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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 03 ADANA 0125

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
MAY 1, 2003

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for May 1, 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. Cumhuriyet: The dead body of Siddik Kaya, the
victim of a mysterious killing in Varto, was
found on the bank of the Murat River. The
Istanbul Forensic Medicine Department determined
firearms had killed Kaya before he was thrown
into the river. The HRA announced that more
disappearance cases were being reported to their
chapters after Kaya's body was found. The family
of Riza Koc also applied to Mus' HRA Chapter to
help them determine the whereabouts of their son.
Riza Koc closed his grocery store in Mus the
night of September 13, 2002, and left with a
friend. He was never seen or heard from again
after he separated from his friend. According to
reports, Koc told his wife one-day before his
disappearance that two pedestrians followed him.
The inhabitants of the quarter where Koc lived
reported a suspicious vehicle was constantly
moving in their neighborhood and they reported
its license plates. After some research, it was
discovered the Security Directorate of Mus owned
the suspicious vehicle. After receiving no
affirmative responses from the Mus' Security
Directorate about Riza Koc's whereabouts, Koc's
relatives sought assistance from the HRA Chapter
in Mus. The HRA President in Mus, Sevim Yetkiner,
said "Koc's family did not apply to us for
reasons such as lack of education and fear, but
we will investigate their case. It is very
interesting that the Koc case has not been
exposed up to now." Another mysterious killing is
reported from Yuksekova. Mustafa Kanbas (49)
wanted to swap his car with the car of Master
Sergeant Riza Karabacak from the Yuksekova
District Jandarma Command. After dropping off a
relative of his at the 4th Jandarma Border Brigade
in Sirnak on April 18, Kanbas set off for
Yuksekova the next morning. One week later,
Kanbas' dead body was found on a heap of sand on
the shores of the Zap River.


3. Radikal: Three judges from the European Human
Rights Court (EHRC) interrogated Turkey between
April 28 and April 30 at hearings closed to
public in a Courthouse in Ankara. The judges
heard claims that Serdar Tanis and Ebubekir Deniz
disappeared while detained under the supervision
of Silopi's District Chairman of HADEP. The
judges took statements from 30 persons, including
military officers and villagers. Some of the
villagers made their statements in Kurdish. Tanis
and Deniz were last seen at Silopi District
Jandarma Command on January 25, 2001. Then
Commander of Provincial Jandarma Command, Levent
Ersoz, did not report to the court even though he
was on the list of people to make a statement
before the EHRC judges.


4. Evrensel: By aiming a pistol at her head, the
police in Adana intimidated a woman they had
harassed with a truncheon to withdraw her appeal
to the European Human Rights Court (EHRC). Later,
MAY 01, 2003
the police kicked the 55 year-old woman off the
car and into the street. The woman said she was
cooking for her family when the police raided her
house on April 23, 2003, and asked her to
withdraw her application to EHRC. She said the
police left her house so that her neighbors would
not become suspicious. She stated she went to the
Turkish Red Crescent's Policlinic on April 28 to
receive medical care. She had been receiving
medical care there because of the torture she had
experienced in 1996. She further said, she gave
an account of her experience with the police to
the Human Rights Association. She recalled the
police forced her into their car while she was
buying bread from a booth, and cursed her as they
shut her eyes and mouth, and finally, kicked her
from the car. She added, because of fear of the
police, her neighbors did not dare to visit her
even when she was sick, and claimed that she was
being isolated. She filed a petition of complaint
with the Chief Public Prosecutor.


5. Radikal/Turkiye: After the US took Iraq under
control, it has been removing the military
structure it had established in the post-First
Gulf War. Ending its military presence in Saudi
Arabia the previous day, the US will end
Operation Northern Watch (ONW) as well with a
ceremony at Incirlik AFB today. ONW, which
provided security in the "no fly zones" above the
36th parallel in northern Iraq and below the 32nd
parallel in southern Iraq, started in 1997.


6. Radikal/Turkiye/Tercuman: In its "2002 Global
Terrorism," report, the US Administration
signaled it was open to a dialogue with Syria,
which was shown as a target after Iraq. The
report mentioned Syria and Libya, Cuba, Iran,
Iraq, North Korea, and Sudan, as "countries
supporting terrorism" and outlined Syria's and
Libya's support of terrorism had decreased. In
addition to DHKP-C, PKK/KADEK has also been
included in the list of the terrorist
organizations.


7. Hurriyet: The "2002 Global Terrorism" report
published by the State Department announced the
PKK/KADEK organization armed 8,000 warriors. The
report said KADEK continued arming about 8,000
trained warriors in and around Turkey while it
claimed it was abiding by the peace initiative it
had declared. The report announced Turkey was one
of the US's steadfast allies in combating
terrorism. It was noted Turkey had suggested
assigning a special force of 90 soldiers for
combating terrorism in Afghanistan and had
participated to the UN-led ISAF in Afghanistan
with 1,400 troops. From Turkey, DHKP-C and
PKK/KADEK have been included in the terrorists'
list that named 36 foreign terrorist
organizations.


8. Turkiye: Naile Yavuz (14) and Songul Yavuz
(16) were wounded while picking bushes in rural
Kizilhac yesterday because the ordinance they
found among the bushes exploded. After medical
treatment at Mus State Hospital, the girls were
discharged, and an investigation is underway.


9. Turkiye: As a result of ensuing clashes
between the security forces patrolling the
Habizbin region and a group of PKK terrorists who
disobeyed a "halt" warning, one terrorist was
killed while two others were wounded. The
security forces' operations in the region are
still continuing.


ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT


10. Sabah: During Foreign Minister (FM) Abdullah
Gul's visit to Damascus, the Syrian Head of
State, Beshar Essad, suggested Syria market its
natural gas in Europe versus in Turkey and Gul
proposed Turkey would clear the 850 kilometer-
long Turkish-Syrian border of land mines. The
collective belief is that the water and Hatay
issues would be resolved more easily if economic
cooperation between both countries developed. The
parties decided holding a Turkish-Syrian Joint
Economic Meeting in Syria on May 15, and the
Turkish-Syrian Business Council Meeting in Turkey
on May 20. The Turkish and Syrian sides decided
on signing an agreement exempting trade between
both countries from taxes.
HOLTZ

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