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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 05 ADANA 0022

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM IZ TU ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
JANUARY 23,2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for January 23, 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. PERINCEK: FOUR AMERICANS MUST BE DEPORTED
(Milliyet) Dogu Perincek, leader of the Workers'
Party (IP), claimed that the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs had found out that the U.S. and the PKK
had had meetings and that the U.S. had given the
PKK USD 125 million. Perincek noted that he had
sent a file on this subject to the Turkish
General Staff (TGS). Perincek added that both
the U.S. Embassy and the PKK had confirmed these
contacts in their statements. According to
Perincek, "the U.S. Embassy's second man Robert
Deutsch, Joseph Penington of the CIA Station in
Adana, Political Counselor Nicholas Kass, and
Istanbul U.S. Consulate General Political Unit
Chief Stephen C. Kimmel" arranged the contacts.
"These persons must be deported," he said.


3. WAR EXERCISE AT INCIRLIK
(Sabah) While preparations continue at the
Incirlik Air Base (Adana), nearly 5,000 U.S.
soldiers, as well as their families, are carrying
out an exercise to practice getting into shelters
in the shortest time possible, in preparation for
a possible nuclear attack. The exercise, in
which all soldiers and civilians participate,
will last three days. Experts said the base is
fully equipped for a war and noted that shelters
house materials that will meet all kinds of needs
for a period of three months.


4. THREE TURKIHS FIRMS WILL SUPPLY BUNKS
(Sabah) Three Turkish firms, Alfa, Piril, and
Maya, have won the nearly USD 1 million bidding
tender opened for bunks and beds for U.S.
soldiers to be deployed at Adana's Incirlik Air
Base. The firms will reportedly provide the
4,400 bunk beds and 8,800 beds by the requested
date. Incirlik Air Base will reportedly open new
bidding tenders in the upcoming days.


5. U.S. EXPERTS RETURNING
(Milliyet) Of the 150-person U.S. delegation
surveying airports, ports and railway stations in
Turkey as part of preparations for a possible
operation against Iraq, two teams flew out of the
Incirlik Air Base (Adana) on January 22. Another
group of U.S. experts is reportedly scheduled to
leave this morning (1/23).


6. ANTI-WAR SENTIMENTS
(Milli Gazete/Turkiye) Adana Chamber of Industry
President Umit Ozgumus said the possible U.S.
operation against Iraq would give most damage to
Turkey. Bas called on Turkey to comply with U.N.
resolutions. Adana Chamber of Commerce (ACOC)
President Saban Bas, for his part, said a war had
started in the region 12 years ago and continued
since 1991. Bas added Turkey suffered a loss of
USD 100-150 billion and the Southeast a loss of
USD 60-70 billion from this war. Bolge reported
that the Adana chapter of the Public Training
Center (Halkevleri) had opened its "Peace
Declaration" to the public's signature in protest
of the possible U.S. operation against Iraq.
Evrensel reported that police had arrested seven
People's Democracy Party (HADEP) members in Mus
and Igdir provinces for distribution of anti-war
manifestos prepared by the HADEP's National Youth
Commission. Manifestos, as well as some books,
were confiscated during a search of the HADEP
offices. The Adana chapter of the Emekli-Sen
labor union protested a possible U.S. attack
against Iraq and distributed "Let's Stop This
War" handbills. Several political parties, the
Pharmacists' Chamber, and the Human Rights
Association supported the protest.


