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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for June 21, 2007

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TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR JUNE 21, 2007


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for June 21,
2007. 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:

2. EVRENSEL: ADSIAD (Adana Industrialists and Businessmen
Association) started holding meetings with the four
highest-ranking Adana candidates of four political parties, who
are most likely to win seats in the parliament in July 22
elections.

3. EVRENSEL / GUNDEM: Van's Fourth Felony Court
overturned attorneys' objection placed against continuation of
confinement during prosecution process of 2 non-commissioned
officers and one PKK defector Veysel Ates who are being held as
defendants in the Semdinli case. They are charged with
involvement in the Semdinli bombing that took place in a
bookstore in Hakkari's Semdinli distict on November 2005.


4. EVRENSEL / GUNDEM: DTP National Headquarters issued a
written announcement and invited PM Erdogan, who criticized DTP
as "being a party which sees terrorism as in its backyard," to
participate in a live discussion program together on television.
Meanwhile, Ahmet Turk, former DTP national chairperson and
independent candidate from Mardin, asked the PM: "Whose backyard
does your party represent?" Separately, Gundem daily reports
election campaigns of independent candidates going on in Adana,
Agri, Malatya and Diyarbakir provinces. Meanwhile, independent
candidates protested remarks made by the premier, who reportedly
attempted to convince people not to vote for independent
candidates in a speech he delivered at an AKP rally held in
Agri.

5. EVRENSEL: Diyarbakir's Sur District Mayor Selahattin
Demirtas, who has recently been removed from office for
launching a "multi-language municipality service" in the Sur
district municipality (see press summary for June 15), said
that, even if he were wrong in implementing such a service, the
penalty issued was an excessive one and went beyond the limits
of normal legal actions: the court could have simply cancelled
the decision made to adopt multi-language municipality service,
said Demirtas. Meanwhile, Istanbul chapter of the Human Rights
Association protested the pressure exerted on the Kurdish
language and condemned the Sur Mayor's removal from office.

6. BOLGE / SABAH (GUNEY): The Ceyhan Municipality and
chamber of commerce held a rally in the Ceyhan district of
Adana, protesting terrorism. Thousands of people reportedly
attended the rally.

7. HURRIYET: The funeral of a soldier, killed during a
shootout with terrorists in Gumushane (see press summary June
20) the previous day, was held in Denizli yesterday.


8. GUNDEM: A funeral was held in Agri for a PKK member,
who was killed in a shootout on June 10 in Diyarbakir's Kulp
district. DTP Agri provincial party officials and many citizens
attended the funeral. Meanwhile, the bodies of two PKK members
from northern Iraq, who were killed in a May 30 military
operation in Siirt's Eruh district, remained unclaimed. The
coffins were buried by municipality teams.

9. GUNDEM: A Kurdish singer, who was sentenced to a year
and 3 months in prison for allegedly disseminating pro-PKK
propaganda by singing a Kurdish song about Abdullah Ocalan
during Newroz celebrations on March 21 in Sanliurfa, was
released when the court ruled that the number of days the singer
remained in prison could be counted against his prison term. As
the Kurdish singer was released from the prison, however,
Turkish officials again detained him as a result of a court
verdict ordering the singer's deportation.

SECURITY

10. BOLGE / GUNDEM: The dailies report that shipments of
military ammunition and vehicles to the military units in the
security zone declared by the army in Sirnak have been
continuing. A military convoy, under armored vehicle escort,
set off from a tank battalion cantonment in the Cizre district
for a neighboring battalion, located at the outskirts of

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Mountain Cudi.


CRIME AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

11. BOLGE / HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Seventeen Pakistani
nationals, who entered the country illegally in transit to
Cyprus, were apprehended in the inter-city bus terminal of
Mersin.
GREEN

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