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
MARCH 13, 2003

This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for
March 13, 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.

1. Milliyet/Dunya: It is reported that the UN is
also going to establish a humanitarian assistance
center in Mardin, and relief items to be sent by
the will be distributed from Mardin. Officials
announced they had initially considered
Gaziantep, but because of the distances involved
preferred Mardin.

2. Radikal/Sabah/Dunya/Cumhuriyet/Hurriyet:
Around 100 Turkish Communist Party members
shouting slogans tried to enter the Iskenderun
port. Soldiers and policemen intervened. When the
protesters resisted, the soldiers fired warning
shots in the air, and the port was put on alarm.
As the demonstrators persisted, the military
commander drew his soldiers back. Police
reinforcements tried to disperse the group with
their clubs. American soldiers who came to the
gate were kept back from the gate by Turkish
military officers. All the demonstrators were
taken to the police station in Iskenderun, and
eventually those detained were released by the
court. According to Sabah, after the events, CHP
Hatay Deputy Aziz Yazar visited the Iskenderun
port's facilities. When he wanted to visit the
ones hired by the US, he was told that TGS
permission was required. MP Yazar said "Our ports
are occupied, and we condemn this situation," and
claimed that no modernization activities were
indeed being conducted at the port.

3. Radikal/Sabah/Evren: Regarding Abdullah
Ocalan's trial at the State Security Court (SSC),
the European Human Rights Court (EHRC) rendered
its verdict, saying Turkey had violated the 1st
and 3rd Paragraphs of Article 6 of the European
Human Rights Convention. Turkey has been found
guilty for exceeding the alloed detention period,
not providing a fair trial, and mistreatment
(specifically for giving the death penalty to
Ocalan). The EHRC did not find replacing of the
military judge with a civilian one sufficient for
fair trail, and remarked that the defense lawyers
were not given time and means required for
defense. The lawyers' claim that Abdullah Ocalan
was arrested in, and brought from Kenya, to
Turkey in an illegal way and thus subjected to
discrimination was refused by the court. The
court also announced that there had been no
violations in Ocalan's imprisonment conditions.
Despite the violations, EHRC did not demand
Turkey pay any indemnities other than the sum of
100,000 euros for court's expenses. Regarding the
court's decision, Ocalan's lawyer, Hasip Kaplan,
said the infringements of their defense rights
were obvious, and that he would appeal the
decision concerning illegal arrest, as well as
other articles. Turkey, meanwhile, also opposed
to the court's decision, saying it lacked solid

4. Evrensel/Hurriyet: Cukurova University
students protested US-led war on Iraq by throwing
eggs at posters of President Bush yesterday. The
students, who demonstrated in front of the
Education Faculty, shouted anti-US slogans,
danced folk dances, and read poems of peace
versus war.
5. Evrensel: Ten students from Gaziantep
University were detained on charges of pro-KADEK
activities. Emine Celebi, a member of the
Womens' Flank of DEHAP in Kars, who was arrested
for saying "No to Isolation (in Prison)" during
March 8 International Women's Day demonstrations,
was released by the court.
6. Bolge: Adana DEHAP's weekly "sit-in at Inonu
Park to protest aainst war and against isolation
in prisons has turned into a tradition. The
security forces took away "No to War and
Isolation" banners carried by DEHAP supporters.
DEHAP's Provincial Chairman, Mehmet Can Celik,
declared that the seizure of the banners by the
police was an anti-democratic act, that protestos
would continue sitting in the park.

7. Hurriyet: It has been determined that foreign
media representatives following developments in
Mersin and Iskenderun ports have given small
cameras and offered money to truckers to take
pictures inside the ports. Security officials
also determined that the foreign reporters have
offered money to truckers operating between
Turkey and northern Iraq. Evaluating this
information, the Foreign Ministry and Turkish
General Staff (TGS) decided that any reporters
detected doing so would be deported from Turkey
immediately and truckers receiving money would be
severely punished. Some Spanish reporters who
were given a five-day permission by TGS to
observe the meeting of the Iraqi Opposition in
Selahaddin in Northern Iraq but subsequently did
not return to Turkey will definitely not be
allowed to reenter Turkey. The Spanish Embassy
wrote an apology to the Turkey Foreign Ministry,
but the TGS's response was that Turkey was a
serious country, and the rules were given to the
reporters earlier, and they would make no

8. Radikal: Ambassador Pearson denied
allegations that the US had gone beyond the
permission given within the framework of the
modernization project for Turkish bases.
Ambassador Pearson said: "All of our ongoing
activities are within the framework of the
permission given for the modernization of the
bases on February 6. We are behaving honestly and

9. Sabah: After Mesut Barzani, now Celal
Talabani has also started sending messages to
Ankara through the western press. In an exclusive
interview with the Italian La Repubblica paper,
Talabani said Turkish soldiers should return to
Turkey after Saddam's regime was ended, and the
Americans should leave at most one hour after
their job in Iraq was concluded. In response to
what would happen if Turkish troops entered
Northern Iraq alone, Talabani said Turkey could
enter only in limited numbers to a certain place
along with the Americans. Talabani said the
Turkish FM Undersecretary, Ugur Ziyal, guaranteed
that Turkey would not disarm the peshmergas and
that the Turkish operation would be for
humanitarian assistance. When asked if he
believed Turkey's intervention would be limited,
the Kurdish leader said they were very anxious
about it but with the US they felt more

10. Milliyet: The Iraqi Turkomen Front's
representative for Turkey, Mustafa Ziya, claimed
that the Turkomen were under great threat, and
that they asked for protection from the UN, the
US, and Turkey. Mr. Ziya claimed Kurdish groups
in the region, including the KDP and PUK, had
secret plans, and would put them into effect the

moment the war started. He said that the Kurdish
groups had agreed among themselves to enter
Kirkuk. Ziya said the US and Turkey had pledged
that they would not allow such a thing to happen.

11. Radikal/Dunya: The US and Turkey are
preparing to receive 600,000 thousand refugees
who could come to the Turkish border in a war on
Iraq. The relief that will be provided by the
United Nations (UN) will be extended to refugees
on the Iraqi side of the Turkish-Iraqi border.
The Turkish Red Crescent is already deployed at
the border.

© Scoop Media

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