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Cablegate: Istanbul Independent: From Prison to Parliament

VZCZCXRO0062
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHIT #0663 2041535
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231535Z JUL 07
FM AMCONSUL ISTANBUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7322
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ISTANBUL 000663

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PTER TU
SUBJECT: ISTANBUL INDEPENDENT: FROM PRISON TO PARLIAMENT


1. (SBU) Democratic Society Party'S (DTP)-affiliated
independent candidate Sebahat Tuncel was elected with nearly
90,000 votes in Istanbul,s 3rd district. Tuncel was
arrested during a police operation in the DTP office in
Bagcilar district of Istanbul in November 2006. She has been
kept in Gebze prison on charges of PKK membership as her
trial continues in Istanbul's Heavy Penal Court No.10. Under
Turkish law, she will be released after her election to
parliament is certified. Parliamentary membership will
confer immunity retroactively because a final court decision
has not yet been made.

2. (SBU) Tuncel was born in 1975 in Malatya. She held
different positions in pro-Kurdish Democratic People's Party
(DEHAP) and DTP and was living in the Bagcilar district of
Istanbul before her arrest. Police intelligence reports
purportedly say Tuncel was trained in PKK camps in Northern
Iraq in 1997. She had been detained multiple times for
distributing PKK propaganda before her arrest in 2006.
Tuncel's lawyer told press that they would start the process
for her release after final results are announced by the
Board of Elections. According to media, one of Tuncel's
brothers committed suicide a few years ago, allegedly because
of pressure from the PKK.
OUDKIRK

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