Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary, July 27, 2004

Published: Mon 2 Aug 2004 01:02 PM
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
1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for
July 27, 2004. 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. Tercuman, Evrensel, Vakit, Cumhuriyet, Yeni Safak,
Turkiye: According to NTV news, General Charles Wald,
Vice Commander of the US Forces in Europe, announced
that Washington would like to deploy 48 F-16 warplanes,
currently in Germany, at Incirlik Air Base
unconditionally and without any restrictions. The
Turkish GOT has not made up its mind about the matter
3. Tercuman, Hurriyet: Through his lawyers, Abdullah
Ocalan gave messages from Imrali Island, where he is
imprisoned, to PKK/Kongra Gel militants. Ocalan
declared himself as a "spiritual leader," and claimed
that Celal Talabani was organizing a plot against
Turkey. Ocalan added that Talabani dreamed of founding
"Greater Kurdistan" and declaring Van as the capital of
that state, and that he tried to use him for that end.
Ocalan praised Kemalism, but also criticized it for
ignoring the Kurdish issue due to pressure from
Britain. Ocalan accused his brother, Osman Ocalan, of
cooperating with Talabani and also of suggesting that
the Americans exclude him (Abdullah Ocalan) from the
solution to the Kurdish question. Ocalan claimed that
the United States was trying to start a real war
through the Kurdish nationalists.
4. Tercuman: Mines planted by PKK/Kongra Gel militants
in the rural Semdinli, Hakkari province, exploded,
killing five cattle. Jandarma are conducting an
investigation on the explosion.
5. Turkiye: PKK/Kongra Gel militants ambushed a
jandarma team in Yeniyazi, Bingol province. One soldier
and one village guard were killed, while six guards
were wounded.
6. Tercuman: An explosion occurred in Hakkari July 26
around midnight. According to the information obtained
from the police radio announcements, the explosion
happened in the Hakkari Security Directorate's
ammunition storage area. No casualties were reported,
but there was reportedly damage done to security
vehicles. Hurriyet newspaper reported that Hakkari
Governor, Erdogan Gurbuz, announced that the explosives
were remote bombs dropped at the Security Directorate's
wall by terrorists.
7. Ulkede Ozgur Gundem: Approximately four thousand
people attended the "Peace Festivity" organized by the
Municipality of Silvan, Diyarbakir province. People
sang peace songs, and voiced their demand for peace
during the celebration. Silvan Mayor, Fikret Kaya, said
the organizers would turn the one-day event into a
festival next year. The crowd chanted "President
Ocalan" during the festivities.
8. Ulkede Ozgur Gundem: Siirt Mayor, Mervan Gul,
appointed Abdurrahman Tetik as his deputy. Tetik had
been convicted some time ago for assisting and
harboring Hizbullah militants. Eruh Mayor, Hamit Nas,
is also accused of similar charges. Nas is facing three
pending cases, and he had been imprisoned for two
9. Ulkede Ozgur Gundem: DEHAP's Tunceli Provincial
Office condemned the attack by MKP/HKO (Marxist
Communist Party/Peoples Liberation Army) members in
Tunceli's Pulumur township in which one person was
killed and one wounded.
10. Ulkede Ozgur Gundem: Peoples Defense Forces (HPG)
militants attacked a security checkpoint on the
Semdinli-Yuksekova highway in Hakkari province on July
22, killing one officer and three soldiers. HPG
militants attacked police check-points and security
buildings in Cukurca, Hakkari province, on July 23, and
claimed to have killed many GOT forces. One HPG
militant was killed during the attack. GOT forces
launched a large-scale operation around Cilo Mountain
on July 23.
11. Evrensel, Ulkede Ozgur Gundem: The "Sheep Shearing
Festival" had been celebrated in Sirnak province for
centuries before being interrupted in 1990 during the
violence. It was revived on July 23 by the Beytussebap
Municipality in the Lalesi Pasture. Thousands of people
attended the festival that lasted for three days.
12. Sabah: The CHP Parliamentarians' (MPs') report on
the recent drug-related events in Van said that Van
Governor Tan told the MPs that the state did not exist
for an hour during the incident. The report states
that: the police have politically been besieged and did
not fire one single bullet during the raid; there is no
confidence in the narcotics police; a certain group
engaged in drug-related activities has been providing
profits to state authorities; and, some tribes in the
province have established their own forces. The report
indicated that the former Van lawmaker, Mustafa Bayram,
raided the police station with 25 armed persons
carrying long-barreled weapons, and that Bayram's son,
who is the mayor of Edremit, broke the nose of
Narcotics Director with the butt/handle of his pistol.
13. Hurriyet: The Southeastern Anatolian Regional
Development Administration (GAP Administration)
President, Muammer Yasar Ozgul, announced that
approximately $545 million had been allocated this year
for the GAP project, which requires $14.4 billion in
order to be completed. Initially, the project was
planned to for completion in 2005, but with current
funding levels it may be difficult to finalize the
project even in 2010. Spending of $32 billion was
envisioned for the GAP Project, which started in 1989.
Only 52% of the financial investment has been realized.
The project includes construction of a number of dams
over the Tigris, Euphrates and their tributaries for
energy purposes, and irrigation schemes for promoting
agriculture. While 73% of the energy project has been
realized, irrigation projects have remained at 13%.
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