Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for December 16, 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 16,
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.


HURRIYET / ZAMAN: Land Forces Army Commander General Yasar
Buyukanit, who was invited to Washington by the U.S. Army
Command, pointed out during a speech he made in Washington that
the PKK is not on NATO's terrorist organizations list.

RADIKAL: General Yasar Buyukanit, who was criticized in a
report prepared by the Turkish Parliament's Human Rights
Commission on the Semdinli case, said that he was really curious
about whether a probe was ever conducted following the

CUMHURIYET / HURRIYET / RADIKAL: Van Centennial University
rector has been acquitted of the charges against him for not
officially declaring and registering historical artifacts he
allegedly kept possession of, because of lack of evidence. The
artifacts seized by the police will be returned to Askin. The
newspaper separately noted that six hours at the Court Hall
reportedly caused Askin to end up with cardiac arrhythmia and
high blood pressure.

HURRIYET / CUMHURIYET: YOK(Higher Education Board) Chairman
Erdogan Tezic, in a press announcement, said that the venue of
Yucel Askin's and eight other defendants' trial should be
changed to enable a secure and fair trail. Tezic further
pointed out that the methods the court applied and its
jurisdiction capacity were not even discussed during the trial.
The newspaper separately noted that Jandarma Commander
Selahattin Ugurlu hosted Tezic during his stay in Van.

RADIKAL / OZGUR GUNDEM: DTP (Democratic Society Party) held a
meeting and started getting politically organized in Diyarbakir.
Co-chairpersons, senior members and many delegates participated
in the meeting. DTP Co-Chairperson Aysel Tugluk said that
trying to come out with a solution (to the Kurdish issue)
without us, without the representatives of the Kurdish people,
and without (Kurdish) people is destined to be futile. DTP
Co-Chairperson Ahmet Turk said that Kurds must have the right to
determine their own fate.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Camiel Eurlings, European Parliament's
raporteur on Turkey, who came to Turkey to attend as an observer
to the trial of the author Orhan Pamuk, told a Firat news Agency
reporter that their optimism about the reforms made in Turkey
was weakening. If this situation continued, our relationships
with Turkey will suffer serious problems, said Eurlings.
According to Eurling, the Semdinli incident is a really grave
problem which should be probed thoroughly; and what they hoped
to see in southeastern Turkey was not an environment dominated
by a heavy military presence, but one where civilians were in
charge in addressing the issues.

OZGUR GUNDEM: The raid conducted on the premise of the
Ulkede Ozgur Gundem newspaper (see press summary 12/15) was
authorized by the Van Heavy Penaty Court aleedy as part of
the Semdinli inestigaion. he Geeral Publication Director of
the ewspaprbrandd the raid as a "scandal", ad he frther
said tat criminal evidence should be sought for in the ofices
of JITEM (Jandarma Intelligence), not in a newspaper building.

OZGUR GUNDEM: One of the attorneys of Abdullah Ocalan
demanded that Ocalan go through a health check. According to
the newspaper, Ocalan is kept in a 13-square-meter-prison-cell
and can only go out for one hour per day in the fresh air.

OZGUR GUNDEM: The paper reported that Ali Erol, who was
allegedly taken into custody on October 12 during a checkpoint
search of a bus in Hakkari, brought to a landfill area, beaten
and threatened (see press summary 11/17), was reportedly called
to the Jandarma Command after his release and was interrogated
by Ali Kaya, one of the defendants of the Semdinli case.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Hundreds of people marched from the Silopi
Municipality building to the center of Sirnak's Silopi district
to protest the recent bombings in Semdinli. People did not
shout any slogans, but only kept silence during the march.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Turkish Armed Forces initiated a large-scale
military operation in Tunceli's Gulec village. Reportedly,
4,000 soldiers are deployed in the area. Tunceli Governor's
Office announced that the security forces seized two drums of
Kannas rifles, a hand grenade and a backpack, 12 batteries and
various other materials during an operation.

CUMHURIYET: Kurdish circles, which are against the PKK, will
hold a two-day summit called "Kurdish National Democratic Study
Group" tomorrow in Diyarbakir mainly to discuss two issues: the
right to self-determination and formation of a federation. It
is expected that 250 people will participate in the event to
explore new perspectives -- other than the ones the PKK propose
-- for resolving the Kurdish issue.

CUMHURIYET: Following the kidnapping of nephews of former Batman
deputy from ANAP (Motherland Party) by masked gunmen, hundreds
of people raided the local Jandarma Station and demanded the
release of the people kidnapped. Jandarma officers reportedly
had to convince people that the incident had no links with them.

© Scoop Media

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