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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 0084

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
MARCH 25, 2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for March 25, 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. Tercuman: After granting overflight rights to
U.S. and British aircraft, Turkey restricted
civilian flights in East and Southeast Turkey.
Private flights other than scheduled THY flights
are subjected to special permission. Eight
provinces have been entirely closed to air
traffic, and THY cancelled its regular flights to
Mardin, Sanliurfa and Gaziantep.


3. Cumhuriyet: As the Americans keep withdrawing
from the bases in Mardin province, they halted
their activities at Iskenderun port. The Turkish
workers at the port said they had been told the
operations were halted temporarily. Military
equipment dispatched from Nusaybin started
arriving at the Iskenderun port. Because of a
monetary dispute between the Delta Shipping
Company and truckers, some truckers refused
carrying military equipment from Nusaybin to
Iskenderun. In response, the shipping company
made a deal with other truckers for the
deliveries. The US troops are getting ready to
leave Kiziltepe (Mardin), too. Fifteen trucks are
reportedly waiting in front of the industrial
zone there in order to transport equipment.
Operations that were being conducted with heavy
construction machinery have stopped.


4. Cumhuriyet: The Americans are seeking to get
back some of the cash they had paid for leasing
the shops at Nusaybin's Industrial Zone. The U.S.
had paid one month's rent, a total of USD
248,000, for the 154 shops at the industrial
zone. Now, the U.S. has been demanding
reimbursement, prorating the rent. On the other
hand, it is claimed that some shopkeepers who
provided some services to the U.S. are trying to
collect unpaid debts.


5. Bolge: The US military experts visiting the
scene of the bomb fallen near Ozveren village of
Birecik township in Sanliurfa province were the
targets of protests by villagers shouting "No to
war". The U.S. military delegation removed the
bomb fragment and took it back to Incirlik Air
Force Base, and apologized to the villagers for
the mistake, assuring them that such mistakes
would not happen again.


6. Turkiye: The Turkish Armed Forces continue
increasing measures against a possible migration
across the border. Some 150 soldiers from
assorted units were dispatched in a military
convoy of 30 vehicles from Mardin to Silopi.


7. Turkiye: The head of the Turkish General
Staff, Hilmi Ozkok, will inspect Second Army
Units on the border region today and tomorrow. It
is reported by the TGS that General Ozkok will
make a press announcement at the 7th Corps Command
Headquarters in Diyarbakir tomorrow.


8. Turkiye: Based on a tip, police from the
Tarsus (Mersin) Security Directorate arrested six
alleged PKK members who were involved in hanging
banners, blocking roads, burning tires, and
shouting pro-PKK slogans. The detainees, who were
brought before the court after their
interrogations at the police station, were
ordered held in custody.


9. Evrensel: 36 students were arrested and
brought before the court by jandarma at the
Centennial University of Van while trying to hold
Newroz festivities in the university campus on
March 20. Some 11 of the detainees were ordered
held, but were later released.
10. Evrensel: DEHAP's Hazro (Diyarbakir)
District Chairman, Hamit Ergin, who had hung a
DEHAP flag from the window of his house and
forgot to take it down, was given six months of
imprisonment on the charges of "violating the
Election Law".


11. Turkiye: The President of the Southeastern
Businessmen and Industrialists Association,
Bedrettin Karaboga, announced that the
businessmen in the Southeast were the ones mostly
affected by the war. Karaboga urged that the
region should be declared a "Disaster Region,"
and the merchants' and businessmen's Social
Security and Income Tax debts should be
postponed. He also claimed many workers had been
laid off, business had closed, and production had
stopped due to the war.
HOLTZ

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