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 04 ADANA 0003
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
JANUARY 4-5, 2003
1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for January 4-5, 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. SOUTHEASTERN GOVERNORS CONVENE TO ASSESS
(Hurriyet) It is reported that it has been decided
at the prime ministry meeting of the governors in
southeastern border regions that all the
precautions to be implemented in the event of an
influx of tens of thousands of people from northern
Iraq be coordinated by the Regional Governor, Aydin
Gokhan, and that 18 sites have been selected in the
region for setting up tent cities. It is also
reported that the phrase "population movement"
should be used instead of "immigration".
3. COOPERATION AGAINST AK PARTY IN SIIRT
(Hurriyet) CHP has rolled up its sleeves to defeat
AK Party's chairman, Tayyip Erdogan, at the
elections in Siirt. Angered Fadil Akgunduz
supporters will reportedly work against AK Party,
as they believe Akgunduz was imprisoned of
embezzlement to open the path for Tayyip Erdogan to
become prime minister. It is also claimed that as
DYP, ANAP, MHP, and SP will not be able to produce
any deputies in Siirt, they will support the CHP
candidate, Dr. Ekrem Bilek, who was elected to the
parliament in the November 3 general elections.
Regarding the issue, Dr. Bilek said that AK Party
had enjoyed 14 thousand votes, Mr. Akgunduz 11
thousand as an independent, CHP 7,500, and DEHAP,
DYP, ANAP, SP 40 thousand votes, and he claimed
that CHP would get around 40 thousand votes if Mr.
Erdogan nominated himself from Siirt.
4. TURKEY FORMS A SECURITY BELT IN NORTHERN IRAQ
(Milliyet) Turkey is forming a security zone in
the Dohuk and Zaho regions of northern Iraq, which
used to teem with PKK terrorists. Turkey's
objective is to eradicate any security-related
problems it would encounter in the event of an
influx of immigrants and terrorist infiltration.
Turkey is considering a military mobilization of
60-70 kilometers inside northern Iraq in the
looming war with Iraq.
5. SIX GANG MEBERS ARRESTED IN ADANA
(Turkiye-Bolge) Adana police arrested six persons
accused of forming a gang for the purposes of
gaining money and carrying out killings, extortion
and ransom crimes. Following the completion of
their interrogations, the arrestees were taken to
the State Security Court of Adana.
6. FIVE ARRESTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING IN VAN AND
(Turkiye) Five persons were arrested with five
kilograms of heroin and 15 kilograms of morphine in
Hatay and Caldiran (Van) as they were trying to
sell them to the Jandarma who pretended to be
buyers. In connection with heroin trafficking in
Hatay, one Turkish and one Syrian nationals were
ordered held. It is believed that the drugs seized
in Caldiran were smuggled from Iran. Three persons
have been arrested and an investigation is
underway, the officials said.
7. ADANA NGO OPPOSES U.S. LED WAR ON IRAQ
(Bolge) As reactions to a possible US-led war in
Iraq increased, Suleyman Ozkan, President of the
Adana chapter of the Inmates and Prisoners'
Families Assistance and Solidarity Association,
announced the United States wanted to drown the
Middle East in blood and tears. Ozkan claimed the
U.S. wanted to drag Turkey into an environment with
irrecoverable losses although it had not dressed
the wounds from the 1991 Gulf Crisis. Around 200
association members expressed that they were
against war and asked for an end to anti-democratic
practices in prisons.
8. TWO HADEP OFFICIALS ARRESTED IN DIYARBAKIR
(Evrensel) A Diyarbakir court ordered two HADEP
officials to remain in custody for violating the
Meetings, Demonstrations and Marches Law by staging
an unauthorized demonstration and shouting slogans
on December 31, 2002.
9. NUMBER OF CHECK POINTS REMAINS THE SAME AFTER
(Evrensel) Some of the check points closed down
during the State of Emergency (OHAL) in Hakkari,
Bitlis and Van provinces have been reopened on the
grounds of "security and smuggling". OHAL was
lifted in Van two years ago, and in Hakkari on
November 30, 2002. The checkpoints are deemed
impediments to freedom of travel and trade.
10. ARRESTS IN THE SOUTHEAST
(Evrensel) Nusaybin (Mardin) police arrested five
HADEP members, eleven high school students and one
Yeniden Ozgur newspaper distributor earlier this
month. The HADEP members were accused of
"distributing handouts," while the students were
charged with forming committees for the purpose of
recruitment for the Kurdistan Youth Organization
(YCK). A local court later released the students,
but ordered the HADEP members and the distributor
to remain in custody.
