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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.

281354Z Mar 03

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ADANA 0089

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
MARCH 28, 2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for March 28, 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.


POLITICAL, SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS


2. Sabah: It is estimated that there are 3,000
PKK/KADEK militants at "Mahmur Camp" in northern
Iraq just south of the 36th parallel. The PKK
authorities have been sending messages recently
through Kurdish groups in northern Iraq to the US
so that the coalition forces would not bomb them.
The PKK claims the presence of many civilians in
the camp. It is believed that Celal Talabani and
Mesut Barzani are conveying the PKK's message to
US forces. The PKK fears meeting the same fate as
the al-Qaida-affiliated Al-Ansar organization
that has been bombed by the US in Halabja.
Sources in Washington have reported that the US
has just started thinking about what to do about
the camps like "Mahmur." The "Kurdish Summit" in
Ankara being chaired by President Bush's special
envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, agreed upon ending the
terrorist activities of all terrorist groups in
the region. An anonymous US official said
Washington accepted PKK/KADEK as a terrorist
organization but so far US military forces have
only bombed Al-Ansar and Komala camps in Halabja.
What will happen to the PKK camps is going to
become a serious examination for Turkey-US
relations. The US has three options, according to
reports.
(1) To bomb the PKK/KADEK camp, given that the
organization is officially recognized as a
terrorist organization by Department of State.
(2) To disarm the militants in the camp and
surrender them to Turkish authorities who could
grant them an amnesty.
(3) To not touch the PKK/KADEK.


3. Milliyet: The US troops deployed at Mardin's
Industrial Zone were put on alert when they
received a suicide car bomb threat. The soldiers
have been reinforcing security at the base. The
soldiers scan the base perimeter with projectors
and use night-vision binoculars. Soldiers pointed
their guns at a DHA (Dogan News Agency) reporter
who wanted to take pictures; the stand-off was
ended after a US military officer checked the
journalist ID card.


4. Bolge: KESK (Public Employees Unions
Confederation) and Adana Chapter Platform members
held an anti-war protest meeting at Ugur Mumcu
Square by the Railway Station in Adana. KESK
affiliates also marched past the Consulate,
shouting slogans, e.g. "Murderer America, Get Out
of Turkey."


5. Evrensel: An anti-war demonstration drew
participation of 100 people in Adiyaman. The
participants shouted slogans such as "Damn US
Imperialism," "Budget not for war but education,"
and "US the murderer, AKP the collaborator." In
the southeast, smaller but similar demonstrations
took place in Tunceli, Malatya, Elazig, and
Mersin, as well. Milliyet: In addition to two Dutch
Patriot Missile Batteries at the 2nd Tactical Air
Base in Diyarbakir, two US Patriot Missile Batteries
and 200 soldiers arrived yesterday. It is anticipated
that one of the batteries will be deployed in
Mardin, where the US has established a logistical
support center.


6. Cumhuriyet: Because Turkey announced refugee-
flow would be a reason for a Turkish incursion in
northern Iraq, Kurdish groups there have decided
to send refugees to Iran and Syria instead, if
unable to cope with refugees internally.


7. Radikal: Because it is anticipated that the
Iraqi government would cut the electricity
supplied from Baghdad to Zakho, a team of eight
electricians was dispatched from Batman to
northern Iraq to assess the situation. Officials
announced that they were waiting for instructions
from the Ministry of Energy for providing
electricity.


8. Milliyet: It is reported that the
Coordinating Governor of Diyarbakir, Nusret
Miroglu, has in hand "a blank check" to cope with
any refugee problems that might erupt. It is
reported that some 3,000 refugees would be able
to go to European countries, via a procedure,
which Turkey would arrange, by land and air and
sea, primarily to Belgium, France, Holland, and
Denmark.


9. Radikal/Hurriyet/Cumhuriyet: The European
Commission announced it is interested in the
retrials at the Ankara State Security Court (SSC)
of (now-defunct) DEP party former Turkish
parliamentary deputies Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle,
Orhan Dogan, and Selim Sadak. The Commission's
announcement said the cases would be followed
very closely and reiterated the importance it
attaches to "freedom of expression and
association" and its application in practice in
Turkey.


10. Milliyet: With regard to the DEP deputies
trial, it is reported that 17 members of the
Babat clan, who had previously given testimony
against the former deputies, had decided not to
appear in court, despite summons sent by the SSC.
The witnesses reportedly stated that they could
make their statements via letters rogatory, but
the European Human Rights Court had instructed
the SSC that presence of the witnesses was
required.


ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS


11. Milliyet/Turkiye: The Hungarian Ambassador
to Turkey, Zsolt Szalay, has been visiting the
Cukurova Region to evaluate its economic
potential for promoting economic ties. The
Ambassador visited Adana's Chamber of Commerce,
Chamber of Industry, Commodities Exchange,
Governorate, and Organized Industrial Zone. He
announced that a large Hungarian Trade Delegation
would hold a meeting in Istanbul on May 15 to
focus on how to increase trade volume between the
two countries.
12. Turkiye/Milli Gazete: TEK, the Turkish
Electricity Distribution Company, sued 5 township
and 8 district municipalities in Malatya province
for not paying electric bills in the amount of
USD one million. TEK is demanding confiscation of
the assets of the municipalities.


13. Bolge: Thanks to efforts by Adana AKP
Provincial Chairman and eight deputies from the
region, crop dusters that had been banned from
flying, due to the war on Iraq, have now been
granted permission to fly again, for the purpose
of dusting wheat fields with pesticides.
HOLTZ

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