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 0036

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
FEBRUARY 1-2, 2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for February 1-2, 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. MERVAN GUL WITHDRAWS FROM SIIRT ELECTIONS
(All papers) Mervan Gul of AK Party has withdrawn
from the March 9 Siirt elections. Gul had been
elected to the Parliament in the November 3
elections, but lost his status as a Member of
Parliament after the Siirt elections were
cancelled. Gul declared he would resign to open
the way for AK Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"My party will make the decision regarding my
candidacy," Erdogan said. Milli Gazete reported
Gul submitted a petition regarding his withdrawal
from the March 9 Siirt elections to the Higher
Election Council (YSK) on January 31. According to
Radikal newspaper, the Republican People's Party
(CHP) has changed its list of Siirt candidates to
attract votes of DEHAP members in Siirt. Turkiye
and Radikal reported the February 1 acceptance of
Gul's resignation by YSK.


3. CONTINUED ANTI-WAR SENTIMENTS IN THE SOUTHEAST
(Milli Gazete/Bolge) The Adana Art Council issued
an anti-war handbill declaration "Let There Not Be
Wars." Representatives of various NGO's had signed
the declaration. The declaration read: "There are
efforts to re-draw paintings of blood and horror
over Iraqi territories. Turkey and its neighbor
Iraq is being pulled toward a catastrophe during
which hundreds of people will die, children will
become orphans, and families broken. We want
neither this nor another war. We believe that it
is possible for humanity, which is able to reason
and talk, to solve its problems by way of
understanding and compromise." The Diyarbakir
Democratic Youth Platform held a press conference
during which it declared it would stand against the
possible U.S.-led war in Iraq. Evrensel reported
Adana merchants, including a Turkish veteran of the
Korean War, objected to fighting on the same side
with the U.S. According to Milli Gazete, the nine-
person Oral family of Iskenderun (Hatay) declared
they would serve as human shields during any
possible U.S.-led war in Iraq. Edip Oral, father
of former President Suleyman Demirel's adopted
daughter, is known for his anti-war struggle in the
region.


4. TROOPS DISPATCHED TO IRAQI BORDER
(Evrensel) Many soldiers and village guards
affiliated with the Van Regiment Command have been
dispatched to the Iraqi border within the framework
of a possible U.S.-led operation against Iraq. A
convoy of 100 vehicles, including ambulances, left
for Semdinli (Hakkari). Turkiye and Sabah reported
the dispatch by train of 800 soldiers from the
(Istanbul-based) First Army to the Iraqi border.


5. FIRST TENTS ALONG IRAQI BORDER
(Hurriyet) Turkey is trying to prevent a possible
Iraq operation, while it continues to take measures
against a possible influx of refugees in the event
of war. Soldiers and village guards, together with
Red Crescent Society officials, have begun to set
up tents in Silopi (Sirnak) two kilometers away
from the Iraqi border. Some military units have
also been transferred to open fields along the
border, with soldiers settling in tents and
barracks hidden among trees. Leaves of public
employees likely to be used in the event of a war
have been suspended. Tents were set up on January
31 in Silopi, where the number of these tents is
expected to reach 1,000 in the upcoming days. The
tents reportedly accommodate 5-6 people each. An
exercise is also scheduled for February 5 in
preparation for a possible wave of refugees.


6. CHP LEADER BAYKAL IN PULUMUR (TUNCELI)
(Turkiye) Deniz Baykal, leader of the Republican
People's Party (CHP), traveled to Pulumur (Tunceli)
on January 31 for inspections in the earthquake
area. Answering journalists' questions on Cyprus
and Iraq, Baykal criticized government policies.
Cumhuriyet cited Baykal as saying that Turkey would
suffer due to a possible Iraq war. "There is
neither a legal, nor political nor ethical basis
for this war," Baykal argued.


7. GOVERNORS' CIRCULAR
(Turkiye/Hurriyet/Milliyet/Sabah) President Ahmet
Necdet Sezer approved a circular regarding the
appointment of 88 governors across the country.
Under the circular, the State of Emergency (OHAL)
Regional Governor, Gokhan Aydiner, was appointed
the National Security Director, while National
Security Director Kemal Onal was appointed Adana
Governor. Nusret Miroglu is the new Diyarbakir
Governor. The outgoing Governors of Adiyaman,
Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Mersin, Kahramanmaras,
Malatya, Mus, Tunceli, Van, Sirnak, and Kilis have
been transferred to Ankara.


8. EIGHTEEN ARRESTEES RELEASED IN IDIL (SIRNAK)
(Evrensel) Eighteen of the 33 people arrested
following the January 27 attack on the Idil
(Sirnak) district Infantry Border Battalion were
arraigned in a local court after four days of
interrogation. The court released the 18
arrestees; the other 15 are still in custody.
Also, the Diyarbakir chapter of the Human Rights
Association (HRA) issued its report regarding
operations launched after the attack. The report
referred to such rights abuses as torture, home
searches without permission, prolonged detention of
arrestees, as well as refusal of permission for
arrestees to sleep or meet with their relatives and
attorneys, and refusal of food and drinks.


9. AK PARTY MARDIN DISTRICT OFFICE BOMBED
(Evrensel) A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the
Kiziltepe (Mardin) chapter of the Justice and
Development Party (AKP). The explosion resulted in
a fire that caused damage amounting to TL 15
billion (approx. USD 9,100). Firemen put out the
fire, while an operation is underway to find the
assailants.


