Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for May 02, 2005

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A

This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for May 02, 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.


EVRENSEL / HURRIYET: May Day celebrations in Adana were
shorter than expected because of rainfall. A significant number
of CHP (Republican People's Party) members and deputies
reportedly participated, (approximately) 8000 people marched,
and no incidents were reported. (Note: Bolge reports the number
of participants as 3000. End Note.) Ozgur Gundem reports that
celebrations in Adana and Mersin included calls for the end of
military operations and the start of democratization processes.
The police reportedly detained five people in celebrations in
Batman and one person in Siirt. Tension surfaced in Diyarbakir
between police and a slogan-chanting group of people who
rejected the designated May Day site, 13 kilometers away from
the city center. May Day celebrations in other cities were
reportedly peaceful.

RADIKAL: Cetin Nuhoglu, Chairman of the International
Transporters Union (ITU) in Turkey, stated that the opening of a
second border gate at Habur in Sirnak is on ITU's agenda.
According to Nuhoglu, President of Iraq Jalal Talabani was
receptive to the idea of a second border gate. Nuhoglu also
noted that for security reasons, "Vehicle Monitoring Systems"
have been installed on 3,000 ITU-member trucks that travel to

CUMHURIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM: The people of Dicle district in
Diyarbakir collected 6000 signatures in a bid to name a newly
built street in Dicle after President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who
served his first judgeship there. Sezer, who on principle has
not accepted having places named after him, amicably rejected
this proposal.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Thirty-eight organizations that formed the
Religious Freedom and Freedom of Expression Initiative in
Sanliurfa held a press announcement to protest the head scarf
ban and restrictions on freedom of expression.

Christian community celebrated Easter in Diyarbakir's Virgin
Mary Church. Red eggs, representing "Christ's resurrection,"
were distributed during the ceremony. Separately, CHP members
reportedly participated in Syriac Easter celebrations in Kirklar
Church of Mardin. Easter celebrations are being held in Antakya
Orthodox Church as well. The celebrations are due to last three

CUMHURIYET: CHP's "Commission for Assessing the GAP Project's
Current Situation and its Future" is looking into the issue of
fields that have been mined in Nusaybin district of Mardin. The
Deputy Chairperson of CHP's Parliamentary Group suggested that
after de-mining activities along the Syrian border are
completed, the areas cleaned up could be cultivated by
cooperatives or distributed to low-income villagers for

HURRIYET: The police reportedly apprehended 35-year-old
Nazmiye Erkal, who traveled by bus from Diyarbakir to Izmir with
five kilograms of "RDX-type" explosives. Erkal reportedly served
a prison sentence previously for membership in a terrorist
organization, and was released last October when provisions of
the new Penal Code allowed her an amnesty.

HURRIYET: Runway maintenance will be conducted on the
three-kilometer runway of Incirlik Airbase. Flights at the base
have been cancelled for two weeks for this reason.

BOLGE: In a party meeting in Adana, MHP Deputy National
Chairperson Ali Isiklar reportedly stated that an alliance
formed by "circles (note: later specified as mostly EU) that
have problems with Turkey" is politically oppressing Turkey and
imposing psychological pressure. He also reportedly noted in the
meeting that Christian missionary activities are as jeopardizing
to Turkey's unity and solidarity as the activities of the
terrorist organization, PKK.

EKSPRES: A columnist writes about Erkan Mumcu's trip to Adana
for his April 30 political rally, his first as ANAP (Motherland
Party) leader. According to this columnist, a number of AKP
(Justice and Development Party) members, who had been members of
ANAP previously, were among the participants at the event. They
likely are dissatisfied with the policies of their current
party, he writes, and wanted to see what impact Mumcu would

EKSPRES: Another columnist from Ekspres states that Mumcu has
come to Adana after taking many risks. First, he left a party
which has been governing Turkey with 34.5 percent of the votes;
second, he has chosen one of the biggest cities of Turkey for
his political public debut as the ANAP leader; third, he decided
to plan rallies although no election period is likely in the
near future; lastly, Mumcu preferred an open-air public address.
Unfortunately heavy rainfall ended just a few hours before the


1. HURRIYET / YENI SAFAK: The conditions of the sale
of 51 percent of TUPRAS (Turkish Petroleum Refineries
Corporation) have been settled. The buyer will reportedly have
to pay half of the price immediately and will have the option to
pay the other half in two years with a 7 percent interest rate.
The buyer will not be allowed to shut down the Batman refinery,
according to these reports.


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