WikiLeaks: 2005-05-12: 05ADANA103: Southeast Turkey Press Summary
Viewing cable 05ADANA103, SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR MAY 11, 2005
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UNCLAS ADANA 000103 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU ADANA SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR MAY 11, 2005 This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for May 11, 2005. 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, SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS CUMHURIYET / YENI SAFAK: In Sanliurfa, killing in the name of honor, or violation of the so-called "traditional familial codes" is suspected in the death of 14 -year-old Emine Arslan, and later her brother, Ahmet, on May 5. As background, the papers report that Ahmet Arslan had already been married with four children when he sought to marry another woman, Fatma. In exchange, Fatma's family asked for 14-year-old Emine for one of its sons. The practice that led to Emine Arslan's marriage is known as "berdel," a form of bartering seen primarily in southeastern Turkey, to avoid paying dowries and other marriage expenses. CUMHURIYET: The Children's Chorus of Diyarbakir Municipality sang Turkish, Kurdish, German, Assyrian and Armenian songs during the May 9-Europe Day celebrations in Diyarbakir. OZGUR GUNDEM: Murat Bozlak, Sirri Sakik, Ahmet Turk and Feridun Yazar traveled to northern Iraq to meet representatives of PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) and PDK (Democratic Party of Kurdistan). (Note: These persons have been involved in pro-Kurdish politics in Turkey, such as in the former DEP and HADEP parties, but their current affiliation is not specified in the report. End note.) PUK and PDK representatives reportedly said that they are not planning an armed operation against the PKK/Kongra-Gel. Kubad Talabani, the son of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, allegedly stated that a general amnesty should be granted to members of the PKK. OZGUR GUNDEM / EVRENSEL: Members of the Human Rights Association (HRA) and DEHAP (Democratic People's Party) went to a site where a bomb exploded, killing an 8-year-old boy in Mardin (see press summ 5/9). After examining the area, the HRA and DEHAP members concluded that it was commonly used by villagers while at the same time being used as a Jandarma weapons training area, as well. RADIKAL / EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: Representatives of the Chambers and NGOs, within the framework of the freedom of information law, will submit a petition to the President's Office asking for information about a "secret Incirlik decree" to provide logistical support to the U.S., allegedly prepared by the GOT. OZGUR GUNDEM: Jandarma intervened when students at Van's Yuzuncu Yil University attempted to hold an alternative Spring Festival separate from the University's conventional one. (Note: Students have often used this tactic to protest the "establishment" spring festivals in Turkish universities that allegedly attempt to exclude organized student groups.) Reportedly, 60 students were taken into custody. EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: Two separate lawsuits were allegedly opened against 20 Newruz festival committee members in Siirt on the grounds that: 1) the committee used the letter "w" during their preparations for last year's Newruz celebrations and 2) the committee organized an "unauthorized meeting." SABAH (GUNEY): The paper reports that the delivery of natural gas to the Mersin province from a pipeline that extends from Sivas down to Mersin has been started. HURRIYET (CUKUROVA): Yigit Alpdogan, General Secretary of the National Security Council (NSC), started a trip through nine provinces in the Southeast to conduct studies and examine the GAP region. His first visit was to the Governor of Gaziantep, Lutfullah Bilgin. During his visit, Alpdogan told the Governor that the GAP Project was a significant social and economic development program that would be one of the concerns covered by the NSC. RADIKAL: A 15-year-old student and a 14-year-old student in Adana were reportedly arrested at a school upon allegations that they tore the flag that was hung on a mast in the school. One of the youth awaiting trial was later released. REID