Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary, October 2-4, 2004
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ADANA 000134
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM IZ TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY, OCTOBER 2-4, 2004
1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for October
02-04, 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
2. MILLIYET/ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: Iran launched a military
operation against PKK/Kongra Gel militants, in coordination with
Ankara. The operation targeted Partiya Jiyana Azadiya Kurdan's
(PJAK-Free Living Party of Kurdistan) camps which were founded
by the PKK in an effort to organize Kurds in Iran and Syria.
Syria had already surrendered many PKK militants to Turkish
authorities prior to this operation by Iran against PJAK.
3. ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: The Diyarbakir HRA Chapter will file
charges with the Siirt Public Prosecutor against GOT forces who
dragged Fatma Idem, an HPG guerilla killed in Siirt on September
6, behind their armored personnel carrier.
4. SABAH: The New York Times commented in an article that
PKK/Kongra Gel's resuming terrorist attacks in Turkey would
damage Kurds' recent economic and cultural gains. The paper
wrote that Kurds in the region were cautious about the
organization and questioned the PKK/Kongra Gel's tactics, timing
and targets, and attributed what has been going on to Abdullah
5. YENI SAFAK/GOZCU: A group of PKK/Kongra Gel militants opened
fire on GOT forces on patrol near Ergin village of Lice,
Diyarbakir province, wounding three soldiers.
6. YENI SAFAK/GOZCU/BOLGE: Fahri Yuce opened fire on inmates'
families who were gathered at the Diyarbakir Municipality's
theater hall. Four persons were wounded. The crowd tried to
detain the assailant, who also ended up being wounded with his
7. MILLI GAZETE: In Batman province, Sason Sub-governor Hayati
Tasdan announced that there were 85 schools and 9,500 students
in his district, and that schools in 30 villages were closed due
to a lack of teachers. Tasdan said his district had only 220
teachers instead of 550. Twenty-nine village headmen from
Sason's villages sent faxes to the National Education Ministry,
requesting that teachers be appointed to their villages.
8. MILLIYET/ZAMAN/HURRIYET/RADIKAL: Ekrem Temes, a
nine-year-old assisting his family with trash collecting in
Yuksekova, Hakkari province, found a 2.5 kilogram C-4 explosive
which had been placed 100 meters from the Sub-governor's office.
After showing the time bomb, which he thought was a clock, to
his older brother, he took the parcel to the police who
detonated it. No damages or casualties were reported.
9. MILLIYET/SABAH/HURRIYET/EVRENSEL/CUMHURIYET/Y ENI SAFAK:
Former Batman Governor Salih Sarman has been imprisoned in
Ankara for receiving a Mercedes in exchange for awarding a
construction contract for an indoor car park complex in Batman.
The court banned Sarman from public service permanently. Sarman
was also accused of forming special units without authorization
and purchasing weapons, some of which were reported missing, for
the units under the pretext of combating the PKK during his
tenure in Batman.
10. SABAH/TERCUMAN/HURRIYET/TURKIYE/YENI SAFAK/VAKIT: Teams from
the Van Security Directorate seized 47 kilos of C-4 explosives,
169 offensive hand-grenades, and 3,103 Kalashnikov bullets in a
truck, which reportedly belonged to the PKK/Kongra Gel. An
unidentified truck driver was also detained.
11. SABAH/ZAMAN/HURRIYET/TURKIYE/EVRENSEL: GOT forces launched
an operation in the Kutuderesi region of Tunceli. As a result
of ensuing clashes one soldier was killed and three others were
wounded. The operations in the region are still continuing.
12. ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: DEHAP National Chairman Tuncer Bakirhan
and thousands of people attended the Viransehir Cultural and Art
Festival in Sanliurfa province. Bakirhan said military
operations were conducted against peace, democracy and
brotherhood, and added that the Justice and Development Party
(AKP) pretended as though the Kurdish problem did not exist.
