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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 03 ADANA 0410

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
DECEMBER 8-9, 2002

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for
December 8-9, 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. U.S. WARNS TERROR MIGHT HIT GAZIANTEP
(Hurriyet/Milliyet) The U.S. State Department issued a
statement warning U.S. citizens in Turkey that terrorists
might be planning a terrorist attack in Southeastern
Turkey. The statement warned U.S. citizens to pay special
attention especially during entry to and exit from the
Gaziantep Airport, which is in use as the Adana Airport is
under renovation. The warning noted that the Turkish
government had taken measures against such a threat.
Turkiye and Bolge reported that, following the warning,
security measures at Incirlik (Adana) had been elevated,
with vehicles entering and exiting Incirlik being
thoroughly searched.


3. DEPLOYMENT ALONG IRAQI BORDER
(Sabah/Milli Gazete) Ankara began to deploy soldiers from
Sanliurfa and Diyarbakir along the Iraqi border due to a
possible U.S. operation against Iraq. Soldiers were being
transported in covered military trucks, as well as civilian
passenger busses, with Jandarma taking security measures
along the 90-km Mardin-Diyarbakir highway.


4. OHAL CONTINUES IN LICE (DIYARBAKIR)
(Sabah) Celebrations were held to celebrate the abolition
of the State of Emergency (OHAL), but the only thing that
changed in Lice (Diyarbakir) was that curfew hours now
begin at 10:00 p.m., instead of 4:00 p.m. Lice resident
Mehmet Emin Alagunduz was ordered to remain in custody on
December 5 (the first day of the Ramadan Holiday) for
"resistance and insult to police." According to his
testimony in the court file, the reason for the scuffle
that landed him in prison was violation of curfew hours.


5. HIZBULLAH'S NEW LEADER
(Cumhuriyet) Muzaffer Abdulkaya and Osman Aktas, arrested
on October 20 in Istanbul and ordered to remain in custody
by a Diyarbakir court, testified Mehmet Besir Varol was
Hizbullah's new leader. According to them, Varol was in
Turkey. The Diyarbakir State Security Court was reported
to have issued an arrest warrant for Varol in absentia.


6. BAN ON PUBLICATIONS LIFTED
(Evrensel) Newspapers and magazines which had not been
previously allowed into the State of Emergency (OHAL)
region took their places in news stands, with the lifting
of the State of Emergency (OHAL) on November 30. Bans on
associations have also been lifted following the abolition
of OHAL.


7. SIRNAK DISTRICT MAYOR'S HOME BOMBED
(Turkiye) Unidentified assailants launched a bomb attack
against the home of Republican People's Party (CHP) Idil
(Sirnak) district President Seyhmus Kaplan. Of the two
hand grenades thrown during the attack, one hit Kaplan's
vehicle while the other exploded in the air. No casualties
were reported; Kaplan's vehicle was damaged. A similar
attack had been launched against Kaplan's place of business
three years ago.


8. PRO-OCALAN DEMONSTRATION IN VAN
(Evrensel) In Van, a group of people who called themselves
"Apo's Volunteers" staged a demonstration protesting PKK
(KADEK) leader Abdullah Ocalan's isolation. The group
dispersed after lighting fires and shouting pro-Ocalan
slogans.


9. FIRST KURDISH CAFQ OPENS IN MARDIN
(Evrensel) CafQ Ramiro, the first cafQ in which Kurdish-
language songs will be sung, was inaugurated in Mardin's
Nusaybin township on December 7. Nusaybin Mayor Mehmet
Tanhan and municipal council members, as well as Democratic
People's Party (DEHAP) and People's Democracy Party (HADEP)
officials attended the inauguration.


10. WEAPONS DEALERS
(Turkiye/Bolge) Acting on a tip, Elazig Jandarma cracked
down on a six-person ring of weapons dealers. Five
Kalashnikov rifles, a machine gun, two pistols, and
ammunition were seized during the operation.


11. AK PARTY NOMINATES ERDOGAN FROM SIIRT
(Radikal/Turkiye) In its official Internet website,
Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced AKP leader
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's candidacy from Siirt, where
parliamentary elections will be renewed on February 9. The
Higher Election Council's (YSK) decision to cancel the
November 3 parliamentary elections in Siirt was published
in the official gazette on December 8.


12. NEW COURTHOUSE BUILDING IN ADANA
(Turkiye/Bolge) Adana's new courthouse building has been
completed. It took nearly five years to build and cost TL
6 trillion (approx. USD 3.9 million). Chief Public
Prosecutor Cemal Sahir Gurcay announced possibly taking
extraordinary security measures at the new courthouse to
prevent any possible incidents.


13. LANDMINES
(Cumhuriyet/Evrensel) In rural Mazgirt (Tunceli), a 34-
year-old female shepherd was seriously wounded when the
landmine she stepped on exploded. The incident took place
as she herded her sheep out of a restricted area near a
Jandarma station. Military officials claim having informed
locals about the landmines planted in the restricted area
and that there were signs showing landmines had been
planted in the area.


14. CAPTAGON
(Milliyet) Police raided the home of Kilis resident Mehmet
Curat and seized nearly 1,000 Captagon pills destined for
Syria. In addition to Curat, three other people, including
two Syrian nationals, were arrested in connection with the
seizure.


15. DROP IN HEPATITIS B
(Turkiye) Dicle University (Diyarbakir) Gastroentrology
Department Head Professor Vedat Goral said there had been a
decrease in Hepatitis B, which was common in the Southeast,
mostly due to efforts to raise the level of consciousness
of the public.


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


16. NORWEGIAN AMBASSADOR VISITS ADANA
(Hurriyet) A guest of Adana Mayor Aytac Durak, Norwegian
Ambassador Herr Hans Wilhelm Longva came to Adana to attend
a ceremony to distribute the second half of TL 2 trillion
(approx. USD 1.3 million) aid sent from Norway to Adana.
U.S. Adana Consul Greta C. Holtz, Deputy Governor Ahmet
Narinoglu, Norwegian Military AttachQ Roal Lougerud, U.S.
Adana Deputy Consul Patrick Hanish, Adana Foundation
founding member Gokhan Durak, Soner Sevin, Second President
of the Norwegian Association for Promoting Ataturk's
Principles, Adana Chamber of Commerce Assembly President
Behic Pakyurek, and Durak's Consultant Orhan Urgenc
attended a dinner hosted by Durak in honor of Ambassador
Longva.


17. INCREASED BUSINESS CLOSURES IN ADANA
(Bolge) According to Kazim Barisik, President of the Adana
Union of Merchants and Artisans Chamber, 2,757 merchants
closed their businesses in the first eleven months of the
year, compared to 2,291 in 2001. In the same period,
another 2,017 merchants registered at the union. The
number of registries in 2001 was 2,454.


18. ANSWER TO PRO-ARMENIAN PROPAGANDA
(Turkiye) Van Governor's Office inaugurated a primary
school it had constructed in honor of former Van Governor
Ali Cevdetbey, who had displayed great sacrifices against
Armenian and Russian units during the World War I. A
statement issued by the Governor's Office described the
school as an answer to the film Ararat, which was full of
made-up slanders.
HOLTZ

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