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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for October 03, 2006

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR OCTOBER 03, 2006


This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for October 03,
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

SABAH (GUNEY) / BOLG / HURRIYET / ZAMAN: Police found out that
the PKK terrorist who was caught in the intercity bus terminal
of Adana with 6 kilograms of C-4 explosives (see press summary
for October 2) had received military and political training in
the camps located in Iran and Iraq between 2003 and 2004, and
was later sent to Turkey to carry out terrorist activities. The
terrorist was formerly the private tailor of the terrorist
leader Abdullah Ocalan.

3. HURRIYET / EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: Two children aged
13 and 6 found a rocket propelled grenade in Bingol's Yedisu
district and played with it. The grenade then exploded and
wounded the children.

4. ZAMAN: Armored personnel carriers and military materiel
that were brought to Mardin's Nusaybin district via train at
11.30 p.m. are dispatched to military units located at the
border area in Sirnak's Silopi and Cizre districts in order to
be used at possible military operations.

5. ZAMAN / OZGUR GUNDEM: Iraqi Government appointed Shirwan
el-Waaily, a Shia Minister Responsible for Security Affairs, as
its special envoy in countering the PKK and the Iraqi government
submitted el-Waaily's name officially to Ankara over the
weekend. El-Waaily has a military background and has close ties
with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri el-Maliki.

6. EVRENSEL: The daily comments that cease-fire process is
being jeopardized by the operations going on in the southeastern
region. While the Turkish Armed Forces launched one of the
largest-scale military operations in its history in Hakkari (see
press summary for October 02), Second Army Commander General
Hasan Sigsiz reportedly said that the fight will go on until no
terrorist is left in the mountains. The daily also points out
that Iraqi Government has also appointed an envoy for countering
the PKK.

7. EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: Hilmi Aydogdu, DTP Provincial
Chairperson in Diyarbakir, made a press announcement on behalf
of the Kurdish organizations in the province before a 500-person
audience in the provincial theater hall, extended support for
PKK's cease-fire, and said that that historic opportunity should
be seized. Democratic organizations in Van also extended
support for the cease-fire and made a call for ending the
operations. Chairperson of Van Chapter of Human Rights
Association pointed out that despite Turkey passed through a
five-year peaceful period between 1999 and 2004, it did not take
satisfactory steps in resolving the Kurdish issue then.
Hundreds of people gathered at the Kiziltepe Branch of DTP in
Mardin and marched to a main square in the district to extend
support to DTP and cease-fire.

8. OZGUR GUNDEM: A conflict took place between PKK
members and security officers in Diyarbakir's Silvan district,
and two PKK members allegedly died.

9. ZAMAN ONLINE: Selahattin Kaya, a former administrative
attachi of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former Bingol
Mayor (between 1989 and 1994), talked with a journalist from
Aksiyon magazine on the PKK issue. Kaya said that the PKK's
cease-fire did not involve an element of seriousness in essence,
because as the winter was approaching in the region, the
fighting capability of the PKK was decreasing. Kaya said that
PKK, in its nature, was not an organization for peace, rather it
was a warring mechanism. DTP's call for peace provided the
grounds for the PKK for the cease-fire it longed for, according
to Kaya. Separately, the (Turkish) military unacceptably
engaged itself in politics as it collected garbage in Hakkari to
protest its Municipality for ignoring routine tasks (Note: The
Municipality "engaged itself in divisive acts" instead, see
press summary for September 26. End Note.), according to Kaya.

10. OZGUR GUNDEM: Diyarbakir's Sixth Heavy Penalty Court
will start the trial brought against Diyarbakir Mayor Osman
Baydemir for his remarks made as he attempted to calm down the
people during violent demonstrations that took place in
Diyarbakir in March following the burial of 4 PKK terrorists.

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Baydemir reportedly had said then, "14 people (PKK members)
died, 3 more were killed in the demonstrations, and we should
not let our death toll increase to 18." Baydemir is reportedly
facing ten years in prison for upholding members of the PKK.

11. ZAMAN / OZGUR GUNDEM / CNNTURK ONLINE: Parliamentary
Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE), which would discuss on
Friday (10/06) the report on "The Cultural Status of the Kurds",
which was created by the English Parliamentarian Lord-Russel
Johnston, decided to discuss the report earlier, on Wednesday
(10/04), as a result of pressure exerted by the head of the
French delegation. The report, which dwelt on the cultural
status of Kurds living in Iraq, Iran and Syria, depicted the
Kurds as one of the biggest communities of the world without a
state. The report recommends that those states where Kurds
lived should be encouraged not to see the cultural rights of the
Kurds as a threat for themselves, but as a cultural heritage.
Meanwhile, Rene Van der Linden, spokesperson of the PACE,
announced that he was pleased with the PKK's cease-fire
decision.

12. RADIKAL / ZAMAN / SABAH (GUNEY) / HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) /
BOLGE: Karatas District Municipality's Assembly, which is
comprised of 4 members from AKP, 3 members from CHP and 2
members from DYP, elected under tight security measures the new
mayor for Karatas, which is a seaside resort in Adana having
27,000 population. (Note: The case of the former Mayor Yusuf
Erenkara [from AKP], who was killed with his brother on
September 22 in a gun attack [see press summaries for September
25, 26 and October 1], is still under police investigation. End
Note.) The new mayor, Metin Catalbas [from CHP], who held a
press announcement at the headquarters of Adana's AK Party
together with AKP Adana Provincial Chairperson Mustafa
Attaroglu, told journalists he joined the ranks of AKP. Bolge
daily is surprised that a CHP municipality assembly member
instantly became an AKP mayor in one night. CHP Provincial
Chairperson Serdar Seyhan finds the development unethical and
says that Catalbas had not submitted his formal resignation to
CHP yet. Catalbas, for his part, said that he supported the
joining of Karatas to the Adana Municipality. Catalbas further
portrayed the former Karatas mayor as an "honest and
hardworking" person and did not further comment on Adana Mayor's
recent remarks about the Karatas Municipality [see press summary
for October 1]. Attaroglu extended support for Catalbas.
Catalbas is reportedly engaged in fishing trade in Karatas.

13. HURRIYET / RADIKAL: A 36-year-old woman was killed in
Gaziantep by her brother, reportedly in the name of honor, after
the two quarreled over why the woman ran away from her husband,
with whom she had an unofficial marriage relationship. The
woman had reportedly eloped with that man 8 years ago without
her family's consent and had recently returned home because of
problems she had with her husband.

14. EKSPRES / OZGUR GUNDEM: Members of Kamu-Sen
(Confederation of Public Employees Unions) held a protest
against the bomb incident which took place in front of the
Mersin State Hospital on Sunday (10/01).

15. CUMHURIYET / SABAH (GUNEY) / EKSPRES / BOLGE / HURRIYET /
ZAMAN: Unidentified thieves opened fire on a car traveling from
Adana to Gaziantep province. The driver, who was a jeweler,
died and his aide was seriously wounded. The thieves stole 10
kilograms of gold from the car.

16. EVRENSEL: On the day that marked World's Architects' Day
members of Chamber of Architects in Adana gathered at the Old
Roman Bridge in the city center and demanded resumption of the
renovation project of the bridge, which was recently suspended
due to shortage of funding.
GREEN

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