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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 0140

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
MAY 21, 2003


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for May 21, 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/Milli Gazete/Turkiye: It is
claimed that around 90 PKK/KADEK militants have
infiltrated into regions close to Turkish
borders, and 300 more are in motion. After
Barzani's IKDP, and Talabani's PUK, it is claimed
PKK/KADEK wants to become the third major force
in northern Iraq, and it is both continuing to
threaten Turkey, and trying to increase its
negotiation power with the US. Gathering at
Kandil Mountain in northern Iraq, the
organization's Presidency Council, which did not
find the US demands acceptable, dispatched 90
militants toward the Turkish border, and moved
300 more to Gara and Gabbar.


3. Cumhuriyet: T.O., who was tortured by
dripping melted plastic on her arms, and whose
father was killed in front of her eyes by village
guards in Omerli township of Mardin in 1994 when
she was 12 years old, is still being threatened
to withdraw her case charging 33 village guards
with murder. T.O. and her father, Zeki Ozdemir,
were stopped by village guards and jandarma for
an ID check and taken to a farmhouse. The
officials accused her father of taking food and
ammunitions to the PKK, attacked her father with
their rifle butts, and burnt plastic on her body.
She said although her father was killed at the
scene, no legal action was taken, and the village
guards evicted them from the village a few days
later. Ramazan Demiray left his village in
Diyarbakir due to pressure to become a village
guard in 1992. In the meantime, Demiray's land
was used by village guards for eleven years.
After filing a petition with the local Public
Prosecutor's office in 2001 that his land had
being expropriated without permission, charges
were brought against the village guards. The
court ordered the village guards to pay
approximately USD 10 thousand to the land owner.


4. Radikal/Evrensel: The provincial chairmen of
Peoples Democratic Party (DEHAP) announced in
Ankara that, instead of the "repent law" on the
agenda, a general amnesty, which would include
PKK/KADEK militants as well, should be declared
to establish reconciliation in the society. The
DEHAP Provincial Chairmen said important
developments that affected the region and Turkey
were taking place as a result of US's
intervention in Iraq, which created a historic
chance for resolving the Kurdish issue. They said
a non-discriminatory amnesty covering the
PKK/KADEK components as well was essential in
order to make the cessation of clashes lasting.


5. Sabah: Dr. Hasan Arslan, the Chief Doctor of
State Hospital in Yukeskova of Hakkari, claimed
he was kidnapped by three persons two days ago.
Arslan said he had been beaten, his money and
cellular phones seized, and he had been forced to
sign promissory notes and resign from his
position after he was interrogated. Arslan said
the kidnappers had introduced themselves as
members of "Yukesekova Gang." Three of the four
persons Dr. Arslan reported were later arrested.
Special Operations Team members, village guards,
the mayor, and PKK confessors were tried at court
for membership in the "Yukeskova Gang" some time
ago.


6. Turkiye: Security forces from the 3rd Border
Battalion in Caldiran of Van arrested 81
Pakistani nationals near Soguksu village at the
Iranian border. The arrestees, after being taken
to the infirmary in Caldiran for a physical
examination, were relased by the court for
extradition. Two Turkish national harboring the
fugitives were detained.


7. Milliyet/Hurriyet: The President of Adana's
Street Children Association, Prof. Dr. Fazilet
Aksu, said because of eastern and southeastern
families' desire to move to bigger towns to
improve their economic lives the number of the
street children increased. At a conference by
Adana's Chamber of Pharmacists, Prof. Aksu said
the situation of the street children aged between
12 and 14 had become an acute wound in the
society. Aksu added that they conducted
interviews with approximately 500 street children
who mostly had migrated from Sanliurfa, Mardin,
Diyarbakir, Siirt, and Kayseri provinces. The
children said their families had moved to Adana,
Istanbul, and Izmir in order to improve their
economic conditions, but the migration had
scattered the household members. In order to
contribute to their families' income, the young
children sell chewing gum, wipe windshields of
the cars, and beg. Aksu said the majority of the
children were illiterate, and were exposed to
abuse and various diseases. Aksu mentioned that
the association did not have the power to provide
a humane life for those children, and the state
did not fulfil its obligation in that regard. The
Security Directorate of Adana estimated the
number of street children at five thousand.


8. Bolge: Adana Provincial Jandarma Command
announced that 34,029 roots of hemp, 300 hemp
seeds, and 215 grams of heroin were seized in
four separate operations in Adana, and four
persons were detained in connection with the
drugs.


ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS


9. Milliyet/Hurriyet: The Young Businessmen
Association opened a branch in Mersin, MEGIAD.
MEGIAD's Executive Board President, Mehmet
Karalar, said, within the framework of democratic
order of Turkey and in the light of Ataturk's
principles, they had founded the association in
Mersin to contribute to the economic, social and
cultural development of the town. Karalar said
they would fulfil their obligations as a business
association and an NGO, and would try to find
remedies to economic issues by arranging economic
forums.
HOLTZ

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