US embassy cable - 02ADANA389

SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY NOVEMBER 9-10, 2002

Identifier: 02ADANA389
Wikileaks: View 02ADANA389 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Adana
Created: 2002-11-20 14:51:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ Press Summaries ADANA
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
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 0389 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, TU, IZ, Press Summaries, ADANA 
SUBJECT:  SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY 
NOVEMBER 9-10, 2002 
 
1.  This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for 
November 9-10, 2002.  Please note that Turkish press 
reports often contain errors or exaggerations; 
AmConsulate Adana does not vouch for the accuracy of 
the reports summarized here. 
 
 
POLITICS, SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS 
-------------------------------- 
 
 
2.  AKP WANTS ELECTIONS CANCELLED IN SIIRT 
(Sabah/Milli Gazete)  AKP petitioned the Higher 
Election Council (YSK) to cancel the elections in 
Siirt due to lack of a ballot council in a Pervari 
(Siirt) village where 700 voters were unable to vote. 
If YSK cancels the elections there, AKP will 
reportedly nominate AKP chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan 
from Siirt if his political ban is lifted. 
 
 
3.  RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE SOUTHEAST 
(Evrensel)  The Diyarbakir Chapter of the Human Rights 
Association (HRA) issued a report regarding violations 
experienced during the November 3 parliamentary 
elections.  The report claimed the Democratic People's 
Party (DEHAP) was the only political party which 
suffered from rights violations in the region. 
According to the report, DEHAP observers were not 
allowed into schools (to watch vote casting), police 
officers tore electorate information cards, voters 
were subjected to such maltreatments as insults and 
threats, and were forced to cast their votes openly. 
HRA President Selahattin Demir indicated 310 rights 
violations, including arrests, threats, preventions, 
detentions, maltreatments, forcible open vote casting 
and assaults took place in the region prior to and 
during the elections.  Demir claimed village guards, 
village chiefs, jandarma, tribal chiefs, and from time 
to time political parties, had exercised pressure on 
voters and accused them of election fraud. 
 
 
4.  PKK ARRESTS CONTINUE 
(Turkiye)  Gaziantep Security Directorate Anti-terror 
squad arrested three PKK members who had received 
training in a (PKK) camp in northern Iraq.  Police 
found out that PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, following 
his capture, had ordered his less known members to go 
to Turkey in order to incite the public to carry out 
mass activities (demonstrations), recruit new members, 
and stage civil disobedience.  The arrestees were 
later arraigned in a local court and ordered to remain 
in custody.  In a separate operation, Jandarma 
arrested eleven people accused of assisting and 
abetting the PKK in Diyarbakir's Lice and Hani 
townships.  In Nusaybin (Mardin), police arrested PKK 
member Ibrahim Tanhan while he was trying to take a 
bag full of clothing to PKK members in rural areas.  A 
local court later ordered Tanhan to remain in custody. 
Van police seized one truck load of medical supplies 
and equipment destined for PKK camps in Iran and 
arrested four people in connection with the seizure. 
Also, Hakkari Jandarma seized weapons associated with 
the PKK during searches in rural Hakkari. 
 
 
5.  DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AGAINST KURDISH PETITIONERS 
REVERSED 
(Evrensel)  The Van Administrative Court reversed 
disciplinary actions given by Van's Centennial 
University to 171 students for petitioning for an 
elective course in Kurdish.  The reversal followed the 
students' appeal.  Also, the Adana Administrative 
Court reversed the Cukurova University's (Adana) 
decision to suspend and expel 54 students for 
demanding education in Kurdish. 
 
 
6.  KURDISH NAMING PROBLEMS CONTINUE 
(Evrensel)  The Diyarbakir Birth Registry Directorate 
denied a parent permission to give the name "Amed" to 
his son.  The parent later petitioned the Prosecutor's 
Office to allow him to give the name he wanted to his 
child.  Lawsuits were opened against Mersin parent 
Zeki Geris, who had given the non-Turkish names 
"Baver" and "Xebat" to his twins, and parent Filiz 
Coskun for having named her child "Siyar." 
 
 
7.  REMAINS OF ANCIENT PROVINCE FOUND IN ADANA 
(Bolge)  The remains of what used to be a Hittite 
province were unearthed during archaeological 
excavations carried out in Adana's Tufanbeyli 
township.  Assistant Professor Serdar Girginer of 
Cukurova University's (Adana) Archaeology Department 
and his team carried out the excavations, which began 
on August 20.  Girginer said studies showed Tufanbeyli 
was the region's culture center in 2,000 B.C. 
Girginer noted the project would expand to neighboring 
provinces and last nearly five years. 
 
 
ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS 
-------------------------------------- 
 
 
8.  VISITORS TO SE INCREASE 
(Evrensel)  Harran (Sanliurfa) District Governor 
Ibrahim Aksit said the number of domestic and foreign 
tourists visiting Harran (25,944) increased over 85% 
in the first ten months of the year, compared to the 
previous year (13,768).  Harran is known as the site 
of the world's first university and conic-domed homes. 
Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Turkiye and Evrensel reported 
181,101 tourists, among them 59,419 foreigners, 
visited Mt. Nemrut, which is known as Gods' Celestial 
Throne and included in UNESCO's World Cultural 
Heritage List, this year.  In 2001, 147,000 tourists 
visited Nemrut. 
HOLTZ 

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