Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary For
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RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1151
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
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SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR
1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for
September 18, 2007. Please note Turkish press reports often
contain errors or exaggerations; AmConsulate Adana does not
vouch for the accuracy of the reports summarized herein.
2. HURRIYET: The daily alleges Pinar Selek, a sociologist
held as a defendant in the case involving the 1998 bombing of a
touristic shopping area of Istanbul, was the love interest of
Abdullah Ocalan. The daily further reports allegations Ocalan
would set up a separate pro-Kurdish party to be led by Selek and
former DEP Deputy Hatip Dicle. Selek categorically denied these
reports, including accounts of her meeting with Ocalan.
3. EVRENSEL: Authorities continue to question seven people
detained in Van's Baskale district in connection with the
September 11 discovery of a vehicle containing explosives in an
Ankara parking lot. The vehicle was stolen in Istanbul a year
ago and was reportedly housed in a Van warehouse for one year.
The police, who are searching for 11 other suspects in the case,
are also trying to find out if the case has any links to the PKK.
4. EVRENSEL / RADIKAL: DTP Acting Chairperson Selma
Irmak expressed concern over reported pressures her party was
facing, saying history could repeat itself if their party shared
the same fate as the former DEP, which was closed in 1994.
5. HURRIYET / RADIKAL: Hakkari Governor's office
announced police had found one kilogram of plastic explosives in
a house in Hakkari's Yuksekova district, and had arrested two of
three suspects. This development reportedly prevented a
possible attack targeting the Governor's Office or the Security
6. HURRIYET ONLINE: Jandarma teams caught 46 Iraqi refugees,
who entered the country illegally, in Sirnak's Silopi district.
The refugees said they were fleeing the cholera outbreak in
their home towns.
CRIME AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
7. HURRIYET: Provincial jandarma command teams searching a
car in a checkpoint on the road between Silvan and Hazro
districts in Diyarbakir found 24 kilograms of hashish hidden in
the car. Three people were arraigned.
8. ZAMAN / HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Police stopped a car
traveling from Van in the Bitlis province and found 22 kilograms
of heroin hidden in the car.
CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT
9. ZAMAN: The Mersin Municipality's Basketball team hired
two American basketball players for a term of one year.
Separately, the daily reports the `Botas-Cup 4 tournament', an
event held annually by Botasspor Basketball Team of Adana's
Ceyhan district, will be held between 9 and 11 October this
10. EVRENSEL / BOLGE / RADIKAL: Schools started yesterday,
however, thousands of students in Sanliurfa province and
Cukurova region were not able attend school due to their work as
agricultural laborers; the cotton harvesting period coincides
with the national opening of schools. Evrensel daily writes in
Adana districts where mostly Kurds live, children are primarily
working and selling items in the streets.
11. BOLGE / EKSPRES / HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) / ZAMAN: To mark the
opening of the new school semester, students visited offices of
the Adana governor and mayor and presented flowers. The Adana
governor's message underscored violence at schools will be
terminated through concerted effort from all members of the
community. The Governor and the Mayor also presided over the
opening ceremony of a new primary school in the Yuregir
district. Adana's governor noted to the school's principal that
a banner had misspelled one of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's famous
adages. Adana's CHP deputy Gaye Erbatur also paid visits to
several schools in Adana. The Cukurova supplement of Hurriyet
daily quotes Adana's AKP Deputy Necdet Unuvar as announcing the
number of students in classrooms has decreased from 90 to 40
students per classroom in the last five years, thanks to efforts
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to construct and provide more classrooms at schools.
12. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Gaziantep Mayor announced two
projects under development in the province: the construction of
a planetarium, and a botanical park that would house 4000 types
13. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) / SABAH (GUNEY): Mersin Mayor
Macit Ozcan attended an iftaar dinner in one of the
municipality's public tents set up to provide food to Mersin's
citizens throughout the month of Ramazan. Separately, Yuregir
Mayor Omer Topcu held an iftaar dinner with his municipality
workers in Adana. Sanliurfa Governor, his wife, and the
Provincial Director of Social Services had an iftaar dinner with
twenty girls from an orphanage in Sanliurfa.