WikiLeaks: 2003-04-14: 03ADANA105: Southeast Turkey Press Summary
Viewing cable 03ADANA105, SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY,
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ADANA 0105 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM TU IZ ADANA SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY, APRIL 14, 2003 ¶1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for April 14, 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. POLITICAL, SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS ¶2. Evrensel/Bolge: The US and its collaborators were condemned at a "Today Iraq, Tomorrow Turkey" protest meeting in Adana yesterday. Carrying banners and shouting slogans, approximately one thousand people gathered at Railway Station Square. The head of the organizing committee -- an employee of Radio Arkadas, Mehmet Eraslan -- called out to everybody to resist against oppression. He added that everybody was watching the occupation from live TV programs and the whole world saw Bush's and the US's true face. Journalists, such as Abdurrahman Dilipak and Sanar Yurdatapan, and the President of the International Assistance Foundation, Bulent Yildirim, also participated. ¶3. Sabah/Hurriyet: Ankara was comforted as diplomatic and military sources in Iraq reported that there were no systematic attacks against Turkomen in Kirkuk. The reports by Turkish liaison officers verified that there had been some individual attacks but attributed that to the prevailing disorder in the country. The Turkish officers talking to locals in Kirkuk and Mosul reported that most of the property-deed records were intact, as only some had been damaged due to looting. The report emphasized that the majority of the peshmergas in Kirkuk had pulled out but some had stayed in town under the US forces' control to provide security. The PUK officials ensured they would withdraw the rest of their forces as more US units arrived in the town. On the other hand, an armed attack killing one child and wounding four adults was launched yesterday evening at the Turkomen Front in Kirkuk, which blamed PUK peshmergas for it. ¶4. Sabah/Dunya: While the PUK leader, Celal Talabani, warned neighboring countries not to intervene in their domestic affairs, the KDP leader, Barzani, demanded that Turkey should give up claims to ownership of the oil fields. It is reported by IRNA (Iranian News Agency) that at a Kirkuk meeting the previous day -- attended by Kurdish, Arab, Turkomen, and Assyrian representatives - Talabani said all these communities lived in Kirkuk in a peaceful atmosphere. Barzani stated that KDP respected all the accords signed with the coalition forces and the Iraqi Opposition. ¶5. Evrensel: The body of Murat Ekinci, 22, who was doing his military service in the 8th Commando Unit of the 3rd Mountain and Commando Battalion in Semdinli (Hakkari) was returned to his family in Diyarbakir for burial. A military officer calling the Ekinci family on April 10 told them that their son was wounded in an accident but he was in good health. Nevzat Ekinci who called the 8th Commando Unit to find out more about his brother's condition was told by another officer that his brother had passed away because of committing suicide, and expressed his condolences. The military officials told the Ekinci family that the dead body would be flown by helicopter to Diyarbakir the same night, and there was no need for the family to go all the way to Hakkari. The family was told next morning that the corpse had been dispatched by land transport. Nevzat Ekinci said the request for conducting an autopsy on the body was refused by military officials, on the grounds that they already had run the autopsy and the deceased was ready for burial. The family was not allowed to see even the face of the dead body. Nevzat Ekinci said his family demanded legal assistance from HRA's Chapter in Diyarbakir for a determination whether his brother had committed suicide or been murdered. ¶6. Evrensel: In order to investigate an April 5 explosion that killed two persons in Esenyamac (Baskale, Van Province), a delegation made up of lawyers and human rights advocates called on Baskale's Chief Public Prosecutor and Sub- governor yesterday. The delegation will start is investigation in the village today. ¶7. Milliyet/Turkiye: At the Commando Battalion in Palu (Elazig), a commando private who went insane killed two soldiers and wounded two others with whom he had had a quarrel about the duty roster. ¶8. Evrensel: The Adana Cukurova University students who boycotted their classes on March 21 to protest US killing of Iraqi people are being interrogated by the university. Some 40 students have been interrogated by the university administration as of April 4. ECONOMIC AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS ¶9. Turkiye: The EU and Turkey's Merchants and Craftsmen Confederation has started the "Women Entrepreneur Support" project. It is gathered that five centers have been opened nationwide in Ankara, Bursa, Corum, Denizli, and Mersin. The aim of the project -- initiated with EU one million in February 2003 -- is to provide training and consultancy to women and thus support women's' entrepreneurship in the selected towns. The project aims to strengthen women's status in the society and their role in developing investment. ¶10. Turkiye/Bolge: A 90-person Trade Delegation that visited Athens and Thessaloniki announced that their visit was a success, and it is reported that many of them have already made business connections. The President of the Chamber of Industry of Adana, Umit Ozgumus, announced that they achieved their goals with the visit to Greece, during which they had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of Greek companies on a one-to-one basis. Ozgumus said, taking the advantage of proximity, they could easily increase their annual volume of trade with Greece from existing USD 6 million to USD 60 million in a short period of time. HOLTZ