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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for December 16, 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 000168

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR DECEMBER 16, 2004


This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for December 16,
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

EVRENSEL: A case has been opened against five students of
Dicle University's Faculty of Education in Siirt. The students
were wearing badges reading "No to Prosecutions
(Investigations)," in protest of the charges brought against 30
students who (allegedly) demonstrated against YOK (Higher
Education Board) policies on November 6.

CUMHURIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM / EVRENSEL: Ozdemir Ozok, head of
the Turkish Bar Association, called for a fair judicial process
to reveal the truth about the killing of Ahmet Kaymaz and his
son. Ozok added that the Union of Turkish Bar Associations would
assign someone to observe the process until its conclusion.
Ozkok's written announcement stated that his organization
generated its own report about the Kiziltepe incident, by means
of interviews with authorities, residents, and the victims'
family, but that the case file's being classified as secret
hindered the report.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Diyarbakir Prosecutor Erkan Ozcan voiced his
opinion on the lawsuit brought against 72 security officers who
(allegedly) killed 10 prisoners and wounded 23 prisoners at the
Diyarbakir jail. (Note: the trial of these officers has been
ongoing for 8 years, and the case has since been taken to the
European Court of Human Rights. End note.) The prosecutor
(reportedly) asked that the charges against some of the officers
be dropped due to statute of limitations, and that the sentences
of some of the officers be decreased to four years on the
grounds that the officers were performing their duties, and
acting in self-defense.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Members of DEHAP's Youth Branches initiated
a campaign with the title "Yes to differences, No to
separatism." In support of the campaign, members have collected
thousands of petitions from Diyarbakir, the Aegean Region,
Mardin and Mersin since December 6, which they will send to the
Turkish Parliament today. Erkan Tas, the spokesperson of DEHAP
Youth Branches, said his group is asking that the 3rd, 42nd, and
66th articles of the Constitution be amended. (Note: the third
article states that the language of the Turkish state is
Turkish; the 42nd addresses education issues, and the 66th state
that "everyone bound to the Turkish state through the bond of
citizenship is a Turk." End note).

YENI SAFAK: Bingol Municipality's Press and Public Relations
Directorate established a special desk to foster better
communication between citizens and the Municipality. Through the
so-called "White Desk," the Municipality aims to provide better
service to the people of Bingol.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

1. EVRENSEL: Negotiations between the Gaziantep Municipality
and the 1200 workers of GASKI (Gaziantep Waterworks and Sewage
System) are ongoing, and the parties have agreed on 17 of 83
items in a draft agreement. The union is seeking a 50 percent
gross increase in pay for 2005.

2. TERCUMAN / HURRIYET / YENI SAFAK / RADIKAL / OZGUR GUNDEM:
Northern and eastern regions of Turkey are under heavy
snowfall. The weather conditions make life difficult, rendering
transportation impossible and causing water and electricity
infrastructure to fail. Due to unexpected and early snowfall in
Haskoy, Mus, farmers are trying to plant wheat in negative 25
degree Celsius on fields that are covered with snow.

3. EVRENSEL: Nearly 300 producers of citrus fruit
demonstrated in Samandag, Antakya province, to protest the
prices the government is offering for their produce. The
producers criticized the government's economic policies,
claiming the economy is managed through World Bank, IMF and WTO
directives.

4. OZGUR GUNDEM: Sanliurfa's Directorate of Environment
and Forestry is launching one of Turkey's biggest forestation
projects in Halfeti, where four types of trees will be planted
on an area covering 82 hectares.

5. CUMHURIYET: Cultivation of fields in the Cukurova region
is declining. Today, fewer fields are being planted and finding
workers to work the existing cotton fields is sometimes
difficult. Ali Ergezer, the head of the Chamber of Agriculture
in Tarsus, expressed dissatisfaction with the prices for cotton
offered by the state, especially compared to the relatively
higher prices offered in other countries. (Note: In this highly
protected economy growers are as attuned to state monopoly
prices as to any market index prices. End note).


REID

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