Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for August 28, 2007
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SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR AUGUST 28, 2007
1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for August
28, 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.
2. HURRIYET: Turkish General Staff reportedly did not send
Victory Day Reception invitations to DTP MPs.
3. GUNDEM: Prosecutor's Office (PO) in Agri's Dogubeyazit
district initiated an investigation against Hatip Dicle, former
DEP (Democracy Party) deputy, because Dicle used the word
"Kurdistan," during a July 18 speech at a DTP-affiliated
independent candidate's political rally in Agri. PO also
started an investigation against DTP Dogubeyazit district
chairperson for using an honorific title before the name of
Abdullah Ocalan in a speech he delivered at the same event.
4. GUNDEM: A senior PKK member wrote in a column in
pro-Kurdish Azadiya Welat newspaper that Kurdish circles should
agree on a unified attitude and reaction against recent remarks
of Turkish History Society President Yusuf Halacoglu about
Kurds, Turks and Alevis. Meanwhile, DTP-affiliated independent
Sirnak deputy Hasip Kaplan asked the chairmanship of the Turkish
Parliament if any action would be taken against Halacoglu.
5. GUNDEM: Nearly 70 per cent of the governors of 81
provinces will be reshuffled with a decree which the government
is trying to prepare by the end of September. Following this
decree, a separate decree relocating national security
directors' positions will be issued.
6. EVRENSEL: Akin Birdal and Gultan Kisanak, DTP Diyarbakir
deputies, completed their inquiries concerning the living
conditions of seasonal agricultural workers in Sakarya province
(see press summary for August 27). The two deputies met with the
Sakarya Governor to share their insights.
7. BOLGE: Security personnel caught a person attempting
to cross from Syria to Turkey's Kilis province. He reportedly
was carrying 5.5 kilograms of heroin, one 7.65 mm Vzor-brand
pistol (Czechoslovakian-make), pistol's cartridge and seven
8. BOLGE: In Sirnak's Silopi district, an improvised
remote controlled explosive device detonated, wounding two
soldiers traveling in a military vehicle to their posts on
August 24 at 5.40 p.m.
9. GUNDEM: Police reportedly received a tip-off and
raided a house in Gaziantep where they found many arms and
bullets. 710 bullets of various brands and sizes, 3 cartridges,
and a device used in manufacturing bullets were seized. Two
persons were arraigned after the operation.
10. GUNDEM: The pro-Kurdish Gundem daily announced the
identity of 11 PKK members killed on August 24 in Sirnak's
Uludere district. The daily separately quotes the current PKK
leader, Murat Karayilan, as calling on countries in the region,
especially Iran, to stop bombarding the villages in northern
Iraq as part of Iran's operation to crush PJAK (Kurdistan Free
Life Party) operatives.
CRIME AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
11. GUNDEM: Twenty-two Iraqi nationals, who entered the
country illegally through Hezil stream in Silopi (located at the
border with Iraq), were caught in Sirnak's Cizre district. The
illegal migrants will be deported soon.
12. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Jandarma teams searched a car they
stopped in Van's Baskale district and found 30 kilograms of
13. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) / ZAMAN / EKSPRES: Adana's
Provincial Agricultural Director Abdullah Keskin said that
growing olive trees started to become a favourable business
among growers in the Cukurova region who are disappointed with
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weak revenues from citrus fruit.
CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT
14. ZAMAN: According to the daily, 300 trees Diyarbakir
Municipality purchased from Italy and planted in the province
failed to adapt to the climatic conditions there and died.
15. ZAMAN / BOLGE: Tarsus district municipality in Mersin
enforced use of Turkish at district businesses and shops to
protect the Turkish language from erosion and invasion by
16. GUNDEM: The renovation project of the 1600-year-old
Dayr-ul Zafaran Monastery in Mardin was completed and an opening
ceremony has been held. The project lasted 15 months.
17. EVRENSEL / ZAMAN: Nearly 10,000 people reportedly held an
environmentalist protest against the additional unit for the
coal powered energy plant the government is planning to build in
Sirnak's Silopi district. Meanwhile, Zaman daily notes that
Sirnak Governor appealed Sirnak Provincial General Assembly's
decision which did not ratify the zoning plan of the plant's
18. GUNDEM: "Train of Loyalty to Hasankeyf" set off with
its 350 passengers for Batman province. The passengers include
artists, authors, and civil society representatives and the
train's journey will symbolize activism against building of the
Ilisu Dam which will submerge Hasankeyf district of Batman and
its historical values under reservoir waters.
19. SABAH (GUNEY): Chairperson of Sanliurfa's Agricultural
Development Cooperative urged the local authorities to start an
aid campaign for the families of the victims of a traffic
accident that killed 18 agricultural workers in mid-August (see
press summary for August 20) in Sanliurfa.
20. ZAMAN / BOLGE / EKSPRES: Faculty members of the
Cukurova University were saddened by the news that one of the
founding members of the university's Food Engineering Department
died because of liver dysfunction. A ceremony has been held for
the late faculty member at the university.
21. BOLGE / EKSPRES: Julie Ann McBride, an American
basketball player of Ceyhan municipality's basketball team in
Adana, returned from vacation and started training with the
team. A new transfer player, Kristen Green, will also come
tomorrow to start training for the first time.
22. GUNDEM: A scuffle that broke out when a group of
people attempted to prevent another group from beating a woman
in Adana's Karatas district turned into a violent fight
yesterday at 10 p.m. Nine people were wounded and hospitalized.