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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 0001

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
JAN 1-2, 2002


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for January 1-2, 2003. 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. BAYKAL OPPOSES U.S. MILITARY PRESENCE IN THE
SOUTHEAST
(Hurriyet) Deniz Baykal, leader of Turkey's only
opposition party, the Republican People's Party -
CHP, criticized the lack of (government) policies
that take Turkish interests into consideration.
"Two armies, two headquarters, two flags and five
years. This is very dangerous. Turkey's security
may be endangered," he warned.


3. CONTINUED MILITARY BUILD-UP ALONG IRAQI BORDER
(Cumhuriyet) As time nears for the possible U.S.
operation against Iraq, increased military
activities are being observed in the Southeast,
especially in Silopi (Sirnak), easiest access point
to Iraq. Food and military materials are being
transferred to units deployed along the Iraqi
border. Cumhuriyet newspaper reported that trains
are transporting military vehicles hidden under
camouflage cover from Gaziantep to Ceylanpinar
(Sanliurfa) and Nusaybin (Mardin). Electricity is
turned off as soon as the trains arrive in
Nusaybin.


4. ANTI-WAR PROTESTS
(Bolge) A group of merchants and producers at
Mersin's Anamur Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Complex
protested the possible U.S. operation against Iraq
by displaying anti-war banners and blowing horns.
Evrensel reported the Mersin Labor Platform has
intensified its efforts for its anti-war rally on
January 25. The platform will organize a series of
anti-war activities prior to the rally. A petition
drive will take effect on January 11, with platform
components issuing press releases. In addition,
the Gaziantep Labor Platform declared it would not
remain silent to war and the government's Emergency
Action Plan. In a meeting attended by labor unions
and mass organizations, Tum Bel-Sen Labor Union
President Yusuf Sahinler announced having made a
decision to stage an anti-war rally. Also, Sehmus
Akbas, President of the Diyarbakir Industrialists
and Businessmen's Association (DISIAD), said
involvement in a war against Iraq would take a lot
from the (Southeastern) region.


5. HADEP OFFICIALS CONVICTED FOR "ILLEGAL
DEMONSTRATION"
(Cumhuriyet) The Siirt Court of General Criminal
Jurisdiction convicted ten of the 40 people,
including Siirt People's Democracy Party (HADEP)
officials, for "holding illegal protest
demonstrations." They had protested the January
25, 2001 disappearance in custody of HADEP Silopi
(Sirnak) officials Serdar Tanis and Ebubekir Deniz.
HADEP provincial chairman Ahmet Konuk and nine
HADEP officials were sentenced to prison terms of
one year and nine months.


6. BANNED KURDISH-LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER IN DIYARBAKIR
(Evrensel) Kurdish-language newspaper Azadiya
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY, J
Welat (Free Homeland), previously banned under the
State of Emergency (OHAL), is now being sold on
Diyarbakir's busiest streets. OHAL was abolished
in Diyarbakir and Sirnak on November 30.


7. RAPE VICTIM THREATENED TO WITHDRAW APPLICATION
TO ECHR
(Evrensel) Fifty-nine-year-old Adana resident Kaze
Ozlu, who claimed police raped her with a truncheon
in 1999, alleged she had been threatened by police
to withdraw her application to the European Court
of Human Rights (ECHR). Kaze had filed suit
against responsible police officers, but carried
the case over to ECHR when domestic legal avenues
yielded no positive results. Kaze added she had
filed complaints with the Adana Prosecutor's
Office, which she said did not respond.


8. ELECTRICITY THIEVES ATTACK TEDAS OFFICIALS'
VEHICLES
(Hurriyet) In Hatay, unidentified assailants
damaged Turkish Electricity Distribution
Corporation (TEDAS) officials' vehicles while TEDAS
officials were out to investigate illegal use of
electricity in 19 homes. Vehicle windows were
broken and tires cut. The rate of electricity
abuse is around 22% in the province.


9. AKBANK'S ADANA BRANCH ROBBED
(All papers) Robbers, two bank employees among
them, broke into the Adana Central branch of Akbank
on December 30, tearing down the wall of the
underground car park and stealing over TL 600
billion (approx. USD 360,000).


10. HAKKARI HADEP OFFICIAL UNDER INVESTIGATION
(Evrensel) The Hakkari Prosecutor's Office
launched an investigation against Hatice Demir,
President of Hakkari's central district chapter of
the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), for
attendance as a member of the audience in the
December 19 press conference held at the Hakkari
chapter of the Human Rights Association (HRA) to
mark the anniversary of prison operations. Demir
is charged with "violation of the Meetings and
Demonstrations Law number 2911." Demir called the
investigation " funny and nonsense."


11. ELECTRICITY THIEVES INDICTED
(Turkiye) As part of the government's
determination to end illegal use of electricity,
237 Diyarbakir illegal users of electricity have
been arrested and indicted for stealing state
property over the past three months. If convicted,
the defendants may be sentenced to prisons terms
ranging from three to five years. Similar
deterrent measures will expand across the country.


12. SURVEY SAYS THERE IS TORTURE IN SMALL-INCOME
FAMILIES
(Cumhuriyet) A survey jointly carried out by the
Mersin Independent Women's Association, the Women's
Consultation Association, the Ankara Women's
Solidarity Association and the Diyarbakir-based
Women's Center Ka-Mer on 280 women in Mersin
indicated intense domestic violence, especially
physical violence, incestuous relations and forced
prostitution were common in the province.
Psychologist Zehra Tosun said women had been
subjected to violence one way or the other, but
they tended not to file complaints unless violence
reached the point of torture. According to Tosun,
the survey revealed the number of women thrown out
into streets and forced to live with their
relatives had increased.
ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS
--------------------------------------
13. ATATURK DAM FULLY OPERATIONAL
(Turkiye) All eight turbines of Sanliurfa's
Ataturk Dam, which meets 1/5 of Turkey's
electricity needs, have resumed operation after a
respite of two years. Capacity increase was
attributed to rainfall over the past month and no
pumping of irrigation water to the province's
Harran Plain over the past two months.


14. MORE TOURITS VISIT TATVAN (BITLIS) IN 2002
(Evrensel) Tatvan (Bitlis) Tourism Director
Kurtulus Acer said the number of foreign and
domestic tourists visiting Tatvan increased from
4,315 in 2001 to 7,829 in 2002.


15. PRICE OF FLOUR UP OVER 16%
(Evrensel) Erhan Ozmen, President of the
Gaziantep-based Southeastern Flour Industrialists
Association (GUNSAD), announced a 16.6% increase in
the price of flour over the past twenty days.
Ozmen said the increase had nothing to do with the
possible U.S. operation against Iraq.


16. PISTACHIO PRICES UP ABOUT 100%
(Dunya) Over the past year, the price of
pistachios has increased between 69.7% and 123.1%
in the Southeast, where nearly all of Turkey's
pistachios are produced.
HOLTZ

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