Bakirhan said Turkey could not become a member of the EU unless
it solved the Kurdish and poverty issues. The crowd displayed
Abdullah Ocalan posters and chanted pro-Ocalan slogans while
they condemned Osman Ocalan and his followers for separating
from the PKK/Kongra Gel.
13. ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: The Swedish Foreign Minister Laila
Freivalds will visit Ankara on October 5. She will visit
Diyarbakir to meet with the Women Center (KAMER) to get
information about honor killings, as well as with other NGO
officials, after concluding talks with her Turkish counterparts
in Ankara. She is expected to invite leaders of women NGOs in
the region to the October 6-7 International Women Conference in
14. ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: The Private Adana Kurdish Language
School started classes with 15 students. The students will
attend the courses for three months and be given a certificate
after the completion of the course.
15. ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM/EVRENSEL: In Van province, Esenyamac
villagers who have been smuggling oil from Iran were confronted
by soldiers at the Iranian border who asked them to halt. They
ran away, leaving 21 horses unattended. The villagers claimed
later that the soldiers killed 10 of the horses that had been
used in smuggling.
16. ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM/EVRENSEL: The Istanbul and Siirt "Human
Shield Initiative" members, who were harassed and prevented by
GOT forces from going to Cirav Mountain where military
operations are being conducted, set off for the same location
again. Approximately 500 persons, who gathered in front of the
DEHAP Provincial Office in Siirt, saw them off with "Long Live
Peace; We Don't Want to Kill or To Be Killed" slogans. Necdet
Ulker, a "Human Shield Initiative" member from Istanbul said
that GOT forces tried to intimidate them by giving them a fine,
damaging their cars with metal pieces, and seizing the license
of the restaurant they dined at.
17. EVRENSEL: The Diyarbakir Bar Association members distributed
Turkish/Kurdish handouts they had prepared as part of the
"Justice for Everybody Project." The Project's General
Coordinator Attorney Cihan Aydin said the "Justice for Everybody
Project," initiated in February 2004, was also supported by the
18. EVRENSEL: Three thousand two hundred students from 60
villages of Kiziltepe, Mardin province, are unable to attend
their schools due to lack of transportation. Students' parents
applied to the Kiziltepe Teachers Union in order to find a
solution. The Kiziltepe National Education Director Mehmet Aksoy
said the transportation of the students was put to tender before
the academic year started two weeks ago, but the company that
was awarded the bid terminated the contract on the grounds that
it could not provide regular transportation for 3,200 students.
19. HURRIYET/TURKIYE: During the GOT forces' land operations
that was supported by air strikes against PKK/Kongra Gel
holdouts in the Kutuderesi region of Tunceli yesterday, one
militant was killed and some materials were seized. One of the
sergeants who had been seriously wounded in previous clashes
20. TURKIYE: Teams from the Diyarbakir Provincial Jandarma
Command seized 51.650 kilograms of material used in making hash
in Kusluk village of Silvan, Diyarbakir province. Five persons,
including the Gormez village headman, were arrested for having
connections with drugs.
21. HURRIYET: The volume of transportation to Iraq from the
Cilvegozu, Hatay province, border gate with Syria increased
after the Transportation Minister announced that it was safer to
transit goods to Iraq through Syria. Turkish truck drivers are
often being attacked and have also been taken hostage by
insurgents in Iraq.
22. MILLIYET: In Osmaniye province, as a result of a fight that
broke out between the former DYP Kirmikli Mayor Erdal Unlu and
the Current CHP Mayor Ali Murtaza Dogan, both former Mayor Unlu
as well as Mayor Dogan's father were killed, and two others were
23. CUKUROVA HURRIYET/ZAMAN: The Second Cukurova Industry and
Trade Fair expected to enliven Adana's economy was opened with a
ceremony attended by the Minister of Industry and Trade. The
fair will be open until October 10. One hundred thousand people
visited the fair in two days. Transportation to the fairground
is provided free of charge by public buses.