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.



E.O. 12958: N/A
FEBRUARY 26, 2003

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for February 26, 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.


2. Tercuman: In its session on February 28, the
Turkish National Security Council is going to
evaluate the idea of declaring state of emergency
rule or martial law in Diyarbakir, Batman,
Mardin, Sirnak, Siirt, and Hakkari provinces in
order to prevent any kind of disorder that might
take place in the event of war in Iraq.

3. Evrensel: Although officially not declared,
the OHAL administration is in effect reinstated
in Diyarbakir. All the checkpoints that existed
during the OHAL period have been re-activated,
while special-team units and armored personnel-
carriers have been deployed in town. ID checks
are being conducted more frequently. Diyarbakir
inhabitants are unhappy about the reappearance of
these OHAL practices.

4. Milliyet/Turkiye/Tercuman/Milli
Gazete/Cumhuriyet: It is reported that Kurdish
leaders Mesut Barzani and Celal Talabani in
northern Iraq wrote a joint letter to President
Bush demanding that Turkish soldiers should not
be allowed to enter northern Iraq, and asked for
"urgent protection" from the US. The two Kurdish
leaders expressed in their letter that Turkey
aimed at diminishing the "democratic government"
formed in northern Iraq, and that there would be
clashes with Turkish soldiers if Turkish soldiers
In Erbil, the Kurdish National Assembly decided
to oppose the presence of Turkish forces in
northern Iraq. The Vice President of the IKDP
Group, Ahmet Salar, stated that "It is not
Turkey, but rather the Iraqi people and Iraqi
Kurds, who are responsible for the territorial
integrity of Iraq. We can provide our own

5. A commission to improve relations between
Turkey and Barzani's IKDP was formed by Iraqi
opposition groups. Cuneyt Mengun from the
Turcoman Front was also included in this
committee. After the commission's meeting with
Barzani, an anti-Turkish demonstration planned in
Erbil was ordered stopped by Mesut Barzani. Sami
Abdurrahman, an IKDP official, said they were not
as afraid of threat by Saddam as afraid of
Turkey. He said Saddam killed many Kurds, but
Turkey would kill Kurdish people's ambitions and

6. Hurriyet: Per the agreement between Turkey
and the United States, some 62,000 American
soldiers will be deployed in tent cities to be
set up in Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Mardin, Malatya,
Batman, and Silopi. The American soldiers -- who
will come via Iskenderun port -- will be
concentrated in Gaziantep and then dispersed to
their stations via Sanliurfa highway, and
eventually enter northern Iraq through the Habur
border gate. It is reported that the US has
promised financing for the resurfacing of the
Gaziantep-Urfa highway after the conclusion of
the war.
The designated tent-city centers are: 1)
Gaziantep airport and its adjacent area, 2)
Malatya's Erhac airport and its adjacent area, 3)
Diyarbakir airport and its adjacent area, 4)
Mardin airport and its adjacent area, 5) Batman
airport and its adjacent area, 6) Silopi township
of Sirnak -- mainly to be used for soldiers who
arriving by sea via Iskenderun.

7. Milliyet/Hurriyet/Turkiye/Milli
A 48,143 gross ton US Navy affiliate vessel named
"Capella" docked at Iskenderun port yesterday but
did not unload. After the Navy vessel, other
ships named "Gute" and "Rozana" also approached
the docks. The American Delegation rented a 52-
bed capacity, fully equipped private hospital in
Batman. Fifteen doctors in various specialties
work at the hospital. The US delegation visited
some of the doctors in their private offices,

8. Turkiye: An Antonov-124 Russian cargo plane
brought Patriot missile ramps that will be
installed at Diyarbakir and Batman airports. The
teams who had come to Turkey for installing the
Patriot missile systems will start work in the
coming days. A military convoy of 40-50 vehicles
carrying five heavy cannons (mortars), three
ambulances, two cranes, and several trucks
traveled from Adana to the southeast yesterday.

9. Cumhuriyet: Teachers Union's Diyarbakir
chapter president, Abdullah Demirtas, said
although the ratio of the schools constructed in
the region increased progressively the number of
students per classroom was still very high. He
said there was an average of 60-70 students in a
class, and their main problem was the shortage of
teachers. Demirtas said 1200 teachers had been
appointed to the region, but because of
retirements and transfers there was still a big
shortage of teachers, and in some schools, they
had heating problems, and in addition there was a
need for another 1200 school janitors.

10. Hurriyet: 26 persons charged of raping a 12
year old poor girl were arraigned in a secret
session at the 1st Felony Court of Mardin. Two
women who allegedly were involved in trafficking
the girl were also charged. It is claimed that
the girl recognized all the persons who allegedly
raped her. The inmates apparently stated in their
interrogations that they were wealthy, reputable,
and mature persons living in Mardin and
Kiziltepe, and it was impossible for them to
attempt to do such a thing. They claimed that
they saw the girl at the court for the very first
time, and that in Mardin there was a mafia that
tried to extort money from them by blackmail. The
sub-governor's secretary -- who is one of those
accused of having raped the girl -- defended
himself saying that many people apply to his
office for assistance, and some people whom he
couldn't help may have tried to take their
revenge from him by such an accusation. The
hearing was adjourned to an unspecified date.

11. Milliyet/Turkiye/Sabah: Because of heavy
rainfall in Reyhanli township of Hatay, the level
of water in the Asi River has swelled
dramatically and villages are flooded. Tayfur
Sokmen, Terzihoyuk, Kurtulmus, Cumhuriyet and
Karcancik villages are on stand-by for evacuation
should the water level rise even further.

12. Radikal: The Bush Administration has chosen
Eric Edelman, Vice President Cheney's "prince,"
to become the new U.S. Ambassador to Ankara.
Edelman, 51, who served as U.S. Ambassador to
Finland previously, is an expert on Russia. He
will take up his posting this summer, pending the
Senate's confirmation of his nomination.

© Scoop Media

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