|Wikileaks:||View 02ADANA436 at Wikileaks.org|
|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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