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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 SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 0393

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
NOVEMBER 15, 2002


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for
November 15, 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 OPERATION IN ELAZIG
(Turkiye/Milli Gazete/Bolge) Police arrested Elazig
resident Abdullah Yildiz while he was trying to
deliver logistical support to PKK members in rural
Diyarbakir, Tunceli and Erzurum. Clothing, food,
cellular phones and logistical materials were seized
during the search of Yildiz's home.


3. TWO HIZBULLAH DEFENDANTS RELEASED
(Evrensel) The trial of four Hizbullah members,
including Bedran Salamboga, who was involved in the
2001 killing of former Diyarbakir Security Director
Gaffar Okkan, continued at the Diyarbakir State
Security Court. All the defendants, except for one,
appeared for the trial. Following a short break, the
court ordered the release of two of the defendants
based on evidence in the file and adjourned the trial
until a later date.


4. VAN COURT REVERSES EXILES
(Evrensel) The Van Regional Administrative Court
overturned a verdict by the Diyarbakir State Security
Court to exile (i.e., transfer internally) seven
Health Employees Union (SES) officials indicted for
"assisting and abetting the PKK" by displaying pro-
Kurdish language education banners during the union's
February 2 Congress in Van. The officials were among
nine SES officials arrested following the SES
Congress.


5. FALSE U.S. DOLLAR BILLS SEIZED
(Bolge) Sanliurfa Security Directorate Anti-smuggling
and Organized Crime Department police officers
arrested four people who were trying to circulate 81
counterfeit 100-dollar bills. Following
interrogation, the arrestees were arraigned in a local
court which ordered two to remain in custody. The
remaining two were released but ordered to appear for
their upcoming trial. Also, police are searching for
another suspect.


6. OXFORD U. GRADUATE NEW ARCHBISHOP TO MARDIN
MONESTARY
(Radikal/Hurriyet/Cumhuriyet) Nuri Salibe Ozmen, a
graduate of Oxford University, has been appointed the
new archbishop of Mardin's Dayrulzaferan Monastery.
The 38-year-old archbishop knows English, Syriac,
Arabic, as well as Turkish. Ozmen, together with
Deyrulumur Monastery (Mardin) metropolitan and Syriac
Christian leaders, visited Mardin Governor Temel
Kocaklar.


ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS
--------------------------------------


7. ADANA BUSINESS CLOSURES
(Bolge) Adana Union of Merchants and Artisans Chamber
President Kazim Barisik claimed 2,612 merchants closed
their businesses in the first ten months of the year.
The number of business closures was 2,326 in 1999,
1705 in 2000 and 2,291 in 2001. Barisik called on the
new (AKP) government to improve the economic
situation, to decrease unemployment and lower
inflation.


8. ILLEGAL ELECTRICITY USE COMMON IN INDUSTRY
(Bolge) The President of the Adana chapter of the
Electrical Engineers Chamber (EMO), Ahmet Sari,
claimed the illegal use of electricity was most common
in the industrial sector. According to Sari, the
Turkish Electricity Distribution Corporation (TEDAS)
uncovered 21,000 electricity thieves and prosecution
had been launched against 250 TEDAS subscribers.
HOLTZ

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