Search

 

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 0005

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
JANUARY 8, 2003

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for January 8, 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
--------------------------------


"BALCONIES OVERLOOKING INCIRLIK AIR BASE FOR RENT"
(Radikal/Bolge) Merchants at the Wholesalers'
Complex across from Adana's Incirlik Air Base
offered the balconies of their places of business
for rent prior to the possible U.S. operation
against Iraq. Some media organizations wanted to
rent these workplaces' balconies to watch the
taking off and landing of fighters and other
military planes more comfortably. One merchant who
refused to disclose his name announced having
allocated his balcony to a television station.


INCREASED ANTI-WAR SENSITIVITY IN MALATYA
(Evrensel) Representatives of organizations and
institutions forming the Malatya War Opponents
Platform pointed to increased anti-war sensitivity
following reports that the U.S. wants to use that
province's Erhac Air Base in the event of war in
Iraq. The representatives stressed that a majority
of the public were against this war and that it
could be prevented through the public's will.


OPPOSITION AGAINST POSSIBILITY OF DIYARBAKIR
BECOMING A TARGET
(Evrensel) Behcet Balik, President of the
Diyarbakir Young Businessmen's Association
(DIGIAD), expressed opposition to the possible U.S.
operation against Iraq, saying the use by the U.S.
of the Diyarbakir Air Base would turn the region
into a target for Iraq. Ali Oncu, President of the
Diyarbakir chapter of the nationwide Tes-Is labor
union, called for struggle against (this) war. The
Diyarbakir Physicians Chamber President, Necdet
Ipekyuz, said hospitals, physicians and the number
of beds were not sufficient in Diyarbakir, which is
included in the list of critical provinces due to
U.S. preparations for an operation against Iraq.
The SES health employees' union Diyarbakir chapter
president complained the State did not care about
the region's people.


KANADOGLU: ERDOGAN CANNOT BE NOMINATED FROM SIIRT
(All papers) Supreme Court of Appeals Chief
Prosecutor Sabih Kanadoglu said new candidates
cannot be nominated in the Siirt elections, which
are characterized as "a continuation and renewal"
of the November 3 parliamentary elections,
signaling that he would object to AK Party leader
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's candidacy (in that
province). Kanadoglu based his argument on the
Member of Parliament Election Law's Article 25,
which prevents nomination of new candidates in the
renewal of an election, as well as on Article 16,
which says one person cannot run twice in the same
election, i.e. from two different constituencies.
Thus, Kanadoglu expressed an opinion against a
(recent) Higher Election Council (YSK) decision
stating that "new candidates may be nominated in
the Siirt elections in the event of a resignation
or death." Kanadoglu indicated the recent
Constitutional amendments removing legal obstacles
in front of Erdogan could not be implemented in the
Siirt elections, as they were "a continuation" of
the November 3 elections. He noted that these
rules would only be valid in case of a by-election.
Sabah quoted AK Party officials as negatively
reacting to Kanadoglu by saying that "it is YSK
that will make a decision on this". AK Party vice
national president Dengir Firat noted that acting
with Kanadoglu's mindset would mean that Fadil
Akgunduz can re-nominate himself. (Note:
Akgunduz, a fugitive sought for swindling for a
long time, was elected to the parliament in the
November 3 elections through an election campaign
carried out by his attorney, but was arrested and
jailed soon after the Siirt elections were
canceled.)


VILLAGE GUARD SALARIES UNDER INVESTIGATION
(Turkiye) The Bitlis Governor's Office launched a
comprehensive investigation to look into monthly
salaries and severance pay paid to local village
guards since 1990. The investigation stemmed from
increased complaints that some village guards had
received payments although they should not have
been paid and vice versa.


ALLEGATIONS OF PRESSURE AGAINST MARDIN INMATES
(Evrensel) Relatives of inmates incarcerated in
Mardin's E-type prison complained about
maltreatment in the prison. Inmates' complaints
included:
- Fourteen inmates were put in six-person wards
and 24 inmates in eight-person ones;
- Wards' walls were painted in colors
displeasing to inmates' eyes;
- Threats of epidemic diseases;
- Poisoning from prison food;
- Prohibition of publications not banned by
courts; and
- Insult by soldiers and prison guards.


SANLIURFA VILLAGERS APPLY TO HRA FOR ASSISTANCE
(Evrensel) Mehmet Sakin, a resident of Siverek's
(Sanliurfa) Hebana village whose brother was
seriously wounded when five local village guards
allegedly opened fire on their vehicle on route to
Viransehir to take revenge because of a blood feud
between them, applied to the Human Rights
Association (HRA) in Gaziantep for assistance.
Based on Sakin's testimony, the village guards were
arrested, but were later set free.


