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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 0128

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
MAY 5, 2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for May 5, 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/Turkiey: In Adana, five sound bombs
exploded at different locations. The explosions
caused minor material damages. The first
explosion took place at the Ultra-Nationalist
MHP-affiliate Ulku Ocaklari Magazine's Office on
Ziyapasa Boulevard at 21:20 last night,
shattering the windows of the three-storied
building. The second one exploded at 21:35 at a
building adjacent to the US Consulate, breaking a
few windows. The third one was detonated at a
store named Tommy. The bomb broke the windows of
the store and buildings around it. Another bomb
exploded at 22:15 in front of the UPS
Transportation Company. No casualties have been
reported.


3. Radikal/Cumhuriyet/Milliyet/Hurriryet/
Turkiye/Tercuman/Milli Gazete/Evrensel/Bolge:
Search-and-Rescue operations in Bingol due to the
earthquake have been concluded. It is reported
that 167 persons were killed while 521 others
were wounded in the quake. Eighty-four students
and one teacher were killed and 114 students were
rescued. The contractors, who had built the
school and other buildings that collapsed, are
not available for comment. Regarding the quake,
Bingol Governor, Huseyin Avni Cos, said 82
buildings had collapsed and 1183 others were in
uninhabitable condition. Cos stated 6,500 tents
were distributed in the region, and an estimated
seven thousand people were left homeless. Cos
added the Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) had sent
three thousand more tents to the province and 17
thousand people were provided food from the TRC's
mobile kitchens. Addressing the earthquake
victims in Bingol, the TGNA Spokesman, Bulent
Arinc, said those responsible for the collapse of
the buildings would be severely punished.


4. Radikal/Hurriyet: United States President
George W. Bush sent a message of condolence
expressing his sorrow for the victims of the
earthquake in Bingol. President Bush said
Americans prayed for all those directly affected
by the tragedy, and the US is prepared to send
aid to Turkey.


5. Hurriyet: On his way back from Iraq, the US
Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, visited

SIPDIS
Incirlik AFB in order to change aircraft.
Rumsfeld, who did not visit Ankara, hid himself
from the reporters who attended the ONW
conclusion ceremonies at the base on May 1. It is
reported no one in Turkey knew about Rumsfeld's
visit to Incirlik AFB except a few high-ranking
officials. It is unknown whether or not the
Defense Minister met with Turkish General Asparuk
who attended the ONW ending ceremonies.


6. Cumhuriyet/Hurriyet/Turkiye/Bolge: The
Catalan Potable Water Treatment Center began
operations yesterday after a Municipal Ceremony
to celebrate its opening. It is expected the
Center will supply Adana's water demand until
2050. Approximately ten thousand people attended
the ceremony hosted by Mayor Durak, including the
Former President Suleyman Demirel, Adana
Governor, ANAP Chair, German Ambassador to
Turkey, 6th Corp Commander, and other high-ranking
officials.
7. Evrensel: It is reported the term spokesman
for KESK -Public Employees Union Federation- in
Bingol, Ozgur Bektasoglu, was threatened by
Bingol's Governor, Huseyin Avni Cos. Bektasoglu
applied to the Security Directorate to obtain
permission to hold a meeting on May 1 and
picketed at the entrance of governorate building
in the morning. After lunch, Bektasoglu was
called into the governor's office. It is claimed
that Governor Cos squeezed Bektasoglu's throat
and threatened that he would fill Bektasoglu's
mouth with bullets if he continued engaging in
such activities.


ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS


8. Radikal: The President of the Chamber of
Commerce and Industry of Diyarbakir, Kutbettin
Arzu, said the economy in the region has been in
an extremely difficult situation since September
2001 because trade from the Habur Border gate
with Iraq ended. Everybody is hoping that the
border trade would start again. Arzu claimed that
opening the border trade would cause a boom in
production and revive many sectors. With
conclusion of the war, people, hopeful trade will
resume, have been trying to buy trucks from all
parts of Turkey. The prices for trucks in the
region have increased between USD 6,500 and USD
13,000. Bedrettin Karaboga, the President of
GUNSIAD -Southeastern Industrialists and
Businessmen Association-, also expressed that
Habur Border Gate was vital for the economy of
the region. Karaboga mentioned the border trade
would also play a great role in the rebuilding of
Iraq in addition to the UN contracts. Karaboga
claimed Iran exported a large quantity of goods
to Iraq and Syria sent many trucks of TV-dishes
that had been banned in Iraq for 15 years.
Karaboga added that the Habur Border Gate had
been closed since September 11, 2001, for
security considerations. Approximately three
hundred thousand people were hurt from the
closure of the gate.
HOLTZ

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