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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for July 28-31, 2007

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SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR JULY 28-31, 2007

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for July
28-31, 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. HURRIYET/SABAH/CUMHURIYET/YENI SAFAK/SABAH: After escaping
to Northern Iraq last week, Riza Altun, the PKK militant in
charge of its monetary traffic in Europe and accused of
embezzlement, was asked to attend a meeting participated by high
ranking PKK operatives in the Kandil Mountain. It is claimed
that as a result of explosion of a bomb used by a suicide
militant, the suicide bomber and three high ranking PKK
administrators in the meeting were killed. The bombing is
attributed to the internal dispute between Murat Karayilan, the
overall in charge of PKK, and Syrian origin Feyman Huseyin, who
is in charge of PKK's armed wing. Murat Karayilan escaped the
explosion by not attending the meeting at the last minute.

3. EVRENSEL/GUNDEM: The Administrative Case Offices Committee
of the Supreme Court accepted the objection filed against
dismissal of the Mayor of Sur District of Diyarbakir, Abdullah
Demirbas, and dissolving the municipal council. The 8th Office
of the Supreme Court will retry the case. The new mayor will not
be elected until the case has been finalized. A temporarily
appointed mayor is fulfilling the mayoral position. Mayor
Abdullah Demirbas and the Municipal Committee were dismissed for
introducing multilingualism and multiculturalism in municipal
services.

4. SABAH/GUNDEM/RADIKAL: The Criminal Peace Court in
Beytussebab district of Hakkari sentenced the DTP Mayor, Faik
Dursun, to 1.5 years of imprisonment on charges of insulting the
sub-governor and the security director during a press
conference. He criticized the sub-governor for refusing the
Municipal Board's January 12, 2007 decision to give Kurdish
names to streets in Beytussebab.

5. YENI SAFAK/HURRIYET: The High Election Board in Hakkari
reversed the objection filed by the DTP-supported independent
candidate, Sebahattin Suvagci. According to the unofficial
results of the election in Hakkari, Suvagci had been elected to
the parliament but he lost his seat to the AKP candidate after
the votes in the border gates were counted.

6. GUNDEM: Two inspectors from the Interior Ministry took a
deposition from the Mayor of Sirnak, Ahmet Ertak, who is alleged
to have said "PKK should be supported" and "We are supporting
the PKK" in an interview he had in Kurdish on the French-24 TV
channel. Ertak denied those statements.

7. EVRENSEL/RADIKAL/CUMHURIYET/GUNDEM: The indictment
prepared by the Diyarbakir Public Prosecutor has been asking 3.5
years of imprisonment for the Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir,
the Sur District Mayor Abdullah Demirbas, and the municipal
board of the Sur Municipality. The Sur mayor and municipal board
members had adopted a policy of applying "multilingualism and
multiculturalism" in municipal services, and this decision was
endorsed by the Diyarbakir Mayor, Osman Baydemir, as well. The
mayors' hearing is scheduled for November 7. Charges have been
pressed against the Diyarbakir Mayor Baydemir and the Baglar
Mayor Yurdusev Ozsokmenler for publishing anti-littering
materials in the Kurmanci and Zaza dialects of Kurdish.

8. CUMHURIYET: The National Chairperson of HAK-PAR, Sertac
Bucak, said the claims that circulated prior the July 22 General
Election that the "Republic is under threat" proved to be false.
In a press release at his party's office in Diyarbakir, Mr.
Bucak said that the Turkish General Staff delivered an
e-memorandum on the pretext of the Presidential election, and
that it amassed troops along the border, and made plans to
attack Northern Iraq. Mr. Bucak concluded that people did not
tolerate creating tension and "stopped" those in favor of a coup
d'etat.

SECURITY

9. CUKUROVA HURRIYET/BOLGE/ZAMAN/GUNDEM: Based on a tip,
teams from the Adana and Mersin Security Directorates arrested
seven persons who were members of the Mustazaflar Dernegi (The
Oppressed People's Association) in Adana and Mersin on the
grounds of membership to the outlawed Hizbullah Organization.
One unlicensed weapon, 74 bullets, organizational documents,

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false ID cards and driving licenses were found in the searches
conducted at the houses and businesses of the suspects.

