US embassy cable - 02ADANA431

SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY, DECEMBER 25-26, 2002

Identifier: 02ADANA431
Wikileaks: View 02ADANA431 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Adana
Created: 2002-12-30 10:17:00
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 03 ADANA 0431 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, TU, IZ, Press Summaries, ADANA 
SUBJECT:  SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY, 
DECEMBER 25-26, 2002 
 
1.  This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary 
for December 25-26, 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.  WAR PREPARATIONS AT MERSIN PORT 
(Hurriyet/Milliyet/Dunya)  Increased activities 
began at the Mersin Port, which the papers indicate 
the U.S. wants to make use of during its proposed 
military operation against Iraq.  Six of the port's 
21 wharves have been closed to commercial traffic, 
with giant cranes dismantled.  Mersin Port Operation 
Director Kenan Sen described the increased 
activities as normal.  Sen confirmed the deepening 
works at three wharves allocated to NATO by the 
National Defense Ministry. 
 
 
3.  OPERATION CENTER WILL BE IN DIYARBAKIR 
(Cumhuriyet)  The U.S. is planning to ship military 
equipment and ammunition it wants carried into 
northern Iraq to the port at Mersin and then 
transport it by railway to its operation centers. 
Diyarbakir is considered to be the center of an 
operation to be launched from the North.  Hurriyet 
reported Iskenderun (Hatay) District Governor Unal 
Erdogan, Coast Guard Commander Captain Murat Ozer 
and Security Director Salih Gokalp visited the 
Iskenderun Port, meeting with Operation Director 
Cumhur Ozturk.  The U.S. reportedly wants to use the 
port during its proposed intervention in Iraq.  The 
delegation then went to the Iskenderun (Hatay) Steel 
Plant Isdemir Port and met with Isdemir officials. 
They then surveyed local hotels that might be used 
as possible accommodations in case American soldiers 
came to Iskenderun.  A U.S. delegation had 
previously inspected the Iskenderun Port as well. 
 
 
4.  EXERCISE AT INCIRLIK AIR BASE 
(Hurriyet)  Tenth Tanker Base Command held a routine 
exercise on December 25 at Adana's Incirlik Air 
Base.  People in residential areas around the base 
got excited when sirens were heard at Incirlik, 
which is likely to be the operation center of the 
proposed war in Iraq.  During the exercise, two F- 
16's flew over the base, followed by a simulated 
fire in hangars near AWACS early-warning planes. 
The planes landed in mid-day.  Then, as part of the 
exercise, a person with a false ID card was captured 
at the main gate, with announcements stating that 
the password had been broken. 
 
 
5.  ADANA U.S. CONSULATE WILL MOVE 
(Hurriyet/Milliyet/Bolge/Evrensel)  U.S. Consulate 
in Adana, which is in a Sabanci Holding Company's 
Bossa building, has been looking for a new office 
space, as its leasing contract will expire next 
month.  Facing reactions from nearby merchants 
following closure of the roads around the Consulate 
due to security reasons, Consulate officials looked 
at another Sabanci building but reached no 
agreement.  Sabanci Holding officals confirmed the 
Consulate's effort to find a new office.  Sabanci 
officials said roads around the Consulate, which is 
on Ataturk Street, had been closed as a security 
precaution.  "The Consulate's leasing contract is 
expiring in the New Year.  The fact that the roads 
are closed disturbs the nearby merchants and all 
citizens.  We face pressure from the public and 
merchants.  They (Consulate officials) do not want 
to move out, but we asked them to move.  Then, 
Consulate officials began to seek a new place," they 
added.  Sabanci officials indicated temporarily 
moving the consulate initially to Hilton-Sa and then 
to another building entered the agenda.  They gave 
the following information:  "Their move to Hilton-Sa 
was not accepted.  We showed them the closed Gunes 
Newspaper facility, a property that belongs to the 
Sabanci Holding's Ex-Sa company, on the Adana-Ceyhan 
highway.  Consulate officials examined the ... 
building ....  They wanted to lease it but we 
informed them we want to sell it.  They will inform 
us of their decision after evaluating the building's 
status." 
 
 
6.  CRITICISM OF PROPOSED U.S. WAR IN IRAQ 
(Bolge/Turkiye)  Adana Chamber of Industry president 
Umit Ozgumus and Mustafa Caliskan, President of the 
Adana chapter of the Islamist-oriented Independent 
Industrialists and Businessmen's Association 
(MUSIAD), voiced opposition to the proposed U.S. 
operation against Iraq.  Turkiye quoted Malatya 
Active Businessmen's Association and MUSIAD 
presidents as saying an intervention in Iraq would 
deeply impact the Turkish economy. 
 
 
7.  KADEK (PKK) SUSPECTS HELD 
(Evrensel)  A Sanliurfa court ordered two suspected 
KADEK (PKK) members arrested in Hilvan (Sanliurfa) 
to remain in custody. 
 
 
8.  KURDISH NAME REJECTED 
(Evrensel)  The Dicle (Diyarbakir) Birth Registry 
Directorate denied parent Mehmet Sert permission to 
give the Kurdish name "Rozerin" ("Sun-light Blonde") 
to his two-month-old daughter.  Sert then applied to 
the District Governor's Office, but failed to 
receive permission because "Rozerin was the name of 
KADEK (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan's bodyguard." 
 
 
9.  BULLET CASINGS IN DIYARBAKIR FOR ANALYSIS 
(Cumhuriyet)  Bullet casings found following the 
assassination in Ankara of Associate Professor Necip 
Hablemitoglu earlier this month were sent to 
Diyarbakir for analysis.  Diyarbakir Governor Cemil 
Serhadli said the casings would be compared against 
300,000 other casings registered in Diyarbakir to 
determine if the pistol had been used in any 
previous incident.  Turkiye (12/26) reported 
Diyarbakir Security Directorate officials had failed 
to find any match for the two 9mm bullet casings 
sent to Diyarbakir. 
 
 
10.  MAYOR UNDER INVESTIGATION 
(Evrensel)  The Interior Ministry has launched an 
investigation against Adana's Kucuk Dikili district 
Mayor Mehmet Yasik (from the People's Democracy 
Party - HADEP) for "not attending the October 29 
Turkish Independence Day celebrations."  The 
investigation followed Buyuk Dikili Jandarma 
Commander Bahtiyar Dogan's letter (of complaint) to 
the ministry. 
 
 
11.  GAZIANTEP JOURNALIST CHARGES POLICE WITH 
TORTURE 
(Evrensel)  Murat Sen, distributor of the Gaziantep 
newspaper Yeniden Ozgur Gundem, claimed police 
arrested him on Saturday night (12/21).  They 
reportedly blindfolded and took him to an unknown 
place, accusing him of hanging banners on walls. 
After two days of detention, Sen was released on 
Monday (12/23). 
12.  DICLE U. STUDENTS ASSOCIATION RE-OPENS 
(Evrensel)  The Dicle University (Diyarbakir) 
Students Association, which was closed for three 
years, recently resumed operation. 
 
 
ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS 
-------------------------------------- 
 
 
13.  MT. NEMRUT BELONGS TO ADIYAMAN 
(Hurriyet/Radikal)  In an effort to end disputes 
between the Southeastern provinces of Adiyaman and 
Malatya over the ownership of Mt. Nemrut, the 
Council of State decided Nemrut is within the 
provincial borders of Adiyaman.  Nemrut is located 
87 kilometers away from Adiyaman and 291 kilometers 
from Malatya. 
HOLTZ 

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