10. MERSIN MHP DISTRICT CHAPTER PRESIDENT WOUNDED
(Turkiye/Bolge) A man named Recep Ermis shot
Gursel Aydin, President of the Nationalist Movement
Party (MHP) district chapter in Mut (Mersin). The
assailant shot Aydin in the leg, for an unknown
reason, in front of the MHP building on January 31.
Following the incident, Ermis was arrested.


11. PRO-OCALAN HUNGER STRIKES CONTINUE
Evrensel reported continued hunger strikes in
protest of the isolation of jailed KADEK/PKK leader
Abdullah Ocalan over the past nine weeks. Van
police intervened to disperse a group of 300 high
school students protesting Ocalan's isolation and
arrested many of them. Pro-Ocalan protests were
also held in Batman, Diyarbakir, Sanliurfa, Siirt
and Hakkari. Attorney Sezgin Tanrikulu, President
of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, issued a joint
statement by the presidents of Bar Associations in
the East and Southeast. The statement
characterized isolation of prisoners and inmates
and refusal for them to meet with their attorneys
and relatives as "unlawful." Amnesty Internation
demanded the removal of isolation imposed on
Ocalan.


12. RADIO OFFICIAL UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR KURDISH
BROADCASTING
(Evrensel) Sabri Ejder Ozic, Director of Adana's
Radio Dunya, was summoned to the Adana Prosecutor's
Office for his station's airing of Kurdish-language
programs. Ozic said the radio had broadcast the
programming due to local demand but then ended it
out of its own accord. Ozic added that the station
had been previously closed for having aired
Kurdish-language music.


13. COURT APPROVAL FOR PERFORMANCE OF CHILDREN'S
THEATER
(Cumhuriyet) The children's play "Bookworms,"
which had been banned due to a lack of Installation
Security Certificate, was performed in Gaziantep
with permission from the Administrative Court.
Ankara Unity Theater Director Gun Goker announced
having staged the play previously in 19 other
provinces. He added that his theater was staging
children's plays in nearly all Eastern and
Southeastern provinces every year. The Gaziantep
ban had stemmed from a lack of a closed-circuit
camera system in the hall.


14. BATMAN INMATES MIGHT BE TRANSFERRED TO OTHER
PROVINCES
(Evrensel) In an effort to decrease the number of
inmates in the Batman Prison, prison officials
circulated an announcement foreseeing the transfer
of some of the inmates to other provinces.
Presently, there are over 500 inmates in the 250-
person prison. Thus far, only four of the inmates
have agreed to be transferred to other provinces.
Officials noted that inmates were reluctant to move
because their families are all in Batman.


15. FOUR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARRESTED IN RURAL
HAKKARI
(Turkiye) According to the Hakkari Governor's
Office, security forces acting on a tip arrested
four Afghans who had illegally crossed into Turkey.
The arrests were made during a search of several
homes in Yuksekova (Hakkari). Two Turks in whose
homes the illegal immigrants were arrested were
also arrested.
16. VAN GOGH PAINTING IN ADANA
(Bolge/Hurriyet) According to the Adana Security
Directorate, during a sting operation, Anti-
Smuggling and Organized Crime teams arrested three
people looking for customers for a stolen Van Gogh
painting smuggled into Turkey through Iraq. The
painting was confiscated. The painting bears seals
from Paris and Moscow art museums.
ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS
--------------------------------------


17. SE BUSINESS LEADERS CALL FOR SOLUTION TO
ECONOMIC PROBLEMS
Evrensel reported that the economic crisis, which
reached a peak during the government of Bulent
Ecevit, continues to affect merchants, farmers, and
the public. Hakkari residents call for measures to
help reduce unemployment and expedite village
returns. Mersin businessmen want due importance
attached to the province's marine transportation.
Gaziantep-based Sanko Holding Company President
Abdulkadir Konukoglu characterized 2002 as a year
of stagnation due to the economic crisis and
parliamentary elections, with industries declining
for the past three-four months. Unemployment
remains Turkey's major problem, he added.


18. "POSSIBILITY OF WAR HAS NEGATIVELY AFFECTED
INVESTMENTS"
(Turkiye/Milli Gazete) Saban Bas, President of the
Adana Chamber of Commerce (ACOC), voiced opposition
to a possible U.S.-led war in Iraq, saying, "The
possibility of a war has negatively impacted
investments in the region." When he looked up in
the sky, he wanted to see cargo planes with export
products and factories whose chimneys are smoking,
not war planes, he said. Bas, together with ACOC
members, went to the province's Organized
Industrial Zone to inspect developments there and
receive information from officials. Currently, 167
factories are operational and 85 others are under
construction at the zone. Another 110 new
factories are at the planning stage.


19. GIZERLER CORPORATION INAUGURATES SHOPPING
CENTER
(Sabah/Hurriyet) Adana's Gizerler Corporation
inaugurated a multi-storey shopping center on
Turhan Cemal Beriker Boulevard in Adana. Adana
Governor Oguz Kagan Koksal, Seyhan (Adana) Mayor
Yildiray Arikan, Security Director Huseyin Capkin,
Adana Chamber of Commerce President Saban Bas
attended the inauguration.


20. LAY-OFFS IN ADANA
(Bolge) Yusuf Yurekli, Regional Representative of
the Confederation of the Revolutionary Workers'
Unions (DISK), said a total of 12,286 private
sector employees, all members of DISK, TURK-IS and
HAK-IS labor unions, were laid off in 2002 due to
the economic crisis. TURK-IS Regional
Representative Huseyin Elbek said lay-offs mostly
took place in the textile, metal, food and public
service sectors.
HOLTZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>