Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for October 18, 2006
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SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR OCTOBER 18, 2006
This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for October 18,
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.
OZGUR GUNDEM: It was stated at the Third Kurdish Conference
of the European Parliament that the European Union should also
appoint a Kurdish envoy for resolving the Kurdish issue, and
that this envoy should be included in the tripartite mechanism
established between the US, Turkey, and Iraq.
3. OZGUR GUNDEM / CUMHURIYET: Iraqi Foreign Minister
Hosyar Zebari told a newspaper published in northern Iraq that
the Maxmur Camp on Mount Qandil would not be closed, and that
the Iraqi government would not deport any refugee living there.
4. EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: One of the attorneys in the
Semdinli case said that the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme
Court of Appeals was allegedly trying to acquit members of an
illegal network by objecting to the June 16 verdict of the local
court that had sentenced two non-commissioned officers to
long-term prison sentences (see press summary for October 17).
The Mayor of Yuksekova in Hakkari found the recent move of the
Supreme Court to be dubious, and the Mayor of Semdinli in
Hakkari alleged that the authorities were trying to cover up the
5. RADIKAL / HURRIYET / CUMHURIYET: Mersin's Fourth Court
of First Instance sentenced two of the nine defendants accused
of hurling eggs at PM Erdogan during an opening ceremony held on
February 11 in Mersin, to a year and two months of prison apiece
for "insulting the prime minister because of his profession."
The other defendants were each sentenced to 11 months and twenty
days in prison. The court then delayed the effective date for
the prison sentence of the convicts.
6. BOLGE / EVRENSEL: A twenty-five vehicle convoy carrying
materiel for Lebanon-bound troops arrived at the port of Mersin.
Turkish Land Forces' Units which will also join the UNIFIL in
Lebanon have arrived at Mersin (see press summary for October
17) as well. The units will depart Turkey for Lebanon on
7. BOLGE: Seyhan Municipality Assembly condemned the
recent passing of a bill in France that made it a crime to deny
the "Armenian genocide."
8. ZAMAN: The daily claimed that 15 members had deserted
from terrorist organizations over the last 20 days. The last
two terrorists surrendered to the authorities in Van and Mus
9. ZAMAN: CHP National Leader Deniz Baykal extended a
strongly worded criticism to DYP Leader Mehmet Agar for Agar's
recent remark, which was as follows: "They [PKK members] should
carry out political activities in plain land, instead of going
up to the mountains to take up arms." According to Baykal,
Agar's remark was reminiscent of something Abdullah Ocalan might
10. CUMHURIYET: The Diyarbakir Prosecutor's Office initiated
an investigation against the Newruz celebrations held in
Diyarbakir on March 21 under the leadership of the DTP. The
investigation was initiated on the grounds that photographs of
Abdullah Ocalan and PKK militants were carried and shown during
the celebrations, despite a ban against such action issued by
the Ministry of the Interior.
11. BOLGE / EVRENSEL: Adana police safely detonated a
suspicious plastic bag left in front of a furniture shop in
downtown Adana. The bag turned out to have contained wood
12. OZGUR GUNDEM: Relatives of the PKK guerilla who was
buried in an area near Siirt's Eruh district after dying in an
October 11 clash between the Turkish Armed Forces, applied to
Prosecutor's Office in Eruh to claim possession of the body.
The Prosecutor's Office told the relatives that they should
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apply to the Subgovernor's Office, if the grave of the terrorist
would be opened, to bury him in his hometown. The subgovernor
allegedly told the relatives of the terrorist that he would
issue a permit to open the grave whenever he felt like it--no
13. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Ten women in Sanliurfa began
operating greenhouses that had been built using funds provided
by the European Union.
14. SABAH (GUNEY): Diyarbakir's Chamber of Commerce and
Industry launched efforts to prepare for the 2007 Middle Eastern
Agricultural Fair, which will be held between May 23 and 27 in
2007 in Diyarbakir.
CRIME / LAW ENFORCEMENT
15. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) / ZAMAN: Van police found 40
kilograms of heroin hidden in balloons loaded in a private car
which had been stopped at a checkpoint in Van's Gurpinar
district. Van's Security Director announced that the police
have seized two tons of illegal drugs during operations within
16. SABAH (GUNEY): Members of the Provincial Jandarma
Command in Gaziantep caught a person who had illegally smuggled
five Glock handguns into the country from northern Iraq.
17. ZAMAN: Diyarbakir police discovered and dissolved an
illegal gang selling synthetic pills to young people in front of
schools in Diyarbakir. Twenty-six kilograms of hashish-based
ingredients, 2078 ecstasy pills, and 300 grams of heroin-based
ingredients were seized. Seventeen people have been arrested
CULTURE / SOCIETY
18. OZGUR GUNDEM: TZPKurdi (The Movement for Kurdish
Language and Its Teaching) will be offering Kurdish courses at
various levels and will engage in efforts to make Kurdish the
language of daily life. The Kurdish Democracy Forum will also
be offering a Kurdish course in Ankara.
19. BOLGE: A project submitted by a student from the
International Relations Department of Cag University in Mersin
has been accepted by the EU Youth Programs. Twenty students
from Romania, Estonia, Belgium, and Lithuania attended a seminar
on the EU at the University.