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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 0096

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
APRIL 04, 2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for April 04, 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: Turkish and US officials started
working on activating the issues Turkey and the
US agreed on during the Secretary of State's
visit to Ankara. Ambassador Pearson discussed
with his Turkish counterpart, FM Undersecretary
Ugur Ziyal, about where the Turkish-American-led
center that will provide military coordination
with Northern Iraq should be headquartered.
Turkey, in order to escape debates about the
"legal structure of the center," asked that the
unit's center be in northern Iraq, while the US
insisted having it headquartered in Diyarbakir or
Silopi with a liaison office in Suleymaniye.
Military and civilian officials will be employed
at the to-be-formed coordination unit with
participation from Turkish, US, PUK, IKDP, and
Turkomen Front officials. The fundamental purpose
of the coordination unit will be to handle
refugee and security issues. The center's sources
of information will be the information gathered
by Turkish and US intelligence. The center will
gather information about PKK/KADEK and Al Ansar
activities in the region, assess refugee flows,
and monitor Kurdish groups vis-Q-vis Mosul and
Kirkuk. President Bush's special envoy, Zalmay
Khalilzad, is expected to come to Ankara on
Tuesday to give the final shape to the matter.


3. Cumhuriyet: People living in Dohuk and Semele
towns in Northern Iraq have started moving to the
mountains and villages close to the Turkish
border as a precaution against an attack by
Saddam. The people who had migrated to areas
close to the Turkish frontier earlier had
returned their homes, but after artillery fire in
the vicinity of Selahaddin, Suleymaniye, and
Erbil, people became anxious again and the ones
living in Dohuk and Semele migrated to Mt. Beyaz
and Mt. Zavita regions. It is reported that the
US and British soldiers, along with Kurdish
peshmergas, have been put on alert around Dohuk,
Suleymaniye, Mosul, and Azre, and the US soldiers
have been primarily positioned at Zavo Mountain
near Dohuk. Peshmargas and US soldiers have been
digging positions on the hills at Semele and
Desta Dubane, and the radar systems set up on Mt.
Zavo has enabled US soldiers to observe military
movements in Iraq and Iran. The Gircepel hill
close to Syria, which was evacuated by Iraqi
forces, was bombed by US troops. The purpose of
bombing of the hill has been interpreted as being
to intimidate Syria.


4. Turkiye: Police in disguise have been taking
stringent security measures around Tarsus
American College. The school, which has produced
many important statesmen in Turkey, has been
operational for more than 110 years. The security
measures will remain until the conclusion of the
war.
5. Evrensel: A group of people who gathered
yesterday in Ovacik quarter of Seyhan district of
Adana organized a demonstration on the occasion
of the foundation of KADEK and Abdullah Ocalan's
birthday. The crowd lit a bonfire and shouted
slogans.


6. Radikal: The US Embassy put a new "Visa
Information Service" for Turkey into operation
yesterday. From now on, the applicants will
acquire visa-related information by calling an
Istanbul call center number (212-340-4444)
instead of phoning the Embassy or Consulates.
Callers will be able to get visa appointments as
well as information. For this purpose, they will
have to pay an equivalent of USD 16 in Turkish
lira for the phone call. Until April 9, however,
the call will be free of charge.


ECONOMIC AND CULUTURAL DEVELOPMENTS


7. Cumhuriyet: The war on Iraq and the ongoing
economic crisis has been having a negative impact
on Gaziantep's economy. While production lines
have been running at 30 percent capacity, many
have sent their employees on leave without pay,
and as a result a 30 percent decrease in
commodity exchange has been reported. Gaziantep
is the most important regional town with respect
to trade with Middle Eastern countries. A
substantial portion of food items exported to
Iraq under the oil-for-food program are supplied
from Gaziantep. The US attack has caused
stagnation in the region's economy. The President
of the Executive Committee of Gaziantep's
Organized Industrial Zone, Akif Ekici, said
Gaziantep had an important place in Turkey's
economy, and was a model town for development in
Anatolia. Ekici said that there were 485
operational factories and 120 others under
construction in the four industrial zones, which
cover an area of 24 million square meters in
town. Ekici added that 55 factories suffered
losses during the 1991 Gulf War, and estimated
the town's financial losses in this war at USD 30
million.
HOLTZ

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