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 27, 2003

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for March 27, 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.


Radikal: The US applied to Turkey for permission
to use Incirlik, Batman, and Malatya air bases
for striking Iraq as it faced difficulty in
advancing to Baghdad from the south. The Turkish
government responded that Incirlik AB could be
used for transporting wounded soldiers and
damaged vehicles, but a motion was required for
using new bases and for purposes other than
specified above. It is also reported that
reciprocal suspicion concerning goals in Northern
Iraq have not been totally eliminated. While
Turkish diplomatic sources complain about lack of
knowledge about "what the US has exactly promised
to the Kurds", the US suspects that "Turkey bears
undeclared intentions about Northern Iraq."

Radikal/Sabah/Tercuman: In order not to
experience the difficulty it has been facing in
the south in the war on Iraq, the US wants to
include Turkey in the Military and Humanitarian
Relief Coordination Center to be established in
Salahaddin and thus form an air bridge that would
connect Northern Iraq to the Mediterranean. The
US reported its expectations from Turkey within
the framework of this plan to Ankara recently. As
it was disclosed by the US Commander in
Selahaddin, Lt. Gen. Henry Osman, establishment
of a liaison office in Silopi has been requested.
The US request's conformity with the Turkish
Constitution and laws is being examined, and a
meeting between the US, Turkey, and Northern
Iraqi Groups is being considered. The sides are
in total agreement that Turkey should supply all
sorts of needs of the refugees who would flow to
the Turkish border, but the needs of the Northern
Iraqis who would remain in their houses,
including food, energy, medicine, infrastructure
and security should be provided by the US. It is
believed that the US units hundreds of kilometers
away from their nearest headquarters in Iraq
could not fulfill this task without cooperation
of Turkey.

Radikal/Milliyet: Two days after they evacuated
their base in Nusaybin, the Americans resumed
construction work at the factories they rented in
the Organized Industrial Zone on Kiziltepe-Mardin
highway. The US soldiers surrounded the factories
with barbed wire, and sand bags. The US also
rented land behind a yarn factory for
constructing a helicopter pad, and carried
logistical material in trucks. Reporters were not
allowed to the site which had been turned into a
logistical support center. The soldiers
positioned on the roofs of the factories remain
on guard round the clock and control the area
with binoculars. Tens of armored vehicles,
antiaircraft batteries, medical equipment, and
radio equipment are deployed on the base.
Radikal: In addition to physical measures taken
in Cukurca of Hakkari and Silopi of Sirnak for
the likely flow of refugees to the Turkish
border, the Health Ministry announced it would
send 30 thousand units of protective shots, and
dressing kits in addition to the medical supply
they would dispatch to Van, Hakkari, Sirnak, and
Mardin provinces. The officials said the refugees
to be admitted to Turkey would be given
protective shots, and dressing kits would be kept
in hospitals. 104 health clerks temporarily
assigned to the Southeast from Istanbul were
dispatched to the region by military aircraft.

Radikal/Hurriyet/Milliyet: The US and Dutch
soldiers deployed at Batman AB will be fined on
grounds of contaminating the environment. It has
been determined that the soldiers who have been
staying on the base for 25 days now have been
dumping their waste into Batman River that flows
by the base. Batman Directorate of Environment
has the authority to give a fine ranging from
approximately $-6,000.- to $-56,000.- per day.
Hurriyet/Radikal/Cumhuriyet/Turkiye/Dunya/Mil li
Gazete/Sabah/Bolge/Tercuman: At a press
conference in Diyarbakir yesterday, the head of
TGS, Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, gave important messages to
the domestic and international public about how
the Turkish Armed Forces viewed the Iraq war.
Gen. Ozkok said only under the following three
conditions the Turkish army would penetrate into
Northern Iraq.
1. There are components of the Turkish Army
in Northern Iraq. In case of an attack at
these forces of the Turkish army.
2. Eruption of a large flow of migration,
depending on the developments in the war.
3. Eruption of instability due to clashes
that might brake out between armed forces
in the region, or attacks at civilians.
Gen. Ozkok said if they reached the conclusion
that the existent forces could not cope with
threats and dangers
that might erupt, a decision for the Turkish
Armed Forces to send additional forces to Iraq
could be made, and added they would not enter
Northern Iraq to fight or occupy if developments
reached to that point, and had no intention of
forming permanent buffer zones there. The general
said suspicious, unjust and sometimes humiliating
statements by some friends and allies effected
the Turkish people deeply, and he had difficulty
in understanding the attitude of the ones talking
about the oversea threat to themselves not
finding Turkey's claims of the same threat right
beyond its borders. Gen. Ozkok said they would
provide support to prevent any instability from
happening in Northern Iraq, had no secret
objectives or hostility against anybody, and
would not enter into hot clashes with anybody
except in self-defense circumstances.

