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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary July 17-19, 2004

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 000098

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM IZ TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY JULY 17-19, 2004


This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for July 17-19,
2004. Please note that Turkish press reports often contain
errors or exaggerations; AmConsulate Adana does not vouch for
the accuracy of the reports summarized here.
POLITICAL, SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS
Radikal, Bolge: Abdullah Paksoy, the mayor of
Elbistan, Kahramanmaras province, claimed Afsin-Elbistan Power
Plant's filter systems, which do not operate properly, caused
environmental contamination. Mayor Aksoy said a study by the
Cukurova University in Adana revealed that there had been an
increase in cancer cases in the region. It is claimed that the
rate of contamination caused by the plant is ten times higher
than world standards.
Ulkede Ozgur Gundem, Hurriyet, Yeni Safak: In Siirt,
approximately one thousand people (Hurriyet gives the
demonstrators' figures as ten thousand) attended the "Terror
Cursing Meeting" organized by the governor's office. It is
alleged that villagers were forced to attend the meeting which
was mainly attended by village guards, security officials, and
members from Martyrs Families Association. The demonstrators
carried signs critical of terror and PKK.
Ulkede Ozgur Gundem, Evrensel: In Derik, Mardin
province, the Public Prosecutor filed charges against the Former
Mardin DEHAP Vice Provincial Chairman Abdullah Akikol for
delivering a speech in Kurdish during the March 21 Newroz
Celebrations, and accused the Current mayor of Derik, Nuran
Atli, of violating the Political Parties Law by making political
propaganda.
Ulkede Ozgur Gundem, Vakit, Yeni Safak: In Adana, pro-
Ocalan slogans were shouted during a Kurdish Concert at Mimar
Sinan Ope-Air Theatre. A young girls carrying "We are Kurds. Our
Leader is Ocalan" banner appeared on the stage. Banners reading
"No to isolation, Freedom for Ocalan" were arrayed. Security was
provided by a private security company. Police did not intervene
in the incidents.
Sabah: The State built a total of 756 houses, 540
between Diyarbakir and Batman, 150 in Alibey village of Bitlis,
and 66 in Tepe Konak village, Diyarbakir province, for
resettling the 25,000 nomadic Beritanlilar tribe in East and
Southeast Turkey. Almost half of Beritanlilar tribe, which has
been living a nomadic life for 300 years, got settled in
Diyarbakir, Bingol, and Elazig provinces with their own
financial means some years ago. The construction of the houses
started in 1994.
Ulkede Ozgur Gundem: Three HPG (Public Defense Forces)
members who were reported as having been killed during clashes
in rural Mus were allegedly tortured and their ears were
amputated after their death. Mus Municipality buried the killed
militants together in a mass grave. Jandarma prevented filming
the burial. DEHAP Mus Provincial Chairman Abdulbaki Celebi said
dismembering of the dead body could not be explained in any
religion and the perpetrators should be brought before the court.
Ulkede Ozgur Gundem: In Sanliurfa, the court filed
charges against Omer Kurt, the director of the Private Urfa
Kurdish School which was opened on March 13, 2004, for putting
up the "Private Urfa Kurdish Language and Accents Teaching
Center" sign before the name of the school was endorsed. Kurt
faces an imprisonment sentence varying from six months to two
years.
Ulkede Ozgur Gundem, Evrensel: The Karadeniz Toptan
Electric Power Plant (Silopi, Sirnak province) has been causing
an increase in diseases due to its gas emission. Villagers
claimed that there had been about 40 premature deliveries. They
also claim approximately 700 animals have died due to poisonous
gas.
Approximately 8000 people have undersigned the anti-power plant
erection campaign launched by the civil initiatives.
Ulkede Ozgur Gundem, Yeni Safak,Tercuman,
Evrensel, Turkiye: The Turkish Parliament endorsed the bill
envisioning paying indemnities to terror victims. The bill
accepts July 19, 1987, the date OHAL (State of Emergency), as
the effective date for benefiting from the law. People who have
suffered during incidents which occurred under Terror and
Counter-Terror Struggle and activities carried out for that
purpose will become eligible for indemnities. The losses of the
people who have been accused of and convicted for assisting and
harboring an outlawed organization will not be covered under the
law. The victims or their heirs have to apply within one year to
benefit from this bill.
Tercuman: 147 employees and 253 temporary workers
at Hakkari Municipality undertook a sit-in demonstration for
their unpaid salaries for fourteen months. Bisar Mavigoz said
that the Hakkari Municipality's debts amounted to 20 trillion
Turkish Liras (Approximately $13.3 million).
Cumhuriyet: HAK-PAR, The Rights and Freedoms
Party, for which the Constitutional Court has pressed charges
demanding its closure, said in addition to Turkish, the Kurdish
language should be used as the official language in
communication and education in the densely Kurdish populated
regions.
Sabah: Two policemen from Van Security
Directorate tried to extort money from a businessman in Van by
accusing him of involvement in drug trafficking. The extorters
were arrested in a joint operation by Van province police.
Evrensel: Jandarma from Suveren Jandarma Station
in Bingol province have been applying a food embargo in Doganli
and Dedebag villages of Genc for about a month.
Bolge, Turkiye:: The police from Adana Security
Directorate seized 240,000 Captagon pills in a Bulgarian plated
car at the Pozanti-Adana highway toll booth. Five persons having
connections with the pills were detained.
Vakit: A group of shopkeepers complaining about
frequent power surges in Kiziltepe, Mardin province, protested
TEDAS, Electric Distribution Company. The shopkeepers visited
the sub-governor and expressed their complaints to him. TEDAS
official said because of unregistered use of electricity in the
region, the overloaded transmission lines were damaged badly,
and they were trying to fix the problem. Similar demonstrations
took place in Sanliurfa and Viransehir as well. Sanliurfa
Security Directorate announced that a group of militants had
infiltrated among the farmers who were protesting the power cuts
in Viransehir.
Cumhuriyet, Yeni Safak, Hurriyet: A march
protesting terror was undertaken by citizens, non-governmental
organizations, and sixteen political parties in Savur, Mardin
province, following the Friday prayer.
Cumhuriyet: N.T and V.Y initialed persons selling
Abdullah Ocalan's unregistered book titled "Defending a People"
were arrested in Diyarbakir. The detainees, who asked for legal
assistance from the Bar Association, were released after a
deposition was taken from them.
Yeni Safak: Diyarbakir Provincial National
Education Director Bahattin Atilla said they would build 650
schools in villages and townships throughout the province and
thus put an end to transport education.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
Turkiye, Hurriyet, Ekspres, Bolge, Milliyet,
Sabah (Guney Supplement): While the works for connecting natural
gas to Adana's Industrial Zone are intensified, the issue of
producing electricity from natural gas was discussed with the
General Electric Power Systems authorities in the Adana
Governor's office. The General Electric Power Systems has been
erecting power plants in industrial zones in Turkey since 1996.
Yeni Safak: The Gaziantep-Mersin Natural Gas
Transmission Line which started in 2002 will be completed by the
end of 2004. Priority for using the natural gas will be given to
Organized Industrial Zones, and settlement units along the
transmission line. The cost for the project is $55.889 million.

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