7. DISK RELEASES ANTI-WAR STATEMENT IN
DIYARBAKIR
(Milli Gazete) In a press conference prior to
the Confederation of the Revolutionary Workers'
Unions' (DISK) Presidents' Council Meeting in
Diyarbakir, DISK National President Suleyman
Celebi said DISK supported the anti-war attitudes
displayed by the government, but did not find
them sufficient. Celebi indicated that the fact
that DISK Regional Representative's Office had
been re-opened in Diyarbakir after a long period
of time was a significant step for workers. He
noted that the region had not experienced
ordinary life for a long time, facing economic,
as well as social and cultural, difficulties. He
added: "During this time, people could not enjoy
their fundamental human rights and political
freedoms. New obstacles emerge just when some
things are about to change. A war threat and
ploys of those expecting a profit from a war
emerge. The reason why we are having our meeting
here is extremely obvious. A war is at our
doorstep, that is, right next to our Southeast.
We will suffer its pains and difficulties all
together. Our citizens in Istanbul and those in
Diyarbakir, Sirnak, and Hakkari will not live
(suffer from) the problem at the same level. Our
Southeastern provinces and villages will be among
targets of mortar shells and long-range missiles.
Established orders (peace and order) will be
disrupted, newly-established homes will be ruined
once again." Celebi stressed that DISK would
shout anti-war cries at Sirnak's Habur border
gate, (possible U.S.) war's zero point, on
January 24 and start staging new anti-war
demonstrations beginning on January 26. Turkiye
quoted Celebi as saying DISK officials met in
Diyarbakir to discuss what can be done to prevent
a possible U.S.-led war in Iraq.


8. ALLEGATION OF INCREASED ANTI-DEMOCRATIC
PRACTICES
(Cumhuriyet) The People's Democracy Party
(HADEP) Youth Commission reacted negatively to
the arrest of five HADEP officials and two HADEP
members in Diyarbakir. The national center (the
headquarters) of the HADEP Youth Commission
released a January 22 statement stating that
Turkey is being pulled into a war as a result of
possible U.S. military intervention in Iraq. The
statement added that, as a result of this, ani-
dmoratc raties adinceaed,wih mny
political party officials and members having been
arrested for staging anti-war demonstrations. It
called on the government to end these practices.


9. TURKEY IS READY FOR A WAVE OF REFUGEES
(Turkiye) Ferda Cemiloglu Cilalioglu, Former
President of the Refugees and Migrants Solidarity
Association (SGDD), said Turkey is ready for an
influx of refugees likely to come from Iraq in
the event of a war. Cilalioglu added Turkey is
now more systematic, compared to the Gulf War.
She noted that, between 1988-1991, Turkey three
times had opened its doors to a total of 460,000
refugees from Iraq, which she described as the
largest migration movement after the Second World
War.


10. ANTI-NUCLEAR TRAINING IN ADANA
(Turkiye/Bolge) The Turkish Atomic Energy
Organization (TAEK), in collaboration with the
International Atomic Energy Agency, organized a
seminar to inform police and Jandarma about
possible nuclear attacks. A similar activity was
held in Mersin, as well. In his speech, TAEK's
Nuclear Engineer Yilmaz Bektur said Turkey was
not under the threat of nuclear attack, claiming
that the seminar was not related to war. "We are
informing our nation because the subject of
nuclear energy has entered our lives at all
stages. That is, it is not directly related to
war," he continued. He added that these seminars
had been held in 16 of the 81 provinces and would
be repeated in the remaining provinces.


11. SEVEN KADEK SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN ADANA
(Bolge) During anti-KADEK operations in Adana's
Sakirpasa and Ova districts, Anti-Terror
Department teams arrested seven KADEK (PKK)
suspects, a district chief among them. With
orders from high-level KADEK officials, the
arrestees had reportedly been plotting to launch
attacks against security forces. The arrestees
reportedly admitted having staged a tire-burning
demonstration during which they closed the D-400
highway to traffic and having plotted Molotov
cocktail attacks against official buildings and
schools.


12. BOMB ATTACK ON AK PARTY OFFICE
(Evrensel) Unidentified assailants threw a
Molotov cocktail at AK Party's Kayapinar
(Diyarbakir) district office on January 22. No
casualties were reported, while the office's
window glasses were broken. An investigation is
underway.


