Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for July 20, 2005
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 000145
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR JULY 20, 2005
This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for July 20, 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
1. SABAH (GUNEY)/ BOLGE: Turk Telekom (The newly privatized
Turkish Communication Company) workers in Adana refused to
attend work for half a day to stage a protest against the
company's privatization. The workers are protesting the
transfer of some Telekom services to a subcontractor company,
which was awarded a contract.
2. BOLGE / EKSPRES / ZAMAN: Turkish Desk Senior Official
Baxter Hunt and the U.S. Adana Consul paid a visit to the Seyhan
district mayor Azim Ozturk obtaining information about the
services rendered by the Municipality.
3. SABAH (GUNEY)/ BOLGE: Adana Governor Cahit Kirac paid a
visit to the Ceyhan and Yumurtalik districts. Kirac, who went
to the construction site of the BTC (Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan
Pipeline) to conduct studies on the site, announced that BTC's
end in Ceyhan would be opened a month later. Kirac later paid
visits to Ceyhan and Yumurtalik subgovernors and to the Mayor of
4. ZAMAN: Adana Governor Cahit Kirac, Adana Mayor Aytac
Durak, Adana Security Director Mehmet Cebe and AKP Provincial
Chairperson Abdullah Dogru met briefly with State Minister Ali
Babacan at the Sakirpasa Airport of Adana, reportedly talking
about the issue of Adana's unfinished light metro construction.
Babacan arrived in Adana to change planes during his trip from
Nigde to Istanbul.
5. RADIKAL / HURRIYET / ZAMAN / OZGUR GUNDEM: Four
soldiers died and four more were wounded when a military vehicle
hit a remote controlled mine at 9 a.m. on the Hakkari-Cukurca
road in Hakkari. Separately, four soldiers were wounded in a
conflict that broke out in a village of Cukurca. Ozgur Gundem
claims that Turkish Armed Forces allegedly used chemical weapons
during the military operations in Hakkari.
6. ZAMAN / OZGUR GUNDEM: Zaman daily continues to report on
the July 6 killing of Hikmet Fidan, former HADEP Deputy National
Chairperson. (see press summary 07/18.) According to a report,
the initial findings reveal that the "execution" was allegedly
committed by the PKK. The article notes that the perpetrators
were definitely professionals. According to specialists,
following the fragmentation in PKK after Ocalan's capture, a
"Kurdish Red Apple Coalition" was formed, notes the paper. The
paper alleges that there is currently a dispute between this
coalition, which is close to the supporters of increased
terrorism in Turkey to block Turkey's EU accession, and the
people, who want to resolve the Kurdish issue. Ozgur Gundem
quotes DEHAP National Chairperson Tuncer Bakirhan as dismissing
the allegations blaming Kurdish politicians for not embracing
willingly Fidan's case.
7. OZGUR GUNDEM: DEHAP National Chairperson Tuncer
Bakirhan said that efforts were under way to form a delegation
that would try to work out a solution for Private Kirandi's
8. OZGUR GUNDEM: A research assistant from Dicle
University's Faculty of Theology, who specialized on the
sociology of religion, noted that steps should be taken o
prevent the full migration of Syriacs from southeast Turkey. He
said their migration has been caused mainly by the conflict in
the southeastern region.
9. RADIKAL / OZGUR GUNDEM: A lawsuit has reportedly been
opened against the Rector of Van's Yuzuncu Yil University, Prof.
Yucel Askin, and four university administrators, on the charges
of "forming a criminal clique to obtain profit."
10. OZGUR GUNDEM: A member of Batman's Private Kurdish
Language Course dismissed the claims that its courses would be
shut down, and complained that these courses, which should be
financially supported and encouraged, were instead rendered as
instruments for current political abuse. Diyarbakir Mayor Osman
Baydemir, who claimed that a language couldn't be cultivated
through the private courses, demanded that Kurdish language be
supported in public schools, too. Meanwhile, Van Municipality
rejected the application of a group which requested
authorization for their campaign to collect signatures in
support of "education in one's native language."
11. OZGUR GUNDEM: The paper reports that the officials
were still not embarking on any efforts to extinguish the fires
which broke out ten days ago in Gabar, Cudi and Besta mountains
12. RADIKAL / HURRIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM: Ozgur Gundem claims
that Second Chief of Staff Ilker Basbug invited journalists to
the Office of the Chief of Staff and requested that media "not
publish any news that would strengthen the cause of the PKK."
All papers report that Basbug even discouraged the usage of a
phrase such as "Kurdish intelligentsia."
13. RADIKAL: Deputy Chief of the Turkish General Staff
Ilker Basbug said at a briefing held for journalists yesterday
that the U.S. administration has decided to capture the leaders
of the PKK terrorist organization. Basbug further stated that
C-4 explosives were coming to Turkey from Iraq, and since the
security forces of Iraq have not been fully formed, Turkey,
reserving the right to protect itself, might conduct cross
border military operations in the future. In a separate
article, the paper quotes the remarks of Dan Fried, Assistant
Secretary of State for European Affairs a saying, "A cross
border military option would not be the best option to pursue."
14. RADIKAL: CHP (Republican People's Party) Deputy
National Chairperson Onur Oymen claimed that the U.S. is
preventing Turkey from eliminating the presence of the PKK in