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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for August 9-10, 2007

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SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR AUGUST 9-10, 2007

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for August
9-10, 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: The Turkish Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gul, gave
a "Red Dossier" to his Iraqi counterpart Hosyar Zebari, who
accompanied the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri El Maliki on his visit
to Turkey. The dossier, which contains the names of 150 top PKK
militants and the El Kaide operatives who had undertaken actions
in Turkey, has the following information: there are between
3,640 to 4,300 PKK terrorists on Iraq's soil; the Kandil
Mountain is used as a base, with more than 500 terrorists
operating out of it; the terrorists in the Kandil Mountain
possess more than 10,000 hand grenades and mines, and more than
3,000 weapons; the terrorists also have small camps around the
Kandil Mountain; the terrorists have built electric plants on
creeks near the Ayhan and Harun camps; and the terrorists have
political training schools, archives and food storages in Harun
Camp. Lolan, Hakurk, Zap, Metina, Hinere, and Havasin are other
important camps and the terrorists pursue organizational
activities in the Hakurk camp. The number of terrorists in the
Hakurk camp is around 550-700; the militants have a fully
equipped hospital with 6-7 doctors in Kanicenge; and the
organization [PKK] is getting its main food supply from Rania
village.

3. RADIKAL/CUMHURIYET: Observers have reported that the
Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri El Maliki, wanted to include in the
text of the security agreement a "General Amnesty" clause for
the PKK militants while Turkey insisted on extradition of
militants to Turkey and joint operations against the PKK. Since
Turkey dismissed Iraq's proposal and demanded recognition of the
bilateral agreements signed during Saddam's reign, which allowed
Turkey to penetrate 75 kilometers into Iraq to form a "security
belt," the two governments failed to reach an agreement. The
Iraqi Government's Speaker, Ali Debbag, said that Saddam's era
was over and that Turkey should work on signing new agreements
with the new Iraqi Government. Debbag stressed that his country
would not accept an incursion by Turkey into Iraq and that the
new Iraqi Government was compelled to take the demands of the
Kurdish Administration into consideration.

4. EVRENSEL/GUNDEM: The 7th Munzur Culture and Nature
Festival starts today in Tunceli. The DTP affiliate Tunceli
Mayor Songul Erol Abdil expressed wishes for "peoples'
brotherhood to flow from the Munzur River and nature to be
allowed to survive." Mayor Abdil said the festival aimed at
unifying people against the construction of dams over the Munzur
River. The Tunceli Governorate did not allow two documentaries
about Tunceli to be played, on the grounds that they did not
have the proper copyrights.

5. EVRENSEL/CUMHURIYET: A six-person European Union (EU)
delegation visited Diyarbakir and met with the Mayor of Sur
district and city council members, all of whom were dismissed
from office for supporting multilingualism and multiculturalism
in municipal services. The delegation will prepare a report
about the case. The Diyarbakir Mayor, Osman Baydemir, prepared a
tourist guide of historical sites in Diyarbakir in Kurdish,
Turkish, English, German, and French languages under the GAP
Cultural Heritage Development Project financed by the EU.

6. GUNDEM: The Tunceli Public Prosecutor pressed charges
against Yasar Kaya, the Tunceli Central District Chairman of
EMEP Party (Toil Party), and EMEP members, Haydar Yildiz and
Huzeyin Guzel, and the Municipal Board member, Ali Tutmez, for
using the letter "w" in the "Newroz" [Nevruz] handouts they had
delivered. The Prosecutor said that the letter "w" was not a
Turkish letter and that using it was a violation of the Letter
Law. He added that the phrase "the brotherhood of Turkish and
Kurdish people" could not be used, according to article 81 of
the Political Parties' Law, which states that "Political parties
cannot claim that there are national, or religious, or cultural,
or sectarian or ethnically based minorities in the Turkish
Republic. The Representative of the Tunceli Branch of the Human
Rights Association, Attorney Baris Yildirim, said that articles
concerning minority rights existed in the Constitution of the
Turkish Republic and that Turkey had signed international
agreements concerning the topic but that the Political Parties'
Law contradicted the Constitution.