11. POLICE ARREST NINE IN GAZIANTEP DORMITORY
(Radikal) Police stopped two suspects entering the
State-owned Orphans' Dormitory in Gaziantep around
midnight, arresting the one on whom two grams of
heroin were found, while the other suspect escaped.
The suspect who entered the dormitory asked for
help from his friends. A group of 30 youths lit a
fire on the roof of the building and threw roof
tiles at the police. The group returned to their
dormitories after the arrested person was released.
Afterwards, the police arrested the two suspects
and nine others, seizing many knives and lots of
12. WIRE FENCE PUT AROUND 20-KM LINE AT BATMAN OIL
(Radikal) As military and civilian measurements
are undertaken in the Southeast for a possible US-
led war on Iraq, the perimeter of Tupras Refinery
in Batman was surrounded with a four-meter-high
wire fence. Tankers waiting to dump fuel oil they
had brought in from northern Iraq have reportedly
formed a 20-kilometer-long queue at the refinery.
13. ANTI-BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL COMMITTEES FORMED
(Turkiye) After determination by the Diyarbakir
Governor's Office of shelters to be used by the
public in the event of war on Iraq, the province's
Civil Defense Directorate formed an "Anti-
Biological and Chemical Struggle Committee." The
committee is made up of teachers from the Science
Faculty and expert doctors from the Dicle
University (Diyarbakir) Hospital.
14. RELIEF MATERIALS DISPATCHED TO IRAQI BORDER
(Turkiye) Eight truckloads of relief materials
sent by the Turkish Red Crescent were unloaded in
Silopi (Sirnak) to cope with possible infiltration
of refugees in the event of war on Iraq.
15. NGOS OPPOSE WAR, URGE UN DECISION
(Turkiye) It was announced by representatives of
various chambers in Adana and Mersin that any war
not based on legitimate grounds is a crime against
humanity. Business circles in Adana, Mersin and
Tarsus (Mersin) signed a joint declaration saying
that "the operation on Iraq for which the United
States is making preparations is not based on
legitimate grounds; all the states in the world,
particularly our country, should oppose this issue
unless a United Nations' decision has been
obtained, and that the likely war would bring great
material and moral losses to our country,
especially to the Cukurova (Adana) region, and that
we announce to the public opinion that our country
should not take part in this war unless a United
Nations' decision has been obtained".
16. INTERIOR MINISTRY BANS VILLAGE GUARDS FROM
(Evrensel) A recently circulated Interior Ministry
decree bans Hakkari village guards from becoming
administrators or members of political parties.
Based on the decree, 140 village guards in Cukurca
(Hakkari) were summoned to the district Jandarma
Command in early December and were asked to resign
from their political parties; otherwise their
weapons would be confiscated. This new decree has
affected mostly MHP and DYP, not DEHAP.
17. FAMILY PLANNING
(Cumhuriyet) A report by the Diyarbakir Chamber of
Physicians revealed that women in the Southeast
have insufficient information about birth and
family planning. While 61% of women do not get any
pre-delivery medical care, 58% do not use any birth
control methods. Fifty-four per cent of births
take place at home and 0.062 of babies are
stillborn, while the infant mortality rate is 0.076
per cent. The report noted that it was mandated by
law to get a spouse's consent for sterilization,
and that there were claims of forced birth-control
methods in the region. The report emphasized that
it was up to the individual to choose any birth-
control methods after being informed adequately.
"The OHAL Regional Governor's teams should be
removed from family planning services. While these
services are being rendered, modern, scientific,
legal, and moral principles should not be
neglected. Especially legation of tubes
(sterilization) should only be applied on a
voluntary basis, not through any incentives,
persuasion, or pressure," the report said.
18. ADANA'S SEYHAN DISTRICT MAYOR TO JOIN CHP
(Bolge) It is claimed that Adana's Seyhan district
mayor, Yildiray Arikan, who plans to run for mayor
of Adana, has increased his efforts to join CHP, as
his party, YTP, has very little popularity. It is
alleged that he will join CHP between January 14-
ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS
19. MALATYA HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES FIRED
(Evrensel) In the Turgut Ozal Medical Center,
affiliated with Malatya's Inonu University, where a
chapter of the national Health Union (Saglik-Sen)
is getting organized, 122 workers were terminated,
in addition to the 22 workers terminated a month
ago. The terminated workers claimed that they had
received warnings that they should not register
with the union; otherwise, they would be
terminated. They added that Rector Dr. Fatih
Hilmioglu was backing the sacking of workers.