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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.



E.O. 12958: N/A
OCTOBER 15, 2003

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for October 15, 2003. Please note that Turkish
press reports often contain errors or
exaggerations; AmConsulate Adana does not vouch
for the accuracy of the reports summarized


his visit to the Cukurova Journalists
Association, Adana's governor Kemal Onal told
reporters that their main challenges were in
education, health and housing for the poor
people. Governor Onal said they needed six
thousand classrooms, that is 300 schools with
20 classrooms in each, to solve the education
problem in Adana. He added that they were
building fourteen schools this year. Governor
Onal attributed Adana's population growth to
its being the attraction center of the region,
and added that this position would continue
until the disparity between the regions was
solved. He emphasized that the First Cukurova
Industry and Trade Fair held in Adana last week
would contribute greatly to the volume of
industry and trade in the region.

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3. HURRIYET: Justice and Development Party's (AKP)
provincial chairman for Adana, Abdullah Dogru,
denied press rumors that Adana's present mayor
Aytac Durak would be nominated from his party
for the upcoming municipal elections. Dogru
stated at a press conference that the method
for determining candidates and the calendar for
the applicants would be determined this month.

4. YENI SAFAK: "Freedom for Developing Local
Languages" bill which the government passed
with the Sixth Harmonization Laws for
integration with EU is not being applied. No
classes have been opened anywhere in Turkey for
developing Kurdish or other languages. Private
school owners in Diyarbakir, Van, Sanliurfa,
Mardin, and Kiziltepe who applied to the
provincial governors to open Kurdish classes
were denied on the grounds that the buildings
in which Kurdish would be taught lacked fire
escape stairs and technical equipment for
heating. Kurdish names containing "q, x, and w"
are still not registered on the grounds that
those letters do not exist in the Turkish

5. EKSPRES: The police seized 900 Ecstasy pills
and arrested three persons in connection with
the drugs in Adana. It is reported that one
Ecstasy pill is sold for 10.00 USD.

6. SABAH: Prime Minister Erdogan will open the 480
student capacity boarding school built by the
Sabah newspaper for the earthquake victims in
Bingol today.

7. OZGUR GUNDEM/EVRENSEL: The Van chapter of the
Educators' Union displayed cards celebrating
their colleagues' "World Teachers' Day" in
Kurdish in some schools on October 7. The cards
read "We Celebrate October 5 Teachers' Day of
All Educators." The police raided the schools
the same day, took the photographs of the cards
and surrendered them to the National Education
Directorate which initiated an investigation of
more than ten teachers accused of "committing a
disciplinary crime by hanging Kurdish
celebration messages on the notice boards."

8. OZGUR GUNDEM/EVRENSEL: In Kovali village of
Derik, Mardin province, a 17 year old boy
identified with initials M.D. returned to his
village after grazing his flock of sheep two
days ago at midnight. Soldiers fired on his
family members and wounded five villagers by
gun fire after they opened gun fire on the
houses in the village at random. The prosecutor
came to the village to conduct inspections, but
it is claimed that he did not speak to any
villagers. The relatives of the victims claimed
that the soldiers fired at them while taking
the wounded people were being taken to the
hospital and that they were held and beaten
with clubs by jandarmas from Ucyol Jandarma

9. OZGUR GUNDEM/EVRENSEL: Villagers from Karbasti
village of Hizan, Bitlis province, filed a
petition with the office of Hizan's Public
Prosecutor claiming that their eighty sheep had
been confiscated by village guards affiliated
to Cevizli Jandarma Station in Sirvan township
of Siirt on October 10.

10. OZGUR GUNDEM: In retaliation to the killing
of four militants by Turkish forces in Ovacik,
Tunceli province, on October 10, HPG (Heze
Parastina Gel - People's Protection Forces)
claimed they killed ten soldiers and wounded
many others in an ambush in rural Semdinli,
Hakkari province, on October 13.

11. OZGUR GUNDEM: Hundreds of people getting
together in Barbaros quarter of Adana marched
with torches to protest isolation of Abdullah
Ocalan. During the operations in Kucukdikili
and Seyhan districts of Adana, the police
arrested four persons. In some quarters of
Nusaybin, Mardin province, demonstrators
displayed banners for lifting the isolation on
Abdullah Ocalan and improving his health
condition. The shopkeepers in Nusaybin and
Kiziltepe hung white scarves in front of their
shops. In Urfa, some shops and businesses on
the road to Akcakale township hanged posters
reading "Your health is our health."

12. OZGUR GUNDEM: The Adana Anti-war Platform
protested deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq
and Abdullah Ocalan's isolation at a press

13. OZGUR GUNDEM/EVRENSEL: Charges have been
brought against the President of Diyarbakir's
Bar Association, Attorney Sezgin Tanrikulu and
his three colleagues for abusing their
"profession as lawyers" by writing petitions
for the villagers whose villages had been
evacuated and burnt in Kulp in 1993 and 1994.
Tanrikulu and his three colleagues will be
arraigned at the First Felony Court in
Diyarbakir on October 17.


14. TURKIYE: Adana based Ceytas Mining and
Textile Company will exploit coal mines in
Silopi, Sirnak province.

15. HURRIYET (Cukurova Supplement): 38 gas
stations selling smuggled fuel in Gaziantep
were closed down indefinitely.
16. HURRIYET (Cukurova Supplement): The
Financial Police Teams from Adana's Security
Directorate seized 300 thousand boxes of
smuggled cigarettes during the ten months in
2003. The street vendors are selling the
smuggled cigarettes for half the price
determined by the Turkish Monopoly Department.
The annual turnover of the smuggled cigarettes
is estimated to be around 1.5 trillion Turkish
Liras, approximately 1 million USD. 25 persons
having involved in smuggling were brought
before the court.

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