district security director paid a
visit to Seyhan Mayor because of the April 10 anniversary.
Meanwhile, people and police gathered for a ceremony at the
cemetery for police to remember and honor the police officers
who died in the line of duty.

SECURITY

BOLGE / EKSPRES / SABAH (GUNEY): Upon receiving a tip-off,
Adana police carried out a joint operation with Istanbul police
in Seyhan district of Adana. During a search in a house, police
found four kilograms of plastic (Portuguese-make) explosives and
(Austria-make) 10 electrical fuses. A person has been detained

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following the search operation.

CRIME AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

ZAMAN / EVRENSEL / SABAH: Jandarma teams searched an LPG
tanker parked on the road between two districts of Van. To the
surprise of the jandarma teams, 59 Pakistani refugees were found
hiding in the tanker. The driver of the tanker was able to flee
the scene. The refugees will be deported once required
procedures are completed. It is reminded by the dailies that 7
refugees were found frozen to death in Van last week and 220
refugees who have crossed the border illegally were caught the
previous day again in Van. (see press summary for April 5.)

ZAMAN / RADIKAL: Security forces seized many arms and
ammunition they found in a truck they stopped for search, in
Mardin's Kiziltepe district. There were 7 Kalashnikovs, one PM
98 automatic gun, 9 cartridges, and several other firearm items
in the vehicle. The firearms were reportedly brought to Mardin
from northern Iraq through the Habur Border Gate in Sirnak. The
daily separately notes in a small news article that foreign-made
firearms are entering the country through border gates with Iraq
and Syria.

ECONOMY

BOLGE / EKSPRES: General Manager of BOTAS International Limited
announced that a total of 100 million barrels of crude oil were
loaded onto vessels up until today from the Ceyhan terminal of
the BTC (Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline) in Adana.

CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT

BOLGE / CUKUROVA MERHABA ONLINE: It is reported that the
number of women officers employed in the (U.S.) Army increased
because of the war situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, and
consequently this caused an increase in sexual assault cases.
According to the information given on HYPERLINK
"http://www.incirlik.af.mil" www.incirlik.af.mil, a coordination
office for "Sexual Assault Prevention" has been established at
Incirlik Air Base for prevention and education efforts about the
issue, report the dailies. Lt. Cheri Guikema, Sexual Assault
Response Coordinator of the Base, said that sexual assaults were
a challenge to the Base, to the nation, and to the military.

SABAH: The suicide rates among women have been increasing
in the southeastern region. The number of suicide incidents was
formerly reported in newspapers as having already reached high
levels in Batman, Diyarbakir, Van and Sanliurfa. Today, Sabah
daily points out that this trend has recently been joined by
Hakkari province where 41 young girls attempted to commit
suicide last year. Four of them died. This number is reportedly
2 times higher than the figures of the previous year in Hakkari,
a province where no honor killings are seen. The soaring number
of suicide attempts among Hakkari women is reportedly raising
the question of whether the girls and/or women are being forced
into committing suicide by their families.
GREEN

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