HONOR KILLING IN BATMAN
(Cumhuriyet/Radikal/Turkiye) Twenty-four-year-old
Sevide Uyanik of Sason's (Batman) Gecitli village
was found dead on December 30, with her three-day-
old baby strangled and thrown two kilometers
outside the village. Uyanik's relatives reported
the incident to the local Jandarma command as a
suicide. However, an investigation by the Sason
Prosecutor's Office revealed that Uyanik had
delivered a baby before dying and that there were
signs of two Kalashnikov bullets in her body. Her
son and brother-in-law Mahmut Uyanik, to whose home
she and her husband's second wife moved after her
husband had been ordered held for smuggling, were
arrested. The arrestees were later ordered to
remain in custody. Prosecutor Mehmet Firat said a
DNA test would help find out who the baby's father
was, how it died, and with whom the killed woman
had an intercourse. Firat added that a sample
taken from the baby's body had already been sent to
the Istanbul Forensic Medical Department (for
analysis).
SANLIURFA YOUTHS AGAINST THE CLAN SYSTEM
(Evrensel) A survey carried out by a group of
Sanliurfa's Harran University students on 83 of
their peers, among them 33 women, showed that
youths were against the "clan" or "tribal" system
that still prevails in the Southeast. The survey
also found out that 40% of the students were clan
members, while 63% thought it was not important to
have ties to a clan.


DEFENDANT IN THE CASE OF SLAIN THAI TOURIST
CONVICTED
(Turkiye) The Sanliurfa Felony Court convicted 21-
year-old Serdar Beyazit of "rape, murder and
extortion." Beyazit was the only defendant in the
case of Thai tourist Liu Chie Ying, who was found
dead in her room of a Sanliurfa hotel after being
sexually assaulted and killed. Beyazit was
sentenced to a prison term of ten years for
extortion, seven years for rape and life
imprisonment for murder.


"WHERE DID YOU GET IT FROM" CASE AGAINST ADANA
MAYOR DURAK
(Radikal/Milliyet) Adana Mayor Aytac Durak faces a
"Where did you get it from" case. (Note:
Ironically, the Mayor himself once brought a libel
suit against individuals who had said of him: "He
owns half of Adana".) Following a complaint to the
Justice Ministry and reports by a local newspaper
on Durak and his family's assets and property,
Interior Ministry inspectors launched an
investigation against Durak. According to the Land
Registry Office, Durak and his spouse own 1.7
million square meters of land; his son and daughter
have 17 houses/apartments and places of business
(offices). Prosecutor Vedat Mentes opened the case
after he found out Durak had acquired enormous
wealth after being elected mayor. If convicted of
"untrue property declaration and unjust property
obtainment," Durak will be sentenced to a prison
term of eight years and his unjustly-obtained
property will be confiscated.


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


"ATATURK DAM PRINTING MONEY"
(Cumhuriyet) Sanliurfa's Ataturk Dam and Hydro-
electric Power Plant produced over five billion
kilowatt hours of energy (electricity), amounting
to nearly USD 250 million. Production by the eight
units (turbines) of the Ataturk Dam, which
constitutes the most important part of the
Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), exceeded 2002
targets.


COMMERCIAL CREDITS FOR ADANA BUSINESSMEN
(Milliyet/Bolge) Disbank and the Adana Chamber of
Commerce (ACOC) signed a protocol agreement to
enable ACOC members to take advantage of Disbank's
"Entrepreneur Support Credit". Under the
agreement, Disbank will provide small- and medium-
scale industries (KOBI's) with long-term, fixed-
rate and flexible-paying commercial and other
credits ranging from TL 5-50 billion (approx. USD
3,000-30,000).


FOREIGN INTEREST IN SANLIURFA KILIMS
(Milli Gazete) Kilims woven by 50 Siverek
(Sanliurfa) girls in carpet looms established by
the Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundation, an
affiliate of the district governor's office,
reportedly have entered the European market. The
paper points to big demand from Denmark, Germany,
the Netherlands, France and other European
countries for these kilims bearing historical,
Central Asian, and Karakeci (an ancient Turkish
tribe) motifs.


TOBACCO FARMERS NOW FREQUENTERS OF COFFEEHOUSES
(Evrensel) With tobacco cultivation declining
nearly to zero, tobacco farmers in Batman's Kozluk
township are now spending their time in local
coffeehouses. A majority of Kozluk's 30,000 people
are now jobless as there are not many job
opportunities outside tobacco cultivation. The
number of coffeehouses has reportedly risen to a
peak of 60 from only four or five two years ago.
HOLTZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

UN: Guterres Condemns Killing Of Journalists, Following Beheading Of Mexican Crime Reporter

© UNESCO | International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Following the gruesome death of a Mexican journalist specializing in crime reporting, who was found beheaded on Wednesday, UN chief António Guterres has issued a statement condemning ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>

WWF: Living Planet Report Reveals Average Two-Thirds Decline In Wildlife Populations Since 1970

According to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 released today, global populations* of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds decline in less than half a century. The decline is due in large part to the very ... More>>