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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 0122

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
APRIL 26-27, 2003

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for April 26-27, 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.


POLITICAL, SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS


2. Hurriyet: As a result of ensuing clashes
between the security forces on patrol in Yeniyazi
village of Genc (Bingol) and the PKK/KADEK
militants who disobeyed a "halt" warning, 2
soldiers were killed and 2 others were wounded
yesterday. Additional soldiers and helicopters
were dispatched from Bingol to the scene. Two
more soldiers were wounded during the ongoing
clashes.


3. Radikal/Tercuman: Kizilay's -Turkish Red
Crescent- relief convoy to Northern Iraq departed
Ankara. The humanitarian relief convoy is en
route to Mosul and Kirkuk and consists of five
trucks of food, water, medicine and medical
items, four ambulances, and two communication
devices. The President of Kizilay announced the
value of the relief goods to Northern Iraq
amounted to USD 4 million. It is reported
donations from the Anatolian Development
Foundation, the Industrialist and Businessmen
Association of Marmara, the Turkish Pharmacists
Union, and Americares contributed to the relief
packages.


4. Radikal/Milli Gazete: Mersin-based Contigment
company, operating for the UN, rented 8,000
square meters of indoor space at the Free Zone of
Mardin. Mardin and Gaziantep will be used as
logistical centers for UN's humanitarian relief
and food assistance during the rebuilding of
Iraq. Ahmet Caliskan, the President of Free Zone
in Mardin, stated the 8,000 square meters of the
covered area in the zone had already been leased
for USD 13,000 per month.


5. Milliyet: The Chief Public Prosecutor of the
Turkish Supreme Court brought charges against
Salih Sarman, the former governor of Batman, for
"awarding contracts in exchange for Mercedes
cars." It is also claimed Salih Sarman founded
special security units affiliated with him, and
purchased weapons through illegal ways with a nod
from then Prime Minister, Tansu Ciller. The
indictment demands 18 years of imprisonment and
prohibition from public services for Sarman.


6. Milliyet: "The US Consulate [in Istanbul]
causes shopkeepers to go bankrupt. Because of
tight security measures, the US Consulate General
does not let even birds fly in the Tepebasi
quarter. The shopkeepers, who have been
complaining that their customers are treated like
terrorists, are in big distress." The security
circle around the US ConGen in Istanbul brought
the shopkeepers in Tepebasi to the verge of
bankruptcy. The shopkeepers said the increased
security measures due to the war in Iraq hurt
them very badly and added "We are living the
prisoners' life in our own town. Our customers
have been driven out. We have no power left to
endure any longer. They had better go sooner."
Anyone entering a nearby hotel with his luggage,
anyone wanting to take a photograph, and tourists
and passersby watching the Consulate building are
thoroughly searched by the security guards. Hotel
and restaurant operators in the vicinity gave the
following account of the problems they have faced
for the past one and a half years: Director of
Monopol and Bristol Hotels, Adnan Guzelderen
stated, "One hotel was closed down. One
restaurant is at the verge of going bankrupt
because busses are not allowed to bring groups."
Elan Hotel's Director, Fethi Yalcin said "beam
lights are held to the eyes of our clients
looking down on the streets from their windows."
Info Hotel Owner, Osman Bilgi stated, "We told
the Consulate that we were `sufferers', but they
responded there was nothing to do, and they were
also taking these security measures for our own
good." Hotel Bale Reception Director, Umut Sarko
said "They tried to catch a cat in the street on
the grounds that there might be a bomb tied to
its strap. They interrogated the family of a
student staying at our hotel for having taken a
photograph." Hitit Gift Shop Owner, Ismail
Akdemir said, "It is as though this is the
American soil, and we are terrorists."


ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS


7. Bolge/Turkiye: Opposing to the privatization
of Tekel -Monoploy- nationwide, Tek-Gida-Is -
Monopoly and Food Industry Workers Union- members
marched in Adana and held a press conference in
front of the AKP building. Around 3,000 workers
attended the press release, and shouted slogans
"We are not going to allow Tekel to be sold;" "We
are right, we will win;" "America's dogs, we will
not allow the KITs -Public Enterprises- to be
sold." Evrensel reported 1,500 workers in Malatya
and 500 in Diyarbakir attended the anti-
privatization meetings.
HOLTZ

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