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WikiLeaks: 2003-02-25: 03ADANA53: Southeast Turkey Press Summary

Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 10:35 AM CT


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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
03ADANA53 2003-02-25 13:39 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Consulate Adana
This record is a partial extract of the original cable.
The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A 
FEBRUARY 22-23, 2003 
1.  This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary 
for February 22-23, 2003.  Please note that 
Turkish press reports often contain errors or 
exaggerations; AmConsulate Adana does not vouch 
for the accuracy of the reports summarized here. 
Cumhuriyet/Hurriyet: Security measures increased 
in Iskenderun, the port where armed American 
troops have been deployed and military equipment 
has been unloaded. Officials have been warned 
against sabotage and suicide attacks. The 
Ministry of Health instructed hospitals in town 
to stock a good quantity of Atropine, 
particularly used against poisonous gas. 
Iskenderun Port has been unofficially declared a 
"Forbidden Zone" by the Brigade  Command who 
overtook the security at the port. Protection of 
US military equipment is provided by American 
troops while the Turkish soldiers provide 
exterior security. Americans staying in local 
hotels and visiting various spots in town are 
escorted by jandarma, and their security is 
provided by police and soldiers. 
3. Military Movements in the Area 
Gazete/Radikal: The Commander of US Forces in 
Europe, Gen. Burwell Bell, accompanied by Turkish 
military officers, inspected Mersin and 
Iskenderun ports yesterday and flew to Incirlik 
AB by  helicopter. Cumhuriyet: The Turkish 
General Staff announced that only after signing a 
MOU with Washington, was military equipment 
dispatched at Iskenderun port. The TGS emphasized 
that the shipment did not contain any combat 
components. Radikal: Based on the permission 
given by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the 
US military delegation conducted inspections at 
Gaziantep airport yesterday. The American 
delegation undertook studies to determine what 
would be needed at the airport to give services 
to heavy tonnage cargo planes and to provide 
secure flights. Hurriyet: Activities continue at 
Iskenderun and Tasucu ports which are ready for 
war ships to dock. The Iskenderun port where 522 
military vehicles, including Hummers carrying 
missile batteries, were unloaded, resembles a 
military headquarters. Following unloading of 
military equipment, 290 US soldiers from Incirlik 
AB were also dispatched to the port where 
containers have been used to hide the military 
equipment. Although no military equipment has 
been unladed at Tasucu port, the port's yard has 
been fenced with barbed wire. 
4.  Anti-War Legal Measures 
Cumhuriyet/Hurriyet/Evrensel: A group of lawyers 
affiliated with Tunceli Bar Association brought 
charges against those responsible for breaching 
the Constitution by allowing US soldiers to enter 
Turkey from Mersin and Iskenderun ports. 
5.  Death in Local Prison 
Turkiye: Levent Satin, 25, who was imprisoned for 
theft and moved from Gaziantep prison to Adana's 
E-type Indoor Prison to receive mental treatment 
at Psychotherapy Hospital, was found dead in his 
cell. An investigation was launched as the body 
was taken to the forensic medicine for 
6. Foreign Christians on Trial 
Turkiye: A hearing concerning the "Love for 
Messiah Jesus Christ" group in Gaziantep started 
at the 2nd General Criminal Court. The group's 
representative in Turkey, Wilber Miller, and 
Gaziantep representative John Schutz left the 
court without attending the trial when they ran 
into press. The group's attorney, Mahmut Oktem, 
and the plaintiff, attorney and DYP provincial 
chairman, Sermet Atay attended the hearing. A 
sentence of from one month to six months of 
imprisonment is being sought for Miller and 
Schutz for opposing the "Association Law", 
"Meeting, Demonstration and Marching Law." 
7.  Turkish Parlimentary Human Rights Group's 
Anti-Turkish Christian Comments Criticized 
Milliyet: The Turkish National Assembly's Human 
Rights Commission's sub-committee which held 
inspections in Mardin determined that Syriac 
Christians could constitute a problem for the 
unitary structure of Turkey in the future. The 
sub-committee's report received adverse 
reactions. CHP's Mardin deputy, Muharrem Dogan, 
said Syriacs were not a danger but a benefit for 
Turkey, and added that the sub-committee was 
misinformed, there was no such danger in the 
region. MP Dogan said "We grew up together with 
these people, we are cohabiting. That they are a 
danger for Turkey is not true. This is 
discrimination, racialism and abuse of religion. 
Their religion may be different. They believe in 
the Bible." 
8.  Ocalan Supporters arrested 
Milli Gazete: Three Ataturk University (Erzurum) 
