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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 0045

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
FEBRUARY 7, 2003

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for February 7, 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. ERDOGAN AK PARTY'S FIRST-LISTED CANDIDATE IN
SIIRT
(Tercuman/Dunya/Cumhuriyet/Turkiye) AK Party
informed the Higher Election Council (YSK) that
its first-listed candidate in the March 9 Siirt
elections will be AK Party leader Recep Tayyip
Erdogan. Necati Cetinkaya of the AK Party
submitted documents regarding Erdogan's candidacy
to YSK on February 6. Mervan Gul, AK Party's
first-listed candidate from Siirt in the November
3 Parliamentary elections, had withdrawn from the
March 9 elections for Erdogan.


3. TURKEY'S MISSILE SHIELD INSUFFICIENT
(Tercuman) Turkish Military Electronics Industry
(ASELSAN) Secretary General (ret.) Colonel Serdar
Erdurmaz, in his book entitled "Weapons of Mass
Destruction in the Middle East, Weapons Control,
and Turkey," has written that Turkey's defenses
against nuclear, biological, and chemical warhead
attacks are inadequate. However, Erdurmaz
pointed to two trump cards Turkey has: its air
force and the deployment of anti-ballistic
missile systems in eastern and southeastern
Turkey, under the U.S. National Missile Defense
System.


4. ANTI-WAR DEMONSTRATIONS
(Evrensel) A cockfight was held in Elazig to
highlight protest against a possible U.S. attack
against Iraq. Two roosters named "Saddam" and
"Bush" were made to fight, which ended with the
victory of "Saddam." Also, a group of youths
issued an anti-war press release in front of
Elazig's Post Office. Regarding a possible U.S.-
led war in Iraq, they said that remaining silent
in such a situation meant being involved in the
massacre of thousands of people in Iraq. In
addition, the Tunceli Anti-War Platform decided
to stage new anti-war demonstrations on February
5. Under the new decision, the Platform will
form "a peace chain against war" in the
provincial capital on Saturday. The Platform
will also ask local merchants to close their
places of business for an hour.


5. BOMB HOAX ON DIYARBAKIR PLANE
(Cumhuriyet/Turkiye/Diyarbakir) A telephone call
that there was a bomb on Turkish Airlines' (THY)
mid-February 6 Diyarbakir-Ankara plane caused
panic. Shortly after take-off, the plane
returned to the airport and the passengers were
evacuated under intense security measures. Bomb
experts searched the plane, but could not find
anything suspicious. The plane took off again an
hour later, with its 99 passengers and crew.
Former State of Emergency (OHAL) Gokhan Aydiner,
who has been appointed the new Security Director
General, and former Diyarbakir Governor Cemil
Serhadli, were also on the plane.


6. CONTINUED PRO-OCALAN DEMONSTRATIONS IN THE
SOUTHEAST
(Evrensel) Hunger strikes launched in protest of
the isolation of jailed KADEK/PKK leader Abdullah
Ocalan continue in the Southeastern provinces of
Batman, Hakkari, Van, and Gaziantep. Illegal
pro-Ocalan demonstrations were also held in those
provinces. In Adana, ten women arrested for
staging a pro-Ocalan sit-down demonstration in
front of the Adana chapter of the AK Party were
released. In addition, the HADEP Mayor of
Adana's Kucukdikili district, Mehmet Yasik,
called for support from all sectors so Turkey's
internal peace is not disrupted. Yasik claimed
Ocalan's isolation and a possible U.S. attack
against Iraq were related.


7. DIVORCED WOMAN KILLED FOR "WALKING AROUND
WITH MEN"
(Sabah) In Diyarbakir, two brothers strangled
their 19-year-old sister, Gulseren T. on January
27, 2002, due to rumors that she was meeting with
men. Gulseren had gotten divorced two years ago.
After killing Gulseren, they melted nylon on her
face in an attempt to make her body
unidentifiable and threw the body near a local
school. The next day, teachers and students
found the body and informed the police, who
interrogated Gulserens's parents, who revealed
that Gulseren's two brothers had murdered her.


8. PULUMUR EARTHQUAKE
(Evrensel) A delegation of professors from
Elazig's Firat University Geology Department
prepared a report regarding the January 27
earthquake in Tunceli's Pulumur district. The
report attributed most damage to the district's
public buildings to their construction on a slope
on an active fault line and their being multi-
storey structures.


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


9. SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY FOCUSED ON DEVELOPMENT
(Dunya/Radikal/Evrensel) The Turkish Garment
Industrialists Association (TGSD) and the
Southeastern Anatolia Industrialists and
Businessmen's Association (GUNSIAD) jointly
organized a meeting entitled "Effects of A
Possible War on the Turkish and Regional Economy"
in Diyarbakir. Participants focused on ways of
getting out of a possible war with the least
loss. Industrialists called for a regional
development plan. TGSD President Umut Oran
pointed to the vital significance of qualified
industrial zones under the law number 4325, which
he wanted implemented as soon as possible.


10. NEW CLA SIGNED IN MALATYA MUNICIPALITY
(Evrensel) The Malatya Municipality has signed a
new collective labor agreement (CLA) covering its
500 employees. CLA foresees a 15% increase in
the employees' salaries within the first six
months and a 10% increase within the second six
months. In addition, Adana's Agricultural
Complex (Cukobirlik) has paid its workers a total
of TL 1.5 trillion (approx. USD 900,000) under a
recent CLA signed between Cukobirlik and a labor
union.


11. COURT REVERSES WATER PRICE HIKE
(Hurriyet) The Adana Metropolitan Municipality's
Water and Sewage Administration (ASKI) "secretly"
increased the price of its drinking water, as
well as wastewater discharged from homes and
places of business, by 360% in 2002. Three
Municipal Council members petitioned the Adana
Administrative Court to reverse the price hike.
The court reached a verdict reversing the price
hike. Also, the Council of State upheld the
verdict. Now, ASKI is expected to repay the
amount collected unjustly.
HOLTZ

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