Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary,

Published: Mon 7 Apr 2003 05:07 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 7, 2003
1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for April 7, 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. Milliyet/Bolge/Cumhuriyet: Two Patriot
missile batteries and military vehicles,
including Hummer jeeps, were unloaded at
Iskenderun port and moved to yesterday. It is not
definite yet where the Patriot missiles will be
3. Tercuman/Cumhuriyet: The US troops deployed
at two factories in Mardin's Organized Industrial
Zone have now evacuated the factories. The US
troops left the region in 11 buses and a convoy
of over 150 trucks yesterday. The military jeeps,
vehicles, equipment, and communications gear
leaving Mardin was heading for Iskenderun port.
4. Sabah/Milli Gazete/Turkiye/Cumhuriyet:
Incirlik Air Force Base, which had been quiet for
some time, experienced a very active day
yesterday. Around 100 trucks carrying military
equipment and generators, including Hummer jeeps,
entered the base yesterday evening. Twelve F-16
fighters and six F-15 fighters took off from the
base for an unknown destination early in the
morning, after which bombers, one passenger
aircraft, one tanker plane, and one hospital
plane also took off from the base.
5. Evrensel/Turkiye: As a result of the
explosion of a land mine the previous night in
Esenyamac village of Baskale (Van) right on the
Turkish-Iranian border, two villagers were
killed. It is reported that the land mine victims
were engaged in fuel-smuggling.
6. Milliyet: PKK/KADEK, which declared a
unilateral cease fire after its leader Abdullah
Ocalan was arrested in 1999, and had pulled the
majority of its militants into camps in northern
Iraq, has been using the war situation for its
propaganda in a region populated by the
international press. A Reuters reporter visiting
a PKK camp yesterday transmitted photographs of
female militants, and heard PKK demands for
political and cultural rights.
7. Evrensel: Although the Turkish Supreme Court
had lifted the ban on naming children in Kurdish,
the Court of First Instance in Ayvalik
(Balikesir) did not honor it. A resident in
Ayvalik, Abdullah Aric, wanted to name his son
(b. May 10, 2002) as "Rojhat." The name means
"New Day" in Kurdish. When he applied on May 13,
2002 to the Population Registry Office in Ayvalik
his request was refused. After struggling for
three months, the father managed to have his son
registered as "Rojhat." In the meantime, the
Population Registry Office sued the father on the
grounds that the name "Rojhat" was "not in
conformity with Turkish names and traditions."
The suit sought that the baby's name should be
annulled, per article 16/4 of the Population Law,
which mandates that "names that hurt public
opinion and are not in compliance with national
culture, moral values and regulations cannot be
given." The court decided to erase the name
"Rojhat" from the registry on March 27, 2003.
8. Bolge: Around 300 members of Anti-War
Platform of Adana undertook an anti-war
demonstration at the entrance of Incirlik town
where the military airbase is located. The
demonstrators shouting anti-US and anti-AKP
slogans set fire to an effigy of President Bush
and smashed light bulbs that had been dipped in
blood. Jandarma took stringent security measures
and restricted the protesters' activities to a
nearby vacant lot. The demonstrators carried
banners with slogans such as "Close Incirlik
Airbase," "Murderer USA, Collaborator AKP," "No
to imperialist occupation," "Don't be silent;
scream and stop the War," "Do not barricade
people, but rather the USA," and "AKP's bulb is
dipped in blood."
9. Turkiye: In Hakkari, where there is a
shortage of doctors, inhabitants are taking their
patients to other provinces for treatment.
Hakkari Governor, Erdogan Gurbuz, he could not
understand why doctors did not come Hakkari to
work. Governor Gurbuz announced that he and the
security force members were serving in the region
happily, that there were no security problems,
and that he could provide fully equipped lodging
facilities for 500 doctors.
10. Dunya: The President of Chamber of Industry
of Gaziantep, Nejat Kocer, said investment has
halted in many regions, but that Gaziantep city
deserved praise for its creating new job and
investment opportunities. Kocer added that banks
had reduced their loan capacities because of the
economic crisis continuing for two years now,
causing some Gaziantep companies to resort to
importing raw material, machinery, and spare
parts with loans obtained abroad.
11. Evrensel: Van Province's Drivers and
Automobile Owners Association President, Sefik
Alpaslan, claimed that the Turkish Ministry of
Industry and Commerce's decision to not include
diesel in the list of items within the framework
of border trade would cause 120,000 people to
face starvation. Aplaslan said 2,720 trucks in
Van would become idle due to the decision by the
ministry, and estimated that an annual figure of
USD 4 million was generated from the diesel trade
between 1987 and 2000.
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