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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ADANA 0388

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
NOVEMBER 8, 2002


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for
November 8, 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. 38 ILLEGAL ORGANIZATION MEMBERS ARRESTED IN OCTOBER
(Bolge) According to the Mersin Security Directorate, 38
suspected members of the illegal organization (i.e., the
PKK) were arrested during 13 operations in October in
Mersin. The arrestees were arraigned in a local court
which ordered 19 to remain in custody. The remaining 19
were released but ordered to appear for their upcoming
trial.


3. JANDARMA ARREST 49 IRAQIS FLEEING POSSIBLE U.S. WAR
(Turkiye) Baykan (Siirt) Jandarma arrested 49 Iraqis who
had illegally crossed into Turkey in order to flee a
possible U.S. war in Iraq. The arrestees were taken to the
Baykan Prosecutor's Office following interrogation. They
will reportedly be deported following the completion of
necessary procedures.


4. SIIRT MAN SOUGHT BY INTERPOL ELECTED PARLIAMENTARIAN
(Sabah) The November 3 elections were the most interesting
of all the parliamentary elections since the foundation of
the Republic of Turkey. For the first time, a political
party whose chairman was barred from entering the
Parliament won elections. And for the first time, a
person, Fadil Akgunduz, sought by Interpol with a red
bulletin for fraud has been elected a parliamentarian.
What makes the November 3 elections interesting is that the
birthplace of these two victories is the same province:
Siirt. Siirt was the province where AKP leader Recep
Tayyip Erdogan had recited a poem by Ziya Gokalp which
resulted in his conviction and a ban from active politics.
It was Siirt people who elected Akgunduz despite many cases
of fraud opened against him. Akgunduz received 11,450
votes, becoming the third in Siirt after the Democratic
People's Party (DEHAP) and AKP. If someone has made a
mistake, the judiciary must punish him," public employee
Yusuf Alcan reacted. Alcan claimed Akgunduz had been
prevented from establishing an automobile factory (Jet
Motor, which had earned him the name "Jet Fadil") in Siirt.
He had made investments (in Siirt) amounting to USD 100
million and he had TL 30 trillion (18.2 million) in the
bank. There are people who do not want any investments
made in this region, Algan argued. Support for "Jet Fadil"
resulted from his being seen as a victim, from hope for
employment, as well as ethnic origin solidarity, and his
participation in rallies via telephone which caused Siirt
people to burst into tears. Siirt Chamber of Commerce and
Industry President Nedim Kuzu said poverty and hopelessness
opened the way for "Jet Fadil" and gave statistics: Income
per capita has fallen below USD 900 in Siirt, there is only
the Kurtalan (Siirt) Cement Factory, which currently
employs 250 people only. Other plants are either
inoperative or closed.
HOLTZ

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