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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary July 23, 2004

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. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for July 23,
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.


2. Cumhuriyet: 400,000 square meters of the 767,734 square
meter Iskenderun airport has been turned over to Mustafa Kemal
University in Hatay. (Note: the airport was built for military
purposes 60 years ago and was briefly used for civil
transportation, as well. End note). The Iskenderun Sub-governor,
Unal Erdogan, said the Engineering, Architecture and Aqua
Products Faculties would be opened on the campus' newly acquired

3. Hurriyet: PKK member Murat Karayilan wrote a letter to the
anti-Ocalan "Nasname" internet site, claiming the recent bomb
attack against Van Governor Hikmet Tan was undertaken by a
Hizbullah faction that had joined the PKK. The letter claimed
that a former politician had given 4 trillion Turkish Liras
(approximately $3.5 million) to PKK-Kongra Gel to fund the
attack. In reference to the issue, Governor Tan said he doubted
the information, but that the GOT would look into it.

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4. Evrensel: The Mardin Governor, Temel Kocaklar, announced
that GOT forces detonated a land mine on an unspecified road
used by hundreds of vehicles daily. He claimed that the mine was
planted by PKK-Kongra Gel militants.

5. Evrensel: GOT forces launched an infantry operation in the
rural Dicle, Diyarbakir province, against PKK-Kongra Gel members.

6. Evrensel: The Fifth Munzur Cultural and Nature Festival of
Tunceli will be held on July 31, 2004. The festival will last
for four days. The motto of the festival will be "The Munzur
Will Not Flow Into Dams, But to Peace." The festival will
feature plays, exhibitions, folk dances, concerts and film
shows. In addition, questions such as dam construction in the
Munzur Valley, Kurdish issues, and the Greater Middle East
Initiative will be discussed during the event.

7. Evrensel: The Batman Mayor, Huseyin Kalkan, announced that
the second Batman-Hasankeyf Cultural and Art Festival would be
held between September 26 and October 2, 2004. Kalkan said the
Cuban President Fidel Castro and the Former South African
President, Nelson Mandela, have been invited to the festival.
The Eurovision Contest Winner, Ruslana, will give a concert for
the opening of the festival.

8. Turkiye: A Turkish national who crossed the
Turkish-Iranian border illegally, for smuggling purposes, in
Gelenler village of Baskale, Van province, was killed by Iranian

9. Turkiye: Explosives were thrown at a bar in Mazgirt
township of Tunceli last night. No casualties have been
reported. During the investigation at the scene, the police
found a piece of cloth on which TIKKO (The Turkish Workers
Villagers Communist Army) was written.

10. Radikal: 2000 villagers from Ordekli village in Hakkari
province had been compelled to evacuate their village ten years
ago due to violence in the region. Recently, the Hakkari
Governorate permitted some of the villagers to return to
Ordekli, 40 kilometers away from Hakkari. The villagers found
their houses in a devastated state, and 30 families who returned
have been living in tents without any potable water,
electricity, or schools. The state provided only $200 worth
construction material to each family for building their houses.
The villagers are trying to survive with the money they make
from cutting grass for livestock.

11. Ulkede Gundem: Village guards in Diyarbakir province
claim that the Dover Jandarma Station Commader in Dicle,
Diyarbakir, has been arbitrarily deducting approximately $7 from
the salaries of 223 village guards. One of the guards, Abdulaziz
Bildirici, filed charges with the Dicle Public Prosecutor
against the Jandarma Commander after refusing to pay the
deduction and subsequently being "insulted."

12. Ulkede Ozgur Gundem: GOT forces arrested seven persons in
Cizre, Sirnak province, on July 18. Three of the arrestees are
being accused of alleged membership in the Peoples' Defense
Forces (HPG), while the others are being accused of assisting
and harboring members of the illegal organization.

13. Ulkede Ozgur Gundem: The Elazig Criminal Court of Peace
fined four DEHAP Elazig Provincial Administrators approximately
$1,400 for possessing illegal publications in the office. The
Elazig police had raided DEHAP office on February 26, 2003,
seizing 21 books and magazines as illegal publications.
14. Ulkede Ozgur Gundem: The Bingol Public Prosecutor filed
charges against the Bingol Human Rights Association Chapter
President, Ridvan Kizgin, for a statement he made during the
HRA's convention on October 25, 2003 (at that meeting, he said:
"Bingol is kept under unique status. Special administrators and
security officers are assigned to Bingol." ) The HRA
Provincial Secretary, Habibe Feray Salman, is also accused of
insulting government officials. The first hearing for both is
scheduled for September 9, 2004.

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