Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for July 21-27, 2007
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SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR JULY 21-27, 2007
1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for July
21-27, 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.
SAFAK/CUMHURIYET/SABAH/HURRIYET: Charges have been pressed
against Leyla Zana, the Kurdish former deputy from DEP, and
Mehmet Nuri Gunes because of the speeches they delivered in
Igdir in support of the DTP-supported independent candidates.
Leyla Zana allegedly said Turkey should except dividing the
country into states and naming the Southeastern Turkey as the
"Kurdistan" federation. She added that demanding such a thing
was not in violation of the territorial integrity of Turkey. The
Chief Public Prosecutor of Igdir, Mustafa Kucuk, initiated an
investigation about Zana and Gunes for violating articles 216,
302 by instigating hatred and animosity among people, and
violating paragraph 58 of 298 by using a language other than
Turkish in the election campaign. The Evrensel newspaper quoted
Leyla Zana as saying "Those who are getting mad at my statements
today will recognize the reality in five or ten years and
realize it -the federation."
3. RADIKAL: In reaction to the Prime Minister's claim that
MHPers and DTPers would fight in the parliament, the former DTP
National Chair, Ahmet Turk, said that the Primier threatened the
voters by such a statement, and added that they were not getting
into the assembly to fight with others but to represent their
thoughts and beliefs. Turk and former DTP co-chair, Aysel
Tugluk, said that they were ready to discuss the Kurdish issue
even with the MHP should the appropriate climate be created.
4. EVRENSEL: Thousands of people attended the DTP-supported
independents' meeting in Silopi district of Sirnak where there
has been a constant troop and military equipment build up. The
crowd carried banners reading "Either true democracy or none.
Solutions in democracy, not in operations. This country is ours,
we will bring peace. Don't do separatism Baykal." The Sirnak
independent candidate, Sevahir Bayindir, criticized Prime
Minister Erdogan for not solving the Kurdish issue and closing
down the Habur border gate with Iraq. Approximately 10,000
people attended the DTP-supported independent candidates'
meeting in Bingol. Akin Birdal and the Diyarbakir Mayor Osman
Baydemir addressed to more than 10,000 people in Bismil district
of Diyarbakir, and more than 30,000 people attended the
independents' meeting in Hakkari.
5. CUMHURIYET/SABAH/ZAMAN: While Ankara is awaiting Baghdad
to take concrete steps against the PKK, the Iraqi Foreign
Ministry gave two demarches to Ankara claiming that Turkey had
bombed some targets in Northern Iraq and that some of the
medicine and food items received from Turkey had gone bad. The
Mesut Barzani-affiliate Kurdsat TV channel broadcasting from
northern Iraq aired some images of villagers leaving their homes
in the rural Zakho region. In its demarche to Turkey, the Iraqi
administration noted that a diplomatic solution should be sought
to the tension in the border region because of the bombings on
July 18. The Turkish Health Ministry disclosed that no medicine
had been exported from Turkey to Iraq but that it was exported
from other countries through Turkey.
6. CUMHURIYET/ZAMAN/RADIKAL/HURRIYET/BOLGE/EKSPR ES: The
Justice and Development Party (AKP), which had gained 365 seats
with 34.43 percent popularity in the 2002 general elections,
increased its votes to 46.67 percent but its seats decreased to
341 in the July 22 General Election. The Evrensel newspaper
claimed that the e-memorandum by the Turkish General Staff
helped AKP to increase its popularity which had dropped to 30
percent prior the memorandum.
7. BOLGE: Residents from the Suruguden, Saridal, Yukari
Sizma, and Cicekli villages of Mus province protested casting
their votes on the grounds that they did not receive any
services from the government. The village headmen of the four
villages jointly said that they would not cast their votes in
the coming elections unless they received some services. They
said that their village did not have roads, their schools were
in poor conditions, and that they did not benefit from any
health services. The villagers demanded a boarding school to be
built in the region.
8. RADIKAL/SABAH/BOLGE: Medeni Oz, the CHP's Diyarbakir
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Provincial Chairman, resigned from his position after the
crushing defeat of his party in Diyarbakir. CHP got only 2
percent of the votes in Diyarbakir province.