10. ZAMAN/BOLGE: The Turkish General Staff announced that a
PKK militant surrendered to the GOT forces in Yedisu district of
Bingol. The GOT forces seized 1 Kalashnikov weapon, 5 clips, 125
bullets, 21 bombs, 140 electrical fuses, 5 kilos of C-4
explosive, 150 meters of detonators, 87 BCK bullets, 1 RPG-7
rocket, and a large quantity of food stuffs in the places shown
to them by the PKK deserter. Another PKK militant also
surrendered to the security officials in Akcay village of
Sirnak, and the GOT forces scanning rural Eruh of Siirt found
lots of survival materials in the shelters and dwellings used by
the PKK militants.

11. SABAH/ZAMAN/GUNDEM/YENI SAFAK/HURRIYET: PKK militants, who
tried to get food in Tunekpinar village of Eruh in Siirt
province, killed Mahmut Dayan (58) when the villagers rejected
to give them any food items, the Siirt Governor's office
disclosed. An operation, participated by village guards, has
been launched. The Gundem newspaper claimed that Mahmut Dayan
had been held responsible for the killing of 7 PKK members in
Cirav Mountain on May 7.

12. GUNDEM: Following her interrogation at the Caldiran
jandarma outpost in Van province, Hatice Atsak (45), the DEHAP's
former district chairman, Medeni Atsak's wife, who was arrested
in Yuvacik village, was put in the F-type prison of Van after
she was arraigned. Mrs. Aksak is accused of making propaganda
for an illegal organization.

13. ZAMAN/BOLGE: The Agri Governorate disclosed that 2 PKK
militants surrendered to GOT forces with their weapons and 2
hand grenades. Based on the depositions of the deserters, three
persons who had allegedly assisted and harbored the PKK
militants have been imprisoned by the court.

14. ZAMAN: It is reported that a high-tech back-pack radio
device of PKK has been seized. The back-pack radio, which is
produced only by four companies in the world, provides
uninterrupted communication in war zones and performs critical
services such as skipping frequencies and encryption. The
Turkish General Staff announced that an explosive planted by the
terrorist organization members was discovered in the mountainous
region of Lice district of Diyarbakir. GOT forces seized 1 kilo
840 grams of dynamite sticks, 4 kilos 550 grams of explosives,
and 18 electric fuses in the mountainous Zorkun resort of
Osmaniye.

15. RADIKAL/CUMHURIYET/RADIKAL: In Mersin, of the 55
bureaucrats, politicians and contractors detained for
irregularities in bids on government contracts, 27 were
imprisoned following their arraignment.

16. GUNDEM: On July 27, the GOT forces launched an operation
in Mus province and Dallitepe, Gol, and Xapik regions of Bingol
province where 3 soldiers were killed and 1 village guard and 3
soldiers were wounded. The Turkish General Staff disclosed that
1 village guard had been wounded in clashes with the PKK members
in the rural Mus. It is reported that the operation participated
by many village guards has been intensified in the Besta
Mountain of Sirnak and that the area is constantly bombed by
jets.

17. ZAMAN/HURRIYET: As a result of the clashes between the GOT
forces and PKK militants in the rural Nusaybin of Mardin, 1
sergeant was killed and 2 soldiers were wounded. The wounded
solders have been taken to the military hospital in Diyarbakir
by a helicopter. A large scale operation has been launched to
arrest the dissidents.

18. EVRENSEL/RADIKAL/GUNDEM: The security officials arrested
15 persons, including administrators and officials from the
Patriot Forces Unified Movement (an ultranationalist group made
up of retired military officers), in an operation dubbed
"Whirpool-2" in Diyarbakir on July 27. Police seized 1
long-barreled Kalashnikov weapon, 6 pistols and lots of
documents during the searches conducted in the association and
the businesses and houses of the detainees. The detainees are
accused of 25 types of crimes including "forming an armed
organization; fraud; involvement in judiciary cases; and
intriguing bids."

