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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 0009

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
JANUARY 11-12, 2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for January 11-12, 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. BODIES OF NINE FOREIGNERS CANNOT BE IDENTIFIED
(Milli Gazete/Cumhuriyet) The Diyarbakir
Governor's Office wrote to several Embassies to
help identify nine foreigners who were among the 75
victims of the plane that crashed in Diyarbakir on
January 8. A five-person delegation from the Civil
Aviation National Directorate arrived in Diyarbakir
on January 10 to investigate the crash. In
addition, an investigation is also underway to find
out the owner of USD 170,000 found on the plane.
The paper noted that an American came to Diyarbakir
but was not able to identify the (American's) body.
His family will come from the U.S. Based on the
January 10 broadcast of some private television
stations, Milliyet wrote that British national
Muhammed Nazmu Haque, one of the crash victims, was
said to be a member of the British Secret Service,
MI-5, appointed to watch hot developments in the
region. Hurriyet reported allegations that two
foreigners, Mahmod Dara and Hardi Mohammed Ali,
whose nationalities could not be identified, were
MI-5 agents. An investigation is underway.


3. THY BEGINS TO PAY REPARATIONS
(Radikal/Hurriyet/Cumhuriyet) Turkish Airlines
(THY) has begun to pay USD 21,000 in reparations
for the victims of the RJ 100-type plane that
crashed in Diyarbakir. The insurance company will
determine the definite amount of indemnity to be
paid to the victims' relatives. The Turkish
General Staff (TGS) strongly criticized reports
that "the TGS had prevented the installment of an
Instrument Landing System (ILS)" at the Diyarbakir
Airport. The TGS denied having received any
applications to install an ILS system in
Diyarbakir.


4. ADANA AIRPORT TO RESUME OPERATION AS OF
JANUARY 15
(Hurriyet) Cengiz Asikli, President of the Adana
State Airports Administration (DHMI) Senior
Director, announced the Adana Airport would re-open
to flights beginning on January 15. The airport
was closed to flights on November 4 for repair and
maintenance. Asikli said a 110-person team
continued to work three shifts to complete the
repair project. "If weather conditions permit, we
will not postpone the re-opening of the airport,"
Asikli added. THY officials said they have not yet
begun to sell tickets although the DHMI informed
them when the airport would re-open.


5. ANTI-WAR PROTESTS
(Evrensel) A group of 150 Mersin residents
gathered in front of the Democratic People's Party
(DEHAP) office upon a call by the Mersin Anti-War
Platform to protest U.S. imperialism. Officials
and members of the Democratic People's Party
(DEHAP), the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), the
Labor Party (EMEP), the Social Democrat Party
(SDP), and the Turkish Communist Party (TKP)
participated in the protest, criticizing U.S.
preparations to attack Iraq. The DEHAP provincial
chairman read a joint declaration on behalf of the
platform saying U.S. reasons to hit Iraq were far
from convincing, the current administration in Iraq
was a also product of U.S. imperialism and that the
U.S. was the largest producer and seller of weapons
of mass destruction. According to the declaration,
the U.S. intended to re-draw the region's map in
order to control oil fields in Iraq and the Middle
East. In a January 11 press conference, the
Diyarbakir Peace Platform said the scope and
outcome of a possible Iraq war planned according to
the benefit of the U.S. and its allies would be
devastating in Turkey. On January 12, The Tunceli
Anti-war Platform held an anti-war rally attended
by nearly 1,000 people carrying "No to the
Imperialist War". Erdogan Colak of the Adana
Pharmacists' Chamber said said no one would remain
insensitive to U.S. preparations to attack Iraq,
noting that every pharmacy would display an anti-
war poster. In addition, political parties, mass
organizations and business organizations are
scheduled to hold an anti-war rally on January 18,
with the Egitim-Sen teachers union launching a
petition drive and collecting 1,000 signatures in
three days. Also, Diyarbakir police arrested six
Labor Party (EMEP) members for displaying banners
reading, "We do not want a government that is a
puppet of the U.S., Let's Stop Invasion of Iraq."
The arrestees were later released.


6. ANTI-WAR STATEMENTS FROM THE SOUTHEAST
(Evrensel) Issues such as war, youth and women's
struggle were on the agenda of the People's
Democracy Party (HADEP) Youth Commission during its
January 6-7 Youth Conference in Diyarbakir.
Participants emphasized the need for youths to play
a leading role against U.S. aggression,
underscoring that joint struggle would stop war.
AK Party, which had expressed reservations with
respect to a possible U.S. war in Iraq before the
(November 3) elections, was criticized for
forgetting its promises to the public. A Dicle
University (Diyarbakir) student said that all
Diyarbakir and Batman hotels had been reserved for
U.S. soldiers. Prolonged deployment of U.S.
soldiers in Diyarbakir will negatively impact the
Kurdish culture and values, he argued.


7. TURKISH RED CRESCENT TEAM IN SIRNAK
(Milli Gazete) A ten-person delegation
representing the Turkish Red Crescent Society
arrived in Sirnak's Silopi township to prepare for
Iraqi nationals likely to cross into Turkey in the
event of an intervention against Iraq. The team
will reportedly engage in the establishment of
proposed tent cities (along the Iraqi border). The
team visited the Sirnak Governor's, the Silopi
District Governor's, and the Habur Local
Administrator's Offices, as well as the
municipality of Silopi and other (public)
organizations.


