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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for June 02, 2005

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 000119

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR JUNE 02, 2005

This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for June 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.

POLITICAL, SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS

ZAMAN / HURRIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM: Lesker Acar, who was found
guilty in 1998 of engaging in PKK activities in 1992, and was
sentenced to life in prison, later appealed to the European
Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR ruled in June 2004 that
Acar was not tried fairly and must be retried. Diyarbakir's 5th
Heavy Penalty Court reportedly commenced a retrial in March
2005, but after holding two court sessions, it discontinued the
case in the third session, citing a law which restricts action
on EHCR retrial decisions period. (Ozgur Gundem reports the case
was discontinued in order to avoid setting an example for the
Ocalan case.)

RADIKAL / HURRIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM / EVRENSEL: A fourteen year
old boy killed his 16 year old sister with a pistol in Silopi
district of Sirnak in the name of honor after his sister
allegediy had an extramarital relationship with an unspecified
person. Some papers report that the girl was a victim of rape
and she was in her sixth month of pregnancy.

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RADIKAL: The representatives of NGOs concerned with women's
rights gathered in a Diyarbakir park to make a press
announcement regarding the new Penal Code. While the new code
includes provisions that will benefit women, it does not
satisfactorily address the honor killing issue, according to the
NGO group.

RADIKAL: A report by two Mersin University professors
includes a claim that the coal-powered power plant in the
Afsin-Elbistan area is discharging particles comprising an ash
and coal dust mixture into the atmosphere. This indicates that
the plant is not operating properly and people reportedly face
grave health risks, including lung cancer.

EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: Egitim-Sen (Education Union)
members in Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Tunceli, Siirt and Adana staged
protests in front of AKP party buildings against the court
ruling to shut down the Union (see press summary 05/26). The
protesters chanted slogans saying, "Education in one's native
language cannot be banned," "Shut down Incirlik Airbase instead
of Egitim-Sen."

OZGUR GUNDEM: In an Ozgur Gundem report, a party called the
Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) claimed that on May 27, Iran
launched a large military operation against PJAK members in the
highlands between Piransehir of Iran and the Qandil Mountains.
PJAK claims the operations were not successful and harmed only
civilians.

OZGUR GUNDEM: The Suruc Subgovernor in Sanliurfa rejected
the decision of the Suruc Municipality to name a new public park
after a HADEP (People's Democracy Party) founding member, who
was killed eleven years ago. To date the perpetrator of that
killing has not been found.

HURRIYET / RADIKAL / OZGUR GUNDEM / EVRENSEL: The National
Chairperson of the Human Rights Association (HRA), the Human
Rights Chairperson of the Prime Minister's Office, the
Diyarbakir Bar Association (DBA) and Diyarbakir branch of the
HRA fired criticism at Turkey's intelligence service, MIT, and
at the Diyarbakir Court that permitted MIT to monitor all
communications in Turkey for two months. The DBA and Diyarbakir
HRA demanded that the intelligence records from the two-month
period be revealed and then destroyed.

CUMHURIYET / BOLGE / EKSPRES / OZGUR GUNDEM: Mersin's
Journalists Association officials began a three-day hunger
strike to protest the new Turkish Penal Code that went into
effect as of June 1.

OZGUR GUNDEM: According to the paper, the terrorist
organisation PKK/Kongra-Gel said in a press announcement that
the PKK would declare a ceasefire should the state end its
military operations and begin establishing dialogue with legal
authorities or elected persons from among the Kurdish people.

CUMHURIYET: Turkey together with the IOM (International
Organization on Migration) launched a campaign to fight against
trafficking-in-persons in Turkey. This is project covers eastern
Europe and countries from the former Soviet Union, as well.

EVRENSEL: The ECHR ruled that Turkey must pay 18,000 Euros
in compensation to the Labor Party (EP) which was closed in 1996
allegedly because its charter prescribed "finding a democratic
solution to the Kurdish issue for the benefit of people." The
court also ordered compensations in ten other cases against
Turkey, six of which were filed by families whose relatives were
allegedly killed extrajudicially by security forces in
southeastern Turkey.

EVRENSEL: Necati Eris was found dead in 2001 in Gurpinar
district of Van. The family of Ercis applied to the Van Human
Rights Association as to date they have not been able to obtain
an autopsy report from the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Authority
and learn the cause of his death.

SABAH / HURRIYET: The Ministry of Defense paid 3,500 YTL
(approximately 2,600 USD) to the family of a soldier that died
in a conflict with PKK members in Lice district of Diyarbakir.
In order to pay this, the Ministry filed a lawsuit for the same
amount against the families of five PKK members in April 2005.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

1. SABAH (GUNEY) / EKSPRES / BOLGE: The heavy rainfall in
two days in Ceyhan district of Adana damaged the wheat crop
which would be harvested soon. This situation aggravated the
hardships endured by producers who had been complaining about
the low prices offered for for their produce.


REID

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