US embassy cable - 02ADANA410

SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY, DECEMBER 8-9, 2002

Identifier: 02ADANA410
Wikileaks: View 02ADANA410 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Adana
Created: 2002-12-10 08:28:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA Press Summaries
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 03 ADANA 0410 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, TU, IZ, ADANA, Press Summaries 
SUBJECT:  SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY, 
          DECEMBER 8-9, 2002 
 
1.  This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for 
December 8-9, 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.  U.S. WARNS TERROR MIGHT HIT GAZIANTEP 
(Hurriyet/Milliyet)  The U.S. State Department issued a 
statement warning U.S. citizens in Turkey that terrorists 
might be planning a terrorist attack in Southeastern 
Turkey.  The statement warned U.S. citizens to pay special 
attention especially during entry to and exit from the 
Gaziantep Airport, which is in use as the Adana Airport is 
under renovation.  The warning noted that the Turkish 
government had taken measures against such a threat. 
Turkiye and Bolge reported that, following the warning, 
security measures at Incirlik (Adana) had been elevated, 
with vehicles entering and exiting Incirlik being 
thoroughly searched. 
 
 
3.  DEPLOYMENT ALONG IRAQI BORDER 
(Sabah/Milli Gazete)  Ankara began to deploy soldiers from 
Sanliurfa and Diyarbakir along the Iraqi border due to a 
possible U.S. operation against Iraq.  Soldiers were being 
transported in covered military trucks, as well as civilian 
passenger busses, with Jandarma taking security measures 
along the 90-km Mardin-Diyarbakir highway. 
 
 
4.  OHAL CONTINUES IN LICE (DIYARBAKIR) 
(Sabah)  Celebrations were held to celebrate the abolition 
of the State of Emergency (OHAL), but the only thing that 
changed in Lice (Diyarbakir) was that curfew hours now 
begin at 10:00 p.m., instead of 4:00 p.m.  Lice resident 
Mehmet Emin Alagunduz was ordered to remain in custody on 
December 5 (the first day of the Ramadan Holiday) for 
"resistance and insult to police."  According to his 
testimony in the court file, the reason for the scuffle 
that landed him in prison was violation of curfew hours. 
 
 
5.  HIZBULLAH'S NEW LEADER 
(Cumhuriyet)  Muzaffer Abdulkaya and Osman Aktas, arrested 
on October 20 in Istanbul and ordered to remain in custody 
by a Diyarbakir court, testified Mehmet Besir Varol was 
Hizbullah's new leader.  According to them, Varol was in 
Turkey.  The Diyarbakir State Security Court was reported 
to have issued an arrest warrant for Varol in absentia. 
 
 
6.  BAN ON PUBLICATIONS LIFTED 
(Evrensel)  Newspapers and magazines which had not been 
previously allowed into the State of Emergency (OHAL) 
region took their places in news stands, with the lifting 
of the State of Emergency (OHAL) on November 30.  Bans on 
associations have also been lifted following the abolition 
of OHAL. 
 
 
7.  SIRNAK DISTRICT MAYOR'S HOME BOMBED 
(Turkiye)  Unidentified assailants launched a bomb attack 
against the home of Republican People's Party (CHP) Idil 
(Sirnak) district President Seyhmus Kaplan.  Of the two 
hand grenades thrown during the attack, one hit Kaplan's 
vehicle while the other exploded in the air.  No casualties 
were reported; Kaplan's vehicle was damaged.  A similar 
attack had been launched against Kaplan's place of business 
three years ago. 
 
 
8.  PRO-OCALAN DEMONSTRATION IN VAN 
(Evrensel)  In Van, a group of people who called themselves 
"Apo's Volunteers" staged a demonstration protesting PKK 
(KADEK) leader Abdullah Ocalan's isolation.  The group 
dispersed after lighting fires and shouting pro-Ocalan 
slogans. 
 
 
9.  FIRST KURDISH CAFQ OPENS IN MARDIN 
(Evrensel)  CafQ Ramiro, the first cafQ in which Kurdish- 
language songs will be sung, was inaugurated in Mardin's 
Nusaybin township on December 7.  Nusaybin Mayor Mehmet 
Tanhan and municipal council members, as well as Democratic 
People's Party (DEHAP) and People's Democracy Party (HADEP) 
officials attended the inauguration. 
 
