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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 03 ADANA 0040

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
FEBRUARY 5, 2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for February 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. TERROR WARNING IN THE SOUTHEAST
(Sabah) The Turkish Armed Forces continue to
dispatch additional troops to the Iraqi border.
Meanwhile, the National Security Directorate warned
the 81 provincial security directorates against
possible terrorist attacks. The report calls for
intense security measures alongside routes used for
military dispatch to the Southeast. Major
terrorist organizations mentioned were the Marxist-
Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) and PKK.


3. WAR MEETING IN DIYARBAKIR
(Milliyet) The "Rain Operation Plan," devised to
prevent a population movement and provide
humanitarian assistance in the event of a possible
operation against Iraq, was tabled again during a
February 4 meeting in Diyarbakir. Second Army
Commander General Fevzi Turkeri, Regional Governor
Gokhan Aydiner, Seventh Corps Command Lieutenant
General Atilla Isik, and the governors of
Diyarbakir, Mardin, Sirnak, Batman, Van, and
Hakkari provinces, which have been tasked with
first-degree duties, as well as the governors of 21
other provinces who will give support to these six
provinces, attended the meeting. Officials from
the Directorates of Red Crescent, Public Works,
Health, National Education, Civil Defense, and
Tele-com were also present. Turkeri, Aydiner, the
governors and officials will watch a February 5
humanitarian assistance exercise at Sirnak's Habur
border gate.


4. MILITARY INSPECTION AT INCIRLIK AIR BASE
(Hurriyet) A three-day general inspection began at
Incirlik (Adana) Air Base's Tenth Tanker Command as
of February 4. An alarm was given for the Turkish
personnel there as part of ordinary annual
inspections. During inspections, high-level
military officials from Ankara observed to see if
sufficient security measures had been taken against
any attacks. Efforts will be exerted to eliminate
any shortcomings.


5. COMMANDOES IN NORTHERN IRAQ
(Hurriyet/Radikal/Milliyet/Tercuman) Additional
forces have been dispatched to support Turkish
military units deployed in northern Iraq to prevent
the infiltration of PKK terrorists during a
possible influx of refugees in the event of a war
in Iraq. Military vehicles transported commando
units to Uludere (Sirnak) along the Iraqi border.
They then crossed into northern Iraq to assume
assigned duties there. Based on intelligence that
there are around 500 (PKK) terrorists in Iraq's
Sinaht Valley across from Uludere, security forces
are preparing for a large-scale operation.
Military officials said leaves had been suspended
to be ready for an operation as the U.S. was
expected to launch its possible operation against
Iraq between February 15-27. Radikal pointed to
expedited war preparations in military and civilian
bureaucracy, with leaves suspended at the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, as well as critical military
units. Mobilization duty order files have been
updated. Security measures have been elevated in
such public institutions as MKE, TUPRAS, PETKIM,
TEDAS, GAP, and around dams. Milli Gazete reported
the dispatch by train of heavy military equipment,
including tanks, canons, and munitions, from the
Trakya region to the Iraqi border.


6. FEAR OF WAR
(Tercuman) People in the Southeast have begun to
take measures in preparation for a possible war in
Iraq. They have begun to prepare apartment
basements or rooms in their apartments against
chemical weapons attacks. Residents of Kiziltepe
(Mardin) have reportedly already prepared basements
for a possible (chemical) attack. Cumhuriyet
reported there were no civilian (war) preparations
in the Southeast, just military build-up.


7. FOUR HIZBULLAH SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN MARDIN
(Cumhuriyet) Acting a tip, the Mardin Security
Directorate's Anti-Terror teams arrested four
suspected members of Hizbullah's Ilim (Science)
Group in Mardin. Interrogation of the arrestees
continues.


8. SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN DIYARBAKIR
(Sabah/Hurriyet/Tercuman) Swedish Foreign Minister
Anna Lindh, whom the former government of Bulent
Ecevit had refused to give permission to travel to
Diyarbakir, flew to Diyarbakir on a private plane
of the Swedish Air Force. Diyarbakir Governor
Ahmet Cemil Serhadli met Lindh when she arrived at
Diyarbakir's Second Tactic Air Base. In
Diyarbakir, Lindh visited the Women's Center
(KAMER), where she was briefed on KAMER activities.
Lindh later donated USD 25,000 to the Center's
Honor Killings Prevention Project. Lindh said she
was visiting Diyarbakir due to its economic and
political problems. After her meeting with AK
Party leader Erdogan in Ankara, Lindh quoted
Erdogan as saying she would see many changes in the
region during her next visit to Diyarbakir.
Erdogan had reportedly told her the AK Party
government would make more investments in the
region. Cumhuriyet cited Lindh as saying the
(Turkish) government had given assurances that it
would display zero tolerance for torture.


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


9. BAS CONCERNED OVER DIE'S INFLATION FIGURE FOR
JANUARY
(Milliyet) Adana Chamber of Commerce President
Saban Bas evaluated the State Statistics
Institute's (DIE) inflation figure for the month of
January. Bas said the figure had shown that no
concessions should be made regarding (the
government's) economic policies. "The government
must take all measures to prevent the inflation
disease from spreading," he added.


10. A NEW SHOPPING CENTER IN MERSIN
(Milliyet) A new four-story shopping center was
inaugurated on Mersin's Silifke road. Republican
People's Party (CHP) Mersin Deputy Vahit Cekmez and
Mersin Mayor Macit Ozcan attended the inauguration
ceremony. The new shopping center will provide
jobs for 100 people.
HOLTZ

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