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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for December 8, 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 000166

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR DECEMBER 8, 2004


This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for December 8,
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

ZAMAN/TURKIYE: Five children that had been (allegedly)
kidnapped in Diyarbakir and forced to commit crimes such as
pickpocketing and robbery, were rescued during a police
operation yesterday at Haydarpasa Train Station in Istanbul. The
police detained one person accused of bringing the children from
Diyarbakir to Istanbul to join an intercity crime network.
(Note: Turkiye newspaper reports the number of children
kidnapped as 6. End note.)

CUMHURIYET/YENI SAFAK: Ibrahim Parlak, who had been sentenced
on charges of shooting two Turkish soldiers at the
Turkish-Syrian border (note: in a 1988 incident) and who is
(allegedly) tied to the terrorist organization PKK, now faces
deportation from the U.S. He was found to have provided false
answers on his U.S. green card application.

YENI SAFAK: Prof. Ibrahim Kaboglu, head of the Advisory Board
of Human Rights, called upon Alevis to put pressure on the state
authorities regarding the building of mosques in Alevi villages.
Kaboglu (reportedly) said, "If mosques are being built in Alevi
towns, you should press for your rights and try to exert
influence even by taking the matter to European Court of Human
Rights." Kaboglu further stated (reportedly) that Alevis are
scarcely mentioned in the EU Progress Report, however since the
Kurds are the 'weak spot' of the EU, the EU always attaches
priority to Kurdish issues and undermines people of other ethnic
origins in Anatolia.

RADIKAL/CUMHURIYET/YENI SAFAK/SABAH: At the request of the
Department of Justice, the Board of Ministers of the Netherlands
government decided to add PKK to its official list of terrorist
organizations. The Dutch Cabinet agreed to outlaw and seize the
assets of all terrorist organizations listed by the European
Union. The banned organizations will not be allowed to operate
under different names.

RADIKAL/CUMHURIYET/OZGUR GUNDEM/SABAH : Upon the demand of the
Prosecutor Pinar Akkoc Haktanir, the Kiziltepe Court of Peace
decided to classify the investigation into the deaths of Ahmet
and Ugur Kaymaz as secret, in order to maintain a "fair and
objective judicial proceeding and investigation." Pursuant to
the decision, the request of the lawyer for the Kaymaz family,
Huseyin Cangir, to examine the case file was also rejected.
Huseyin Cangir stated his wish that every phase of the judicial
process be open to public. According to Sabah newspaper,
contrary to the claims of security forces, the MPs of the
Justice and Welfare Party stated that "there were no evidence of
clashes." Sabah reported that MPs said the people of the region
were pleased with the Prime Minister's comment that "a
12-year-old child cannot be called a terrorist."

OZGUR GUNDEM: Tunceli Bar Association attorneys held a
demonstration to protest violations of law in the region. Bulent
Tas, head of the Tunceli Bar Association, said, "especially in
Tunceli, the recent resuming of methods used in 1994 worries us
greatly." Many members of NGOs supported the demonstration as
well.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Hakkari FM is on the air again. The one-month
penalty imposed by the Turkish Higher Board of Radio and
Television temporarily banning the broadcast of Hakkari FM has
expired. The ban was imposed upon the grounds that "the
broadcast of the radio was promoting separatism."

CUMHURIYET: Prof. Ahmet Ercan, the Head of the Geophysics Board
in Turkey, said fuel leaking from the fuel storage facilities
into the soil is poisoning the people in Batman. Ercan carried
out research in Batman, where (allegedly) an underground methane
gas accumulation led to a blast on May 3 which killed 3 people
and wounded 25. He said that in the course of 35 years, 64,000
tons of fuel leaked from the fuel storage facilities as well as
from TUPRAS (Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation), causing
diseases related to increased levels of water, air and soil
contamination.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Van's Jandarma Command detected one Syrian,
seven Lebanese, and 19 Afghan nationals as they were trying to
cross the border illegally from Gulderen and Uzunyol townships
in Van.

SABAH: In the 1990s, the population of Diyarbakir (reportedly)
increased from 300,000 to 1,000,000. Thousands of children that
have nothing else in which to engage are drawn to committing
crimes. Sometimes these children are kidnapped and placed into
crime networks; this situation therefore affects other cities as
well. The families of some of the children recently kidnapped
in Diyarbakir and forced to commit crimes were (allegedly) paid
money in exchange for "allowing" their children to be taken to
Istanbul. Regarding the problem of children committing crimes
in cities, Efkan Ala, the Governor of Diyarbakir, says it's
because of deprivation and poverty, and welcomed every effort
and suggestion about how to deal with the issue. Ala stated,
"Diyarbakir's problem is not solely the problem of Southeast
Turkey. This problem should be of interest to everybody in the
country."


REID

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