Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary,

Published: Mon 14 Apr 2003 02:41 PM
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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