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
MAY 23, 2003

1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for May 23, 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: Before he was killed, the former
Security Director of Diyarbakir, Gaffar Okkan,
had disclosed the names of 26 Hizbullah members.
Hizbullah's leader in Turkey, Mehmet Besir Varol,
AKA "Melle Mizgin," was arrested in Konya on May
17. Mehmet Cicek and Nurullah Gulsever who were
also arrested have been identified as important
militants in the organization. The Hizbullah
militants were taken to Diyarbakir for
interrogation. So far, eight of the terrorists on
Okkan's list have been arrested while two others
were killed some time ago. The militants were
ordered held by Diyarbakir State Security Court.
Cicek and Gulsever are accused of involvement in
18 incidents.

3. Turkiye: A meeting dubbed "Family Planning
and Methods to Prevent Pregnancy" was organized
at Cukurova University (CU), by CU's Women's
Problems Research and Application Center. Vice
Rector Prof. Dr. Nebahat Sari said a major
portion of women are affected by health problems
in the country. Sari added that two million women
become pregnant in Turkey annually, and of 450
thousand miscarriages, 280 thousand are
intentional. She said approximately 30 thousand
children were stillborn, and more than 700
mothers a year lose their lives due to various
health problems.

4. Bolge: At a City Council meeting, the
Governor of Adana, Kemal Onal, said the
government had built houses for the earthquake
victims in Adana in 1994. Governor Onal said two
thousand families persisted living in the damaged
and inhabitable houses rather than moving to the
government-built houses. The governor added that
those families would forcibly be evacuated by the
security forces from those unsafe houses.

5. Milliyet: Because of the authority vested in
the OHAL Governor (State of Extraordinary Rule
Governor), the administrative decisions made by
his office could not be reversed. Such a
prevention in the provinces under the OHAL has
been found to be against the law. The OHAL
Governor wanted to transfer a teacher in
Diyarbakir for his activities. The teacher filed
a petition with the Administrative Court for the
reversal of the action, but the court dismissed
the case. The teacher appealed the case to the
Supreme Court which demanded the reversal of the
action and submitted the file to the
Constitutional Court. While five members of the
Constitutional Court decided against the
reversal, 6 decided in favor of the decision.


6. Bolge: After McDonalds unilaterally decided
to cancel its contracts in Turkey, the owner of
the McDonalds outlet in Mersin, Mustafa Yuksel,
put a pad lock on his facility with a ceremony to
protest the decision. Yuksel said he had spent
USD 450 thousand for the McDonalds, and had
signed a contract for 20 years. Yuksel claimed
that McDonalds' unilateral decision caused 19 of
42 McDonalds outlet owners in Turkey to go
bankrupt. Yuksel said, on a monthly basis, he
paid 18 percent of his gross for rent, 5 percent
for advertisement, and 5 percent for use of the
brand name in addition to $45 thousand he had
initially paid for franchising. Yuksel said he
was offered only $75 thousand for closing down
his facility where 25 people were employed.

© Scoop Media

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