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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 0118

SIPDIS


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


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for April 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.


POLITICAL, SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS


2. Radikal/Tercuman/Dunya: The Undersecretary
for Customs Ministry, Nevzat Saygilioglu,
announced that the border trade that would be
realized through Border Trade Centers would
initially be opened at the gates with Syria.
Saygilioglu said border trade centers would be
founded in the customs zones on an area of 2000
square meters and would mainly target trade with
local businessmen and passengers. Goods belonging
to both countries would be marketed at the
shopping centers expected to become operational
in June. The model shopping centers along the
Syrian border will be opened at the gates in
Cilvegozu and Yayladag (Hatay), Karkamis
(Gaziantep), Oncupinar (Sanliurfa, and Nusaybin
(Mardin). Such trade centers will in turn be
opened at the border gates with Iran, Georgia,
and Nakhichevan. Saygilioglu said Turkey expected
a volume of USD 150-200 million turnover in trade
at the five trade centers to be opened along the
Syrian border, and added that type of trade would
revive the economy and create employment
opportunities in the region.


3. Evrensel: Abdullah Ocalan's sister and
lawyers who went to Gemlik in order to visit
Abdullah Ocalan at Imrali prison were not taken
to the island by the officials on the grounds of
diverse weather conditions. For the same reasons,
Ocalan's sister and attorneys were denied a visit
to Ocalan last week. One of Ocalan's lawyers,
Aysel Tugluk, announced they had been denied the
meeting with their client on the pretext of
"diverse weather conditions" despite the fact the
weather was clear and sunny. She added they had
been prevented from seeing Ocalan for 14 weeks
because of officials' decision some time ago.
Urging sensitivity to the issue, attorney Tugluk
demanded ending the discrimination, and the
application of special anti-democratic laws
against their client, calling for unrestricted
practice of his democratic rights, and ending his
isolation.


4. Cumhuriyet: The National Security Directorate
announced 35 persons had committed suicide out of
1.7 million people detained in the past 8 years.
The report said the majority of the ones who
committed suicide were urban dwellers aged
between 15-24. The ratio of the kind of suicide
taking place in Turkey is as follows: 51 percent
by hanging themselves, 17 percent by fire
weapons, 13 percent by jumping from heights. 36
percent of people committing suicide have been
doing so due to mental disorder. The report which
also examined suicides in detention rooms between
1995-2002, announced that 35 persons had
committed suicide out of 1.7 million detainees.


5. Cumhuriyet: Diyarbakir HRA Chapter's research
about suicide incidents in Batman, Mardin, Siirt,
Van, Elazig, Adiyaman, Sanliurfa, Tunceli,
Bingol, Hakkari, Agri, Sirnak, Mus, Gaziantep,
Malatya, and Diyarbakir provinces revealed the
tendency to commit suicide was higher among woman
due to feudal pressure, domestic violence, and
heavy burden of poverty. The report disclosed
that women constituted 56.9 percent of 144
suicides last year, Batman taking the lead with
46, and Diyarbakir coming second with 31 cases.


ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS


6. Evrensel: About 250 workers protested
privatization of Monopoly's Tobacco Leaf
Processing Plant in Antakya. The protestors
carried banners such as: "The IMF orders, the
government oppresses," and "Damn IMF, independent
Turkey."
HOLTZ

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