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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 04 ADANA 0030

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
JANUARY 29, 2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for January 29, 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. MEASURES AGAINST A POSSIBLE INFLUX OF REFUGEES
FROM IRAQ
(Hurriyet) Turkey has devised plans to prevent a
possible influx of refugees from Iraq in the event
of a possible U.S.-led war in Iraq. A total of 18
centers, including 12 in northern Iraq, will be
established for the purposes of humanitarian
assistance for refugees. In addition, the Sirnak
Governor's Office reportedly continues with measures
against a possible wave of refugees, as well.
Survey teams have begun to hammer stakes to put up
tents near the province's Habur border gate.


3. ANTI-WAR PROTESTS CONTINUE
(Evrensel) The Malatya chapter of the Labor Party
(EMEP) organized a January 27 concert entitled
"Let's Praise Peace." Over 1,000 war opponents,
mostly youths, attended the concert, during which
anti-U.S. imperialism and pro-socialism slogans were
chanted. Bolge reported continued criticism on the
part of NGO's against a possible U.S.-led war in
Iraq. Yakup Sevki Ozturk, President of the Adana
Young Businessmen's Association (AGIAD), emphasized
"the need to preserve economic and ecologic
balances."


4. TRIAL OF ASSASSINS OF OKKAN CONTINUES IN
DIYARBAKIR
(Evrensel) The trial of four suspected assassins of
former Diyarbakir Security Director Gaffar Okkan
continued in the Diyarbakir State Security Court.
The defendants appeared for the trial and denied the
charges. The defendants' attorneys requested that
their clients and two eyewitnesses who had testified
against their clients be brought face to face. The
court adjourned the trial for missing documents in
the case file.


5. IDIL (SIRNAK) SURROUNDED, 30 PEOPLE ARRESTED
(Radikal/Cumhuriyet/Milli Gazete) Following a half-
hour clash between security forces and PKK/KADEK
members who had opened fire on military and police
housing in Idil (Sirnak), security forces took
large-scale security measures, blocking the district
with armored vehicles. Security forces raided
several homes and arrested 30 (32 according to
Cumhuriyet) people, including HADEP officials.
Mahmut Akman, ANAP Mayor of the Sirtkoy district, as
well as his cousin Sahin Akman, were also arrested.
The Akmans are also village guards. Sirnak Governor
Huseyin Baskaya declared that a group of two-three
(20 according to Cumhuriyet and Sabah) people had
carried out the attack. Cumhuriyet cites local
sources as saying that seven soldiers were wounded
during the attack.


6. SANLIURFA GOVERNOR A TARGET NOW
(Cumhuriyet) Over the past three years, there have
efforts to remove Sanliurfa Governor Dilek from
office for his efforts in fighting against gangs in
the province, which has made him the target of
gangs, clans, sects, and even some politicians.
Former Interior Minister Saadettin Tantan had been
appointed Dilek, Tantan's then secretary general,
Sanliurfa Governor. Dilek first became a target
after the Motherland Party (ANAP) Provincial
Chairman's son was arrested within the framework of
an operation launched by the Turkish Electricity
Distribution Corporation (TEDAS) to prevent illegal
use of electricity in that province. Dilek also
drew reactions from Sanliurfa's Bucak Clan for
repossessing State land, and from Nationalist
Movement Party (MHP) members for preventing them
from collecting entrance fees to the State Hospital.
This time, it is an operation license his office
refused to issue for an illegal gas station. The
newspaper says during his tenure, Dilek also
- Suspended the distribution of weapon licenses;
- Cracked down on a gang involved in bidding
tenders; and
- Investigated irregularities in Irrigation
Cooperatives.
Inspectors had been appointed to investigate Dilek's
actions, but they had found him to be in the right.


7. BODY OF ANOTHER CRASH VICTIM MISTAKEN FOR
SOMEONE ELSE'S
(Milliyet) The body of Ahmet Tas, who had died
during the plane crash in Diyarbakir earlier this
month, was confused with that of another victim,
Veysel Uyanik. Uyanik's family had received the
body and buried it in Batman. Officials believe
Uyanik's body is in the Diyarbakir State Hospital's
morgue, where at present there are a total of eight
bodies. Of these eight bodies, two more have been
identified, while officials are awaiting the results
of DNA tests being carried in Istanbul on samples
taken from the remaining bodies.


8. DEPUTY MAYOR: MUNICIPALITY IS BEING MADE A
TARGET
(Evrensel) Meyet Tekin, Deputy Mayor of
Diyarbakir's Yenisehir district, criticized an
article entitled "Come To Your Senses, Mayor."
Tekin claimed Mayor Remzi Azizoglu had been targeted
for his municipal council's decision to demolish the
district's "illegally-constructed" Martyrs Monument.
Tekin said the municipality was only implementing
laws. Under the Zoning Law, the allocation of a
plot of land for such purposes falls within the
scope of the Yenisehir Municipality's
responsibilities. "But the Governor's Office did
not get permission (from our municipality) and
thereby illegally constructed this monument," he
argued.


