WikiLeaks: 2002-11-21: 02ADANA393: Southeast Turkey Press Summary
Viewing cable 02ADANA393, SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 0393 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY NOVEMBER 15, 2002 ¶1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for November 15, 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. ANTI-PKK OPERATION IN ELAZIG (Turkiye/Milli Gazete/Bolge) Police arrested Elazig resident Abdullah Yildiz while he was trying to deliver logistical support to PKK members in rural Diyarbakir, Tunceli and Erzurum. Clothing, food, cellular phones and logistical materials were seized during the search of Yildiz's home. ¶3. TWO HIZBULLAH DEFENDANTS RELEASED (Evrensel) The trial of four Hizbullah members, including Bedran Salamboga, who was involved in the 2001 killing of former Diyarbakir Security Director Gaffar Okkan, continued at the Diyarbakir State Security Court. All the defendants, except for one, appeared for the trial. Following a short break, the court ordered the release of two of the defendants based on evidence in the file and adjourned the trial until a later date. ¶4. VAN COURT REVERSES EXILES (Evrensel) The Van Regional Administrative Court overturned a verdict by the Diyarbakir State Security Court to exile (i.e., transfer internally) seven Health Employees Union (SES) officials indicted for "assisting and abetting the PKK" by displaying pro- Kurdish language education banners during the union's February 2 Congress in Van. The officials were among nine SES officials arrested following the SES Congress. ¶5. FALSE U.S. DOLLAR BILLS SEIZED (Bolge) Sanliurfa Security Directorate Anti-smuggling and Organized Crime Department police officers arrested four people who were trying to circulate 81 counterfeit 100-dollar bills. Following interrogation, the arrestees were arraigned in a local court which ordered two to remain in custody. The remaining two were released but ordered to appear for their upcoming trial. Also, police are searching for another suspect. ¶6. OXFORD U. GRADUATE NEW ARCHBISHOP TO MARDIN MONESTARY (Radikal/Hurriyet/Cumhuriyet) Nuri Salibe Ozmen, a graduate of Oxford University, has been appointed the new archbishop of Mardin's Dayrulzaferan Monastery. The 38-year-old archbishop knows English, Syriac, Arabic, as well as Turkish. Ozmen, together with Deyrulumur Monastery (Mardin) metropolitan and Syriac Christian leaders, visited Mardin Governor Temel Kocaklar. ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS -------------------------------------- ¶7. ADANA BUSINESS CLOSURES (Bolge) Adana Union of Merchants and Artisans Chamber President Kazim Barisik claimed 2,612 merchants closed their businesses in the first ten months of the year. The number of business closures was 2,326 in 1999, 1705 in 2000 and 2,291 in 2001. Barisik called on the new (AKP) government to improve the economic situation, to decrease unemployment and lower inflation. ¶8. ILLEGAL ELECTRICITY USE COMMON IN INDUSTRY (Bolge) The President of the Adana chapter of the Electrical Engineers Chamber (EMO), Ahmet Sari, claimed the illegal use of electricity was most common in the industrial sector. According to Sari, the Turkish Electricity Distribution Corporation (TEDAS) uncovered 21,000 electricity thieves and prosecution had been launched against 250 TEDAS subscribers. HOLTZ