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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for December 15, 2005

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

UNCLAS ADANA 000239

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR DECEMBER 15, 2005

This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for December 15,
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 / ZAMAN / RADIKAL / SABAH / HURRIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM:
Van Centennial University Rector denied all the charges placed
against him during the statement he gave to the court. "I did
not engage in intelligence efforts, nor did I use this
information against people or shared them with others. I did not
engage in any discriminatory actions based on racial and
religious concerns, and I did not establish an organizational
circle," said Askin. After the judge, who favored the release
of Askin during his trial, was "instantly" replaced by another
judge upon the demand of the intervening attorneys, the court
decided that Askin should stay under arrest. A small group of
people protested the CHP (Republican People's Party) deputies
who came to Van to attend the court session. Meanwhile, an
intervening attorney claimed that Enver Arpali, the deputy
General Secretary of Van Centennial University, did not commit
suicide in November, but was murdered in his prison cell in
order to prevent disclosing of crucial information by Arpali.

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OZGUR GUNDEM: 1,590 people signed 102 petitions demanding
mother tongue education and submitted them to the Turkish
Parliament. Petition Commission of the Parliament sent these
petitions to the Ministry of Education. Ministry of Education
announced that no further action can be taken since the demand
placed was against the clauses of the Turkish Constitution and
these clauses were unalterable. The Commission notified the
citizens that those demands in the petition which were deemed
beneficial to the public by the commission and which required
lawmaking were conveyed to the lawmakers.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Four hundred wells to extract fuel that has
leaked (from unspecified sources) have reportedly been dug up to
date by people in Batman's Toptancilar Sitesi quarter despite
the area being the site of a May 3, 2004 pressurized gas blast.
Three people were killed and 23 people were wounded as a result
of the blast then. There had been a period of inactivity
following the blast among people and many people fearing for
their lives left the quarter; however, some of them returned and
reestablished well digging businesses to extract fuel.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Police conducted separate raids on the
Istanbul-based premise of the Ulkede Ozgur Gundem newspaper and
its printing center, and searched these places under
authorization of the Van Heavy Penalty Court. Chief Publishing
Director of the newspaper said that this development should be
deemed a blow to freedom of expression.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Fifty-six mayors, including the Diyarbakir,
Tunceli, Hakkari, Batman and Sirnak Municipalities, will
reportedly join the ranks of the DTP (Democratic Society Party)
with a ceremony to be held on December 16 in Diyarbakir.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Diyarbakir Chapter of Human Rights Association
held a seminar called "Do you know your rights?" in a quarter of
the Diyarbakir province.

OZGUR GUNDEM: A Women's Association called "Kircicegi"
(Wildflower) opened in the Kucukdikili township of Adana. The
association aims to find solutions to women's psychological and
social problems.

ZAMAN / RADIKAL / SABAH: If diplomatic efforts put forth to
counter the founding of a Kurdish state in northern Iraq reaches
a deadlock, [the Turkish Army should] "appear at the Qandil
Mountains [in northern Iraq] one night," said the MHP
(Nationalist Movement Party) leader Devlet Bahceli.

RADIKAL: A Women's Park will be opened in Diyarbakir today.
A 3-meter tall monument has been erected in the park which
depicted the stories of seven women who were victims of violence
in seven different parts of the world. The monument was erected
with joint efforts of Baglar Municipality and International
Amnesty Organization.
REID

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