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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for May 31, 2005

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

UNCLAS ADANA 000118

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR MAY 31, 2005

This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for May 31, 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

SABAH (GUNEY) / BOLGE / OZGUR GUNDEM / EKSPRES / ZAMAN:
Chief of Staff Hilmi Ozkok with other senior military officials
paid visits to Mersin Governor Atilla Osmancelebioglu, Mayor
Macit Ozcan and Mediterranean Regional and Garrison Command.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Last week Turkey and Iran reportedly agreed to
cooperate and conduct joint military operations against the
PKK/Kongra-Gel terrorist organization. Meanwhile, the paper
claims that three soldiers in Diyarbakir died in an ambush set
by terrorists.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Two DEHAP (Democratic People's Party)
provincial officials in Malatya were sentenced to six months in
jail for allegedly allowing a Kurdish song to be performed at
the Provincial Party Congress in April 2003 in Malatya; the
prison sentence has been converted to a fine.

OZGUR GUNDEM: European Commission's Turkey Representative
Hans Jorg Kretschmer said, "Leyle Zana and her friends should
put a plain distance between themselves and the PKK." Former DEP
(Democratic Party) deputy and currently DTH (Democratic Society
Movement) Coordination member Orhan Dogan, in response to
Kretschmer's remarks, said in a speech in Diyarbakir that the EU
condemned ETA as a terrorist organization, yet "Spain started to
discuss the matter with ETA. Isn't this part of an EU policy?"

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CUMHURIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM / ZAMAN: A sabotage attempt using
explosives damaged a section of the Batman oil pipeline and 50
barrels of oil leaked out. The firefighters of the state-run
TPAO (Turkish Petroleum Joint Stock Company) extinguished the
fire that followed the explosion. Ozgur Gundem reports that the
PKK allegedly claimed responsibility for the explosion and that
the amount of barrels leaked was a hundred.

CUMHURIYET: Eleven years after the 1994 military operations in
Tunceli which resulted in the alleged disappearance of seven
people, the Tunceli Chief Prosecutor's office along with the
Jandarma Commander are looking in the case, by conducting a
study around the Mirig hamlet of Tunceli. Their action is in
response to the demand of the attorney of allegedly disappeared
persons' families.

ZAMAN: Sami Comak (31), alleged to be the logistics
overseer of the PKK, reportedly died as a result of snakebite in
a rural area of Tunceli. According to the Governor of Tunceli,
security forces are searching for the body of the terrorist. The
paper reported that there is a serious shortage of medicine
against snake and scorpion bites in the PKK terrorist
organization.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

1. SABAH (GUNEY) / EKSPRES / ZAMAN / BOLGE: A commercial
delegation came to Adana from Holland to promote commercial ties
between Holland and Turkey. The delegation paid a visit to Adana
Municipality and then to Adana's Chamber of Industry (ACI). ACI
Chairperson Ozgumus said that they would host another Dutch
delegation in late September and that Holland plans to open a
commercial bureau in Adana.

2. SABAH (GUNEY) / BOLGE: After Russia's decision to stop
buying vegetables and fruit from Turkey, prices are reportedly
falling sharply in the Turkish internal markets and the
producers are experiencing hardships.

REID

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