Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for December 05, 2005

Published: Tue 6 Dec 2005 02:14 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 December 05,
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.
YENI SAFAK/ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: The Turkish National Assembly's
(TNA) Commission to investigate the bombing incidents in
Semdinli and Hakkari and the increased terror incidents will
resume its work tomorrow. The Investigation Commission will
disclose the names of its members at the General Convention and
then will convene to elect its management. The commission will
be composed of 12 lawmakers: 1 pharmacist and 11 lawyers. The
names of the AK Party deputies in the Commission are: 1-Musa
Sivacioglu (lawyer)from Kastamonu,; 2-Enver Yilmaz (lawyer)from
Ordu; 3-Sukru Onder (Security Diector) from Yalova;4-Metin
Kasikoglu (lawyer) from Duzce; 5-Ayhan Sefer Ustun (lawyer) from
Sakarya; 6-Semiha Oyus (lawyer) from Aydin; 7-Fehmi Husrev Kutlu
(lawyer) from Adiyaman; 8-Orhan Yildiz (lawyer) from Artvin. The
CHP deputies in the Commision are: 9-Ahmet Ersin (lawyer)from
Izmir; 10-Mesut Deger (lawyer) from Diyarbakir; 11-Sirri Ozbek
(lawyer) from Istanbul. The ANAP member in the Commission is:
12-Ibrahim Ozdogan (pharmacist).
The Commission will have to work for four months according to
the TNA's internal regulations. It is anticipated that the
Commission will be faced with the "state secret" impediment in
its operations.
the Istanbul Chamber of Doctors, Gencay Gursoy, who undertook a
three-day inspection in Hakkari, Semdinli and Yuksekova together
with the "Citizens Committee" made up of university teachers,
NGO administrators and journalist, said at a news conference
that he hoped the incidents in Semdinli would be brought to
light and that they would follow the case closely. Radikal and
Ulkede Ozgur Gundem newspapers reported that the shopkeepers'
representatives in Yuksekova told the committee that the
military applied sanctions on shopkeepers and that charges had
been brought against them for closing their shops. The committee
visited the former Rector of the Van Centennial University,
Yucel Askin, who is under confinement at the Research Hospital
of the university. In order to prevent Yucel from escaping,
Jandarma mounted an iron grill at the window of the room in
which he is receiving medical care.
ZAMAN: It is feared that the Commission that will investigate
the Semdinli case will encounter the same impediments as those
encountered in the "Susurluk Case," since the required
amendments concerning "secrecy of the state and commercial
operations" have not been made in the TNA's internal
regulations. The former SHP (Socialist Peoples Party) lawmaker
Fikri Saglar said that the "Investigation Committee" should be
changed to "Interrogation Committee" and articles concerning
"state secrecy" should be brought to the level of those in
modern states respectful to the rule of law. While former
lawmaker Saglar stated that the TNA's Committees lacked
authority to apply sanctions the former lawmaker Sadik
Avundukoglu, who was the Head of the Committee Investigating
Mysterious Killings in 1993, emphasized that it was almost
impossible to get any documents or depositions from government
employees because the public prosecutors from the State Security
Courts at that time had instructed government agencies in
writing that employees should not give any information or
documents to the commission. Avundukoglu stressed that the
Turkish National Staff, Turkish National Police and Turkish
National Intelligence should not hide behind the "state secret"
phrase for alleged involvement in any incidents but help the
TNA's commissions to enlighten them.
ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: Attorney Yusuf Alatas, the National
President of Human Rights Association of Turkey, said that the
association would closely follow the process after the Semdinli
bombing and would form a commission that would follow, inspect
and contribute to the TNA's Investigation Committee's work. HRA
President Alatas said that the association would organize mass
participation to the Semdinli Case hearings at the Van Heavy
Criminal Penalty Court and would provide legal assistance to
victims of the bombing.
ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: 200 persons out of 622 torture victims, who
applied to the Turkish Union of Chamber of Physicians (TUCP) in
2005, claimed that they were exposed to torture either in
streets or in open spaces. The TUPC Vice President, Metin
Bakkalci, said that GOT forces have been kidnapping and applying
torture in open spaces since application of torture has become
difficult in detention centers because of newly adopted laws.
Bakkalci said that the state officials applying torture tried to
legitimize torture by saying "we are doing this for our
country." Bakkalci said that the United Nations was founded to
prevent torture and that the Prime Minister Erdogan was not
sincere in preventing torture because he perceived that
individuals claiming there was torture in Turkey were
ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: On the occasion of the December 10 World
Human Rights Day, the Human Rights Provincial Committee of the
Adana Governorate delivered handouts
reading "Rights Possessed by Suspects and Inmates" in various
places in the town. It is also announced that a conference will
be held on December 9 because of the occasion. Excerpts from the
handout: No one can be held as a suspect or criminal for an act
not considered a "crime" per the laws prevailing at the time the
crime had been committed. No discrimination based on language,
religion, race, sect, nationality, color, gender, and
political-ideology can be made. In those cases where a suspect
or inmate, whose rights have been violated, cannot solve his
problem through domestic legal avenues, he has the right to seek
his rights in the international judiciary. The suspect or inmate
has the right to a fair trail. The suspect or inmate has the
right not to be kept under detention for a longer period than
determined by law and has the right to inform his relatives of
his detention. The suspect or inmate possesses the right to
remain silent. The suspect or inmate possesses the right to have
a lawyer ready while giving a statement or being interrogated.
ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM/EVRENSEL: In a report on PKK, a think-tank
in the United States, The Washington Institute, argued that the
Kurdish movement weakened the Turkish-American relations. The
report claimed that a strong US military operation against PKK
in the short term was not expected, and expressed that the
organization's activities in Europe were "free." The report
stressed that although some countries like England had banned
PKK, PKK was still active in some countries like Greece, and
suggested Ankara, Washington and Brussels to increase their
anti-PKK coordination.
SABAH: It is reported that the US Justice Secretary asked the
Turkish Government to send a team to accompany Ibrahim Parlak
who will be extradited from the United States to Turkey. On
charges that Parlak had killed one Turkish soldier while
crossing from Syria to Turkey and had worked for PKK, Turkey had
asked for Parlak's extradition from the United States, where he
sought political asylum. Parlak's application for asylum was
denied for hiding facts in his application.
ULKEDE OZGUR GUNDEM: The new US Ambassador to Turkey, Russ
Wilson, arrived in Ankara. Ambassador Wilson expressed that he
was looking forward to presenting his credentials to the Turkish
President Sezer, and meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan and
Foreign Minister Gul, together with his family who would arrive
in Turkey in coming weeks. Ambassador Wilson said that he would
like to advance Turkish-American relations with that country's
leaders and would make a more detailed announcement after
presenting his credentials to President Sezer.
RADIKAL: A 25-ton LPG tanker destined from Iskendrun to Iraq
turned over in Sanliurfa and caught fire as its brakes broke
down yesterday noon. The tank that launched off from the chassis
caught fire and LPG spilled in the street caused two empty
busses and a house to burn. The Sanliurfa-Gaziantep highway was
closed to traffic more than an hour.
people applied to hospitals in the past 10 days because of
endemic diarrhea attributed to contaminated potable water. The
Sirnak Governor warned people not to drink water from the city's
water system until a further notice. Cumhuriyet newspaper
reports that the governor added that diarrhea cases were not
above the season's average. Citizens are currently getting their
water from the natural springs in the mountains.
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