Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for May 03, 2005

Published: Thu 5 May 2005 01:57 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
This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for May 03, 2005.
Please note that Turkish press reports often contain errors or
exaggerations; AmConsulate Adana does not vouch for the accuracy
of the reports summarized here.
RADIKAL / SABAH: A Parliamentary commission as set up to
investigate the fuel oil smuggling discovered that the number of
loaded fuel oil trucks at the Mersin port does not match the
number of trucks passing through the Habur border gate.
Commission members also observed that despite the elimination of
some of the problems on the Iraqi side of the border, there is
still reportedly a 15-kilometer queue of trucks waiting at the
Turkish side of the gate.
CUMHURIYET: Cumhuriyet quotes one of the members of the
Parliamentary Commission investigating fuel oil smuggling as
saying that processes at Habur border gate are plagued by
corruption. Trucks are sometimes allowed to pass the gate
without being inspected. The commission member also said that
smuggling has become an ordinary activity in the region, since
it yields better profit than engaging in activities such as
animal husbandry.
CUMHURIYET: The trial of six young people who allegedly
attempted to burn the flag during Nevruz celebrations in Mersin
started yesterday. The court released the defendants pending the
CUMHURIYET: The paper reports that the 1,800-kilometer BTC
(Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan) pipeline's (reportedly 60,000) parts,
especially at points where pipes are welded to one another, are
highly vulnerable to corrosion. According to the report, the
possible leaks from these parts may cause damage to the
environment, and corrosion may cause high temperature
explosions, as well.
CUMHURIYET : Ali Topuz, Deputy Chairperson of CHP's
Parliamentary Group and member of CHP's "Commission for
Assessing the GAP Project's Current Situation and its Future",
said that GAP project should be redesigned and a new program
established and implemented.
RADIKAL / OZGUR GUNDEM / YENI SAFAK: Twenty-one-year-old
Cetin Kum was shot dead in Yukari Tulgali village of Van after
allegedly not complying with a soldier's instruction to halt.
Kum was reportedly trying to cross the border to smuggle fuel
oil to Turkey when he was shot. Ozgur Gundem's report claims,
however, that Kum was only grazing his sheep when he was shot. A
delegation from the Van Human Rights Association examined the
matter and prepared a report, which claimed that Kum was shot at
close range.
HURRIYET / EVRENSEL / SABAH: The European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR) will announce on May 12th its decision regarding the case
of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the terrorist organization, PKK.
HURRIYET / YENI SAFAK: Iran, reported as being under
international pressure generated by the U.S., is reportedly
enhancing its trade relationships with Turkey. Both countries
are readying to mutually decrease their customs tariffs. State
Minister Kursad Tuzmen, currently visiting Tehran, stated that
the products sold in the border trade areas will be increased
and diversified.
EVRENSEL / OZGUR GUNDEM: A 7 p.m. curfew was
reportedly imposed by the military in Uzungecit village of the
Uludere district in Sirnak. According to reports, the curfew was
imposed because 72 village guards refused to take up arms there
when military operations started.
ZAMAN: The private Kurdish language schools in Istanbul,
Diyarbakir, Batman, Van and Kiziltepe are reportedly suffering
financial losses due to inadequate numbers of students. One of
the owners of the schools attributes the lack of attention to
the poor economic status of people and the intimidation that
people cannot overcome.
EKSPRES: Organic citrus fruit production started this season
in Vakifli, the Armenian village in Samandag district of Hatay,
and has already yielded produce, pleasing the producers in the
village. Berc Kartun, the muhtar (headman) of Vakifli village,
said that his community is able to obtain healthy produce
without applying chemical pesticides.
OZGUR GUNDEM: Ozgur Gundem reports that a 24-year-old PKK
member, Adnan Batur, was allegedly tortured and killed after
being caught and wounded on October 23, and another alleged PKK
member allegedly suffered the same fate in March. (Note: Ozgur
Gundem provides graphic descriptions of the state of the bodies
as were reportedly discovered. End note.)
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