9. YENI SAFAK: At a press conference at the DTP's office in
Mersin yesterday, the independent candidate Orhan Miroglu,
disclosed that he would file a petition with the Provincial
Election Committee on the grounds that the elections were not
held in a healthy fashion in Mersin province.
10. EKSPRES/CUMURIYET: The DTP-supported candidate from Adana,
Nazmi Gur, said that he would reject to the temporary results
announced by the Provincial Election Board through his lawyers.
According to the results that have been announced, Gur received
50,340 votes and lost by only 1,792 votes. The Cumhuriyet and
Bolge newspapers report that when it became clear that Gur did
not get elected, his supporters gathered in the
Kurdish-populated quarters of Adana and chanted pro-Ocalan
slogans. Police arrested 12 persons.
11. SABAH/HURRIYET/RADIKAL/EVRENSEL: According to the
preliminary election results in Hakkari province, the
DTP-supported candidates had won two seats in Hakkari, but after
the votes cast in the customs offices at the border areas were
distributed to the provinces the AKP candidate Abdulmuttalip
Ozbek won the election by 41 votes and independents lost one
seat. The independent candidates objected to the result and the
Provincial Election Committee (PEC) recounted the votes cast in
40 ballot boxes. The PEC will announce the result later. DTP
dismissed its administrators in Hakkari and Yukeskova based on
people's demand. The imprisoned DTP-supported PKK-suspect
Sebahat Tuncel, who was elected as a lawmaker from Istanbul, was
discharged from the Gebze Prison and was met by 2,000 people at
the prison gate.
12. HURRIYET: The DTP-supported lawmakers gave warm messages
about the course of action they would follow at the parliament.
Sevahir Bayindir, the independent lawmaker from Sirnak, said "We
will be the power of solutions not of crisis. Turkey's future
depends on establishing dialogues and producing solutions."
Osman Ozcelik, the independent lawmaker from Siirt, said "We do
not recognize any other force above the parliament. In general,
we will not be creating problems but generating solutions at the
parliament." Hasip Kaplan, the independent lawmaker from Sirnak,
was quoted "We have to overcome the presidential issue with
consensus. We are coming to the parliament to solve people's
13. HURRIYET: The former Minister of National Education,
Huseyin Celik, took a thank-you tour in Van together with AKP's
newly elected four lawmakers and stopped by the DTP's election
office and congratulated the independent lawmakers Ozdal Ucer
and Fatma Kurtulan. Minister Celik was applauded by DTP
supporters for his visit to their office.
14. HURRIYET: Kutbettin Arzu, who has been elected to the
parliament from the AKP's ticket when he was the President of
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Diyarbakir, said that the
people in East and Southeastern Turkey have given to Turkey and
the world the message that they want to live in unity and
peace. Arzu said that the Prime Minister was knowledgeable about
the problems of the region and that they should find solutions
to the unemployment issue through short and mid-term projects
15. EVRENSEL: 170 villagers from Cevizlibelen village of
Bahcesaray district in Van province applied to the Human Rights
Association's Van Chapter claiming that they had been beaten and
prevented from casting their votes on the July 22 General
Election. The villagers want to be given a chance to use their
votes again. The President of Van HRA office, Cahit Bozbay, said
that they would file petitions with the Interior Ministry, High
Election Committee, and the Chief Public Prosecutor of
Bahcesaray and follow the issue closely.
16. SABAH: Because of the speech he delivered and talking with
demonstrators during the March 28, 2005 events which broke out
when the dead bodies of four PKK militants were being buried in
Diyarbakir, the Diyarbakir Mayor, Osman Baydemir, whose trial
continued at the 6th Felony Court of Diyarbakir, did not attend
the hearing but a delegation from the European Parliament did.
17. RADIKAL/HURRIYET: The demand by defendants of the Semdinli
case, the jandarma noncommissioned officers Ali Kaya, Ozcan
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Ildeniz, and PKK defector Veysel Ates to be discharged from
prison, was unanimously rejected by the 5th Felony Court of
Diyarbakir. The defendants are accused of throwing a bomb to the
Umut bookstore in Semdinli district of Hakkari on November 9,
2005 and killing one person and wounding another one. The court
had sentenced Ildeniz and Kaya to 39.5 years and Ates to 39
years and 10 months of imprisonment.
