Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary,

Published: Thu 29 May 2003 10:01 AM
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 28, 2003
1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for May 28, 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. Radikal: An investigation was begun against
Enis Alkan, a senior student at Ataturk
University in Erzurum, because officials believe
Alkan made a pro-Kurdish statement with his
signature while filing a petition with the
university for mid-term exams. The report from
the security directorate stated, "although the
meaning of the signature is not being examined in
our laboratory, the signature resembles the word
Kurtculuk (Kurdism)." Alkan was dismissed from
the university. Alkan's request for suspension of
the act by the university was denied at the local
administrative court on the grounds that there
was no serious opposition to the law or
irrecoverable losses. Alkan is waiting for the
result of the appeal he made to the Regional
Administrative Court.
3. Radikal: In Kazanci village of Diyarbakir,
the elementary school teacher required a sick
student to read an anthem that begins with "happy
is he who says I am a Turk." Because the student
chanted it silently, the teacher misunderstood
the student, and thought he said "happy is he who
says I am a Kurd;" and charges were brought
against the student at the State Security Court.
The unidentified student, who was tried at
Diyarbakir State Security Court, was acquitted on
the grounds that moral components of the crime
were not constituted.
4. Radikal: Police in Hakkari used an
interesting method to determine people who
shouted pro-Ocalan and PKK/KADEK organization
slogans during the Newruz festivities in Hakkari
on March 21. Thirteen persons viewed with open
mouths in pictures taken by police were
interrogated for having shouted pro-separatist
organization slogans. The police filed a petition
with the office of the Chief Public Prosecutor of
Hakkari against the suspects for "supporting and
harboring the organization," and demanded a
warrant of arrest in absentia be issued for eight
suspects not found at their addresses. Five other
suspects were arraigned. Later the court released
the suspects because of lack of solid evidence.
The suspects' attorney, Mikhail Demiroglu, said
the police did not have sound records of the
people accused, and it was difficult to
understand what was said and by whom at a place
where thirty thousand people had gathered.
5. Evrensel: A court in Tunceli gave a one month
imprisonment sentence to 30 persons, including
HADEP's former Provincial Chairman Alcan Onlu,
and the former Provincial Chairman of EMEP, Salih
Gundogan, for attending the May 1 Labor Day
Meeting in Tunceli. Regarding the issue, an
attorney from Tunceli Bar Association, Baris
Yildirim, said, although the OHAL (State of
Emergency Rule) has been lifted, its effects
still continue. Yildirim said the people had
gathered to celebrate Labor Day, and making a
press release was not a crime by law. Yildirim
said they would appeal the court's decision.
6. Milli Gazete/Bolge: Adana Governor Kemal Onal
said there was a pressing need in Adana for five
thousand classrooms in elementary schools and 925
classrooms in secondary schools. Governor Onal
said because Adana received influxes of
immigrants, the need for classrooms increased.
The Governor also stated 300 teachers, appointed
to Adana for health and family reasons, were
receiving their salaries without teaching any
classes. Onal claimed that most of the immigrants
had multiple children and the need for classrooms
was mainly felt in Yuregir and Seyhan districts
of the town. Governor Onal said he was expecting
support from private citizens and companies to
resolve the issue. He added they spent
approximately 2.750 million USD for
transportation of 13,500 students throughout the
7. Hurriyet: Three hundred physicians and nurses
from various towns were trained on "Family
Planning Standardization Education" at the
Yavuzlar Infirmary in Adana. Adana Provincial
Health Director, Dr. Serdar Mercan, stated their
objective is to give standard, good quality
family planning service in all Health Ministry-
affiliated institutions. Mercan said a team
consisting of 15 persons started the education
program in Adana in 2000.
8. Bolge: The President of Chamber of Commerce
in Adana, Saban Bas, said they would open an
International Fair in September in Adana. He
stated this fair would be vitally important for
promoting the trade in the Southern and
Southeastern regions. Bas said the fair would be
set up on 50 acres of land with 11 thousand
square meters of covered area for tents. Bas said
permanent buildings for the fair would be built
in coming years.
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