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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 0400

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
NOVEMBER 23-24, 2002


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for November 23-24, 2002. Please note that
Turkish press reports often contain errors or
exaggerations; AmConsulate Adana does not vouch
for the accuracy of the reports summarized here.


POLITICS, SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS
--------------------------------


2. ANTI-PKK OPERATIONS IN ISTANBUL AND BINGOL
(Evrensel) Police arrested Mehmet Hanifi
Gurdegir during an anti-PKK (KADEK) operation in
Istanbul. In a separate operation in Bingol,
police arrested Gurdegir's brother Gokmen
Gurdegir and his cousin Dogan Gurdegir, both of
whom were "accused of membership in a terror
organization and organizational activities."


3. FORTEEN-YEAR OLD ARRESTED FOR SEPARATISM
(Evrensel) In Bismil (Diyarbakir), a fourteen-
year-old primary school student was arrested for
saying "Happy is he who says `I am a Kurd.'" when
"Our Oath" was being sung. The school principal
and teachers were reported to have beaten the
student. The student may be indicted for
"inciting the public to separatism through
appeals to race."


4. YOUTHS INDICTED
(Evrensel) Sixteen Adiyaman youths have been
indicted for "membership in and support of a
terror organization (i.e., PKK/KADEK). The
indictment followed the youths' shouting pro-
Kurdish language education and pro-(PKK leader
Abdullah) Ocalan slogans during the May 1 Labor
Day celebrations in Adiyaman. The Malatya State
Security Court will handle the case.


5. EMEP OFFICIAL'S GRAVESTONE BROKEN
(Evrensel) Military officials were reported to
have broken the gravestone of Tunceli Labor Party
(EMEP) official Abbas Tugrul, who had lost his
life in a car crash. The words "He was the voice
of laborers" was written on Tugrul's gravestone.
The gravestones of two killed "guerillas" buried
in Pertek (Tunceli) had also been broken. The
EMEP provincial chairman condemned the attack,
claiming the effects of the martial law and the
State of Emergency (OHAL) practices, in effect
(in the Southeast) for nearly 25 years, still
continue.


6. PUNISHMENT FOR KURDISH-LANGUAGE SONGS
(Radikal) Five Diyarbakir teachers, all members
of the State Employees' Union Confederation
(KESK) Music Group, have been removed from public
employment for having sung Kurdish-language songs
at the February Congress of the Teachers Union
Egitim-Sen in Diyarbakir. Egitim-Sen Diyarbakir
chapter President Abdullah Demir called the
decision "unacceptable and inconsistent with
recently-passed laws." Egitim-Sen will
reportedly appeal to the Regional Administrative
Court. EVRENSEL called for withdrawal of the
dismissal, while the Human Rights Association
(HRA) called on officials to explain whether or
not Kurdish was banned.


7. DEATH PENALTIES COMMUTED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT
(Evrensel) Following the passage by the
Parliament of the EU Harmonization Laws, the
Diyarbakir State Security Court has commuted
capital punishments given to 180 people for
membership in the PKK and Hizbullah to life
imprisonment.


8. MUS MAN MISSING
(CUMHURIYET) Varto (Mus) resident Sidik Kaya
disappeared on November 20, when he reportedly
left home to meet with local Jandarma official
Celal Sen following a telephone call. The
Security Directorate and the local Jandarma
Command denied having arrested Kaya. However,
Sen admitted having talked to Kaya regarding his
Turkish Health Insurance Card application, but
denied having telephoned him at home. Kaya's
father, Tekdemir Kaya, applied to the Mus Human
Rights Association (HRA) for assistance as he
said he was concerned about his son's well being.
Later, the HRA faxed a message to the Interior
and Justice Ministries, the Mus Governor and the
Prosecutor's Offices and called on Amnesty
International to respond urgently.


9. PKK SUSPECT ARRESTED
(Turkiye/Cumhuriyet) According to the Hakkari
Governor's Office, Security Directorate teams
arrested Nadir Ciftci, who they determined to
have illegally sent two people to Iran in order
to join the PKK.
HOLTZ

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