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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for December 19, 2005

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 000242

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR DECEMBER 19, 2005


This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for December 19,
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

SABAH: In Diyarbakir, addressing the "Kurdish National
Democratic Working Group" comprised of leftist, Islamic, liberal
and nationalist politicians opposing PKK, the National Chairman
of the Hak ve Ozgurlukler Partisi (Rights and Freedoms Party),
Abdulmelik Firat, said his party gathered 50,000 signatures
demanding from the Turkish government a federal structure for
Kurds within the Turkish State. During a two-day summit chaired
by Abdulmelik Firat, the grandson of the 1925 revolt's leader
Sheikh Sait, admiration to Barzani and the necessity for
coming-together of all Kurds in Turkey for adopting a new policy
were expressed. The overwhelming majority of the speakers
emphasized that the demand for "federation" should be inscribed
in the party's charter during its upcoming general convention.
The Working Group will reconvene for a third meeting to decide
on the demands raised at the summit.

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YENI SAFAK: Husnu Tuna, an attorney representing the Centennial
University's academicians intervening in one of the cases
against the Centennial University Rector Yucel Askin, who is
accused of preparing and possessing illegal records on
academicians, said that it had been discovered that the lawyers
who represent the Treasury Department were missing at the court
ruling during which Rector Askin had been acquitted from the
charges of smuggling antiquities. Attorney Tuna said that the
acquittal decision would be appealed to the Supreme Court.

CUMHURIYET/ ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: 16 persons arrested during an
operation by the police from the Tunceli Anti-terror Department
on charges of assisting and harboring PKK militants were
released after their arraignment. The suspects will be tried
without being kept under confinement. The suspects had been
detained based on documents confiscated from three militants
killed in the ensuing clashes with GOT forces in the rural
Gulbahce village of Pertek, Tunceli province, on October 10,
2005.

CUMHURIYET: Cumhuriyet newspaper reports that 33,000 persons and
over 100 billion US dollars have been lost to PKK's attacks in
the last 21 years. The daily reported the breakdown of 621
persons killed from densely Kurdish populated towns as follows:
158 soldiers, 23 policemen, 4 teachers and 2 vicars from
Gaziantep; 57 soldiers, 4 policemen, 1 watchman, and 2 teachers
from Sanliurfa; 56 soldiers, 21 policemen and 21 teachers from
Diyarbakir; 38 soldiers, 3 policemen, 33 village guards and 1
village headman from Adiyaman; 15 soldiers, 2 policemen, 4
watchmen, 121 village guards and 9 teachers from Mardin; 38
soldiers and 8 policemen from Van. 24,000 PKK militants have
been killed since 1984 until the abolishment of the State of
Emergency Rule on November 30, 2002 and from the PKK's breaking
its unilateral truce on June 1, 2004 up to now. Although there
are no definite figures, 4,485 citizens, including public
employees; and 5,050 GOT forces have been martyred by PKK.

ZAMAN: The hearing concerning Ahmet Kaymaz (30) and his son Ugur
Kaymaz (12), who had been killed in Kiziltepe of Mardin on
November 21, 2004, will resume in Eskisehir today. The attorneys
and NGOs following the case called out people to act according
to their common sense in order not to cause any provocative acts
while the Eskisehir Governorate banned all sorts of
demonstrations, press announcements and meetings to be held in
town on the hearing date for the same purpose. Ulkede Ozgur
Gundem daily reports that the Forensic Medicine determined that
each of the 9 bullets that had penetrated into Ugur Kaymaz' body
was fatal and a person with wounds in those parts of the body
could not engage in an armed clash.

ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: The Semdinli prosecutor, who had been
interviewed by the Turkish National Assembly's Human Rights
Inspection Committee, has been quoted in the Committee's draft
report as saying that the security department is not reporting
the names of the policemen knowledgeable about the bombing
incident in Semdinli and the events that took place afterwards
despite his written notice to the security directorate about
these events.

EKSPRES/ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: The Adana Branch of Human Rights
Association and some other NGOs undertook a march to protest the
"Return to Life Operation" launched against inmates on hunger
strike on December 19, 2000. The hunger strike, in 20 prisons
nationwide, continued for 61 days and the "Return to Life
Operation" resulted in the killing of 2 soldiers and 19 inmates
and wounding of 78 inmates. Ulkede Ozgur Gundem claims that 32
persons had been killed during the prison operation and none of
the perpetrators had been punished yet. The group's speaker,
Cemal Dogan, claimed that inhumane applications in prisons
continued and the crowd chanting anti-Return to Life Operation
disbursed.

HURRIYET: In Midyat of Mardin, two sisters, Tugba and Derya
Ileri, going to high school on a motorbike received death
threats signed by Hizbullah. Initially, unidentified persons
damaged their motorbike and then they received e-mails warning
them that they were becoming bad models for the girls living
there, and questioned them about what they tried to mean by
dressing like boys. The girls' father, Salih Ileri, a retired
teacher, said that some circles did not approve of his
daughters' riding a motorbike on the ground that it was a sin.
Salih Ileri filed a petition of complaint with the public
prosecutor concerning the issue.

ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: It is reported that two mass graves found
in Tatvan of Bitlis on August 24, 2004 might belong to PKK
militants killed on October 27, 1994. The Avras family claimed
that the bones of one of the bodies most likely belonged to a
family member of theirs and applied to the public prosecutor.
Samples taken from the Avras family had been sent to the
Forensic Medicine lab for analysis but although one year has
passed no response has been given by the Forensic Medicine. The
lawyers' demand for an additional investigation has been denied
by the prosecutor. The Avras family's lawyer submitted the case
to the European Court for Human Rights.

BOLGE/BOLGE: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan watched,
through satellite TV, the inauguration ceremonies held for the
Irrigation by Gravity Project of the Yumurtalik Plain. The Adana
Governor, mayor, Adana lawmakers from AK Party and the 6th
Regional Director of the State Water Works Department in Adana
participated in the ceremonies.

BOLGE: Workers and their families protesting the closure of the
Adana Cigarette Factory gathered in the Southern Region
Representation Office of the Tek-Gida Is (The Union of Tobacco,
Alcoholic Beverages, Food, and Subsidiary Works) and carried
Turkish flags and banners reading "IMF, get out; This country is
ours; Monopoly is homeland, Homeland can not be sold" and
shouted anti-government slogans. On behalf of workers, the
union's Regional Representative, Gursel Dilkilic, said the
cigarette plant erected on 44,000 square meters had 50,000 ton
daily production capacity and possessed 23.32 percent of
Turkey's cigarette market and made an annual profit of 2.5
million US dollars. Dilkilic said that 700 people were presently
working in the plant, and advised privatizing the cigarette
production line in lieu of closing it.
REID

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