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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for May 01, 2007

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 000065

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR MAY 01, 2007

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for May 01,
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 / EKSPRES / SABAH (GUNEY): Adana Governor Ilhan
Atis, during a meeting with primary school inspectors, reminded
that the Turkish Republic was a secular and social state that
observed the rule of law. Atis said that the inspectors should
ensure the children are being raised in a system that encouraged
positive thinking and science as well as placing importance on
Turkish values and traditions. Atis warned the inspectors that
they should not show tolerance to people at schools who are
engaging in anti-secular activities.

3. HURRIYET: Provincial chairmen of the DTP (Democratic
Society Party) and SDP (Socialist Democracy Party) held a joint
press announcement in Istanbul, criticized the statement issued
by the Office of Chief of Staff over the weekend, and extended
support to the government.

4. GUNDEM: Prosecutors have been actively working,
reports the daily, to open court cases and investigations
against DTP for a while. Ayhan Karabulut, DTP provincial
chairperson in Batman, have been facing 29 years of prison
sentence in a court case opened because of a press announcement
Karabulut made, which criticized the police's reported harsh
attitude during the violent unrest that took place in Diyarbakir
on March 30, 2006. The court case is brought on charges of
being a member of the terrorist organization and damaging public
property.

5. GUNDEM: Turkish employers who have trade relationships
in northern Iraq are reportedly worried about a possible
cross-border military operation that the Turkish Army could
conduct in northern Iraq. Employers are of the opinion that
economic interests are being disregarded by military authorities
as they are finding military solutions to address political
issues.

6. GUNDEM: Police, who summoned 22 of the 33 people to
the security director's office in Diyarbakir's Bismil district
to take their statements because of an investigation opened
against them for violating the law on holding demonstrations,
detained the people when they arrived at the security director's
office. DTP's Bismil district chairperson is among the
detainees.

7. GUNDEM: The readers of the Kurdish Azadiya Welat
newspaper and Gundem newspaper in Siirt reportedly filed a
complaint against the Turkish Chief of Staff Yasar Buyukanit.
Spokesperson of the group said that the remarks of Buyukanit
were harming the democratic state and the rule of law.

8. SABAH (GUNEY) / BOLGE: Serdar Seyhan, CHP Provincial
Chairperson in Adana, made a call to everybody to take part in
the May 1 Labor Day March in Adana. Separately, Seyhan
announced the party's candidate who will be running for the in
ections that will determine the new mayor of Adana's Karatas
district. Seyhan told journalists that he will talk with
Governor Atis about the issue of ensuring the security of the
votes and election officials during the election on May 2 (see
press summary for April 27).

SECURITY:

9. GUNDEM: Unidentified people threw a Molotov cocktail
at the DTP provincial party building in Eskisehir. A small fire
broke out and material damage was reported following the
incident.

10. GUNDEM: According to the daily, a total of nearly 68
military operations were conducted in April in the southeastern
region. The daily points out to the death toll that resulted
from that military activity.

CRIME AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

11. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Jandarma teams searched a truck
and caught 53 people who entered the country illegally in Van's
Baskale district. 39 Afghan, 11 Bangladeshi and 3 Pakistani
nationals will be deported soon.

ADANA 00000065 002 OF 002

12. SABAH (GUNEY): Jandarma teams cracked down on drug
dealers at a jandarma check point in Gaziantep and found 54,000
Captagon pills worth 1-million-YTL in a car that attempted to
flee the scene. Nine people have been detained.

CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT

13. EKSPRES / BOLGE / SABAH (GUNEY): A section of the
Ceyhan-Kirikkale pipeline in Adana's Pozanti district was
damaged by heavy machinery accidentally during construction
going on in a section of a highway over the weekend. A small
scale explosion took place and fire ensued when oil leaked from
the pipeline. Authorities immediately stopped the flow of oil
in the pipeline and the fire was taken under control by the
firefighters. Today's local papers report that authorities
prevented the oil from spilling into the Seyhan River. Sabah
reports that the spill is threatening the Seyhan Dam.

14. EVRENSEL / GUNDEM: The heavy rain that fell the
previous day caused flooding in some sections of Sirnak's Cizre
and Silopi districts. 700 houses and 270 business incurred
material damage in Cizre. Kizilay (Turkish Red Crescent) sent
tents, blankets, beds and heaters to the areas that were
affected. There is currently power outage in the district and a
crisis desk has been established by the Cizre Municipality.
People in the two districts are trying to remove the water from
their houses with the help of municipality teams. A DTP
delegation conducted studies at the sites in Cizre hit by the
disaster.

15. GUNDEM / EVRENSEL: Nearly one hundred forty-five
people were poisoned by gas that spread after an explosion took
place at a 400-liter chlorine tank of the municipality water
network system in Sanliurfa's Suruc district over the weekend.
Suruc subgovernor announced that an investigation will take
place and a report about the event will be prepared.

16. GUNDEM: Hundreds of people reportedly attended the
funeral ceremonies held separately for two PKK members in
Sirnak's Beytussebap and Ulukisla districts. PKK members were
killed during operations on April 28 in Beytussebap.

17. GUNDEM: Four mayors (from DYP) resigned from their
parties in Kahramanmaras on grounds that the mayors were not
happy about the policies DYP pursued about the presidential
elections.

18. EVRENSEL / GUDNEM: The dailies advertised big
celebratory messages of the Diyarbakir Mayor and district mayors
marking the May 1 Labor Day.
GREEN

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