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Cablegate: Police Foil Apparent Pkk Escape Attempt In

R 251500Z OCT 88
FM AMCONSUL ADANA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4559
INFO AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMCONSUL ISTANBUL
AMCONSUL IZMIR

UNCLAS ADANA 0638

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: SOCI TU
SUBJECT: POLICE FOIL APPARENT PKK ESCAPE ATTEMPT IN
DIYARBAKIR

REF: ISTANBUL 5140

1. (U) SUMMARY: DIYARBAKIR POLICE OCTOBER 23 DISCOVERED
A 120 FOOT TUNNEL INTO A PRISON WHICH HOUSES MANY CON-
VICTED OF SUPPORT FOR THE OUTLAWED PKK. AUTHORITIES
IMMEDIATELY ORDERED THE TRANSFER OF 120 PRISONERS FROM
DIYARBAKIR TO ESKISEHIR, WHICH TRIGGERED A FIGHT BETWEEN
INMATES AND GUARDS IN WHICH 20 PRISONERS WERE WOUNDED. END
SUMMARY.

2. ACCORDING TO THE PRESS, POLICE ACTED ON A TIP EITHER
FROM A PKK SUSPECT BEING INTERROGATED OR FROM A PRISONER.
THEY FOUND A TUNNEL (VARIOUSLY ESTIMATED AT BETWEEN 40 AND
60 METERS LONG) STRETCHING FROM A HOUSE IN THE SLUM
(GECECONDO) AREA OF DIYARBAKIR TOWARD THE INTERIOR OF THE
PRISON. ABOUT FORTY ADDITIONAL METERS OF TUNNELING WOULD
HAVE BEEN NECESSARY TO REACH THE INTERIOR OF THE PRISON.

3. SECURITY AUTHORITIES ANNOUNCED THE TRANSFER OF 120 OF
THE PRISONERS IN DIYARBAKIR TO ESKISEHIR. AMONG THEM WAS
THE NOTED WOMAN PKK MILITANT, SAKINE POLAT, SENTENCED TO
56 YEARS. THE INMATES PROTESTED THE TRANSFER, AND 20 WERE
WOUNDED IN THE SCUFFLE WHICH ENSUED. A NUMBER OF THE
PRISONERS VOWED TO BEGIN A HUNGER STRIKE TO DRAMATIZE
THEIR OPPOSITION TO THE TRANSFERS. POLICE HAVE ALSO
ROUNDED UP FOR INTERROGATION APPROXIMATELY 30 PEOPLE
LIVING NEAR THE HOUSE WHERE THE TUNNEL WAS DISCOVERED.

4. COMMENT: RESPONDING TO COMPLAINTS ABOUT MILITARY ADMIN-
ISTRATION OF THE PRISON (ITS FORMER DIRECTOR WAS MURDERED
IN ISTANBUL OCTOBER 23 IN APPARENT REPRISAL FOR HIS
ACTIVITIES, REFTEL.) THE GOT TRANSFERRED THE PRISON TO
CIVILIAN CONTROL EARLY THIS SUMMER.


COLE

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