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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for November 08, 2006

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR NOVEMBER 08, 2006


This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for November 08,
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

RADIKAL / OZGUR GUNDEM: Four ministers from the AKP government,
namely Minister of Education, Minister of Health, Minister of
Public Works and Minister of Energy and Natural Resouces, came
to Batman, conducted local studies there, and extended
condolences to the people who lost their relatives in the
flooding disasters. Ozgur Gundem daily claims that the
ministers were met with statements from local people resenting
the recent remarks of PM Erdogan about the disaster situation in
the southeastern region. Ministers said that the remarks of the
premier were misunderstood and they further promised that new
houses would be built for people under projects of TOKI (Mass
Housing Administration). PM Erdogan, for his part, pledged that
the government would allocate all its resources to remedy
people's losses from the disaster. PM Erdogan further pointed
out that it was not logical to expect everything from the
government and that the people should abide by the construction
limitations and obtain construction permits from the local
administrations to prevent such disasters turning into
catastrophes. Meanwhile, CHP prepared a draft law to include
Diyarbakir, Batman, Sirnak, Hakkari, Erzurum, Adana, Istanbul
and Mersin in a disaster zone.

OZGUR GUNDEM: The daily claims that the government not only
failed in declaring the southeastern region a disaster zone
because of the flooding, but also it allegedly did not allow the
municipalities in the region to collect relief aid and to launch
aid campaigns, citing grounds that the municipalities lacked the
authority to gather aid. The subgovernors in the region are
trying to ensure that any aid be delivered to people through the
official crisis desks set up there: Reportedly, the
Subgovernor's Office in Mardin sanctioned the aid Mardin's
Kiziltepe, while Derik municipalities (DTP) attempted to deliver
aid to the victims, and the Subgovernor's Offices in Sirnak
pursued the same policy. Moreover, according to the daily, the
prime minister reiterated that the situation in the region was
being exaggerated and he further cancelled his anticipated trip
to the region to November 17 because of the funeral of the
former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit that will take place on
Saturday (11/11). Meanwhile in Hakkari's Semdinli district, the
dead bodies of two people, who disappeared in the recent
flooding that took place there, were found. Hakkari and
Yuksekova municipalities launched three-day-long aid campaigns
for the Semdinli district, and Semdinli Municipality distributed
water and food to people all through the night. Hakkari
Governor, Hakkari Deputy Mayor, Yuksekova Deputy Mayor, DTP
Provincial Chairperson and military officials were all ready and
present in Semdinli where search efforts were being spared for
the missing people.

OZGUR GUNDEM: Ahmet Turk, Chairperson of DTP, who has been
currently conducting studies in the areas hit by the disaster,
this time, went to Diyarbakir's Bismil district, one of the
areas that the flooding affected. Turk said that regional
discrimination was taking place in Turkey, people were no longer
seeing the Turkish state as embracing them, and the Kurds were
no longer expecting anything coming from the Turkish government.
Meanwhile, Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir made a call to the
people to bring whatever they would donate to a (municipality)
building located at a park in Diyarbakir. Diyarbakir
Municipality also sent one truck of non-perishable food to
Diyarbakir's Bismil district. Baydemir also made an
announcement that Kayapinar, Baglar, Sur and Yenisehir
Municipalities in Diyarbakir and non-governmental organizations
were all displaying unified effort and coordination in this time
of hardship.

OZGUR GUNDEM: DTP Vice-Chairperson Aysel Tugluk, a DTP
official, and Yenisehir District Mayor of Diyarbakir attended a
meeting of the Socialist International Council in Chile. DTP
delegation later met with the Chilean President Michelle
Bachelet at a reception given on occasion of the meeting.

ZAMAN: Mr. Paul Poudade, French Ambassador to Ankara, who
has been currently paying visits to local authorities (see press
summary for November 7) in the provinces of eastern
Mediterranean region, was wearied by questions of journalists
related to the Armenian issue, especially during his visit to

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the Hatay Governor.

SECURITY

OZGUR GUNDEM: Turkish Armed Forces, which launched a
large-scale military operation in rural sections of Siirt's Eruh
and Kurtalan districts, extended the operations to include the
Pervari district.

ZAMAN: Two PKK militants were killed in the flooding that
took place in an area in the Mountain Qandil in the northern
Iraq.

HUMAN RIGHTS

OZGUR GUNDEM: 400 health sector workers of the Balcali
Hopital of the Cukurova University in Adana have been continuing
their strike action for about a year now. The workers, who
started their protests when four unionist workers were laid off
from the hospital a year ago allegedly because of their unionist
activities, are demanding an increase in their salaries and
betterment of their working conditions.

ZAMAN / RADIKAL / EVRENSEL: A strange exchange that took
place between two families revealed the ugly side of the local
codes related to 'honor' in Van's Ozalp district. A person, who
raped a three-month pregnant woman (22) called S.A., evaded a
potential revenge attempt from the woman's family by giving his
16 year old daughter to S.A.'s husband. The local headmen
further complicated the situation by gathering a village
assembly and forcing S.A. to divorce from her husband to enable
marriage between S.A.'s husband and the rapist's daughter.
Jandarma, upon learning about the incident, conducted a raid on
the village, put the 16 year old girl under state protection,
and detained 13 people from the village.

ECONOMY

EKSPRES / BOLGE / OZGUR GUNDEM: Chairperson of Chamber of
Agricultural Engineers said that rainfall in the fertile
Cukurova region (the fertile agricultural plain of the eastern
Mediterranean region) have left decares of cultivated fields
under flood waters, farmers have not been able to harvest cotton
and corn crops, and they have faced a 40 to 50 per cent loss
because of the products that remained in the fields. Moreover,
the farmers were not able to enter the next stage of cultivation
when new crops would be planted, because of the mud in the
fields; and the farmers would not be able to prepare themselves
for the next season. Meanwhile, damage assessment studies on
the fields have begun in Adana's Ceyhan district, announced the
Ceyhan Subgovernor.

EKSPRES: Gaziantep Chamber of Industry will hold GAPFOOD
(Food and Food Technologies Fair) between 9 and 12 November in
Gaziantep.

EKSPRES: The free trade agreement between Turkey and Syria
has taken effect in both countries, said the State Minister
Kursat Tuzmen.

HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Fourth Cukurova Industry and Commerce
Fair will be held between 15 and 19 November in Adana.
GREEN

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