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 3, 2003

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for April 3, 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. Cumhuriyet/Bolge/Tercuman/Milliyet: It is
reported that PKK-KADEK has expedited armament of
its militants in Northern Iraq by reinforcing
them with rockets and missiles. It is believed
that the PKK has been seeking chemical weapons,
too. Some 44 of these PKK militants had
surrendered to security forces during operations
in February and March 2003, while 192 had
deserted from the organization. It is believed
that the organization has 743 active members
within Turkey, and 4550 of its armed militants
are in northern Iraq. It is alleged that the
organization purchased a 5 kilo chemical
"substance" worth of Euro one million and brought
it to northern Iraq via Iran, and subsequently
has been keeping it under tight control.

3. Cumhuriyet: In an interview with Washington
Post, a Kurdish leader, Nursirvan Mustafa, said
there were 6,000 underground fighters in Kirkuk
who were ready waiting for a nod from the US to
start an uprising in the town. Mustafa said he
did not know the reason why the US did not give
approval for the uprising. The Kurdish leader
said the Kurds wanted to be active participants
in the war and "enhance their autonomy" in the
post-war restructuring of Iraq. Mustafa said the
total number of US troops in northern Iraq did
not exceed 3,000 for the time being, and that the
northern Front was still a "ghost front".

4. Cumhuriyet: Saddam Huseyin warned Celal
Talabani in northern Iraq that he should not
support the US in this war. In the message read
by his Information Minister, Saddam said to
Talabani: "I am warning you not to get engaged in
activities that you would regret. You and your
forces in alliance with the foreigners should
avoid warring against the Iraqi people and its

5. Evrensel: In a press release yesterday, a
DEHAP member, Osman Ozcelik, warned the Turkish
government not to use Kurds as a pretext for an
operation in northern Iraq. He asked the Turkish
government to give up its paranoia about the
situation south of the Turkish border. Ozcelik
added that "The existence of an autonomous
Kurdish administration in northern Iraq, and its
becoming one of the fundamental components of a
possible federation to be established, are a
reality of Iraq and an event that takes place
beyond our borders." Ozcelik said that the
portrayal of PKK-KADEK militants as an obstacle
to military operations in Iraq was not convincing
because those militants were positioned in camps
at Iraq-Iran border some 300 kilometers away from
the Turkish border. Ozcelik said necessary legal
changes should be made to enable PKK militants to
abandon their weapons and participate in
democratic life in Turkey, and that there was no
other way of removing PKK from being a danger.

6. Evrensel: Abdullah Ocalan's lawyers went to
Gemlik Jandarma Station in order to visit their
client at Imrali Island, but were not allowed to
go to the island on the grounds of adverse
weather conditions. The lawyers returned to
Istanbul and announced that they had formally
requested the Justice Ministry buy a new boat.
Meantime, Diyarbakir DEHAP's Provincial Womens'
Committee Organization members held a press
announcement in which they protested both against
the war and against Abdullah Ocalan's isolation,
calling for an end to the war and a general
amnesty. In Adana and Siirt, DEHAP's women
members protesting the war and Ocalan's isolation
handed out carnations. Of 20 suspects arrested on
the grounds of holding pro-Ocalan demonstrations
in Yuksekova, two persons, Nuri Kurt and Serbest
Abi, were ordered held on charges of assisting
and harboring PKK-KADEK.

7. Cumhuriyet/Bolge/Tercuman/Evrensel: On one
hand the US dispatches its military vehicles and
equipment from the region, but on the other, they
still keep their vehicles and equipment in the
three factories they have hired in the Organized
Industrial Zone nearby Kiziltepe. In addition,
the U.S. has been building a helicopter pad at
the KIDAS yarn factory inside the Organized
Industrial Zone. The US continues shipping
vehicles and equipment from the bases in Mardin
and Tasucu of Mersin to Iskenderun port and
Incirlik Air Force Base. It is reported that more
Patriot batteries will be unloaded from a
freighter that is expected to dock at Tasucu port

8. Dunya: During his one-day visit to Ankara,
Secretary of State Colin Powell called on the

Turkish President, Prime Minister, Foreign
Minister, and Chief of TGS. Powell said they
would be in cooperation with Turkey in rebuilding
of Iraq, and that Turkey was an important member
of the coalition forces, and while emphasizing
Turkey's concerns about northern Iraq, the
Secretary of State remarked that "There is no

need for the Turkish soldiers to cross the
border." Turkey and the US agreed on the
following points, which will not require
parliamentary approval: humanitarian convoys will
go to northern Iraq via Turkey, and Turkey will
be the intermediary for the humanitarian relief
directed to Kirkuk; fuel for vehicles of US units
deployed in northern Iraq will be supplied from
Turkey, and will be carried in Turkish tankers;
Turkey will facilitate US search-and-rescue
operations in northern Iraq, from bases in
Turkey; Turkey's inspection regime along the
Iraqi border will be lightened, and the channels
for fuel trade with peshmergas will be reopened.

Cumhuriyet/Radikal/Turkiye/Hurriyet/Tercuman/ Mill
iyet: It is reported that a convoy of 25 Turkish
trucks carrying US military equipment passed
through Habur border gate and arrived in Erbil in
northern Iraq under US troops' protection. The
TGS announced that permission had been granted
for 204 Hummer jeeps brought to Turkey under
modernization project to now cross into northern
Iraq. Milliyet reports that military vehicles and
equipment brought to Turkey under the site-
preparations agreement have to be taken out of
Turkey by May 6.

10. Milliyet: Gang members trying to extort
money from merchants and police arrested
businessmen in Adana at gunpoint. Based on a tip
that some persons were trying to collect money
for a promissory note a merchant was forced to
sign, the police launched an operation that led
to the arrest of the brothers Yusuf Demir and
Ismet Demir. They were caught with weapons and 5
billion Turkish lira in their possession. As a
result of a series of other operations, three
more persons wanted by police involvement in
urer ndother crieswer aresedi Adna

11. Dnya Bsinssmen in Mersin applied
Ministry of Industry and Trade to qualify for
designation as a Qualified Industrial Zone, QIZ.
Regarding the issue, the President of Chamber of
Commerce and Industry of Mersin, Kadri Saban,
said QIZs helped greatly to the development of
cities and countries, and there had been talks
between the US and Turkey for establishing QIZs
in various regions in Turkey. He claimed that
Mersin was the most appropriate place for such a

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