Cablegate: The "Reintegration Law" As Perceived

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



E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Most contacts affiliated with
the possible beneficiaries of this law see no
change between this law and previous versions.
They told post's political FSN that the recently
enacted law would not be successful in
encouraging PKK/KADEK militants to disarm. As a
result, only two groups appeared to be taking
advantage of this law, PKK/KADEK supporters not
guilty of any violent action and members of the
(Turkish) Hizbullah. Reliable information on the
numbers of persons who have applied for the
benefit is difficult to come by-press reports
vary and government officials are reluctant to
give out information on the number of applicants.

2. (SBU) A senior official in the Siirt chapter
of a respected, credible human rights NGO
expressed the belief that many (Turkish)
Hizbullah members are applying to benefit from
this law because the current Interior Minister
Abdulkadir Aksu (who held the same office during
the early 1990s) allegedly has ties with the
organization. The official believes that it is
more likely that (Turkish) Hizbullah members, as
opposed to PKK/KADEK militants, will apply to
benefit from the law.

3. (SBU) A prominent legal association official
with credible ties to the human rights NGO
community in Diyarbakir stated that more
militants would apply if not required to give
information to the security forces. He claimed
that, because PKK/KADEK is not an underground
organization, the organization took
responsibility for all of its actions and that
these actions were well known to the government.
Therefore, the militants' disclosure of
information was not necessary. He believed that
PKK/KADEK demonstrated willingness to lay down
its arms, but the 12-year sentence imposed for
previous participation in violence represented a
serious deterrent. According to the official,
the government's reluctance to establish a
dialogue with NGOs while drafting the law also
served as an impediment to PKK/KADEK militants
laying down their arms and taking advantage of
the "reintegration" law.

4. (SBU) A prominent Hakkari attorney described
the beneficiaries of the law as belonging to the
following two groups: prisoners charged with
"sheltering and harboring PKK/KADEK militants"
and a group of persons who had cut their organic
ties with the organization about ten or fifteen
years ago, previously lived in Iraq or Iran and
were now married with children. The militants
inquired about the law but no one applied to
benefit from it after the PKK/KADEK's
leadership's announcement that banned members
from doing so. The Hakkari Mayor and the Mayor
of Sirnak stated that, if the law had been
presented in the form of a general amnesty, the
organization's leadership would have applied.

5. (SBU) Information on the numbers of persons
who have applied for benefit is difficult to come
by. The Diyarbakir State Security Court (SSC)
directed inquiries to the Justice Ministry. The
Sirnak Deputy Governor stated that the daily
figures could be obtained from the Interior
Ministry. So far post has been unable to obtain
any official figures. The reported numbers of
people taking advantage of the "Reintegration
law" vary widely in the press, anywhere from 100
to 547 in Diyarbakir. In the August 27, 2003
Milliyet, Army Corps General Ataman announced 279
applicants in Elazig, but only 2 from rural

6. (U) According to a September 2, 2003,
"Milliyet" report, 2,138 people applied to take
advantage of the "reintegration" law that went
into effect on August 6, 2003. The number of
those who turned themselves in voluntarily was
211. The daily wrote that 1,507 of the total
applicants were mostly PKK/Kadek and Hizbullah
inmates in prison.

The following is a list of their affiliations:

PKK/Kadek 1169
Hizbullah 338
Hizb-ut Tahrir 28
Sivas convicts 52
Dev-Sol 22
Other organizations 240

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