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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for June, 13, 2007

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR JUNE, 13, 2007

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for June 13,
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 / CNN ONLINE / HABERLER.COM / EKSPRES: Roger C.
Rigaud, Vice-Consul to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, during a talk
he gave at Adana Chamber of Commerce on "Non-Immigrant Visas to
the U.S.", told the audience that the rumours alleging that the
U.S. was not issuing visas since 9/11 were not true. Rigaud
said that they were actually striving to issue more visas.
Rigaud, when asked about the number of Turkish people going to
the U.S. since 9/11, said that the number of people decreased
from 90,000 to 40,000 since 9/11, but they believed economic
concerns were the chief cause of this outcome.

3. CUMHURIYET / HURRIYET ONLINE / GUNDEM: Diyarbakir's 6th
Heavy Penalty Court continued to hear the case of 10 defendants,
including DTP Diyarbakir Deputy District Chairperson Musa
Farisogullari, because of the violent demonstrations that took
place in Diyarbakir between 28 and 31 March. The prosecutor
demanded 10 years of prison sentence against Farisogullari "for
being a member of a terrorist organization."

4. GUNDEM: PKK reportedly claimed that the actor behind
the societal tension escalating recently in Turkey was the
Turkish Armed Forces which was allegedly using the media to
reach this goal. PKK said that they were not taking and would
not take any action besides self-defence if/when attacked.
According to the terrorist organization, Turkey was deepening
the crisis on the Kurdish issue through internet memorandums,
internal military operations and cross-border bombardments. If
the army were to cease its military operations, the tension
would then subside, said the PKK.

5. GUNDEM: "Independent Candidates of A Thousand Hopes"
met with the electoral base, reports the daily. Independent
candidates in Diyarbakir will continue their election campaigns
in four different election zones in the province. In the first
election zone, which is the Baglar District, Aysel Tugluk will
run her campaign; in the 2nd zone, which covers Bismil and Cinar
districts and a few other quarters, Akin Birdal will run his
campaign; in the 3rd zone covering Surici district which also
includes Silvan, Hazro, Lice and Kulp districts, Gultan Kasinak
will run her campaign. In the 4th zone covering Kayapinar
district which also includes Ergani, Cermik, Cungus and some
villages, Selahattin Demirtas will run his election campaign.
Van province is divided into three election zones. Fatma
Kurtulan will run in city center and Bostanici quarter; Saim
Kartal will run in Ercis, Caldiran, Muradiye districts and some
villages; Ozdal Ucer will run in Catak, Gevas, Edremit,
Gurpinar, Baskale, Saray and Ozalp districts. The daily further
provides information about independent candidates in Siirt,
Batman and Malatya.

6. HURRIYET: The daily reports controversies going on in
Van district concerning parties' nomination lists. The first
ranking candidates in MHP's, CHP's and DYP's and Motherland
Party's tickets reportedly frustrated many part members. The
daily reports that first ranking candidates of DYP and
Motherland Party were parachuted. Former Van deputy from CHP,
Mehmet Kartal, who is a member of Buruki clan which covers 110
villages in Van, is frustrated that he was not able to find room
in the CHP party ticket: 110 villages equal a loss of 30,000
votes in Van for CHP. In 2002 elections, AKP deputies won 6
seats and CHP won 1 seat in the Van province.

7. BOLGE: The CHP provincial party organization, during
a meeting they held yesterday to assess the current situation in
the runup to the elections (see press summary for June 12),
decided that they would hold a press announcement on Thursday
(June 14) with their election candidates. Adana CHP also
announced its decision to take part in the public meeting that
will be held in Adana's Pozanti district to condemn terrorism.

8. BOLGE: Kanal A, a local TV station in Adana, hosted
two former Adana deputies, one from AKP and one from CHP, namely
Abdullah Torun and Ziya Yergok, and they discussed why the
former deputies were left out of the local party tickets formed
for the upcoming parliamentary elections.

SECURITY

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9. HURRIYET ONLINE: Feyzullah Arslan, former Antalya
security director who resigned from his office to get nominated
to run in the elections, was not included in the DP party
ticket. Arslan was recently appointed as the new Adana Security
Director, a seat which had remained empty for about a month
after the former security director retired from office.

