Cablegate: Uptick in Violent Clashes in Southeast

Published: Wed 22 Oct 2003 11:58 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
REF: A) ADANA 271 B) ADANA 272
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Southeastern Turkey has seen
an increase in violent clashes since the
beginning of September. According to credible
press reporting which the consulate has been able
to corroborate on multiple occasions, there have
been ten significant clashes resulting in
multiple deaths and injuries, of which eight
appear to be at PKK/KADEK initiative and one
which appears to be at the GoT's instigation.
One violent attack in Tunceli is difficult to
attribute; Tunceli in the past has seen both
DHKP-C and PKK/KADEK activity. In the preceding
months of July-August, there were six total
attacks, while there were ten attacks in May-June
2003. While the scale and scope of the attacks
are still limited, the PKK/KADEK appears to be
taking the initiative to attack what it considers
to be vulnerable GoT targets in Bingol, Hakkari,
Diyarbakir, Mardin, Adana and Agri provinces, as
well as along the Tunceli/Bingol provincial
border. Finally, PKK/KADEK has declared to the
press that it has established a "new unit"
calling itself the "People's Protection Force."
It appears to have undertaken at least one
offensive operation, but corroboration of
information on both the unit and this attack
currently is limited. END SUMMARY.
2.(SBU) Most of the recent attacks have been in
rural or village areas, although two attacks
recently have occurred in urban zones bordering
larger population centers. For example, on
October 15, "terrorists," widely considered to be
PKK/KADEK-associated, attacked a Jandarma minibus
in the Kurkculer suburb of Adana at approximately
2000L. The attack occurred near an Adana prison
and the minibus may have been carrying Jandarma
personnel who had completed a shift change at the
detention facility. One Jandarma soldier was
reportedly killed in the attack and two more were
reportedly injured. Police report finding
approximately 65 shell casings in the vicinity of
the attack site in post-attack investigations
3.(SBU) Additionally, there have been numerous
clashes between DEHAP protestors and GOT security
forces which have resulted in arrests and or
violence resulting in non-lethal injuries. These
clashes have taken place in Mersin, Adana,
Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Siirt, Sirnak, Van and
Mardin provinces.
4.(SBU) There are four reports of civilians
killed or seriously injured by stepping on
landmines or encountering unexploded ordnance in
parts of regions associated with past PKK/KADEK
5.(SBU) Finally, PKK/KADEK has declared to
friendly press outlets that it has established a
"new unit" calling itself the "People's
Protection Force (Heze Parastine Gel in
Kermanji)" to retaliate against GoT security
forces it considers to have used force "against
peaceful Kurdish demonstrators." This unit,
however, also has claimed responsibility for an
Oct. 13 attack in a rural area of Hakkari linked
to an earlier PKK/KADEK cadre clash with security
forces. Reportedly up to ten GoT forces were
killed during this attack and several more
wounded. Consulate corroboration on this unit's
alleged attack is limited.
6.(SBU) Comment: Who has instigated these
clashes is not clear, but the restart of violent
attacks by PKK/KADEK plays into the hands of
those in the Turkish State who want to keep
southeastern Turkey under tight security control.
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