18. CUMHURIYET/HURRIYET: The Sirnak Governorate announced that
the GOT forces killed two terrorists, one female, who had killed
one lieutenant colonel, one major, and one private on June 9
with a remote-controlled mine on the Guclukonak-Sirnak highway
on June 9. Terrorists, who attacked a police check point at the
entrance of Semdinli, Hakkari province with rockets, wounded two
policemen. Security forces detonated explosives planted on a
road in Sirnak and seized a photocopy machine and 81 bullets for
the Kalashnikov weapons in Malazgirt district of Mus province.
19. YENI SAFAK/CUMHURIYET/ZAMAN: In general, the July 22
General Election was held in a peaceful manner throughout
Turkey. As a consequence of the fights that broke out between
rivaling groups and families with blood feud, 27 persons were
wounded in Sivas, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Batman, and Antalya
20. EVRENSEL: People in Southeastern Turkey cast their votes
under the shadow of soldiers and village guards. The security
officials who are supposed to be 100 meters away from the ballot
boxes monitored the election very closely and village guards
wounded two persons with weapons in Bismil district of
21. BOLGE: The Sirnak Governor's office announced that the
security officials detained and brought to justice a total of 11
persons involved in recruiting militants for and shouting
pro-PKK slogans during an election campaign meeting in Sirnak.
22. CUMHURIYET/ZAMAN/YENI SAFAK: The PKK militants who
determined a minibus carrying bread to the jandarma outpost near
Sutluce village of Tunceli yesterday warned the minibus driver
not to carry bread to soldiers anymore and set fire on his
minibus. The GOT forces carrying out operations in Silvan and
Lice districts of Diyarbakir and Dogansehir of Malatya arrested
2 PKK militants, including a female. Legal action has been taken
against three persons allegedly harboring the illegal terror
23. ZAMAN/YENI SAFAK: It is claimed that three soldiers on
patrol in Bogrupek village of Baskale district of Van province
had been kidnapped to Iran. The Van Governor, Ozdemir Cakacak,
said that he had not received any news of that nature.
24. ZAMAN: In an operation in Hinis district of Erzurum
province, jandarma seized assorted explosives, organizational
documents and discovered life-support devices cached in the
fields. Jandarma detained 20 suspects in Hinis. The GOT forces
also detained 20 people on the charges of membership to,
assisting and harboring the PKK in Varto district of Mus.
25. ZAMAN: PKK militants exploded a mine on the
Cukurca-Hakkari highway and wounded a noncommissioned officer.
CRIME & LAW ENFORCEMENT
26. CUKUROVA HURRIYET: Based on a tip, the counter-narcotic
teams from the Bitlis Security Directorate seized 28 kilos and
20 grams of hashish in the secret compartments of a truck and 1
kilo and 422 grams of hashish in a car that were traveling from
Bitlis to Diyarbakir.
27. RADIKAL/BOLGE/CUMHURIYET/YENI SAFAK/SABAH: In Mersin, 68
persons allegedly involved in irregularities in state-sponsored
construction bids have been arrested by police after six months
of technical surveillance. The detainees include the Provincial
Director and some employees of the Public Works, Provincial
Board members, some AKP administrators, and contractors.
28. RADIKAL/ZAMAN: Based on a tip, the GOT forces in Van
seized 140 kilos and 700 grams of heroin in Omerova hamlet of
Ekecek Village of Baskale district in Van province. The market
value of the drugs is estimated to be around 12 million US
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29. HURRIYET: According to the Turkey's 500 Largest Industrial
Establishments 2006 Report, eight companies from Adana ranked
among the top 100 and 10 companies from Gaziantep ranked among
the top 500.
30. SAFAK: While visiting the AKP's Provincial Office in
Siirt, Nihat Ozdemir, the President of the Executive Board of
Limak Construction Company, told reports that two dams would be
built on the Botan River in the region: Alkumru and Cetin dams.
Mr. Ozdemir said that his company had already been awarded the
bid for the construction of the Alkumru Dam which will produce 1
million kilowatts of energy per year.
31. ZAMAN/BOLGE: The President of Chamber of Commerce of
Adana, Saban Bas, is trying to have 55,000 hectares of land
adjacent to the Adana-Yumurtalik Free Trade Zone be designated
for a new Organized Industrial Zone, which would help create new
employment opportunities. The land belongs to the Treasury