8. GAS MASK INTRODUCTION IN ADANA
(Turkiye) Residents of Adana, home to the Incirlik
Air Base, are concerned over a possible U.S.
operation against Iraq, while gas mask importers
are now engaged in increased activities. A gas
mask supplier, together with a former Civil Defense
Director, introduced gas masks that are guaranteed
by the Turkish Standard Institute and can be used
against chemical gases, urging citizens not to use
cheap, illegally-imported gas masks. The supplier
said he was selling gas masks at TL 200 million
(approx. USD 120) each and filters at TL 50 million
(approx. USD 30) each. He noted the bigger demand
was from factories, companies and media
organizations sending personnel to an environment
of war.


9. RADIKAL: TORTURE, PKK/KADEK ACTIVITIES
(Radikal) on January 10, the Parliamentary Human
Rights Commission listened to National Police and
Jandarma officials who in their report said the
Democratic People's Party (DEHAP), which they
associate with PKK-KADEK, had failed to attain the
results it had anticipated in the November 3
Parliamentary elections. The report said illegal
organizations' field of activity had expanded after
the lifting of the State of Emergency (OHAL), with
illegal organizations' activities increasing in the
offices of political parties, associations and
culture centers. "The organization (i.e., PKK-
KADEK) is preparing to stage demonstrations to
abolish the village guard system," the report
claimed. In response to the commission's
questions, national security directorate officials
denied allegations of "torturer police officers,"
describing such allegations as "efforts by illegal
organizations to increase the number of
applications to the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR)". Speaking of a proposal to make torturers
pay indemnity ordered by the ECHR, the officials
said such a regulation would reduce the number of
torture allegations.


10. OHAL GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Evrensel reported that OHAL in the minds of police
is not lifted. Regarding the "Evaluation of the
State of Emergency (OHAL) and Adjacent Provinces"
report submitted by the National Security
Directorate to the Parliamentary Human Rights
Commission, the paper reported police viewed
activities carried out by labor unions, students
and workers asserting their rights in the Southeast
as "extension of illegal organizations and support
to an illegal organization (i.e., PKK/KADEK)." The
report characterized college students' pro-native
language (i.e., Kurdish) education petitions as "a
terror organization's (i.e., PKK/KADEK) legal work
/ operation." The report also described human
rights violations cries from the Southeast and
applications to the European Court of Human Rights
as "an effort to produce decisions against our
country". Milli Gazete reported the formation of
six sub-commissions by the Parliament to travel to
inspect some provinces that remain within the
jurisdiction of the OHAL Governor's Office, between
January 10-13. These provinces are Diyarbakir,
Bingol, Mus, Batman, Mardin, and Tunceli.


11. PRO-OCALAN PROTESTS CONTINUE
(Evrensel) In Manisa, Batman, Van and Diyarbakir
provinces, groups of people, including children,
staged demonstrations and marches to protest
isolation of KADEK (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.
Ocalan was prevented from meeting with his
attorneys and family members for the past six
weeks. The protestors shouted pro-Ocalan slogans,
as police took intense security measures during
these protest demonstrations. In addition,
Republican People's Party (CHP) Tunceli Deputy
Sinan Yerlikaya, Justice and Development Party
(AKP) Agri Deputy Halil Ozyolcu, AKP Bingol Deputy
Feyzi Berdibek, and AKP Mardin Deputy Nihat Eri
emphasized the need for the government to refrain
from unlawful attitudes that might lead to tension,
at a time when there was need for social peace.
They said laws and rules must be applied to all,
without discrimination.


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


12. DIONYSUS STATUE DISCOVERED IN ANCIENT CITY OF
ZEUGMA
(Radikal/Bolge) A statue of Dionysus (God of Wine)
symbolizing pleasure and amusement was unearthed in
the ancient city of Zeugma when the level of water
in the reservoir behind Sanliurfa's Birecik Dam
decreased three meters, helping the statue surface.


13. KONUKOGLU: WE CHANGED OUR ANCESTORS' SHOPS
INTO HOLDING COMPANIES
(Turkiye) Abdulkadir Konukoglu, President of the
Gaziantep-based Sanko Holding Company, said the
fact that the State did not make investments played
a big role in the success of the Anatolian (Eastern
and Southeastern Turkey) industrial base.
Konukoglu attributed Gaziantep's industrial
development to no (State) investments other than
the railway, the State tobacco and liquor monopoly
TEKEL, and the cement sector, which was later
privatized. According to Konukoglu, in Gaziantep,
Muslims, Jews, Christians, and Armenians lived
together for centuries, starting their own
businesses by learning about handcrafts from one
another. "Our ancestors (grandfathers) turned
these shops into small plants, our fathers into
factories, and we into holding companies," he
added. "If the State had made investments, my
grandfather would leave his handcrafts business and
become or wait to become a public employee, and
then we would not have these plants."


14. MERSIN PLANT TEARS DOWN CHIMNEYS POLLUTING
ENVIRONMENT
(Bolge/Turkiye) Mersin-based Kromsan Factory, an
affiliate of the Sisecam Holding Company, held a
ceremony to bring down its two 19-year-old chimneys
due to allegations that they had polluted the
environment. Mersin Governor Akif Tig attended the
ceremony, during which he said the 100- and 110-
meter chimneys were being torn down due to
transition to new technology and for economic
reasons. Tig praised the factory for storing its
(industrial) waste with the help of new technology,
instead and added it had contributed to the
national economy by exporting 70% of its
production.
HOLTZ

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