Viewing cable 06ADANA75, SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR APRIL 7, 2006
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SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR APRIL 7, 2006
This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for April 07,
¶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.
POLITICAL, SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS
HURRIYET / CUMHURIYET: During European Parliament's General
Assembly meeting called "The situation in Southeastern Turkey",
members stated that PKK was a terrorist organization. Speakers
at the meeting reportedly made a call to Diyarbakir Mayor Osman
Baydemir and DTP administration to condemn and exclude the PKK.
Meanwhile, Cumhuriyet daily noted that European Parliament will
urge Turkey in the National Program it prepared to set a
particular timeframe to end economic and social imbalances in
the southeastern Turkey. Cumhuriyet daily separately noted that
the crisis between the U.S. and Turkey over the PKK issue has
HURRIYET / RADIKAL / CUMHURIYET: Funerals for five soldiers
killed in Sirnak's Gabar Mountains, and one police officer
killed in Bingol were held yesterday. Land Forces Commander
Yasar Buyukanit and Jandarma Commander Fevzi Turkeri
participated in one of the funerals held in Ankara's Haymana
HURRIYET: Songul Erol Abdil, Tunceli Mayor from DTP, together
with the Tunceli Governor opened a memorial corner at the
Security Directorate of the province to honor the memory of 45
police officers who died during the clashes with the terrorist
organization. The opening also marks the 161st anniversary of
foundation of the Turkish National Police.
OZGUR GUNDEM: Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir complained
about being held as a defendant, when he was actually a victim
and witness of (recent) incidents (of civil unrest in
Diyarbakir). According to Baydemir, DTP provincial
administrators and civil society member have worked very hard to
keep the situation calm in the province; however, the recent
arrests have left no one in the province that people would
listen to and follow.
RADIKAL / ZAMAN / EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM / CUMHURIYET: Four
DTP Diyarbakir provincial administrators and two chairmen of
union branches have been arraigned and arrested in Diyarbakir on
charges that they have undertaken activities on behalf of the
terrorist organization. Cumhuriyet daily noted that 27 people,
most of whom were DTP members, were detained yesterday in the
OZGUR GUNDEM: Nine people, including two senior DTP members
in Batman and unspecified number of children, have been
arraigned at Batman's Duty Court and have been imprisoned on
charges of "being a member of terrorist organization" and
"uprising against the state." Meanwhile, 10 detainees in
Sanliurfa have been arraigned and imprisoned to stand trial
later. DTP Ceylanpinar provincial chairperson and two district
administrators are among those people imprisoned.
OZGUR GUNDEM: Mazlum-Der (Association of Human Rights and
Solidarity for Oppressed People) representatives pointed out
that 199 out of 551 people detained and 91 out of 375 people
arrested during the incidents in Diyarbakir were children.
According to Mazlum-Der, 95 per cent of the children have been
tortured and badly treated.
EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: Hakkari Prosecutor initiated an
investigation against tradesmen of Hakkari's Semdinli district.
Tradesmen have been giving their statements to the Prosecutor's
Office starting as of April 5.
ZAMAN / OZGUR GUNDEM: Diyarbakir Municipality held a "Dinner
for Tolerance" for representatives of Chaldean, Syriac,
Armenian, and Muslim communities. Zaman daily reported the
event as Diyarbakir Mayor holding a dinner for leaders of
assorted religious communities comprised mostly of Christians
and especially to mark the coming of Easter.
RADIKAL / EVRENSEL: American New York Times newspaper
covered an in-depth news article about the recent turmoil that
has been going on in southeastern Turkey and said that the
recent situation has been steering Kurds and Turkey back on a
EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: The military operation Turkish
Armed Forces launched in Siirt's Pervari district has been
continuing for about a week. Recently, 20,000 soldiers have
been deployed in the area and the extent of the operation has
been widened by including village guards from the surrounding
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villages to the operation.
EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: DTP Siirt Provincial Chairperson
Murat Avci, who was summoned last week to the prosecutor's
office and who provided a statement there, was arraigned, and
released to stand trial later. Avci has been re-summoned to the
Siirt Prosecutor's Office to give his statement once again.
EVRENSEL: Kutbettin Arzu, Chairman of Diyarbakir Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, expressed his frustration over debates
whether state of emergency rule be revoked in the region or not.
EVRENSEL: PM Erdogan, in response to DTP leaders' enquiry as
to why he met with Hamas leaders, said that Hamas came to power
as a result of democratic elections. PM Erdogan had earlier
indicated that a meeting with DTP would only be possible if DTP
recognized PKK as a terrorist organization. The daily pointed
out that Halid Mesal, the political leader of Hamas, whom Turkey
met with, was not an elected political figure.
OZGUR GUNDEM: DTP Kars provincial chairperson Mahmut Alinak
filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights when a
higher court overturned local Kars court's decision not to seize
hand-outs that included the Kurdish letter "w." The handouts
invited people to March 21 Newruz celebrations. As a result of
higher court's decision, the hand-outs were seized.
OZGUR GUNDEM: The report of Human Rights Association (HRA)
in Diyarbakir claimed that the level of violence has been
intensified by security forces in the southeastern region
following such announcements made by the Prime Minister,
Minister of Justice and Minister of Interior as, "...we will
take necessary measures whether they (demonstrators) be women or
ZAMAN: Zaman daily reported that the report of HRA in
Diyarbakir included statements that blamed police for attacking
the demonstrators, smashing windows of businesses, and using
intense force against demonstrators during the social turmoil in
Diyarbakir. According to Zaman, HRA's report excluded such
facts as demonstrators burning public buildings and doing great
damage to them.
OZGUR GUNDEM: An Alawi federation board announced that the
state was ignoring demands of the Alawis. Alawis, who have
carried out a passive defense to date for their concerns, will
start carrying out civil disobedience activities. Alawi
children will reportedly boycott religious classes at schools,
court actions will be demanded by masses for their complaints,
and ceremonies held by the state will be protested.
RADIKAL / CUMHURIYET: An epidemic of mange hit Sirnak's Cizre
district and 3000 students, especially primary school students,
have been affected.
CUMHURIYET: Gaziantep Provincial Jandarma Command seized fifty
million synthetic Captagon pills in a yarn factory situated in
the Organized Industrial Zone of Gaziantep.