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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 0415

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
DECEMBER 14-15, 2002


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for December 14-15, 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-WAR RALLY ON DECEMBER 22
(Evrensel) The Adana War Opponents Platform will
hold a December 22 anti-war rally in Adana, home
to Incirlik Air Base, to protest U.S.
preparations to attack Iraq. A number of
political parties, labor unions and associations
will reportedly support the rally.


3. VILLAGE GUARD SYSTEM WILL REMAIN
(Turkiye) Speaking during the inauguration of a
30-student kindergarten in Mardin, State of
Emergency (OHAL) Regional Governor's Office said
the village guard system would not be eliminated
in the OHAL region in case of liquidation.


4. HANDBILLS DISTRIBUTED IN HAKKARI AFTER 22
YEARS
(Evrensel) For the first time since 1980, the
Hakkari Human Rights Association (HRA) has
distributed handbills and displayed posters in
the province, where the State of Emergency (OHAL)
was lifted in July.


5. KIRM MEMBERS INDICTED
(Evrensel) The Diyarbakir Prosecutor's Office
concluded its indictment of thirty people who had
been arrested in Diyarbakir on charges of being
members of the Kurdistan Islamic Revolutionary
Movement (KIDH). According to article 7 of the
Anti-terror law, the prosecutor requested prison
terms of five years for the suspects for
"establishing and leading a terror organization."


6. HIZBULLAH SUSPECTS ARRESTED
(Turkiye) During a December 12 operation,
Diyarbakir Jandarma arrested three Hizbullah
suspects whose names were mentioned in Hizbullah
documents seized during an anti-Hizbullah
operation in Beykoz (Istanbul). According to the
seized Hizbullah documents, the arrestees had
been carrying out Hizbullah activities in mosques
and associations.


7. HRA: NO SERIOUS DEMOCRATIZATION STEPS HAVE
BEEN TAKEN
(Evrensel) Human Rights Association (HRA)
National President Husnu Ondul attended the
December 15 "Human Rights in Turkey" panel
discussion in Diyarbakir to mark International
Human Rights Week. In his opening remarks, Ondul
criticized state officials for throwing the ball
to the EU by saying, "We have met the Copenhagen
criteria." Claiming no serious steps had been
taken in the name democratization, Ondul stressed
legal amendments made (recently) were not clear
in terms of practice of law. "For example, the
word terror can lead to problems in practice.
According to Ondul, big human rights abuses were
being experienced in the field of torture and
freedom of expression despite recent legal
reforms.


8. ALLEGATIONS OF CONTINUED HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
(Bolge/Evrensel) People's Democracy Party
(HADEP) who gathered in Adana's Station Square on
December 15 to celebrate International Human
Rights Week staged a sit-down demonstration to
protest continued human rights violations. The
demonstrators also faxed messages to the
President's Office to eliminate these violations.


9. CONTINUED PRO-OCALAN DEMONSTRATIONS
(Evrensel) Isolation of PKK/KADEK leader
Abdullah Ocalan was protested in Sanliurfa, Konak
(Izmir) and Siirt. Protestors called for the
elimination of the isolation by burning tires,
turning on and off their lights and shouting pro-
Ocalan slogans. In Siirt, two protestors were
arrested and taken to the Security Directorate
for interrogation.


10. MERSIN NGO OFFICIALS INDICTED FOR
CRITICIZING OHAL
(Evrensel) The Adana State Security Court
Prosecutor's Office indicted Mersin Migration and
Humanitarian Assistance Foundation (GIYAV)
officials and members for "assisting and abetting
the PKK" for having criticized the State of
Emergency (OHAL) by saying "OHAL conditions are
not consistent with democracy and freedom."
Foundations members face possible prison terms of
four to seven years.


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


11. STUDENT DORMITORY INAUGURATED
(Turkiye) Adiyaman Governor Halil Isik,
Gaziantep Mayor Celal Dogan, Gaziantep University
Rector Huseyin Filiz and Higher Education Credits
and Dormitories Director General Halim Kucuk
inaugurated a dormitory constructed in Besni
(Adiyaman) by local businessman Mehmet Erdemoglu.
The 500-student dormitory cost TL 1 trillion
(approx. USD 650,000) to construct.
HOLTZ

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