US embassy cable - 02ADANA436

SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY, DEC 28-29, 2002

Identifier: 02ADANA436
Wikileaks: View 02ADANA436 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Adana
Created: 2002-12-31 08:42:00
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 0436 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, TU, IZ, Press Summaries, ADANA 
SUBJECT:  SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY, 
DEC 28-29, 2002 
 
 
1.  This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary 
for December 28-29, 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 IN THE SOUTHEAST 
(Hurriyet/Sabah/Turkiye/Evrensel)  While countdown 
for the possible U.S. operation against Iraq 
continues, Turkey has intensified its preparations 
along the (Iraqi) border.  U.S. soldiers to be 
deployed in Turkey will stay with the Silopi 
(Sirnak) Tank Battalion, where they stayed during 
the (1991) Gulf War.  Walls around the battalion 
are being heightened.  Industrial sites are being 
prepared for military purposes.  War and terror 
concerns on the part of Americans at Incirlik 
(Adana) Air Base have affected Incirlik merchants, 
with Americans stopping shopping.  Turkiye reported 
Turkey plans to establish a total of eleven camps 
in northern Iraq against a possible influx of 
refugees in the wake of the U.S. operation. 
Infrastructure projects for these camps have 
already begun.  Hakkari Governor Orhan Isin said 
his office would prepare and administer two of the 
camps.  Milli Gazete points to increased military 
activities along the Iraqi and Syrian border, with 
security measures elevated.  Siverek (Sanliurfa) 
people have reportedly begun to stockpile 
foodstuffs prior to the operation.  Radikal quoted 
Abdullah Sevinc of the municipality of Diyarbakir 
as stating that former underground shelters in the 
province have been converted into car parks, 
underground shopping centers, coffee houses or 
sports centers, creating a potential problem for 
the future. 
 
 
3.  USED GAS MASKS ON THE MARKET 
(Hurriyet)  Gas masks, distributed to U.S. soldiers 
at Adana's Incirlik Air Base during the 1991 Gulf 
War, have taken their places in shop windows. 
Masks sell at TL 40 million (approx. USD 25) each. 
With merchants trying to turn the war danger into 
profit, experts said citizens should know that 
these masks might not work in case of a chemical 
weapons attack. 
 
 
4.  VARIOUS ANTI-WAR STATEMENTS 
(Evrensel)  Adana Pharmacists Association President 
Erdogan Colak voiced opposition to the possible 
U.S. against Iraq, saying, "Why are we being pulled 
into this war, which no one in Turkey, other than 
the U.S. Ambassador, wants?"  Selahattin Demirtas, 
President of the Diyarbakir chapter of the Human 
Rights Association (HRA), said an anti-war platform 
would be formed in Diyarbakir, which the paper 
reported the U.S. wanted to use as an attack 
center, in the upcoming days.  Demirtas said that, 
over time, Diyarbakir might turn into the center of 
anti-war struggles.  Islamist-oriented Independent 
Industrialists and Businessmen's Association 
(MUSIAD) Malatya President Selahattin Asan warned 
the price of Turkey's involvement in the war would 
be very high.  Hurriyet quoted Iskenderun (Hatay) 
local administrators and businessmen as warning the 
government to take solid steps with respect to the 
possible war, as it would paralyze the Turkish 
economy.  Milli Gazete reported the Antakya (Hatay) 
chapter of the HRA and the Environmental Protection 
Association staged an anti-war protest 
demonstration, shouting anti-war slogans. 
5.  SIX BISMIL (DIYARBAKIR) VILLAGE GUARDS RELEASED 
(Evrensel)  The trial of ten village guards charged 
with armed attack against two families who had 
returned to Bismil's (Diyarbakir) Ugrak village and 
killing three people and injuring four others began 
in the Diyarbakir Felony Court (on December 27). 
Eight of the defendants pleaded not guilty, 
claiming they were not in the village when the 
incident occurred.  Then, the court released six of 
the defendants from custody and adjourned the trial 
until a later date due to missing documents in the 
case file. 
 
 
6.  JANDARMA OFFICIALS CHARGED WITH TORTURE 
(Evrensel)  The Batman Prosecutor's Office 
initiated prosecution against two Besiri (Batman) 
Jandarma Command officials for having tortured 
three People's Democracy Party (HADEP) members 
arrested during a May ID check for possession of 
weapons.  The arrestees were reportedly subjected 
to blindfolding, rough beating, pressurized water, 
beating of the soles of the feet and psychological 
pressure. 
 
 
7.  MAYOR UNDER INVESTIGATION 
(Evrensel)  An investigation has been launched 
against Mardin's Derik district Mayor Ayse Karadag 
for "participating in the inauguration ceremonies 
of Democratic People's Party's (DEHAP) election 
offices in Mardin, addressing the public and using 
his official vehicle in election campaigns," 
despite his political ban. 
 
 
8.  PRO-OCALAN DEMONSTRATIONS 
(Evrensel)  KADEK (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan's 
isolation was protested in Adana, Izmir and 
Gaziantep. 
 
 
 9.  TWENTY-ONE THOUSAND IRAQIS DEPORTED 
(Evrensel)  According to the Habur (Sirnak) Customs 
Directorate, 21,391 Iraqis arrested while trying to 
illegally cross into Turkey over the past year have 
been deported through the Habur border gate in 
Silopi (Sirnak). 
 
 
ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS 
-------------------------------------- 
 
 
10.  SOUTHEASTERN AGRICULTURAL EXPORTS UP OVER 18% 
(Evrensel)  According to the Southeastern Anatolia 
Exporters' Union, agricultural exports from the 
Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region to the 
African continent increased 18.2% in the first 
eleven months of the year, rising to USD 19.3 
million from USD 16.3 million for the same period 
in 2001.  In the same period, USD 12.4 million of 
textile, USD 5.1 million of grain, beans and seed 
products and USD 1.7 million of dried fruits were 
exported from the region. 
HOLTZ 

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