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 19, 2003

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for March 19, 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. Milliyet/Turkiye/Tercuman/Dunya/Hurriyet:
Kurds in northern Iraq who are afraid that Saddam
may launch a chemical attack started fleeing
toward the Turkish and Iranian borders. The
number who have left their houses has reached
20,000 people. Thousands of people leaving
Kirkuk, Mosul, Dohuk and its townships moved
toward locations close to the Turkish border,
such as Selidiza, Sersing, Batufa, Begopva, and
Bamerni. While some of the Kurds stay with their
relatives in those places, the others set up
tents. In the meantime, Kurdish holders of
passports with dual citizenship entered Turkey
from Habur border gate.

3. Cumhuriyet: Turkey is considering setting up
camps in northern Iraq to help thousands of
refugees in the war. Turkey is not planning to
seal its borders but will allow "controlled
passes" into Turkey. Iran announced that it would
not except refugees into the country but would
help them on the Iraqi side of the border. While
civilians in Kirkuk try to go to safer
mountainous Kurdish region in the North, it is
reported that the Iraqi soldiers in Kirkuk are
demoralized and ready to surrender. It has been
announced from that municipality's loudspeakers
that anyone who went out of their houses would be
shot during the war.

4. Tercuman: The Red Cross and Red Crescent
Federation announced that it has prepared the
largest emergency relief operation in its
history. The Federation has units poised in Iraq
and neighboring countries to supply refugees'
needs, including field hospitals, potable water,
toilet facilities, and other urgent necessities.
The Federation expects to give services to at
least one million people a month in those units.
The Federation has prepared sheltering facilities
for up to 250,000 refugees who might flee from
Iraq to Iran, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey. The
camps on the Turkish side have been rechecked and
any shortcomings have been rectified.

5. Milliyet/Radikal/Sabah/Tercuman: In a joint
meeting of representatives from the US, Turkey,
and Iraqi Kurds and Turkmens in Ankara, it was
agreed that the Kurds will not enter Mosul and
Kirkuk. The US will administer the region.
Turkmens will be included in Iraq's new
administration. An independent Kurdish will not
be founded. The US envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad,
warned the Kurds against rioting. Turkey said it
could unilaterally enter northern Iraq to stop
refugee flows; the Kurds rejected Turkey's
possible unilateral incursion. Khalilzad
announced Turkey should act in harmony with the
coalition forces, and urged a "commission of five
parties" under US leadership - and including
Turkey, IKDP, PUK, and Turkmens -- to be
established to deal with migration, combating
terrorism, and other issues.

6. Cumhuriyet/Radikal: It is reported that the
"Repubblica Drima" Italian-flag vessel was not
allowed to offload six of its containers,
including ammunitions for Stinger missiles and
tanks. Stingers had been offloaded some time ago
from a different freighter for the protection of
US bases in Turkey. Based on instructions by the
Turkish General Staff, the lids of the freighter
were kept locked.

7. Cumhuriyet/Radikal/Evrensel: Based on
increased tension and security concerns the
Department of State announced a public warning
that US citizens in 23 provinces in Southeast
Turkey should leave the region and postpone any
nonessential travel there. While the Department
of State initiated authorized departure from the
Consulate in Adana, the Pentagon authorized
voluntary departure of dependents of military
personnel at Incirlik AB.

8. Cumhuriyet/Radikal/Sabah/Tercuman/Dunya/Hurri yet:
As tension has mounted prior the war, Incirlik AB
was put on alert status "Charlie", the status
before the war. The announcement of the next
level, "Delta", will mean war has started.

9. Evrensel: "Regional Crisis Management
Centers" have been established in the provinces
in the region. The purpose of these centers is
coordinate relief operations together with
international relief organizations. In addition,
it has been announced that press members without
credentials are prohibited from working in
Diyarbakir, Mardin, Batman, Sirnak, Hakkari and
Van provinces. The credentials cards issued by
the Diyarbakir Press Center will be valid for a
period of two months and should be carried with a
valid ID card or passport.

10. Evrensel: It has been announced by Adana's
Labor, Peace and Democracy Block, made up of
DEHAP, EMEP, labor unions, and NGOs, that Newroz
festivities will be held at the Yuregir
Secondhand Auto Market Lot in Adana at 10:00 a.m.
on March 21. Various concerts will play Turkish,
Kurdish, and Arabic tunes.

11. Evrensel: On the grounds of being
unproductive, the Vocational School of
Agriculture along the Van-Ercis highway is being
turned into F-type prison. No new students have
been enrolled for the past two years, and the
school currently has only 16 students. Of the
school's 12,700 acres, only 750 acres will be
left to the school while the remainder will be
turned over to the Justice Ministry for prison.

12. Turkiye: Based on a tip, jandarma arrested
nine persons in Sati village of Diyarbakir. While
searching the car of one of the detainees,
jandarma found 300 grams of heroin in secret
compartments of the vehicle. In Malatya, the
police seized 4 kilograms of heroin in a house.

© Scoop Media

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