Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for August 20, 2006
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SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR AUGUST 20, 2006
This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for August 20,
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
ZAMAN / CUMHURIYET: An explosion took place in a natural gas
transportation line of BOTAS (between Iran and Turkey) in Agri's
Taslicay Township on Saturday (08/19) at 9.15 p.m. Governor's
Office of Agri announced that the explosion took place as a
result of PKK's terrorist attack. The fire that resulted from
the explosion threatened the villages in the environs.
Firefighters and ambulances were sent to the area. The fire
stopped when the gas was cut off from the line.
CUMHURIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM: Fire broke out in Petroleum
Production Fields of TPAO (Turkish Petroleum Corporation) in
Mardin's Nusaybin district the previous night at 1 a.m. The
fire spread via the wind to a 10-kilometer area where mines were
located. Firefighters took the fire under control after 6 hours
of hard work. Three mines reportedly went off during the fire.
No casualties were reported.
OZGUR GUNDEM: The number of soldiers dispatched to Hakkari
from other cities reportedly reached 250,000. Checkpoints were
increased from 2 to 7 in the city, and people are not able to go
out of their homes after certain times at night. People are not
allowed to go to the highlands and breed their animals there.
War planes flying low, intermittent cannon fire, and increased
military activity are reportedly adversely affecting the
psychology of the people.
OZGUR GUNDEM: Police in Silopi caught 24 Iraqi Kurds who
entered the country illegally in Sirnak's Silopi district. The
refugees were sent to the Habur Border Gate to be deported after
their medical examinations were completed.
OZGUR GUNDEM: Flooding occurred in a village of Van because
of the heavy rains. Fifty houses were damaged and 150 sheep and
goats were killed.
OZGUR GUNDEM: The mayor of Van's Kurtalan district (from
DTP) had an accident with his official car as he was traveling
to Ankara. The mayor was seriously wounded and is now under
intensive care. Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir, and DTP
Co-Chairpersons Ahmet Turk and Aysel Tugluk went to the hospital
upon hearing the news.
OZGUR GUNDEM: DTP's Adana branch has been successful in
resolving the hostilities between two families that erupted one
month ago in Adana's Sakirpasa quarter.
OZGUR GUNDEM: Senior officials of Mazlum-Der (Association
for Solidarity with Oppressed People) and Human Rights
Association (HRA) will go to Iraq to get more information about
Mustafa Egili, Ozgur-Der (Free Thought and Educational Rights
Association) national chairperson, who was detained in the
Federal Kurdistan Region on June 1 with another Ozgur-Der
official from Diyarbakir.
OZGUR GUNDEM: It is claimed that Iran's security officials
surrendered 3 PJAK (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan) members to
Turkey. Those PJAK members were then reportedly brought to
Yuksekova District Security Directorate. A second military
operation in the last week came in the Kato Mountain of Sirnak's
Beytussebap district. Village guards and jandarma commandos are
reportedly extending suport to the operation.
ZAMAN / OZGUR GUNDEM / BOLGE: A 50-person group, which was
comprised of members of HRA, KESK (Confederation of Public
Employees' Unions), ESP (Socialist Party of Oppressed People),
EMEP (Party of Labor), DTP (Democratic Society Party), SDP
(Socialist Democracy Party), held a press announcement in front
of Incirlik Airbase against shipment of military materiel from
the base to the NATO port in Mersin and against recent
discussions on sending Turkish troops to Lebanon.
ZAMAN / CUMHURIYET / OZGUR GUNDEM: Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a
U.S. terrorism expert, wrote an article on HYPERLINK
www.counterterrorismblog.org and said that the U.S. and Turkey
developed a joint strategy to counter PKK. The strategy was
reportedly developed in order to prevent Turkey from undertaking
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a unilateral incursion into Iraq, which would have risked
accidental Turkish engagement with non-PKK Kurdish forces or
even U.S. forces.
ZAMAN / OZGUR GUNDEM: The European Court, which accepted the
file submitted about the dam project which envisages submerging
ancient Hasankeyf district under dam waters, requested that
Turkey provide urgent information on the measures taken to
preserve the district's historical richness.
ZAMAN: Restoration works on the 10th century Armenian
Church on an island on Lake Van will be completed soon, and PM
Erdogan will hold the opening ceremony on October 15. The
Armenian Minister of Culture will also be invited to Turkey for
the opening ceremony.
ZAMAN: PM Erdogan reportedly called last week the father of
a soldier, who died because of a remote controlled PKK mine in a
village of Bitlis in July. Erdogan reportedly tried to raise
the family's morale and gave information to the father on
measures taken to combat PKK terrorism.
ZAMAN: A group of environmentalists in Adana, who
complained about the pollution levels in the Seyhan River,
collected 12 sacks of garbage on the riverside in one hour.
The general secretary of Adana Municipality said that although
it was DSI (State Water Works Authority), not the Adana
Municipality, whose responsibilities covered cleaning of the
bank of the Seyhan River, the municipality still embarked upon
efforts to clean the riverbank.