13. DIYARBAKIR HRA ISSUES ITS 2002 REPORT
(Evrensel) In a press conference, the Diyarbakir
chapter of the Human Rights Association (HRA)
publicized its 2002 report on human rights
violations. Chapter President Selahattin
Demirtas described the lifting of the State of
Emergency (OHAL), the abolition of the death
penalty, and legal reforms regarding mother-
tongue education, as well as amendments to the
Meetings, Demonstrations and Marches Law, as
positive. Demirtas claimed human rights abuses
increased despite these improvements. Demirtas
noted that bans on the import of certain
newspapers and magazines had automatically ended
with the lifting of OHAL, but "OHAL habits"
continued. He pointed to a 101% increase in
landmine accidents in 2002 compared to the
previous year. Arrests of pro-mother tongue
advocates increased by 15%, with torture
remaining on the agenda. Demirtas stressed that
tension resulting from isolation imposed on
KADEK/PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan is gradually
turning into social unrest, endangering peace and
compromise efforts in recent years.


14. TRIAL OF BISMIL (DIYARBAKIR) VILLAGE GUARDS
CONTINUES
(Evrensel) The trial of ten Bismil (Diyarbakir)
village guards continued at the Diyarbakir Felony
Court on January 22. The village guards,
including four in custody, were charged with
killing three people and wounding four others as
a result of an armed attack on two families who
had returned to Bismil's Ugrak village. The
court ordered the four defendants to remain in
custody and adjourned the trial until a later
date to await the results of a criminal analysis
of the bullet casings found at the scene.


15. MOTHER WANTS HER JAILED SON TO BE GIVEN
MEDICAL TREATMENT
(Evrensel) Fatma Kurt, mother of Feridun Kurt
incarcerated in Adana's Ceyhan township, claimed
her son had been denied medical treatment for
health problems that resulted from torture in the
prison. Kurt alleged she had many times applied
to officials, but failed to receive a positive
result.


16. AZADIYA WELAT MARKS ITS EIGHTH ANNIVERSARY
(Evrensel) Kurdish-language Azadiya Welat
Newspaper organized a celebration on January 21
to mark its eighth anniversary. Democratic
People's Party (DEHAP) leader Mehmet Abbasoglu
and Feridun Celik, HADEP Mayor of Diyarbakir, as
well as representatives of labor unions,
associations, and mass organizations attended the
celebration. In his Kurdish-language opening
remarks, Azadiya Welat Diyarbakir Representative
Sakir Ozaydin expressed his wish for people to
live together peacefully. Kurdish songs were
also played during the celebration.


17. STATICTICS ON CRIMINAL INCIDENTS IN ADANA
(Turkiye) According to the Adana Security
Directorate's Press, Protocol and Public
Relations Department, 50 different terror
incidents took place in Adana in 2002, with 284
suspects arrested. Of these suspects, 62 were
ordered to remain in custody, while the remaining
186 were set free. In the same year, 77 people
were stabbed or shot to death for various
reasons, while another 75 people were killed in
traffic accidents. In connection with these
murders, 169 suspects were arrested; police are
searching for another 30 suspects. Police also
launched operations against 48 different crime
gangs in Adana and vicinity, arresting 500
suspects. Of these suspects, 163 were ordered
held. In connection with 600 financial crimes,
1,036 of a total of 1,250 suspects were arrested,
with 111 ordered held. In addition, the
Narcotics Department arrested 648 people and
confiscated 202 kilograms of drugs.


ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS
--------------------------------------
18. CUKOBIRLIK PAYS FARMERS FOR THEIR PRODUCTS
(Dunya) Yakup Sahin, Managing Director of
Adana's Agricultural Complex (Cukobirlik),
announced having paid a total of TL 90.6 trillion
(approx. USD 54.3 million) to farmers for their
products in the 2002-2003 period. In the same
period, Cukobirlik exported products amounting to
TL 8.8 trillion (approx. USD 5.3 million). In
2002-2003, Cukobirlik purchased 122,813 tons of
seed cotton, 36,914 tons of soybeans, and 7.5
tons of peanuts in return for TL 90.6 trillion.


19. BATMAN RESIDENTS TURN TO STALE BREAD
(Evrensel) Following the example seen in Mus,
which is Turkey's poorest province, people in
Batman have also reportedly begun to buy more and
more stale bread. A loaf of stale bread sells at
TL 250,000 (approx. USD .15), while a loaf of
newly baked bread sells at TL 400,000 (approx.
USD .24).
HOLTZ

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