9. EVRENSEL: NATIONAL EDUCATION MINISTRY IGNORES
JUDICIARY
(Evrensel) The members of the Music Band of the
State Employees' Union Confederation (KESK) in
Diyarbakir had been indicted for "assisting and
abetting a terror organization (i.e. PKK)" for
giving a concert during the Egitim-Sen teachers
union's General Congress in Diyarbakir. The
National Education Ministry's Disciplinary Council
had removed the teachers from office. They were
later acquitted, but have not been reinstated, even
though they have petitioned the Diyarbakir
Administrative Court.


10. HAND GRENADE FOUND AT ADANA SCHOOL
(Turkiye) Students found a hand grenade in a bag in
the garden of a primary school that provides
education for deaf and mute students. A bomb squad
arrived and took the grenade to the Security
Directorate. The grenade had been manufactured in
Turkey.
11. FORMER VILLAGE GUARD KILLED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT
(Hurriyet) Kulp (Diyarbakir) resident Engin Akdeniz
killed 43-year-old former village guard Murat Dinar
for having raped his 13-year-old sister Necla
Akdeniz. Upon a decision by the Akdeniz family,
Necla's two cousins had killed her after giving
birth to a stillborn baby. The cousins had been
sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment each. Engin,
Necla's elder brother, had later been tasked with
killing Dinar.


12. BOMB HOAX IN DIYARBAKIR
(Evrensel) Someone called Diyarbakir's Sur
Municipality and said that a bomb had been placed in
the Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality's new
office building under construction in the Dagkapi
district. The municipality informed the police; a
bomb squad arrived and examined the area, but found
nothing suspicious.


13. NUMBER OF ADANA STREET CHILDREN DOWN 65% IN
2002
(Bolge) As a result of successful projects carried
out by the Adana Security Directorate's Juvenile
Department, the number of children working in the
streets and involved in crimes has substantially
dropped. The number of children working in the
streets decreased 65%, falling from 1,071 children
in 2001 to 479 in 2002. The number of children
contributing to family budgets by collecting waste
paper fell from 250 to 182, and glue inhalers from
43 to 39. Last year, legal action was taken against
815 children, with lawsuits opened against 87
families. Also, 16 children were brought under
official protection, while 21 others were placed in
Apprenticeship Training Centers.


14. DEFENDANTS IN "FRAUDULENT VOTER DECLARATIONS"
CASE ACQUITTED
(Evrensel) The Mersin Court of General Criminal
Jurisdiction acquitted 48 of the 53 defendants,
including a district headman, of "fraudulent voter
registry" in Mersin province. The remaining four
defendants did not appear for the trial. The court
adjourned the trial and decided to write to these
four defendants telling them to show up for the
(upcoming) trial.


15. PULUMUR (TUNCELI) EARTHQUAKE
(All papers) According to the Bogazici University
(Istanbul) Kandilli Observatory, following the
January 27 earthquake of 6.5 magnitude in Pulumur
(Tunceli), 269 aftershocks shook the area on January
28. Primary and secondary schools began the two-
week break a week earlier than normal in the 8,000-
person district. As temperatures fell below minus
20 degrees centigrade, Pulumur residents spent the
night in one-story buildings and coal cellars,
instead of "summer" tents provided by the Red
Crescent Society. Tunceli Governor Mustafa Erkal
announced having spoken to Public Works and Housing
Minister Zeki Ergezen, who he said would send pre-
fab dwellings. Erkal added cold-climate tents were
on the way to replace the summer tents. "Seven
damage assessment teams have already been dispatched
to the region," he continued. Mayor Mesut Coskun
said 40 pre-fab dwellings would be placed in a tent
city established in the Meydanlar district, and that
200 winter tents had arrived. Pulumur district
Governor Ali Ada noted that there were no buildings
with strong damage in central Pulumur. He added
that many buildings had been damaged moderately and
lightly. The district Governor's Office established
two soup kitchens and donated TL 150 billion
(approx. USD 90,000). The Ministry of Public Works
donated another TL 50 billion (approx. USD 30,000).
Turkiye quoted Assistant Professor Zulfu Gurocak of
Firat University's (Elazig) Faculty of Geology
Engineering as denying reports that Elazig's Keban
Dam was at risk. According to Gurocak, the North
Anatolian Fault Line is far away from the dam.
ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS
--------------------------------------


16. SANKO WILL SELL FABRIC TO LEVI'S
(Radikal/Turkiye) Abdulkadir Konukoglu, President
of the Gaziantep-based Sanko Holding Company,
announced having signed an agreement to sell fabric
to Levi's, a major producer of jeans. "We will
export USD 50 million per year of fabric to Levi's,"
he said.


17. COMMERCIAL CREDIT OPPORTUNITY FOR ADANA
BUSINESSMEN
(Bolge) The Adana Chamber of Commerce (ACOC) signed
a protocol agreement with Garanti Bank to provide
ACOC members with commercial credits for new
investments or renewal of current ones. ACOC
President Saban Bas said the purpose was to assist
small- and medium-scale industries (KOBI), the
locomotive of the national economy, and reenergize
the provincial economy.


18. CUKOBIRLIK MANAGIND DIRECTOR REPLACED
(Bolge) AK Party has apparently expedited political
appointments in Adana after it came to power. Yakup
Sahin, Managing Director of Adana's Agricultural
Complex (Cukobirlik), which was in the hands of the
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) during the former
Ecevit government, was removed from office.
Associate Professor Azim Ozturk of Cukurova
University (Adana) has been appointed the new
Managing Director.
HOLTZ

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