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WikiLeaks: 2003-05-29: 03ADANA147: Southeast Turkey Press Summary

Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 11:23 AM CT


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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
03ADANA147 2003-05-29 14:11 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Consulate Adana
This record is a partial extract of the original cable.
The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A 
          MAY 29, 2003 
1.  This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary 
for May 29, 2003.  Please note that Turkish press 
reports often contain errors or exaggerations; 
AmConsulate Adana does not vouch for the accuracy 
of the reports summarized here. 
2.  Turkiye: During regular checks at the 
entrance of Ercis township of Van, the jandarma 
teams arrested Halise Batgi, a woman alleged to 
be a PKK member. Carrying a false ID, Batgi was 
planning to go to Ankara. It is claimed that she 
would attend the PKK's organizational activities 
and undertake terrorist attacks. Based on the 
information obtained from Batgi during her 
interrogation, another person, Sedat Senay, was 
also arrested. Batgi and Senay were taken to the 
State Security Court in Van after their 
interrogations were concluded. 
3.  Cumhuriyet: The Assyrian origin citizens, who 
migrated from Sarikoy village in Sirnak in the 
mid-1990s due to terrorist events, are afraid to 
return to their village because of the village 
guards. The citizens, with Bishop Samuel Aktas in 
Midyat of Mardin acting as the intermediary, 
asked the governor to expel the village guards 
from their houses. Assyrians have begun to return 
due to the June 12, 2001 circular by former Prime 
Minister Ecevit ordering the facilitation of the 
return of Assyrians. The Assyrians are uneasy 
about returning because of the obstacles created 
by the village guards. In their petitions to the 
governor, the villagers claimed the village 
guards had occupied their homes and had been 
cultivating their land and orchards, and their 
property rights were also violated. 
4.  Cumhuriyet: Sanliurfa, the "City of 
Prophets," is expecting to be included in 
UNESCO's decision determining the cities included 
in the World Cultural Heritage Program. UNESCO 
will evaluate sixteen cities in this category, 
including Sanliurfa and Mardin, in its convention 
between June 29-July 5. Sanliurfa and Mardin are 
considered as important places for religious 
tourism. Ismail Demir, Sanliurfa's Chamber of 
Commerce and Industry President, and Sabri 
Kurkcuglu, head of cultural and historical 
studies on Sanliurfa, called upon all organized 
institutions in town to be sensitive about the 
issue prior UNESCO's decision. 
5.  Cumhuriyet: Members of the "Bible Society" 
are delivering Kurdish copies of the Bible at a 
stand they opened in Diyarbakir because of the 
Cultural Festival in town. The Bible Society 
publicizes the Bible, the Old Testament, and the 
New Testament throughout the world. The 
representative of the Bible Society, Behnan 
Komutgan, said it was unfair to label them as 
missionaries because the Bible Society members 
are honorable Turkish citizens. Komutgan said the 
first four chapters of the Bible were translated 
into Kurdish under the name of "Mizgin" (Good 
News), and the translation into Kurdish of the 27 
chapters of the entire Bible would be completed 
by the end of the year. Komutgan added that the 
Holy Books had been translated into 2,040 
different languages and accents in the world. 
6.  Hurriyet/Radikal: Following the May 1 
earthquake in Bingol, 713 of 1,770 teachers in 
Bingol province applied for a transfer to other 
regions. As the Provincial Education Directorate 
failed to persuade the teachers to stay in the 
area for another year, the teachers' petitions 
for transfers will be submitted to the Ministry 
of National Education on May 30. It is reported 
that all of the teachers who have asked for a 
transfer are homeless. 
7.  Hurriyet/Bolge: Because of demand by women, 
the Adana City Council's Women Committee, the 
Women Consultation Center, and the Association to 
Establish Women Shelter Houses are working 
together to open a "Women's Shelter House" in 
Adana. The president of the association, Nurten 
Mersinli, said the Adana Municipality promised to 
support their efforts. 
8.  Bolge: Adana's Provincial Director of the 
Labor and Employment Department, Hasim Meydan, 
said 7,783 workers were laid off during the first 
four months of 2003. Meydan added his Department 
had paid a total amount of three million USD to 
eligible workers since the enforcement of the 
"Unemployment Insurance Law."  Meydan gave the 
number of registered jobless persons as 18,568 
compared to 16,770 last year. Meydan also 
mentioned that his Department had found jobs for 
2,807 persons in private and public sectors 
during the same period. 



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