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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 0402

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
NOVEMBER 26, 2002


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for November 26, 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. PRO-OCALAN PROTEST IN ADANA
(Evrensel) A group of youths who call themselves
"Democratic Uprising Youth" gathered in Seyhan's
(Adana) Yenibey quarter on November 24 to protest
PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan's isolation. During
the demonstration, they lit fires, closed the
main road to traffic and shouted pro-Ocalan
slogans.


3. DRIVE TO SPEAK IN KURDISH
(Evrensel) Centennial University (Van) students
launched a campaign to speak in Kurdish on the
campus over the next two days to mark the first
anniversary of the Mother-tongue Education
Campaign. The students will not participate in
class interactions and will not respond to their
professors.


4. BAN ON KURDISH NAME
(Evrensel) Mersin Birth Registry Directorate
denied Mersin resident Mehmet Emin Aydin
permission to give the name "Jelya" to his
newborn daughter, claiming it is "not Turkish."
Aydin called the decision "unlawful" and "a
family choice." Aydin said he would pursue all
legal avenues, including the European Court of
Human Rights, to assert his rights. Hurriyet
cited the new Culture Minister, Huseyin Celik, as
saying that all kinds of names could be given to
children as long as they did not connote
animosity.


5. ELECTRICITY THIEVES ARRESTED
(Evrensel) In Diyarbakir, 19 Turkish Electricity
Distribution Corporation (TEDAS) subscribers were
arrested for illegal use of electricity.


6. OHAL PAYMENTS TO CONTINUE AFTER OHAL'S
ABOLITION
(Sabah) The State of Emergency (OHAL), put in
effect in Eastern and Southeastern Turkey in
1987, will be lifted in Diyarbakir and Sirnak on
November 30 in line with a recent decision made
by the Turkish National Security Council (MGK).
The Interior Ministry has come up with a formula
to shift to "Critical Province" practice in the
Southeast after OHAL's abolition. The new
formula will allow OHAL compensation payments
made to personnel serving in the region to
continue. (Note: Such payments are similar to
"danger pay.") These payments were designed to
encourage personnel serving in the region and the
new formula is intended to avoid a possible
shortage of personnel in the future. The
Ministry has included Diyarbakir, Sirnak,
Hakkari, Mus, Van, Bingol, Mardin, Bitlis, Siirt,
Tunceli and Batman on the list of "Critical
Provinces." After November 30, OHAL Governor's
Office will reportedly be replaced with a
"Coordinator Governorate," similar to those used
in disaster areas.


ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS
--------------------------------------
7. NEW COMMERCIAL CREDIT AGREEMENT SIGNED
(Turkiye) The Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce
signed a protocol agreement with Is Bank in an
effort to contribute to anticipated economic
growth and revival. Under the agreement, Is Bank
will provide chamber members with commercial
credits totaling up to TL 60 billion (approx. USD
40,000) each.


8. INCREASE IN WATER PRICE
(Hurriyet/Milliyet/Turkiye) Adana Municipality's
Water and Sewage Administration (ASKI) increased
the price of city water by 28%. With the
increase, the price of per cubic meter of water
rose from TL 781,000 (approx. USD 0.50) to TL 1
million (approx. USD 0.64).
HOLTZ

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