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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 0432

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
DECEMBER 27, 2002


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for December 27, 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. "WAR GATE" IN SILOPI (SIRNAK)
(Sabah) Efforts are underway to open another border
gate (with Iraq) in Silopi (Sirnak) to prepare
possible after-effects in the event of a U.S.
operation against Iraq. The new gate, Ali Riza
Efendi, will be used for the passage of between 250-
500 (sic 250,000-500,000) expected refugees and
munitions transport. Upon advice from the Interior
and Foreign Affairs Ministries, the State Ministry
for Customs initiated the efforts and chose a
location 15 kilometers south of Silopi for the
proposed gate. Officials said a bridge would also
be constructed on the Tigris River for direct access
to the gate.


3. U.S. MILITARY DELEGATION IN BATMAN
(Milliyet) Runway repair works have been completed
in Batman, which is among military airports to be
used during the possible U.S. operation against
Iraq. The runway, which was insufficient for
warplanes, has been extended. Reservations have
been made in three- and four-star Batman hotels
beginning in January for U.S. soldiers. Three cold
storages have been constructed on the Batman Air
Base for use as morgues. Cumhuriyet reported U.S.
officials who surveyed hotels and hospitals in
Batman four months ago continue with their
inspections. No measures have yet been taken in
Diyarbakir.


4. TANKS ARE ON THEIR WAY
(Milliyet) While the proposed U.S. operation has
entered Turkey's agenda, military activities
intensified in the Southeast, where thermal cameras
monitor borders 24 hours a day. Additional units
were sent to the borderline, with armored units
finalizing their preparations. Military vehicles
transporting tanks were seen on the Diyarbakir-
Mardin highway. Tanks sent from Mardin, Sirnak,
Cizre (Sirnak) and Silopi (Sirnak) to Diyarbakir's
Seventh Corps Command for maintenance are now being
transferred to their duty posts.


5. HAKKARI PREPARING FOR POSSIBLE IRAQI REFUGEES
(Milli Gazete) The Hakkari Health Directorate
announced having completed its preparations for a
possible influx of refugees (from northern Iraq) in
case of a possible U.S. operation against Iraq. The
directorate will establish centers in Guzelkonak
(Semdinli) and Uzumlu (Cukurca) villages to meet
refugees' health-related needs. Health Director Dr.
Tahir Ersoz said 32 personnel who will serve in
these centers had received one month of training at
the Civil Defense Directorate.


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


6. CREDIT FOR ENTREPRENEURS
(Dunya) Disbank signed an "Entrepreneur Support
Credit" agreement with the Kahramanmaras Chamber of
Commerce and Industry. Similar agreements had been
signed in Ankara, Bursa, Diyarbakir and Gaziantep.
Under the agreement, Disbank will provide small- and
medium-scale industries (KOBI) with fixed-interest
and long-term commercial credits ranging from TL 5
billion (approx. USD 3,000) to 50 billion (approx.
USD 30,000), as well as letters of credit.
HOLTZ

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