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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 0413

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
DECEMBER 12, 2002

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for December 12, 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. HIZBULLAH DEFENDANTS CONVICTED
(Bolge) The State Security Court convicted six
Hizbullah defendants for membership in and
support to the illegal organization. Five of the
defendants were sentenced to prison terms of 12
years and nine months (for membership) and the
remaining one to three years and nine months (for
support). The defendants were arrested during
November 2001 anti-Hizbullah operations in Adana.


3. PKK SUSPECTS ACQUITTED
(Bolge) The Adana State Security Court acquitted
Ismail and Hikmet Ocas, father and son,
respectively, who had been arrested during an
early-October anti-PKK operation in Ceyhan
(Adana), in their first trial. The defendants
had been charged with provision of support and
shelter to the PKK.


4. ANOTHER EIGHT DEFENDANTS RELEASED IN MERSIN
NEWROZ CASE
(Bolge) The trial of another 16 of the 148
defendants charged with "illegal demonstration,"
"pro-PKK slogans" and "assault against security
forces" during the unauthorized Newroz
celebrations in Mersin continued in the Adana
State Security Court on December 11. Eight
defendants who were being tried in custody
appeared for the trial, denied the charges
against them and requested their release. Their
attorneys also claimed their clients were not at
the scene to participate in the celebrations.
The court then ordered the release of these
defendants and adjourned the trial until a later
date.


5. PKK COURIER
(Bolge) Izmir Security Directorate Anti-terror
Squad police arrested PKK courier Rojda Erdogan,
for whom police had been searching because she
was sending PKK sympathizers in Istanbul and
Izmir to rural areas. Police determined Rojda
had recently sent two people from Istanbul to
rural Kiziltepe (Mardin). Rojda was arraigned in
a local court where she was ordered to remain in
custody.


6. RETURNEES
(Milli Gazete/Evrensel) Nearly three months ago,
200 evacuees returned to Mazidagi's (Mardin)
Yalinagac village under the Village Return
Project. The village was evacuated in 1993 due
to terror incidents. The Mardin Governor's
Office provided the returnees with construction
materials to repair their homes. Due to the
shortage of construction materials, two families
were unable to repair their homes and settled in
the village school, which had been closed due to
a lack of teachers.
7. PRO-OCALAN DEMONSTRATION
(Evrensel) In Batman, Democratic People's
Initiative organized a December 10 demonstration
to protest the isolation of PKK (KADEK) leader
Abdullah Ocalan in which lights were turned off
in homes for ten minutes. Youths later gathered
in several districts of the province, lighting
fires and shouting pro-Ocalan slogans. In
Diyarbakir, hundreds of people burned tires and
shouted slogans in support of Ocalan. They also
marched, carrying Ocalan posters and KADEK flags.


8. RADIO DUNYA OFFICIAL ACQUITTED
(Evrensel) The Adana State Security Court
acquitted (Adana's) Radio Dunya General
Broadcasting Director Sabri Ejder, charged with
"inciting the public to hatred through appeals to
racial discrimination" during an April (radio)
program entitled "How can the Palestinian clash
be solved?" The acquittal came when it was found
out the person who spoke on the cassette turned
out to be someone other than Ejder.


9. LANDMINE VICTIM'S GRIEVANCE
(Evrensel) Pervari (Siirt) shepherd Sabri Tunc,
who lost his hands in 1996 when a landmine he had
found while grazing his animals exploded in his
hands, claimed he had been prevented from
receiving food assistance provided by the Pervari
Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundation
(SYDV), an affiliate of the District Governor's
Office, because of his membership in the
Democratic People's Party (DEHAP). Security
officers reportedly prevented Tunc from meeting
with the District Governor during the month of
Ramadan, when SYDV distributed food products to
poor people. Tunc, who is unemployed, alleged
the District Governor's Office had sent him a
letter stating he was not in need.


10. GAP REGION PUBLIC HEALTH PROJECT
(Turkiye) A survey carried out by Diyarbakir's
Dicle University in 1,186 homes in nine provinces
in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region
showed 68% of homes in rural areas did not have
toilets, 47% did not have bathrooms and 70% of
residents were parasite carriers.


11. VAN SCHOOLS CLOSED
(Evrensel) According to the Van Health
Directorate, schools in that province were closed
for another three days due to a respiratory
system epidemic. The schools were previously
closed for two days for the same reason.


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


12. KILIS GOVERNOR SEEKS SUPPORT FOR OPEN-AIR
MARKET
(Turkiye) Kilis Governor Kutuk Aslan has left
for Ankara to meet with several ministers to ask
for support to the proposed open-air market at
the Oncupinar border gate with Syria. Kilis
expects a substantial contribution to the Kilis
and the Turkish economies as a result of this
market and transit passages through the border
gate.
13. TPAO FINDS NATURAL GAS IN DIYARBAKIR
(Turkiye) During oil explorations in Silvan's
(Diyarbakir) Ozluce village, the Turkish
Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) found natural gas 25
meters away from a well from which 300 barrels of
oil are extracted daily. As there is no natural
gas facility in the area, the gas is burning 24
hours, posing a threat.
HOLTZ

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