10. CUMHURIYET / HURRIYET: The coffin of Jandarma Commanda
Corporal Ahmet Bilgic, who was killed in Erzincan's Kemah
district in a shootout with the PKK (see press summary for June
12), was brought to his hometown in Tokat. Nearly 10,000 people
attended the funeral despite the rainy weather, reports the
Hurriyet daily. People shouted anti-PKK slogans and slogans
against the government. During his talk at the funeral, the
Tokat Provincial Jandarma Commander, while expressing his
sorrow, gave the news that the unit to which the corporal was
registered was continuing its military operations and they were
able to kill three of the terrorists who killed the corporal.
Meanwhile, an angry person tore apart the wreath which an AKP
district municipality sent to the funeral.

11. HURRIYET ONLINE / HABERLER.COM: The PKK's alleged
ceasefire announced yesterday lasted for only a few hours, as
PKK members reportedly opened fire at a jandarma post located at
the Munzur Mountains in Tunceli at around 1.30 p.m. yesterday.
Security personnel at the jandarma station retaliated; however,
the terrorists fled the scene. No casualties were reported.

12. HURRIYET ONLINE / GUNDEM: Around 10 PKK members
attacked a marble quarry owned by a Turkish businessman named
Halis Toprak, in Diyarbakir's Hani district. Terrorists
gathered the quarriers to a place and burned three vehicles
after pouring gas on them. The terrorists told the people that
they should not continue operating the quarry. Terrorists ran
away after repeating PKK-related propaganda. Jandarma teams
launched an operation in the direction that the terrorists had
run.

13. CNN ONLINE: With military operations in the region
continuing, units from the Ikizce 23rd Division Command in
Sirnak conducted a large-scale military exercise in the Cudi
Mountain employing tanks and artillery.

14. GUNDEM: Children playing outside discovered some
ammunition, including projectiles of varying calibers, in a
plastic bag in the water under a bridge in the Hekimhan district
of Malatya.

15. GUNDEM: On June 8 two people, reportedly clad in
military uniforms, stopped a car on a road 200 metres away from
a jandarma point in Van's Baskale district and extorted 5000 YTL
and two cell phones from the passengers. The two passengers
followed the thieves as they fled the scene and identified them
later to file a complaint with the jandarma. However, the daily
alleges that the suspects were released by the jandarma
authorities a day after they were caught.

CRIME AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

16. BOLGE: Police found 21 kilograms of heroin in Malatya
and detained five people in connection with the drug find.

17. CUMHURIYET: Police searched a house in Nurdagi district of
Gaziantep and found 67 kilograms of hashish in its bathroom.
47,952 roots of Indian hemp were found planted in the house's
garden.

ECONOMY

18. BOLGE / EKSPRES: The chairperson of the Chamber of
Agriculture announced that this year's watermelon produce, in
quality and abundance, pleased the farmers in the Cukurova
region. The chairperson added that available exporting
capability for this produce balanced the prices in the market,
and the farmers were also pleased with current watermelon market
prices.

CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT

19. BOLGE / EVRENSEL: Atilla Gulsar, Deputy Education Director
of Adana, said that the project initiated by the ILO
(International Labor Organization) and Turkish Ministry of Labor
in Adana's Karatas district for "Ending the Child Labor Caused

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by Seasonal Agricultural Work in the Fields in Karatas through
Winning the Children Workers Back to the Education System" was
working well. Gulsar, who was visited by the Project
Coordinator and a group of students yesterday (June 12) which
marked the International Day to Fight Against Child Labor, said
that the project was successful and should be continued.

20. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) / BOLGE / EKSPRES: Fevzi Acevit,
president of Adana's main festival organizer company, said that
14th Altinkoza (Golden bowl) Film Festival was very successful
and a total of 60,000 people watched films during the festival
between June 4 and 11.

21. GUNDEM: A DTP Women's Assembly was founded in
Hakkari's Yuksekova district. A meeting was held to announce
the founding of the assembly. A total of 200 people including
the Yuksekova District Mayor, members of DTP women's assemblies
in Semdinli and Cukurca districts, a DTP central party women's
assembly member, members of Mothers for Peace Initiative, Free
Citizens Initiative members, and others attended the meeting.

22. GUNDEM: A 30-year-old woman committed suicide at her
home by hanging in Mardin's Derik district.
GREEN

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