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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.



E.O. 12958: N/A
APRIL 16, 2003

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press
summary for April 16, 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/Turkiye/Evrensel/Cumhuriyet: The
Turkish General Staff announced that some of the
1,166 US soldiers deployed in Turkey under ONW
and "Site Preparation" left for Germany on 10
aircraft yesterday, and that the rest would
leave Turkey today. Reverse shipment of the
military equipment, vehicles, and materiel
brought to Turkey under the "Site Preparation"
project will take place from Iskenderun port
between April 15-23.

3. Cumhuriyet: Following the fall of Kirkuk to
peshmergas affiliated to PUK, Celal Talabani
held a meeting with representatives of various
groups and told the "Kurdistani News" paper that
the PUK was taking into account Turkey's
concerns. He added that the people of Iraq will
determine the future of and the type of
administration in Iraq. We are not going to
allow our neighbors' intervention." He said
that he would not agree to Syria's saying "Mosul
is an Arab town," Turkey's saying "Kirkuk is a
Turkomen town," nor Iran's saying "Karbala and
Najaf are Iranian towns." In this light, he
warned that if Turkey opened up the issue of
Kirkuk, then Kurds would bring up the issue of
Diyarbakir and other towns.

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4. Evrensel: In Adana, police raiding some
houses in various sections of the city detained
two Cukurova University students, Yalcin Aslan
and Ozer Erener, and two other individuals,
Emine Cig and Remzi Aslan. The detainees are
being interrogated at the Security Directorate
of Adana. The charges are not mentioned.

5. Evrensel: Attorney Muharrem Sahin, a member
of Diyarbakir Bar Association's Prisons
Inspection Committee, filed charges against the
prison administration of Bitlis for putting
pressure on his clients who are inmates, as well
as other inmates. He cited a lack of a
designated room for lawyers to meet with their
clients as an example of inmates being denied
fundamental rights. Attorney Sahin's filed
complaint also stated that searches in female
cells were done by male wardens, and that they,
too, listened in on the conversations between
the lawyers and their inmate clients. Sahin said
he would apply to both the Justice Ministry and
international organizations in order to end such

6. Bolge/Milliyet/Hurriyet: The Turkish
President, Prime Minister, former President
Demirel, and political party leaders are
expected to attend May 4 opening ceremonies for
the completion of one of Turkey's largest
potable water projects, which will bring water
from Catalan Dam to Adana. Mayor Aytac Durak of
Adana will host the event.


7. Dunya: In response to newspaper allegations
about a "fictitious export" business, Gaziantep-
based SANKO Holding's President, Abdulkadir
Konukoglu, denied the allegations and added that
his company paid between around USD 4,250,000 of
VAT to the state annually, and would never
consider cheating the state of a mere USD
122,000 with that type of scheme. Konukoglu
said, it was later determined that the subject
company had a tax penalty but that it
legitimately benefited from the AKP-sponsored
Tax Reconciliation Law just like everybody else.
Konukoglu remarked that it was unfair to blacken
a company just because it has reached a certain
level of visibility.
8. Evrensel: Because no oil prospecting and
drilling is being done, oil production by the
Turkish Oil Company (TPAO) has dropped by 50
percent since 1980. While officials have stated
simply that there was "no oil", Halliburton
Company today is producing 5,500 barrels a day
from a recently drilled well in Batman.
Currently, TPAO is producing only 35,000 barrels
a day. Its production in 1980 was 70,000 barrels
a day. Oil Workers Union President for the
Batman Chapter, Nimetullah Sozen, said the
reason why TPAO did not invest was a "political
question," and TPAO made a profit of over USD
600 million. Sozen also claimed that Turkish
workers at foreign oil prospecting companies
worked under poor conditions and made only about
USD 200 a month because they had been forced to
resign from the union.

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