19. EVRENSEL: Charges have been pressed against 22 persons in

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Eskisehir and 15 others in Bursa for attending the hearing at a
court in Eskisehir of Ugur Kaymaz (12) who had been killed with
13 bullets in Kiziltepe of Mardin on July 19, 2005. They are
charged with instigating people, chanting illegal slogans, and
resisting the police.

20. GUNDEM: The Chief Village Guard, Iskender Ertus, Democrat
Party's top one parliamentary candidate from Van, has been
putting pressure on people in Baskale district of Van after he
lost the election. Some people have been moving from the
district because of the pressure and threats they have been
receiving from the chief village guard. It is also reported that
16 temporary workers at the Baskale State Hospital have been
terminated for having cast their vote to the pro-Kurdish
Democratic Society Party (DTP). It is also claimed that Ertus
had ties with the perpetrators of the bombing in Semdinli of
Hakkari on November 9, 2005. It is claimed that the jandarma has
been threatening residents from the Bostan and Belen villages of
Dargecit district in Mardin for having voted for DTP, and the
villagers claimed that the jandarma gave them tickets for no
grounds while they were driving back and forth to their fields.

CRIME & LAW ENFORCEMENT

21. RADIKAL/CUMHURIYET: The dead body of young women, Halise
Taskin (21), who was shot in the head, was found in a trash dump
of the municipality of Suruc district of Sanliurfa three days
ago. She was buried by a group of ten people, including her
father. No other family members attended her funeral or accepted
condolences for her death. Becoming suspicious of the event,
jandarma detained Halise Taskin's husband Salih Binici with whom
she had been married for a month and had no official marriage
certificate. The security forces have been trying to clarify
this case which might be an honor killing. Approximately 30
women from the Yasamevi Women Association, DTP's Women
Organization, Human Rights Association, and Mazlumder visited
Taskin's grave and protested the honor killing.

22. BOLGE: The Anti-narcotic Team from the Gaziantep Security
Directorate launched an operation against drug users and sellers
in the city center. A two month preparation had been made for
the operation dubbed "Clean Valley," during which 1 kilo and 6
grams of heroin was seized and 11 persons had been detained, the
officials said.

23. SABAH GUNEY: 56 refugees (37 Afghans, 13 Bangladeshis and
6 Pakistanis), who had illegally crossed into Van province of
Turkey from Iran, were arrested in a truck in Sanliurfa when
they were on their way to Greece through Istanbul. The refugees,
aged between 20 and 35 years, had agreed on paying 8,000 US
dollars per person to the truck driver for taking them to
Istanbul. The authorities said that the refugees had forged
passports and would be deported from Turkey after they were
surrendered to the security officials.

24. EKSPRES: The jandarma seized 78 kilograms of heroin in the
trailer of a tractor near Kerimler village of Mersin. One person
with O.G. initials has been detained for involvement in drug
trafficking.

25. CUKUROVA HURRIYET: The Anti-smuggling and Organized Crime
Team from the Provincial Jandarma Command of Gaziantep seized
606,300 kilos of granulated and 12,257 kilos of cubic sugar that
had been smuggled into the country. The smugglers were aiming to
push the sugar into the market after putting false tags and
changing the expire-dates of the sugar which had already
expired. Three persons have been detained for involvement in the
smuggling.

ECONOMY

26. RADIKAL: Hamdullah Gunes, an entrepreneur form Batman, who
started to manufacture dolls wearing the traditional local
costumes, is facing trouble since some locals have spread the
word that his dolls were idols and it was a sin to buy them
according to the Islamic faith. Mr. Gunes, who was awarded for
his contribution to the promotion of his region by the Ministry
of Culture and Tourism, is trying to obtain a fatwa from the
mufti of Batman in order to run his workshop. The mufti is
awaiting guidance from the Department of Religious Affairs about
the issue.

27. EKSPRES/GUNDEM: The President of the Cukurova Agriculture
Mediators Association, Nevzat Alban, said that the agriculture

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workers worked up to 15 hours a day but earned 13 US dollars,
which is less than the daily minimum wage of 15 US dollars. Mr.
Alban said because of extensive mechanization in agriculture,
the need for manpower had decreased and that the landlords were
thus able to find cheap labor.
GREEN

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