Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary

Published: Thu 12 Jun 2003 11:46 AM
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
JUNE 11, 2003
1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary
for June 11, 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. Turkiye: The Security Director of Mersin,
Suleyman Ekizer, said at a press conference that
there had been a nineteen percent decrease in
theft cases and a twenty percent decrease in
pick-pocketing over the past five months. Ekizer
said four kilos of hash and sixty-four kilos of
heroin were seized during the same period. The
security director stated that fifteen gang
members were arrested and ordered held by the
court. Ekizer also mentioned that twenty-three of
one hundred and one PKK members arrested were
imprisoned. He said the court ordered twenty-one
of thirty-four arrested Hizbollah members to be
held, and one DHKP-C militants.
3. Turkiye: Based on a tip, the teams from Anti-
Smuggling and Organized Crimes Department of
Tarsus Security Directorate, found three and a
half kilos of hash and two hundred roots of hemp
during their searches at a house in Tarsus. The
hemp roots were rooted out and burnt while M. E.,
the owner, was arrested. Police have begun an
4. Evrensel: Around three thousand people, who
were forced to evacuate their villages in various
parts of Southeast about eight years ago, have
been working as seasonal farm-workers near Adana.
The villagers said they were evicted from their
villages because they refused to become village
guards, and expressed that they wanted to return.
It is reported that only ten children are
attending school because they do not have any
schools where they are living.
5. Evrensel: A Kurd has been selected as the
Governor of Kirkuk. Star Newspaper in Turkey used
the heading "KerKurt Governor" when it reported
the result of the election in Kirkuk.
(Interpreter's note: In Kurdish Ker means donkey,
thus, "KerKurt" Governor means "Governor for
Donkey-Kurds") Haber-Sen Union's Executive Board
condemned and protested the Star paper. A
campaign has been launched in Caldiran for people
not to buy the paper.
6. Hurriyet/Turkiye: Yildirim Arikan, Mayor of
Yuregir district of Adana, transferred to the
Republican Peoples Party (CHP). Arikan was
elected to the office on the ticket of Former
Prime Minister Ecevit's DSP, Democratic Leftist
Party, and had joined the New Party of Turkey
prior the General Election in November 2002.
7. Hurriyet: The merchants in Incirlik are very
anxious because of the rumors that the US will
close down its airbase in Incirlik. Around five
hundred shopkeepers, mainly gift shops, jewelers,
and bars and restaurants suffered an economic
crises when one thousand four hundred US troops
left the base following the operation in Iraq.
Currently, around four thousand Americans are
staying at the base. The President of Incirlik
Merchants' Solidarity Association, Mujdat
Akcinar, said around five thousand people were
employed on the base and in the district, and
closing down of the base would leave twenty
thousand people hungry and cause an annual loss
of six hundred million USD. Akcinar urged the
government not to remain indifferent to closing
down of the airbase.
8. Milliyet/Hurriyet/Bolge: Mehmet Agar, the
National Chair of DYP, Right Path Party, visited
Adana for two days and met with farmers at
Yuregir Chamber of Agriculture. Agar paid visits
to chambers of commerce, industry, and commodity
exchange, and he expressed that his party favored
the liberal market policy that opened the path
for the private sector and entrepreneurs. Agar
added that the bureaucrats should not see the
private sector as rivals, and that his party was
working on a new program and charter, and claimed
that his party would come to power after the
first general election.
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