Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for October 25, 2005
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
281000Z Oct 05
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 000197
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR OCTOBER 25, 2005
This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for October 25,
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
CUMHURIYET / SABAH / RADIKAL / OZGUR GUNDEM / HURRIYET /
EVRENSEL: During the second court hearing of Ugur and Ahmet
Kaymaz case, which was held yesterday in Eskisehir (see press
summary 10/18), the police intervened in a 40-person group,
which gathered in front of the Court Hall to attend the court
hearing, and 12 people were detained during the skirmish. Twenty
people, including attorneys for the Kaymaz family and some NGO
representatives, protested the police's refusal to admit people
into the court and demanded that the court sessions be held in
Mardin province. Also, attorneys left the courtroom in protest.
Four of the 10 defendants in the case and their attorneys were
present at the court and action was brought against them on
charges that their "actions transgressed reasonable limits of
self-defense and caused the death of people in a way that made
the identification of the individual perpetrator impossible."
The defendants' attorneys reportedly claimed that Ugur Kaymaz
was actually older than what his census registration showed; he
was 15 or 16 years old, not 12. The attorneys further claimed
that Kaymaz used guns during the incident and a PKK member was
caught at their house (at an unspecified time) before the
incident. The court session was adjourned until December 19.
ZAMAN / SABAH / OZGUR GUNDEM / EVRENSEL: Police officer Hakan
Acil was kidnapped by the PKK on October 9 (see press summary
10/11-12 and 10/21). Acil's father, who lives in Eskisehir,
reportedly requested help from the Human Rights Association
(HRA) Chairperson Yusuf Alatas, when Alatas came to Eskisehir to
watch the Kaymaz case. Reportedly, the HRA called on the PKK to
release Acil and will send a delegation to the southeastern
region for his release.
SABAH: Three people, who disguised themselves in police
uniforms, stopped a passenger bus coming from Igdir yesterday in
Erzincan and stole 450,000 dollars and 2 kilograms of gold,
which belonged to an exchange office and which was being
transported in a safe in the luggage trunk of the bus. The
daily compares the way the thieves disguised themselves in
police uniforms to the way the alleged PKK members kidnapped
police officer Hakan Acil while disguised as police officers.
CUMHURIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM / SABAH / EVRENSEL: DTH (Democratic
Society Movement) held its second round of its two-day meeting
today (see press summary 10/24) in Ankara. DTH aims to complete
its political formation process through determining the party's
name, its program and charter, its co-chairpersons, its board
members and its national leader. Selim Sadak, former DEP
(Democracy Party) deputy and current DTH Preparatory Commission
Chairperson, reportedly called on the EU not to proceed with its
discussion process with Turkey without handling the Kurdish
CUMHURIYET / HURRIYET / ZAMAN: Three of six alleged former
PKK members, who were caught and detained in connection with the
Hikmet Fidan murder in Diyarbakir (see press summary 10/24),
were arrested. Two of the arrestees face charges related to the
murder and have reportedly admitted their involvement in the
case; however, the third one is reportedly only accused of being
a PKK member. The other detainees were released and will stand
trial later. Hurriyet daily claimed that friends of Hikmet
Fidan from PWD, which is an opposition group that reportedly
severed its ties with the PKK, had themselves sold out Fidan to
an alleged PKK assassin, because they were threatened and would
be killed if they had not done so.
DICLE NEWS AGENCY (ONLINE): Walter Scott Reid, U.S. Consul in
Adana, paid separate visits to Mustafa Erkal, the Governor of
Tunceli, and Songul Erol Abdil, the Tunceli Mayor. Press was
not allowed to the consul's visit in the Municipality and
Mr.Reid did not make any announcements about the purpose of his
CUMHURIYET: To envigorate tourism potential for Diyarbakir
province, Diyarbakir Municipality published 45,000 pocket maps
in five different languages including Turkish, English, Kurdish,
Armenian and Syriac languages.
CUMHURIYET: An alleged PKK member surrendered himself to the
Jandarma station in Mardin's Mazidagi district and made
confessions about his 24-year-long involvement in the activities
of the PKK.
CUMHURIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM / HURRIYET: Shortly after a muhtar
(headman) of one of the quarters of Van province killed two
people with his gun in the street for an unknown reason, a
relative(s) of the victim killed the muhtar with the same gun.
CUMHURIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM / EVRENSEL: Twenty people were
reportedly fined 100 New Turkish liras each for using the banned
letter "w" in banners hung during the 2004 Newruz celebrations
CUMHURIYET: A survey study conducted by the Dicle University in
Diyarbakir and the surrounding areas showed that, despite strict
laws against honor killings, they were still widely justified as
valid norms in the (southeastern) region. The percentage of the
people who regard honor killings as justifiable acts was 37.4%,
according to the survey. Reportedly, the survey covered a total
of 430 people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds,
such as Kurds, Arabs, Zaza and Alevis.
OZGUR GUNDEM: Bozova First Stage Irrigation Project, which
was launched 2.5 years ago in Sanliurfa's Bozova plain under GAP
(Southeastern Anatolia Project), will be opened by PM Tayyip
Erdogan during the weekend. Irrigation will start on 21,400
acres of land in Bozova following the opening.
RADIKAL: A 35-year-old inmate allegedly burned himself
yesterday in his jail cell in Izmir. The inmate was convicted
of being a PKK member and of being involved PKK activities.
ZAMAN: UN High Commission for Refugees established an air
corridor from Incirlik airbase in Adana to Pakistan and sent
117,000 units of relief aid including tents, blankets and
heaters, which the UN collected from its storage area located in
Hatay's Iskenderun district. Two C-130 Turkish military
aircraft and two U.S. Boeing 747 aircraft will also be used
during the aid's transportation.
SABAH (GUNEY): Sir Peter Westmacott, U.K.'s Ambassador in
Ankara, came to Gaziantep and paid a visit to the province's
Governor Lutfullah Bilgin. Westmacott later visited the Mosaic
Museum in Gaziantep.
SABAH (GUNEY): A World Bank Turkish Desk delegation came to
Mersin's Tarsus district to see progress on the businesses
founded in Tarsus under Turkey's first ISGEM (Business
Development Center). ISGEM in Tarsus was founded by the joint
efforts of World Bank and the Turkish Privatization Authority.