Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for May 12, 2005
UNCLAS ADANA 000104
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR MAY 12, 2005
This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for May 12, 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
RADIKAL / OZGUR GUNDEM / EVRENSEL: News reports characterized
the views of different political groupings toward the
controversial retrial issue of jailed PKK leader Abdullah
Ocalan. Recent nationalist circles' angry attitudes foreshadow
the possibility of people hitting the streets should a retrial
decision come to the agenda of the GOT. CHP follows a similar
nationalistic tendency. AKP is said to be striving to evade
"political responsibility" by presenting the issue as a broader
"state issue." And for the moment, military circles remain
silent, aside from Gen. Buyukanit, the Land Forces Army
Commander, who said that the issue a concern for the judiciary,
not the military. Everybody knows the opinions and feelings of
the military on the issue, Buyukanit added. Meanwhile, Kurds are
reported as hopeful that the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR) will rule a "violation of international law" occurred in
the way Ocalan was captured and brought to Turkey in 1999.
OZGUR GUNDEM: The 14th Heavy Criminal Court, which currently
has cases opened against three of Ocalan's attorneys for
"engaging in propaganda in favor of the terrorist organization,"
reportedly decided in advance of the ECHR ruling to impose a ban
on the attorneys trips abroad. Aysel Tugluk, one of the
attorneys in question, called the decision "arbitrary;" the
lawyers had been planning to attend a press declaration that is
to be held by Ocalan's attorneys at the European Parliament.
Meanwhile, Kurds are planning a mass demonstration in
Strasbourg, where the ECHR decision will be announced.
BOLGE / EKSPRES: A panel discussion entitled "Where are we on
the road to the EU membership?" was held at Adana's Cukurova
University. Ozan Ceyhun, a former Green Party deputy in Germany,
told the audience that it would not help Turkey's EU membership
bid for certain political forces to claim the December 17
decision as any one force's victory for domestic political gain.
CUMHURIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM: On the heels of a similar incident
in Mardin (see press summ 5/9), a shepherd has been wounded by a
hand grenade he found in the open land in Yedisu district of
OZGUR GUNDEM: The chairperson of the Dicle University
Student Association in Diyarbakir was reportedly suspended from
the university for a semester for allegedly attending a
demonstration held against the YOK (Higher Education Board),
chanting "Police! Go home! Universities are ours," and reading a
press announcement in Kurdish.
RADIKAL / HURRIYET / EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: The Governor's
Office in Tunceli announced that three terrorists were killed in
a conflict between Turkish Armed Forces and a group of 300 PKK
members in Hozat district of Tunceli.
OZGUR GUNDEM: A Kiziltepe court has reportedly opened a case
against Mihdi Perincek, Regional Representative of the Human
Rights Association (HRA), and Selahattin Demirtas, HRA
Diyarbakir Branch Chairperson, on the grounds that they have
violated the Press Act by publicly announcing results of their
report on the killing of Ahmet and Ugur Kaymaz in Mardin's
EVRENSEL: The paper alleges that PM Erdogan, by distributing
direct income subsidies to Sanliurfa's farmers just three days
before his trip to the city, is trying to head off any hostile
public reaction to his visit.
CUMHURIYET: Land Forces Army Commander Yasar Buyukanit warned
people that they have recently caught many terrorists possessing
significant number of C-4 explosives, which terrorists were
bringing with them from northern Iraq. The Commander warned
people of the likelihood for attacks in both rural areas and