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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for December 6, 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 December 06,
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.


BOLGE / EKSPRES: Tension developed when a business owner
criticized Adana Mayor Aytac Durak for attempting to demolish
their places of business despite their having licenses issued by
Hasan Gulsen, as Durak and an accompanying delegation went to an
area in Adana to warn business owners not to build places of
business without having appropriate legal licenses. An angry
business owner reportedly attempted to slap Adana Mayor Aytac
Durak on the face. (This summary is from 12/04 editions.)

RADIKAL / OZGUR GUNDEM / ZAMAN: Britain's Financial Times
reportedly published an article
( 8cff-0000779e2
340.html) that focused on the Semdinli case. According to the
article, the violence that resumed in the eastern part of Turkey
has become a regenerated nightmare for Turkey that jeopardized
its EU bid. According to the dailies, the article expressed
that Diyarbakir was "the political capital" of Kurds. The
article further cited interviews with the Diyarbakir Mayor Osman
Baydemir and Semdinli Mayor Hursit Tekin.

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CUMHURIYET / ZAMAN: Vedat Gulsen, attorney of the officers
arrested for their involvement in the Semdinli Case, petitioned
the Van Heavy Penalty Court on Monday to lift the decision to
arrest his clients (see press summary 12/02). According to the
new penalty laws, the Court must respond to the petition in
three days.

OZGUR GUNDEM: A hundred and thirty-five Kurdish artists and
Kurdish cultural institutions made a joint press announcement
saying that they would burn their artworks should the government
continue its policy of blacking out Roj TV, reportedly a medium
through which people were able to express their opinions freely.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Association for Rule of Law, while warning the
public that the epidemic disease that erupted in Malatya could
spread to the rest of Turkey, urged authorities to take action
against the Mayor, who allegedly "failed to carry out" his
duties in due manner.

RADIKAL / ZAMAN: Reportedly, as the number of patients
suffering from diarrhea is decreasing, Malatya Mayor (AKP)
recently suspended four municipality employees following the
opening of investigations against them.

CUMHURIYET / HURRIYET: CHP (Republican People's Party)
delegation, which investigated the causes of diarrhea epidemic
in Malatya, reported that the AK party government did not handle
the situation in Malatya sensitively. According to the
delegation's report authorities have still not discovered the
water network problem that caused the disease and this situation
still poses risks for human health. The delegation also cited
in the report remarks of the Malatya Mayor saying that most of
the patients "showed psychological symptoms." A Hurriyet
columnist claimed that Malatya Mayor should resign for ignoring
the warnings of Inonu University's rector about the contaminated

HURRIYET: Despite the Sirnak Governor's notice not to drink
water from the city's water system (see press summary 12/05),
Sirnak Mayor Ahmet Ertak (from DEHAP) said that he had no
confidence in the results of the eight tests Provincial Health
Directorate made with samples taken from different water sources
in the city. The Mayor, while saying that he and his family
were drinking the city water without boiling it, further said
they were not recommending that people do the same. According
to the daily, the number of patients suffering from diarrhea
reached 80 in Sirnak.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Allegedly, police officers beat a truck driver
as the driver was waiting in his vehicle along with a queue of
trucks at the Habur border gate to cross the border into
northern Iraq. Allegedly police officers opened fire when other
drivers attempted to intervene. Reportedly, the officers beat
the driver when the driver asked, "When will it be our turn (to
cross the border)?"

OZGUR GUNDEM: As a result of police's three unannounced home
raids in Sirnak's Silopi district, a total of 9 persons, two of
whose identities are unknown, have been detained. Reportedly,
there was a handcuffed person along with the officers as the
raids were carried out.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Reportedly, HPG (People's Protection Forces),
the PKK's militant wing, carried out an attack on a Turkish
military facility located at the entrance of the Sirnak
province. Allegedly one soldier was killed and another one was

OZGUR GUNDEM: (Unspecified) people opened fire at a police
car patrolling a quarter of Diyarbakir. No casualties were
reported. Reportedly, the police, while increasingly
controlling various points leading to the area of the incident,
have been conducting raids on coffee houses.

Ergin, mayor of Diyarbakir's Hazro district, along with his
relatives, caught a person who had been following him allegedly
in order to "execute" him (see press summaries 03/22-23-25,
09/20 and 10/06). Ergin reportedly surrendered the person to
security officers; however, the accused was released the same
night on grounds that he did not do anything suspicious. The
daily claims that Olcay Dal, the person who reportedly followed
Ergin, was a defector. Dal allegedly admitted when he was
caught that he had been given 10,000 USD to kill Ergin by a
member of the Dolan clan.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Reportedly, 15 employees were dismissed from
Perenco Crude Oil Company in Diyarbakir allegedly because they
wanted to become members of a union. Reportedly, temporary
village guards were employed in place of the dismissed workers.

HURRIYET: The details of the meeting of Abdullah Ocalan and
his attorneys were reportedly published on pro-PKK websites.
During this 1.5-hour meeting, Ocalan reportedly said that they
(Kurds) were accepting the overarching identity concept of
"Citizenship of Turkey." According to Ocalan, what they
demanded was the removal of barriers placed against the
identities of sub-cultures through more democracy within the
society, not through establishing another state or

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