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7. GUNDEM/EVRENSEL: In order to protest the disappearance,
while in jandarma detention, of HADEP administrators Serdar
Tanis and Ebubekir Deniz in the Silopi district of Sirnak in
January 2001, the DTP's Siirt Provincial Office held a silent
sit-in protest in April 2001. Police arrested 41 demonstrators
on charges of violating the Demonstration Marches Law. 30 of the
detainees were acquitted and 10 persons served varying
sentences. The DTP's Provincial Chair for Siirt province,
Abdurrahman Tasi, was given 15 months of imprisonment. Tasci
appealed his case but the Supreme Court endorsed the court's
decision. Tasci has been incarcerated in Siirt's E-type prison.

8. ZAMAN: The TGS has been signaling a potential cross-border
operation into Northern Iraq by increasing its demining
activities along the routs to be used by troops. A Special
Demining Unit cleared mines in the Caliskan village of Silopi,
in the Habur-2 border region, and the surrounding of the Bestler
valley and Besta Military Outpost in Sirnak province. The
Demining Unit is currently engaged in demining activities in the
Hakkari, Cukurca and Yuksekova regions. According to the data by
the Human Rights Association, 838 people lost their lives and
937 were wounded in 512 mine explosions. 394 civilians, 244
children, 334 security officials, and 3 PKK terrorists fell
victim to mine explosions.

9. SABAH GUNEY: Mehmet Aslan, the President of Chamber
of Commerce of Gaziantep, stated that he had discussed, with
Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki in Ankara, the problems that Turkish
and Iraqi businessmen had encountered in their trade with Iraq.
Aslan announced that Maliki had promised to open a Consulate
General in Gaziantep.

SECURITY

10. SABAH GUNEY/CUKUROVA HURRIYET: The Security Director of
Mardin province, Ismet Tashan, announced that 41 clips and 55
bullets for 28 US-made weapons of various calibers, which had
been reported missing, were seized in Mardin. Tashan stated that
the weapons had been smuggled into Turkey from Northern Iraq. 7
of the 8 persons arrested for alleged connections with smuggling
the weapons were imprisoned by the court. The terrorists'
connections with the seized weapons are being investigated.
Based on a tip that drugs would be dispatched from Mardin to
Mersin, police launched an operation in Mardin on August 3,
seized 1.8 kilos of heroin, and detained 3 people. One of the
detainees, named in the paper as "F.E.," was imprisoned by the
court.

11. ZAMAN: The Turkish General Staff (TGS) announced that two
soldiers were killed by a PKK mine in the rural Sirnak and that
a large scale operation had been launched to capture the
terrorist perpetrators. The TGS said that 43 of the 79 soldiers
martyred in 2007 had been killed by PKK mines and added that the
mines were remotely activated by "jammers" when soldiers were
passing by on their return from operations.

12. RADIKAL/GUNDEM: The 7th Corps Command's Military Court
freed Chief Sergeant Gultekin Sutcu, who had solicited the
kidnapping and killing of Mehmet Serif Avsar in Diyarbakir in
1994. The 3rd Felony Court of Diyarbakir had asked for life
imprisonment for Sergeant Sutcu and had sent the file to the
Military Court due to jurisdiction issues. Avsar's attorney,
Sezgin Tanrikulu, stated at a press conference that he would
appeal the decision and indicated that JITEM members (Jandarma
Intelligence Center) had been involved in hundreds of mysterious
killings in the region. Tanrikulu added that jandarma
involvement in this case had been made concrete for the first
time.

13. GUNDEM: The PKK announced that 7 soldiers had been wounded
in clashes in the rural Mergezer region of Hakkari on August 5.
The body of PKK militant Kemal Civandag, AKA Deli Pir, was taken
from the Tunceli State Hospital to his hometown of Erzincan for
burial.

CRIME & LAW ENFORCEMENT

14. BOLGE: 22 Somali, Palestine, Syrian, and Iraqi nationals,
who had illegally passed into Turkey, have been arrested in the
rural Gorentas village of Yayladag district of Hatay province,
which borders Syria. Officials said the foreign nationals would
be deported after their depositions.

ECONOMY

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15. CUKUROVA HURRIYET/BOLGE: Mersin Governor Huseyin Aksoy and
a technical committee have been looking for a proper place for
an airport for Mersin. State Minister Kursat Tuzmen had brought
up the issue of constructing an airport in Mersin during the
July 22 General Election campaign.

16. SABAH GUNEY: Vedat Kahyalar, Director of the Haci Sabanci
Organized Industrial Zone in Adana, announced that a Specialized
Agricultural Industrial Zone, which will not use soil but other
mixtures such as perlite, turf, coconut fiber, and rock wool for
growing potting plants, would be built on 912 acres in Adana,
creating more than 10,000 jobs.
GREEN

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