Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for June 14, 2006
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RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0740
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SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR JUNE 14, 2006
This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for June 14, 2006.
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
HURRIYET / ZAMAN / EVRENSEL / SABAH (GUNEY) / BOLGE: A
19-year-old person, who allegedly planned to place a bomb at the
municipality building in Mersin's Tarsus district yesterday at
noon, returned back to the street after he was reportedly
discouraged by the metal detector at the gate of the building.
The man put the bomb in front of a bookstore 80 meters away from
the municipality. People noticing the suspicious person caught
him and called the police who safely detonated the bomb and
arrested the man. Evrensel daily claimed that the person, who
was already being followed by the police, was caught red-handed.
ZAMAN / RADIKAL / EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: Semdinli case
defendants placed a demand for the court to issue
non-jurisdiction over the case, to refer it to a military court
(since defendants were military personnel), and to expand the
scope of the investigation at yesterday's hearing. Van Third
Heavy Penalty Court overturned such demands. Whereas the
defendants' attorneys claimed that there were attempts to reach
a verdict "in haste" for the case, the litigants claimed
defendants were trying to prolong the suit. Nearly 10
intelligence officers were again present at the courtroom, but
no foreign observers attended yesterday's hearing. Litigants'
attorneys reiterated claims that Semdinli bombing was a product
of an "organized act", and "its verdict will set an example to
circles resorting to illegal methods in resolving the Kurdish
issue." The court hearing has been adjourned to June 19.
ZAMAN / EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: Dogubeyazit provincial
chairperson of DTP (Democratic Society Party) in Agri has
recently been sentenced to one year in prison and a 500 YTL fine
(approx. 300 USD) on charges that 50,000 forms, including the
statement "I regard Ocalan as representing my political will",
were found in the chairperson's office.
EVRENSEL: Hatay deputy from ANAP (Motherland Party) submitted
a question to the Turkish Parliament on how much real estate
property has been sold to which foreigners at what price since
2003 in Hatay.
EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: Two families in Pinar village of
Tunceli reportedly had to leave their houses and move to another
village because of the intense security measures taken at the
area following PKK's attack on a military convoy in Tunceli's
Geyiksuyu village (see press summary 06/12).
OZGUR GUNDEM: Diyarbakir's Gun TV commented on recent news
presented on media portraying RTUK (Higher Board of Radio and
Television) as removing time restrictions for cultural program
broadcasts in different languages and dialects. Gun TV
broadcasting director said that such regulations had already
been existent on the current regulations, and media was
presenting what is already existent as a new development. The
director further said that if 45-minute time restriction on TV
programs and the requirement about Turkish subtitles were
abolished, then it would be a new story to tell.
OZGUR GUNDEM: DIHA (Dicle News Agency) made a written
announcement and objected to arrest of one of its journalists
based on a written announcement given by a PKK defector in
Tunceli (see press summary 06/13). DIHA announced it an
unacceptable implementation that the journalist had been kept at
the Jandarma command and his house had been searched for hours.
Meanwhile, an employee of the Ozgur Gundem daily, who was
detained by Jandarma officials in Elazig's Maden district, was
released. She was reportedly detained for delivering a book
authored by Abdullah Ocalan to people.
OZGUR GUNDEM: Amnesty International's (AI) Turkey
Representative, which was reportedly established in 2002 in
Turkey, held a meeting in Malatya to form an Initiative Group
OZGUR GUNDEM: The daily claims that there had been an
increase in Turkish military's setting wooded areas on fire as
temperatures increase in the region and the military operations
get more frequent. The last example the daily cited was the
fire allegedly caused by Turkish military in the Cudi Mountain
BOLGE / EKSPRES / ZAMAN: The fire which broke out in
Adana's Imamoglu district destroyed 123 acres of forest land,
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said General Director of Forests. Authorities are searching the
causes of the fire. Separately, a fire broke out in Adana's
Kozan district and damaged 98 acres of forest land.
CUMHURIYET / BOLGE / EKSPRES: The committee organizing the
Spring Festival (May 8-13) at Cukurova University in Adana
denied allegations circulating on some media that a stand was
set up during the festival where posters of Abdullah Ocalan were