Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for April 18-19, 2005
UNCLAS ADANA 000081
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR APRIL 18-19, 2005
This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for April 18-19,
2005. 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
BOLGE / EKSPRES: Adana Mayor Aytac Durak reportedly was furious
when a muhtar (headman) allegedly made a request to be immune
from a Municipality decision to demolish unauthorized house
construction. Durak reportedly denied the request and ordered
the demolition of the headman's house immediately.
CUMHURIYET / SABAH (GUNEY) / RADIKAL: A "substantial"
quantity of oil reportedly leaked from the BOTAS (Petroleum
Pipeline Corporation) pipeline - located three kilometers away
from Ataturk Dam in Sanliurfa - and made its way to the Dam,
covering the surface of the water with petroleum and allegedly
catching on fire. Thanks to the hard work of the firefighters,
a catastrophe was avoided. The incident reportedly caused
environmental damage, especially to endangered species of
turtles, and local people are concerned about the quality of
their potable water.
RADIKAL / HURRIYET: In two separate military operations, two
members of the MKLP in Ovacik district of Tunceli and a member
of the PKK in Omerli district of Mardin were killed. One
Turkish soldier was reportedly wounded slightly. Separately,
the Mayor of Diyarbakir allegedly used the term "armed Kurdish
opposition" (note: referring to the PKK) in a broadcast of
pro-PKK Roj TV. He also reportedly said that it would be
discriminating among citizens should the Municipality
investigate whom is requesting when they receive requests for
municipal ambulances to transport bodies to funerals. (Note:
this comment is in response to criticism for his having approved
the use of municipal ambulances on occasion to transport bodies
of alleged terrorists. End note.)
RADIKAL: Hekim Turgut, Hakkari's Provincial Education
Director, alleged that threats against his life have been made
by phone since he started filing complaints against contractors
who built the schools that were seriously damaged during the
January 25 earthquake.
RADIKAL / OZGUR GUNDEM: One child died and two were wounded when
they handled an explosive they found as they were grazing their
sheep in an open field close to a military station in Patnos
district of Van.
HURRIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM: A seven-year-old girl was
reportedly found raped, tortured and wounded in a Diyarbakir
street. The victim was hospitalized in Dicle University's
Research Hospital and the police are trying to find the criminal
with the help of fingerprints found on the girl's body.