Evrensel: As a result of unknown armed clashes
between village guards on duty in rural Karamese
village of Sason township, Batman province,
Suleyman Tas, a village guard from Tasyuva
village was killed. A large scale investigation
is underway, officials said.

Evrensel: With the cooperation of the Civil
Defense Office in Diyarbakir, a Norwegian team
conducted drills on how people should protect
themselves from NBC weapons. The Deputy Governor,
Nusret Miroglu, who observed the drills said hot
developments were taking place nearby and such a
drill was required.

Evrensel: The Regional Administrative Court of
Gaziantep decided to stop implementation of a
decision by Harran University in favor of seven
students who were expelled from the schoolon the
grounds of filing a petition with the university
for teaching of Kurdish as an elective class at
university. The students will be able to attend
school again.

Radikal/Turkiye: The Court of Cassation's Chief
Public Prosecutor, Sabih Kanadoglu, charged DEHAP
provincial chairmen in Hakkari, Gaziantep,
Kahramanmaras, and Kars of "assisting and
harboring the separatist terrorist organization"
and demanded in writing from DEHAP to terminate 7
of its administrators in a month. In case DEHAP
does not terminate its provincial representatives
in provinces mentioned above, Kanadoglu will be
able to apply to the Constitutional Court to give
a reprimand to DEHAP, and sue DEHAP.

Cumhuriyet/Milli Gazete: 34 mayors from HADEP,
closed down by Constitutional Court, joined DEHAP
and transferred their staff to the same party
yesterday. Former HADEP mayors and supporters
will take positions in the administration in
DEHAP after its national convention in May. In
his address to the new DEHAP mayors, DEHAP's
Chair, Ahmet Turan Demir criticized the US-led
war on Iraq and AKP's attitude toward the war.
The mayors are getting ready to call on the
President, Prime Minister, and the Turkish
National Assembly's Spokesman to demand a general

Turkiye: According to the Hakkari governor's
office 6 kilos of heroin was seized in a car a
three persons involved in the trafficking were
ordered held by the court.

Turkiye: Based on a tip, the police in Mersin
seized many historical items, and three persons
involved in smuggling the items were imprisoned.

Evrensel: KESK --Public Employees Unions
Confederation--, DISK -Revolutionary Workers
Unions Confederation, TTB -Turkish Chamber of
Doctors--, and TMMO --Turkish Architects and
Engineers Chamber- holding a meeting at the
Chamber of Doctors in Adana called out to the
people to exercise the right they derive from
production to stop working on March 27. The
workers who are going to stop working in Adana
today will convene for a press announcement at
Ugur Mumcu Square by the Railway Station. A
similar meeting is scheduled to take place today
in Diyarbakir, too.

Turkiye: The Provincial Director of Agriculture
in Adana, Abdullah Keskin, announced that mouth-
and-foot disease had been diagnosed among the
cattle in villages of Yuregir district, but had
taken it under control very rapidly. Mr. Keskin
said the Ministry of Agriculture's anti-mouth-
and-foot disease campaign for the spring of 2003
still continued in 13 townships of Adana, and
27,715 of 112,772 cattle were already given
shots. Mr. Keskin asked the citizens to help
their teams and reminded them that they would
suffer a loss of 40-50 percent in meat and other
dairy products if they failed to have their
cattle shot.
On the other hand, Mr. Keskin said as the crops
in the region grew, yellow-rust disease was seen,
and that he would notify the villagers when to
use pesticides.

© Scoop Media

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