US embassy cable - 02ADANA400

SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY NOVEMBER 23-24, 2002

Identifier: 02ADANA400
Wikileaks: View 02ADANA400 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Adana
Created: 2002-11-26 09:14:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA Press Summaries
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 0400 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, TU, IZ, ADANA, Press Summaries 
SUBJECT:  SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY 
NOVEMBER 23-24, 2002 
 
 
1.  This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary 
for November 23-24, 2002.  Please note that 
Turkish press reports often contain errors or 
exaggerations; AmConsulate Adana does not vouch 
for the accuracy of the reports summarized here. 
 
 
POLITICS, SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS 
-------------------------------- 
 
 
2.  ANTI-PKK OPERATIONS IN ISTANBUL AND BINGOL 
(Evrensel)  Police arrested Mehmet Hanifi 
Gurdegir during an anti-PKK (KADEK) operation in 
Istanbul.  In a separate operation in Bingol, 
police arrested Gurdegir's brother Gokmen 
Gurdegir and his cousin Dogan Gurdegir, both of 
whom were "accused of membership in a terror 
organization and organizational activities." 
 
 
3.  FORTEEN-YEAR OLD ARRESTED FOR SEPARATISM 
(Evrensel)  In Bismil (Diyarbakir), a fourteen- 
year-old primary school student was arrested for 
saying "Happy is he who says `I am a Kurd.'" when 
"Our Oath" was being sung.  The school principal 
and teachers were reported to have beaten the 
student.  The student may be indicted for 
"inciting the public to separatism through 
appeals to race." 
 
 
4.  YOUTHS INDICTED 
(Evrensel)  Sixteen Adiyaman youths have been 
indicted for "membership in and support of a 
terror organization (i.e., PKK/KADEK).  The 
indictment followed the youths' shouting pro- 
Kurdish language education and pro-(PKK leader 
Abdullah) Ocalan slogans during the May 1 Labor 
Day celebrations in Adiyaman.  The Malatya State 
Security Court will handle the case. 
 
 
5.  EMEP OFFICIAL'S GRAVESTONE BROKEN 
(Evrensel)  Military officials were reported to 
have broken the gravestone of Tunceli Labor Party 
(EMEP) official Abbas Tugrul, who had lost his 
life in a car crash.  The words "He was the voice 
of laborers" was written on Tugrul's gravestone. 
The gravestones of two killed "guerillas" buried 
in Pertek (Tunceli) had also been broken.  The 
EMEP provincial chairman condemned the attack, 
claiming the effects of the martial law and the 
State of Emergency (OHAL) practices, in effect 
(in the Southeast) for nearly 25 years, still 
continue. 
 
 
6.  PUNISHMENT FOR KURDISH-LANGUAGE SONGS 
(Radikal)  Five Diyarbakir teachers, all members 
of the State Employees' Union Confederation 
(KESK) Music Group, have been removed from public 
employment for having sung Kurdish-language songs 
at the February Congress of the Teachers Union 
Egitim-Sen in Diyarbakir.  Egitim-Sen Diyarbakir 
chapter President Abdullah Demir called the 
decision "unacceptable and inconsistent with 
recently-passed laws."  Egitim-Sen will 
reportedly appeal to the Regional Administrative 
Court.  EVRENSEL called for withdrawal of the 
dismissal, while the Human Rights Association 
(HRA) called on officials to explain whether or 
not Kurdish was banned. 
 
 
7.  DEATH PENALTIES COMMUTED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT 
(Evrensel)  Following the passage by the 
Parliament of the EU Harmonization Laws, the 
Diyarbakir State Security Court has commuted 
capital punishments given to 180 people for 
membership in the PKK and Hizbullah to life 
imprisonment. 
 
 
8.  MUS MAN MISSING 
(CUMHURIYET) Varto (Mus) resident Sidik Kaya 
disappeared on November 20, when he reportedly 
left home to meet with local Jandarma official 
Celal Sen following a telephone call.  The 
Security Directorate and the local Jandarma 
Command denied having arrested Kaya.  However, 
Sen admitted having talked to Kaya regarding his 
Turkish Health Insurance Card application, but 
denied having telephoned him at home. Kaya's 
father, Tekdemir Kaya, applied to the Mus Human 
Rights Association (HRA) for assistance as he 
said he was concerned about his son's well being. 
Later, the HRA faxed a message to the Interior 
and Justice Ministries, the Mus Governor and the 
Prosecutor's Offices and called on Amnesty 
International to respond urgently. 
 
 
9.  PKK SUSPECT ARRESTED 
(Turkiye/Cumhuriyet) According to the Hakkari 
Governor's Office, Security Directorate teams 
arrested Nadir Ciftci, who they determined to 
have illegally sent two people to Iran in order 
to join the PKK. 
HOLTZ 

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