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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 0083

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
MARCH 24, 2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for March 24, 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. Cumhuriyet/Evrensel/Dunya/Tercuman/Sabah/
Hurriyet: Having obtain only over-flight
permission from Turkey, the US is getting ready
to close down its military bases in southeastern
Turkey. Trucks and buses were dispatched to
remove military personnel and equipment from
Nusaybin's Industrial Zone. Vice Chairman for
Nusaybin's Craftsmen and Merchants Association,
Zeynel Tuncalan, said the industrial zone had
been rented to the US in February for a period of
one year at USD 248,000 a month; they did not
receive any notification about the evacuation of
the facilities. Some 1,800 military vehicles and
500 containers of military equipment that were
offloaded at Iskenderun port for the northern
front will now be reloaded. No materiel has been
dispatched from the port by rail for the past
three days. Activity was seen at the air bases. A
big number of C-17 cargo planes landed at Batman
airport.


3. Cumhuriyet: Citizens in the Southeast
complained about a lack of measures taken against
the possible use of chemical and biological
weapons. The inhabitants of Batman said it was
mandatory during 1991 Gulf War for pharmacies to
have atropine sulfate, an anti-poison drug, but
now it was not available at any of the 50
pharmacies in town. The citizens complained that
neither the Provincial Health Directorate nor the
Provincial Civil Defense Directorate had taken
any measures, and that they needed at least
500,000 atropine sulfate units. The Provincial
Health Directorate officials said they were
called at least by 50 or 70 people a day asking
about precautions they should take in case of a
chemical or biological attack.


4. Milliyet/Radikal/Tercuman/Hurriyet: Sanliurfa
Governor Sukru Kocatepe announced that a piece
that fell off a plane that belonged to an
unidentified country landed one kilometer away
from Ozveren village in Sanliurfa province. The
debris left a four-meter-wide and one-meter-deep
hole in the ground. The governor said Turkish
military officials were examining the site. The
jandarma found a 1.3 meter long metal piece near
Ayakli village of Viransehir. It is reported that
the metal piece found was a from a "guided
missile," the body of which had exploded and
fallen over a 500 meter area.


5. Tercuman: Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah
Gul announced that there were no negative aspects
in Turkish-US relations. FM Gul announced that
Turkey had granted permission to an American C-
130 aircraft carrying wounded individuals to land
at Incirlik AB the previous evening.


6. Milliyet: With the legal conclusion of
Operation Northern Watch, jets did not fly and
tanker planes operating under ONW flew out of
Turkey as of Friday. Some 1,200 soldiers
assigned to ONW at Incirlik AB are expected to
return home. It is reported that the planes
continuing to use Incirlik AB were flying in
support of the humanitarian relief program in
Afghanistan. Preparations are being made near
the base's golf course for deploying Patriot
missiles.


7. Evrensel: During Newroz festivities on March
21 in Bingol, five people, including an
administrator at DEHAP's National Headquarters,
were ordered held and subsequently put in Bingol
prison. Seven more persons were imprisoned in
Sanliurfa, and one in Izmir, in connection with
Newroz-related incidents.


8. Evrensel: After policemen failed to capture a
group of youth who set a bonfire and shouted
slogans during Newroz celebrations in Siirt, the
policemen allegedly took revenge by breaking the
windows of the surrounding houses with the
stones. The windows of ten houses are reported to
have been damaged.


9. Evrensel: Ten students from Cukurova
University in Adana who had been detained on the
grounds of undertaking anti-war actions on March
21 were subsequently released by the State
Security Court of Adana.


10. Turkiye: Two persons trying to introduce
40,000 dollars in counterfeit U.S. currency into
the market in Batman were arrested by police.
During a search of a taxi, fake 100 U.S. dollar
bank notes were found in secret compartments of
the car.
HOLTZ

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