 
10.  WEAPONS DEALERS 
(Turkiye/Bolge)  Acting on a tip, Elazig Jandarma cracked 
down on a six-person ring of weapons dealers.  Five 
Kalashnikov rifles, a machine gun, two pistols, and 
ammunition were seized during the operation. 
 
 
11.  AK PARTY NOMINATES ERDOGAN FROM SIIRT 
(Radikal/Turkiye)  In its official Internet website, 
Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced AKP leader 
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's candidacy from Siirt, where 
parliamentary elections will be renewed on February 9.  The 
Higher Election Council's (YSK) decision to cancel the 
November 3 parliamentary elections in Siirt was published 
in the official gazette on December 8. 
 
 
12.  NEW COURTHOUSE BUILDING IN ADANA 
(Turkiye/Bolge)  Adana's new courthouse building has been 
completed.  It took nearly five years to build and cost TL 
6 trillion (approx. USD 3.9 million).  Chief Public 
Prosecutor Cemal Sahir Gurcay announced possibly taking 
extraordinary security measures at the new courthouse to 
prevent any possible incidents. 
 
 
13.  LANDMINES 
(Cumhuriyet/Evrensel)  In rural Mazgirt (Tunceli), a 34- 
year-old female shepherd was seriously wounded when the 
landmine she stepped on exploded.  The incident took place 
as she herded her sheep out of a restricted area near a 
Jandarma station.  Military officials claim having informed 
locals about the landmines planted in the restricted area 
and that there were signs showing landmines had been 
planted in the area. 
 
 
14.  CAPTAGON 
(Milliyet)  Police raided the home of Kilis resident Mehmet 
Curat and seized nearly 1,000 Captagon pills destined for 
Syria.  In addition to Curat, three other people, including 
two Syrian nationals, were arrested in connection with the 
seizure. 
 
 
15.  DROP IN HEPATITIS B 
(Turkiye)  Dicle University (Diyarbakir) Gastroentrology 
Department Head Professor Vedat Goral said there had been a 
decrease in Hepatitis B, which was common in the Southeast, 
mostly due to efforts to raise the level of consciousness 
of the public. 
 
 
ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS 
-------------------------------------- 
 
 
16.  NORWEGIAN AMBASSADOR VISITS ADANA 
(Hurriyet)  A guest of Adana Mayor Aytac Durak, Norwegian 
Ambassador Herr Hans Wilhelm Longva came to Adana to attend 
a ceremony to distribute the second half of TL 2 trillion 
(approx. USD 1.3 million) aid sent from Norway to Adana. 
U.S. Adana Consul Greta C. Holtz, Deputy Governor Ahmet 
Narinoglu, Norwegian Military AttachQ Roal Lougerud, U.S. 
Adana Deputy Consul Patrick Hanish, Adana Foundation 
founding member Gokhan Durak, Soner Sevin, Second President 
of the Norwegian Association for Promoting Ataturk's 
Principles, Adana Chamber of Commerce Assembly President 
Behic Pakyurek, and Durak's Consultant Orhan Urgenc 
attended a dinner hosted by Durak in honor of Ambassador 
Longva. 
 
 
17.  INCREASED BUSINESS CLOSURES IN ADANA 
(Bolge)  According to Kazim Barisik, President of the Adana 
Union of Merchants and Artisans Chamber, 2,757 merchants 
closed their businesses in the first eleven months of the 
year, compared to 2,291 in 2001.  In the same period, 
another 2,017 merchants registered at the union.  The 
number of registries in 2001 was 2,454. 
 
 
18.  ANSWER TO PRO-ARMENIAN PROPAGANDA 
(Turkiye)  Van Governor's Office inaugurated a primary 
school it had constructed in honor of former Van Governor 
Ali Cevdetbey, who had displayed great sacrifices against 
Armenian and Russian units during the World War I.  A 
statement issued by the Governor's Office described the 
school as an answer to the film Ararat, which was full of 
made-up slanders. 
HOLTZ 

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