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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 02 ADANA 0060

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
MARCH 3, 2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for March 03, 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. MILITARY ATTACHES TURNED AWAY AT BORDER
(Milliyet/Hurriyet) Military attaches, Daniel
Bates and Joseph Collins from the American
Embassy in Ankara and 50 American soldiers, were
stopped by Turkish security forces in Cizre and
were told to return. The attaches drove to
Diyarbakir in vehicles belonging to the American
Consulate in Adana, and later settled in the
Dedeman Hotel. Reportedly the Attaches will go
back to Northern Iraq once they receive necessary
documents from the American Embassy. The
American soldiers returned to Incirlik.


3. ORDER TO RETURN
(Hurriyet/Dunya/Turkiye/Radikal) Civil trucks at
the Iskenderun port which were carrying American
military vehicles, were preparing to go to
Eastern Turkey yesterday when they were held at
the gate upon orders from Ankara. American
officials came to the port to hold a meeting on
March 1, after the Turkish parliament voted
against American troops using the country as a
base in case of a possible war with Iraq.


4. SECURITY MEASURES IN MEDITTERANEAN
(Milliyet/) Strict security measures are being
taken in the eastern Mediterranean region
especially at the ports of Iskenderun and Mersin
that America wishes to use in a possible war
against Iraq. In Iskenderun, it is prohibited to
approach within 200 meters of vessels. A similar
ban is being applied to fishing boats In Mersin
and Tasucu.


5. EX-MAYOR SUPPORTS LOCAL PRESS
(Bolge/) Yuregir ex-Mayor, Omer Topcu, took
action by demanding reform on the new bid law
that has brought the local press to a halt.
Topcu sent letters to members of the commission
who prepared the law and to ministers of Adana.
In his letter, Topcu states that the law has
given a blow to the organs of the local press
since it came into effect in January 2003. Topcu
also stated that this new law takes a large
portion of bid advertisements from local
newspapers and transfers them to the official
newspaper, which is not read by the public at
large.


6. NEW BRIDGE TO HABUR
(Dunya) A new bridge is under construction at
the Viransehir- Kiziltepe section of E-90 that
connects to the Habur border gate. It is
reported that E-90 is an important route in terms
of military transportation to the border.
Officials note that the old bridge is too high
and its columns cannot support heavy vehicles.


7. NO TO WAR, ISOLATION AND OHAL
(Evrensel) Solidarity and collaboration with
Prisoner Families Association (TUHADER), made a
press announcement in Diyarbakir saying `no' to
war, isolation of PKK/KADEK leader Abdullah
Ocalan and `no'to a return to possible OHAL
(state of security). The president of the
association, Mahmut Bayhan, said they will
continue to support peace, brotherhood and
freedom. Bayhan noted the possible war that has
been escalated by America is a potential threat
to Turkey and to the region.


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


8. PARLIAMENT DECISION IS WRONG SAYS GUNSIAD
(Dunya) President of SouthEastern Industrialist
and Business Association,Bedrettin Karaboga, made
an announcement regarding the decision of the
parliament not to let American troops use bases
in Turkey. Karaboga said that Turkey needs to
protect its interests by not separating itself
from America, economically or politically.
Karaboga also added that the decision would
adversely affect the Turkish economy and
political structure, since Turkey is dependent on
America in terms of economics and politics.


9. PEOPLE BEGIN STOCKING FOOD
(Sabah) Silopi and Cizre are provinces that
border Iraq. In the gulf war of 1991, people in
these regions were unable to find food, and
therefore, this time they are preparing for a
possible war by stocking fundamental food items
such as flour, oil and cracked wheat. Bekir
Sahin,who runs a flour factory in Silopi says
that they are having difficulty supplying flour
due to the increased demand. He also notes that
their work capacity increased 10 times. As such
they are working 24 hours a day to catch up.
HOLTZ

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