students writing pro-PKK/KADEK slogans such as 
"The Apocus are coming" "Leader Apo" "Long Live 
Apo, Long Live KADEK" in spray paint in three 
quarters of Erzurum were arrested by anti-terror 
police. The suspects were taken to Erzurum State 
Security Court following their interrogation by 
9. Turks Plan for possible N. Iraq Entry 
Milliyet: The Turkish Armed Forces who will enter 
Northern Iraq to cope with influx of refugees and 
install security equipment almost completed their 
preparations. With these personnel, the number of 
2nd Army affiliate troops at the border region 
reached 100 thousand. The military units under 
Gen. Fevzi Turkeri's command were inoculated 
against contagious diseases. 50 thousand Turkish 
soldiers are expected to enter Northern Iraq if 
the Turkish Parliament  decides to join the 
oepration. Jandarma General Command affiliated 
jandarma units will be in charge of relief 
efforts, while military units affiliated with the 
land Forces Command will provide security. 
10.  Siirt Elections 
Milliyet: Prior to the March 9 by-elections where 
AKP chair, Tayyip Erdogan, will run for 
parliament,  Interior Minister, Abdulkadir Aksu; 
Public Works and Resettlement Minister, Zeki 
Ergezen, and 7 AKP MPs visited Siirt. Cumhuriyet 
reports that Mr. Erdogan plans to visit his 
constituency twice during the election, and will 
make his first visit to Siirt on February 28 or 
March 01. DEHAP who got 26,980 votes in November 
3 general elections in Siirt announced that they 
would cooperate with CHP in the upcoming 
election. There are a total of 119,210 registered 
voters in Siirt province, but only 88,397 voted 
on November 3. DEHAP was the clear winner of the 
November 3 elections in Siirt, but because it did 
not pass the 10 percent national bar, it was 
unable to elect any deputies. DEHAP's Deputy 
Secretary General claimed if they joined CHP, CHP 
could win the three seats in Siirt. 
11.  Counterfeit Iraqi Lira in Mersin 
Turkiye/Bolge: In Mersin province, the jandarma 
raided a printing house, and seized 5.5 trillion 
Turkish Liras ($-3.3 million) worth of 
counterfeit Iraqi Dinars and 1.5 trillion Turkish 
Liras (USD 900, 000 equivalent) worth of fake 
detergent. 8 persons were ordered held by the 
12.  Fears of OHAL's Return 
Turkiye: Inhabitants of East and Southeast Turkey 
are uncomfortable about the possibility of 
declaring state of emergency in the region again 
if war starts. It is also speculated that because 
of the deployment of US troops at Sabiha Gokcen 
Airport in Istanbul, Istanbul might become the 
terrorists' target, and in the light of such a 
danger, state of emergency could be declared in 
Istanbul, too. Another worry is that the innocent 
Kurdish people in the region might suffer in the 
combat with the PKK. Claims that the US will hire 
former village guards to fight in Northern Iraq 
and pay them between 2 to 4 thousand dollars has 
created a bomb effect in the region. 
13.  Local Business Boom Due to Incoming 
Milli Gazete: An American delegation, in Mardin 
for the modernization of the Mardin airport, is 
looking for hotels to use during the possible war 
on Iraq. The US delegation is reported to have 
had talks with officials of the historical Erdoba 
houses, Hotel Bilen in Mardin, Nezirhan 
Installations in Nusaybin, and Oztopraklar Hotel 
in Kiziltepe. The delegation also attempted to 
hire idle factories in the Industrial Zone for 
storage purposes. 
14.  Alleged Mistreatment of Anti-war Protestors 
Evrensel: In a press conference held by Adana's 
HRA and Association for Assistance and Solidarity 
with Inmates' and Prisoners' Families it was 
claimed that 38 persons were imprisoned in Adana 
and Ceyhan, and that the inmates were subjected 
to various pressure at the E-type prison in 
Adana. Wardens wanted to cut inmates' hair and 
mustaches and anyone opposed was attacked and 
beaten on the soles of their feet by wardens. The 
press announcement called for putting an end to 
torture and hold the perpetrators accountable for 
their actions. 
15. MP Denied Access to Iskenderun Port 
Hurriyet: CHP's Hatay MP, Gokhan Durgun, who 
attempted to conduct an inspection at the 
Iskenderun port where US troops and military 
equipment are deployed was denied access by 
Turkish authorities on the grounds that they 
could not guarantee his physical security. MP 
Durgun said he had wanted to find out if there 
was military combat material at the port as 
reported in the press. 
16. January Exports from GAP Region 
Evrensel: The Southeast Anatolian Exporters Union 
announced that %35 of their exports in January 
were sent to Italy, Saudi Arabia, United States, 
and Germany. Italy imported 5.5 million Dollars 
worth of dried apricots, cotton yarn, synthetic 
yarn, and cotton fabric while Saudi Arabia bought 
5.1 million Dollars worth of synthetic yarn and 
machinery carpets. $4.4 million dollars worth of 
goods were exported to the US, and 4.1 million 
dollars worth to Germany. 


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