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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.



E.O. 12958: N/A
MARCH 14, 2003

This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for
March 14, 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.


Cumhuriyet/Tercuman/Ekspres/Dunya/Radikal/Mil liye
t/Sabah/Turkiye: Charged with having provided
assistance and support to the PKK and being a
center for actions undertaken in contradiction to
"the indivisibility of the state", the political
party HADEP was ordered definitively closed by a
unanimous vote by the Constitutional Court good
per articles 68 and 69 of the Constitution under
articles 101 and 103 of the Political Parties
Law. HADEP's property will be turned over to the
Treasury Department. 46 HADEP officials,
including its national chair, Murat Bozlak, have
been banned from politics for five years. HADEP
will appeal against the decision to the European
Court of Human Rights. At the same time, the
Chief Public Prosecutor of the Court of
Cassation, Sabih Kanadoglu, also filed a petition
at the Constitutional Court against DEHAP,
founded as the substitute for HADEP, and demanded
DEHAP's closure for good.

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Hurriyet: Turkey gave support to clearing of land
mines, which killed 668 citizens during intensive
PKK terrorism. According to the proposal, Turkey
will clear all these land mines in 7 years. CHP
deputy, Onur Oymen, pointed that despite the
halting of PKK terror, some 16 persons, including
children, were killed by land mines in 2001.
Oymen said dismantling of the land mines would
cost Turkey USD 300-400 million.

Cumhuriyet/Bolge: The US Land Forces Vice
Commander, Gen. Michael Dotson, who was
accompanied by high ranking American officials
from Incirlik AB, met with Lt. Gen. Yalcin
Kavukcuoglu, the Commander of Turkish Navy
Command in Iskenderun. After the talks at the
Navy Command, Gen. Dotson visited the Iskenderun
port and was briefed about the military
shipments. After Gen. Dotson's visit to
Iskenderun, the Turkish Land Forces Commander,
Gen. Aytac Yalman, also inspected Turkish
military units in Adana and Iskenderun. Gen.
Yalman said the Turkish units were in excellent
condition and were ready to fulfill any mission
the Turkish people would give them.

Radikal: In order to rescue the historical
monuments in the Southeast from becoming a target
in a war on Iraq, the Cultural Ministry will hang
white and blue posters on them. The posters will
be visible to pilots. It is reported that
objects in regional museums will be transferred
to Kayseri when the war breaks out. According to
Hurriyet, Mardin's Provincial Director of
Culture, Mustafa Kemal, said warning flags would
be hoisted at the Mardin museum, the Deyrul
Zafaran Monastery, the Mardin castle, the Grand
Mosque, the Kasimiye Medrese, and the Kirklar
Church, while artefacts in the Mardin museum
would be moved to Ankara.

Cumhuriyet/Sabah: It is required of Turkish
journalists working in the region to carry a
yellow press card, and foreign journalists must
get credentials from the Prime Ministry's Press
and Information General Directorate. In addition
to the press center at the Dedeman Hotel in
Diyarbakir, it has been decided that press
centers should be established in Silopi and Cizre
as well. The number of the reporters, most of
whom are foreigners, has reached to 400. Another
press center has been established at Iskenderun
Navy Base Command.

Evrensel: The Sirnak Governorate distributed
handbooks on "Chemical and Biological War" sent
by the Civil Defense Directorate. The pamphlets
contain information about "Biological & Chemical
War and Countermeasures" and "First Aid." A civil
defense meeting to which the public will be
invited will be held at the Municipal Wedding

Evrensel: The Americans are parading in
Diyarbakir's streets in foreign plated cars. One
can see them in all luxurious restaurants,
hotels, shopping centers, and places of
entertainment. It is also claimed that they have
rented luxurious houses in Hamravat and
Demetevleri complexes. In Birecik, some
unidentified persons stoned the convoy carrying
US military equipment while passing the bridge
over the Euphrates.

Cumhuriyet: CHP's Provincial Chairman of Siirt,
Mervan Dilek, resigned from his position. He had
been CHP's provincial chairman for a decade.
Mervan Dilek's brother- in-law, Dr. Ekrem Bilek,
was elected to the parliament on CHP's ticket on
November 3, 2002, but was not reelected on March
9, 2003.

Bolge: A group of anti-war lawyers in Adana,
announcing a press statement in front of the
Court Hall, said Turkey was literally being
occupied by US soldiers and insisted on peace.

Bolge: The hearing of Adana Mayor, Aytac Durak,
who was accused of false tax statements, started
at the Court of First Instance in Adana. During
the closed hearing, Mayor Durak denied the
allegations. Mayor Durak said all the real estate
that belonged to him and his wife had been
reported correctly. He said he owned a
construction company with his brother before he
was elected, and had built houses for more than
2,000 families. The court decided to wait for
written answers from the Interior Ministry and
the Trade Registry Office concerning the case,
and adjourned the hearing until May 14.

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