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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for April 25, 2007

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR APRIL 25, 2007

This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for April 25,
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:

ZAMAN: Suleyman Onatca, Chairperson of the Federation of
the Adana Industrialists & Businessmen Association and Eastern
Mediterranean Industrialists & Businessmen Association, said in
a press announcement he made that Abdullah Gul was a
presidential candidate who would successfully embrace all the
sections of the society with his tolerant attitude.

GUNDEM / SABAH: According to Sabah daily, DTP Kars provincial
party organization launched a "strange" campaign and established
the following campaign slogan: "Yasar Buyukanit and his team
should resign, and the lives of the youth be saved." DTP
Provincial Chairman Alinak branded the latest developments in
the region as "scary," and, said that the racism and ethnic
clashes in the region were being escalated by the authorities.
Alinak made a call to everybody to beat tin containers and
produce loud noise until Buyukanit resigns from office. (Note:
Gundem daily reappeared on shelves as the second ban which
removed the paper from the shelves for 15 days expired.)

GUNDEM: Members of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, Human
Rights Association and Mazlum-Der (Solidarity Association for
Oppressed People) paid a visit to Ahmet Guvener, spiritual
leader of the Protestants in Diyarbakir, and extended
condolences because of the slaying of three Christians in a
Bible publishing house last week in Malatya.

SECURITY:

ZAMAN ONLINE / GUNDEM: A 25-year-old second lieutenant was
killed in a conflict between security forces and the terrorists
in Sirnak's Kupeli Mountain. Meanwhile, the military operation
that was started in the Amanos Mountains the previous day, has
been extended to Hatay's Dortyol, Erzin, Reyhanli, and Hassa
districts.

ECONOMY:

GUNDEM / HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): The exports figures in the
south-eastern region increased by 16.62 per cent in the first
quarter of 2007, according to the data provided by South-eastern
Exporters' Union.

HURRIYET ONLINE: The ground-breaking ceremony of the
Samsun-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline (Trans Anatolian Pipeline) was
held in Adana's Ceyhan district, however not many oil agreements
with oil companies have been made so far, a point that
reportedly raised questions in people's minds. In a press
briefing after the ceremony, Hilmi Guler, Minister of Energy,
when asked about whether a prerequisite imposed during the
tender process on Calik company, the Turkish partner of the
undertaking, which stipulated that an oil agreement would be
made within the ensuing six months after Calik was awarded the
bid, was met or not, the Minister said, 'The company was
allotted a period of time then, and evaluation has been
continuing within that time frame. There is not a problem about
that.' Hilmi Guler further said that Samsun-Ceyhan Pipeline
will not be a rival to the BTC (Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline).
The CEO of ENI, the Italian partner of the project, said that
the estimated cost of the construction of the pipeline was
between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.

EKSPRES: Hilmi Guler, Minister of Energy, said that, on that
day, the 145th vessel was being loaded with petroleum at the BTC
and $513 million had been earned by Turkey to date within ten
months. Guler said 234 million dollars of that total revenue
was transferred to the Treasury. Guler claimed that Turkey has
become one of the most effective countries in the world in the
energy field with its achievements it has made over the last
year. Guler also said that the experience gained in the BTC
project would guide them in the construction process of the
other pipelines.

SABAH (GUNEY) / BOLGE / EKSPRES / ZAMAN: Prof. Vahit Kirisci,
Adana deputy (from AKP) and President of the Parliamentary
Commission for Agriculture and Village Works, and, Kutahya
deputy and (from AKP) and President of the Parliamentary
Commission for Industry, Commerce and Energy, paid a visit to

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Adana Chamber of Industry (ACI). During the visit, Umit
Ozgumus, Chairperson of ACI complained about the regulations
binding the industrialists to allot an employment quota for
members of certain professions. Ozgumus found it reasonable in
the regulations to create employment opportunities for disabled
people, but regarded the stipulation obliging the industrialists
to employ some people from various professions as a burden in
the current global competition.

CRIME AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

EKSPRES: As a result of a joint operation with the U.K.
against human trafficking activities in Mersin, which lasted
nearly 6 months, Mersin Security Directorate caught nine
snakeheads operating in Mersin and apprehended them.

CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT

HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) / GUNDEM / SABAH / EVRENSEL: Following
the exhumation of the coffin of an 8-year-old boy, who died on
April 22 in a village of Van's Caldiran district, in order to
conduct autopsy after authorities suspected about the cause of
child's death, panic reportedly struck local people who feared
that the boy might have died because of an infectious disease.
Seventy-two people in the district, who showed similar symptoms
of fever, nausea, etc., have been taken under hospital care.
None of the patients' health conditions are reported as severe,
and blood samples taken so far did not reveal any viral disease
such as bird flu. The doctors, who say that the final results
would be taken today, are of the opinion following the initial
examinations that the symptoms of the patients are that of
common flu, not that of a lethal viral disease. Sabah daily
reports the cause of the death of the child as meningitis and
the other patients, most of whom were children, were suffering
from poisoning. Gundem daily reports that Governor's Office
decided to send a team of doctors to the village and authorities
will conduct tests on the water used in the village and its
environs.

GUNDEM / HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Shepherds in a village of
Sanliurfa found the corpse of a 39-year-old woman buried in a
pit in an open field area nearby the village. Police started an
investigation and the body of the victim has been sent to the
forensic authority in Adana. The woman was reported as
disappeared one month ago.

HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Toroslar district municipality in Mersin
painted a 4500-square-meter Turkish flag on the side of the
Taurus Mountains which faced the city. The mayor of the
district (from MHP) and deputy governor attended the opening
ceremony at the venue of the flag which is reportedly the
biggest Turkish flag in the country.

SABAH (GUNEY): Journalists criticized Deputy Governor Hatay
for allowing only the journalist(s) from Hurriyet daily to watch
the performance of the "Chorus of Religions" in Hatay.
Journalists from Ihlas News Agency, Sabah and NTV were banned
from watching the event.

BOLGE / EKSPRES: Thirty Arab journalists and media members from
Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, who were invited to Turkey by the
Ministry of Culture and Tourism to raise their awareness about
Turkey, came to Adana province and toured the city. The
journalists were invited for a nine-day program in Turkey which
will cover Adana, Konya, Bolu and Afyonkarahisar provinces. A
Turkish Consulate official in Aleppo said that program's aim was
to promote the tourism potential of Turkey and attract more
visitors from the neighbouring countries.

ZAMAN / SABAH (GUNEY) / BOLGE / EKSPRES / HURRIYET: An
exchange of fire resulted when three extorters attempted to
squeeze money from a business owner in Adana. The owner of the
business killed one of the extorters and wounded the other two
as he retaliated after he was wounded by initial shooting of one
of the extorters.
GREEN

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