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WikiLeaks: 2006-03-28: 06ADANA59: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for March 28, 2006

by WikiLeaks. 06ADANA59: March 28, 2006.

Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2012 at 12:32 PM UTC


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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06ADANA59 2006-03-28 14:23 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Consulate
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 
This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for March 28, 
2006.  Please note that Turkish press reports often contain 
errors or exaggerations; AmConsulate Adana does not vouch for 
the accuracy of the reports summarized here. 
nine-person delegation made up of members from Turkish 
Parliamentary Commission Probing Semdinli Case started its trip 
to the southeastern region yesterday (see press summary 03/23). 
Commission members heard statements of the Semdinli case 
defendants, namely officers Ali Kaya and Ozcan Ildeniz (and 
later PKK defector Veysel Ates) for 4.5 hours at the Court Hall 
in Van when Van Military Jail did not allow commission members 
to meet defendants at the jail on grounds that there was not 
much space to host the overcrowded delegation.  Officer Ali Kaya 
reportedly said, "They accuse us of attempting to kill Seferi 
Yilmaz (Note. Yilmaz is the owner of the bookstore bombed on 
November 9, 2005 in Semdinli. End Note). We did not do so. If we 
were to do that, we would not place a bomb at a bookstore in 
broad daylight. Do you really think that we cannot calculate 
what would happen to us if we carried out such an action in the 
middle of the day?  Had we planned to kill Yilmaz, there would 
be thousands of other ways to resort to." When commission 
members recalled Land Forces Commander Yasar Buyukanit's remarks 
about Ali Kaya (Note. In the days that followed the Semdinli 
bombing, Buyukanit had said, "I personally know Ali Kaya. He is 
a good person." End Note.), Ali Kaya told commission members 
that he had great respect for Commander Buyukanit and that they 
together had been in a military operation conducted in northern 
Iraq.  Ali Kaya further said that they had strong evidence to 
prove their stance and everything would become more 
transparently evident on the May 4 trial day.  Two delegation 
members separately went to Bitlis, and heard statements from 
Veysel Ates, who reportedly said that he had no connection with 
the bombing.  Ates said that they were in the car together with 
the officers when the explosion took place and they barely saved 
their lives when the incident developed.  Commission members 
will visit Hakkari and Yuksekova today. On Thursday they will go 
to Semdinli, and finally they will return to Ankara on March 31 
to present a report to the presidency of the parliament. 
RADIKAL / OZGUR GUNDEM: Hakkari Governor Ayhan Nasuhbeyoglu, 
conducted local studies in Yuksekova together with the 
Provincial Jandarma Commander and Security Director concerning 
the problems of the district.  Nasuhbeyoglu said they would 
extend all the support they could give to the parliamentary 
commission visiting the region. 
HURRIYET:       Hakkari Provincial Jandarma Command (HPJC) sent a 
reported secret circular to Van Prosecutor's Office and claimed 
that PKK has established a so-called customs gate at the border 
with Iraq around Semdinli-Horyurek hamlet.  Smugglers are 
reportedly paying customs duty to the PKK members at entrances 
and exits at the so-called border gate.  The circular alleged 
that Seferi Yilmaz, the bombed bookstore owner in Semdinli, had 
links with one of the PKK officials working at this gate.  HPJC 
will file complaint about Seferi Yilmaz and a number of other 
people who allegedly had connections with the PKK members at the 
so-called gate. 
EVRENSEL:       Suicide rates in Bingol province reportedly have 
proved as serious as the rates in Batman province.  18 people 
attempted to commit suicide in the last three months. 
EVRENSEL:       A mine went off when a 31-year-old male stepped on 
it in a village in Tunceli.  The person died instantly at the 
site of the blast.  Tunceli Governor's Office announced that the 
mine was planted by the PKK. 
EVRENSEL:       DTP Ankara party organization held a protest 
activity in Ankara against the investigations started against 
mayors of the southeastern region.  DTP Provincial Party 
Chairman Murat Sayan reminded that Hakkari Mayor Metin Tekce 
(see press summary 03/17) and Batman Mayor Huseyin Kalkan have 
been going through an investigation process and former DEHAP 
Hakkari provincial chairperson has been arrested recently. 
Sayan also pointed out that a bomb went off across from the DTP 
provincial building in Elazig (see press summary 03/27). 
According to Sayan, the state, which was not been able to exert 
influence during the Newruz celebrations, has started taking 
revenge through recent investigations and arrests.   Meanwhile 
DTP Tunceli party organization has also made an announcement to 
protest the recent developments. 
OZGUR GUNDEM:   Nearly 2500 people marched in the streets of 
Hakkari's Yuksekova district to protest the arrests that took 
place during the demonstration held against arresting of former 
DEHAP Provincial Chairperson, Sebahattin Suvagci (see press 
summary 03/27), in Hakkari.  The people extended support to 
Batman and Hakkari mayors and demanded the release of the people 
EVRENSEL:       Ankara Prosecutor's Office started an investigation 
against a Kurdish poster marking March 8 Women's Day despite 
authorities not allowing the posters to be posted on billboards 
in the city.  The poster reportedly read in Kurdish, "Happy 
March 8, Hit the streets to stop war and killing of women." 
OZGUR GUNDEM:   Funerals will be held in four provinces for 
seven of the fourteen PKK members killed in a military operation 
last Friday (see press summary 03/27) in Mus.  The families who 
took possession of their dead kin from the Malatya State 
Hospital have reportedly claimed that there were no bullet 
wounds on the dead bodies and that the PKK militants have 
allegedly been killed with chemical weapons.  The provinces 
where the funerals will be held are Diyarbakir, Batman, Siirt 
and Adana. 
OZGUR GUNDEM:   Syriac community in Turkey decided to 
celebrate their 6756-year-old April 1st Spring Festival in 
Istanbul on April 2. Last year's festival was held in Midyat 
district of Mardin province.  This year, because of the 
reactions of the Muslim community towards the caricatures of 
Prophet Mohammed depicted in western media, and also because of 
the recent deaths of two Syriac religious clergymen, the 
celebration will not be held in Midyat. 
OZGUR GUNDEM:   A young person called Hayrettin Sar, who 
reportedly disappeared three days ago, was found dead in the 
environs of Sinanli village in Diyarbakir's Bismil district. 
Six bullets were found in the body of Sar. Sar had previously 
worked for the youth organizations of HADEP and DEHAP, and he 
reportedly served one year and nine month of prison sentence 
when he was convicted of being a PKK member three years ago. 
OZGUR GUNDEM:   Adana's Third Heavy Penalty Court continued to 
hear today the case of five police officers who allegedly opened 
fire at a crowd of young people celebrating Newruz in 2004 in 
Adana.  Officers allegedly seriously shot a youth in the head. 
The court acquitted the officers in today's hearing on grounds 
that officers have committed the act as a result of 


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