2003-03-18 15:26:00
Embassy Ankara
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 07 ANKARA 001706 




E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/17/2013


(U) Classified by Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Deutsch for
reasons 1.5 (B) and (D).


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 07 ANKARA 001706




E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/17/2013


(U) Classified by Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Deutsch for
reasons 1.5 (B) and (D).


1. (C) An interagency delegation led by PRM Assistant
Secretary Arthur Dewey discussed a range of Iraq-related

humanitarian planning issues with the GOT, humanitarian
organizations and representatives of the two
Kurdish-administered areas of northern Iraq. Dewey
emphasized the U.S. interest in working through UN agencies
in providing relief, and sought Turkish cooperation in
allowing transit of humanitarian relief to Iraq. He also
maintained that any role for the Turkish Red Crescent (TRC)
in northern Iraq would have to be coordinated with the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and with the
UN. Dewey proposed to MFA a tripartite, civilian mechanism
with representatives of the GOT, UN, USG and possibly other
humanitarian organizations and donors to coordinate aid
through Turkey. MFA responded favorably to the proposal, but
advised that it would need to consult with other agencies
before providing an authoritative response. MFA also agreed
that ICRC and UN agencies would have the mandate for relief
in northern Iraq. Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan
Democratic Party and UNICEF representatives emphasized the
hostility of the population in northern Iraq to Turkish
intervention. The International Federation of Red Cross/Red
Crescent Societies representative said he has raised concerns
about the TRC,s planned role in northern Iraq with the TRC
leadership, but fears that the Turkish military may force
TRC,s hand. UN representatives raised a number of concerns,
including anticipated delays in restarting the Oil for Food
Program after the onset of a conflict. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Assistant Secretary for Population, Migration and

Refugees Arthur Dewey, accompanied by Lawrence Bartlett,
Deputy Director, PRM/ANE; Dr. Joseph Collins, Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense; William Garvelink, USAID
Deputy Assistant Administrator; Richard Owens, Deputy
Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance, Defense Department
Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance; and
David Tarantino, Office of the Secretary of Defense;
discussed contingency planning and humanitarian assistance
issues in Ankara March 12 and 13. Military Coordination and
Liaison Command (MCLC) Commanding General Peter Osman joined
in the delegation,s meetings with the GOT. The group met
with a GOT interagency group led by the Deputy Undersecretary
of Foreign Affairs Nabi Sensoy; Major General Suphi Acar,
Turkish General Staff, J-5; UN agency representatives in a
meeting led by Resident Coordinator Alfredo Witschi-Cestari;
and Turkish Red Crescent President Ertan Gonen. A/S Dewey
also met with Carl Naucler, Head of Delegation, International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC);
Safeen Dizayee, Ankara Representative, Kurdistan Democratic
Party (KDP),and Bahros Galali, Ankara Representative,
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK); and Jean-Marie Fakhouri,
UNHCR Regional Coordinator for the Iraq Situation, Amin Awad,
UNHCR Deputy Regional Coordinator for the Iraq Situation, and
Gesche Karrenbrock, UNHCR Turkey Representative on March 13.

GOT Interagency Meeting

3. (SBU) The U.S. delegation held a wide-ranging discussion
on assistance issues with an interagency group chaired by
Deputy Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Nabi Sensoy. The
Turkish side included representatives of the Prime
Ministry,s Emergency Management General Directorate, TGS,
and Customs, but only MFA officials addressed our delegation.

4. (SBU) Outlining USG priorities in humanitarian assistance
for Iraq and its neighbors, A/S Dewey stated that the U.S.
sought to share the costs of providing aid with other donors,
primarily through the UN system. He noted that the UN
Regional Humanitarian Coordination Office in Cyprus, which he
had just visited, is now in place, and that the USG sought to
create the conditions which would allow a swift return of UN
personnel to Iraq after the potential conflict is over.
Dewey maintained that the World Food Program (WFP) would be
critical in restarting the Oil for Food (OFF) Program, which
would likely be disrupted with the onset of hostilities. The
key problem now is funding the relief effort. He noted that
solving the food issue and ensuring that the Iraqis feel
secure that relief will come to them timely is essential to
preventing mass population movements.

5. (SBU) Coordination Mechanism: Dewey also noted that the
U.S. ) Kuwaiti Humanitarian Operations Center (HOC) had been
activated and would help the humanitarian effort, but that a
different mechanism should be adopted in Turkey. He
suggested a civilian, trilateral mechanism with the GOT, UN
agencies and USG as the key participants, but which could
include other relevant humanitarian organizations and donors.
Dewey suggested that the group meet at the policy level in
Ankara, and that subgroups working on more operational issues
meet in Diyarbakir and perhaps Silopi. Sensoy responded that
the GOT would consider the issue and respond to us quickly.
Note: MFA officials subsequently told us that they accepted
this proposal, but needed to consult within the GOT before
providing us with a definitive response. End Note.

6. (C) Sensoy noted that, following the March 1 vote on
deployment of U.S. troops, Turkey,s role in the Iraq crisis
was not clear, but he assured us that regardless of whether
Turkey is a member of the military coalition or not, the GOT
would like to cooperate on humanitarian issues. He also
provided an overview of humanitarian logistics and routes,
and passed us list of storage facilities, ports, airports,
and roads designated for HA (septel).

7. (C) Turkish Plans for Camps in Northern Iraq: Recalling
Turkey,s refugee debacle in 1991, Sensoy maintained that the
GOT was determined to prevent a recurrence. He noted the
geographic limitation to Turkey's accession to the Geneva
Refugee Convention, and said the Turks expect third countries
to resettle refugees/asylum-seekers entering Turkey from
Iraq. MFA confirmed the GOT intends to set up 12 camps
(Humanitarian Assistance Collection Zones ) HACZs) inside
Iraq, and six additional camps in Turkey as a last resort.
In response to a question from the U.S. delegation, Sensoy
stated that the 12 camps in Iraq would be located 45 to 50
kilometers away from the Turkish border, unless Turkey is not
part of the military coalition. In that case, the camps
would be located in the immediate vicinity of the border.

8. (C) Sensoy said the GOT plans to assist up to 138,000 to
170,000 displaced persons (DPs). This will utilize about 60
percent of the Turk Red Crescent (TRC) resources. TRC will
hold back other 40 percent for domestic natural disaster
contingencies. TRC may dip into these stocks if it receives
guarantees of replenishment from IFRC or another source.
Note: The GOT has said it is planning the capacity to
provide for 276,000 DPs. Sensoy,s figure of 170,000, which
is just over 60 percent of 276,000, probably corresponds to
TRC,s need to reserve 40 percent of capacity. End Note.

9. (SBU) NGO Access: NGOs seeking to assist in the HACZs
must apply to MFA and sign an MOU defining their activities
with the GOT. Sensoy emphasized that MFA would be
&selective8 with respect to security concerns in vetting
NGOs. NGOs intending to cross the frontier to provide goods
and assistance in Iraq beyond Turkey,s camps must apply to
MFA, but will not need to sign an MOU.

10. (C) Northern Iraq Relief Mandate: Dewey laid down the
marker that the ICRC and UNHCR would have the mandate for
relief activity on the Iraqi side of the border, and that any
TRC assistance would have to proceed in coordination with
those organizations. Sensoy stated that the GOT would
coordinate with ICRC and UNHCR, and that it would only build
camps in northern Iraq if they were needed.

11. (C) HDRs: Turks Propose Local Procurement: Collins
raised longstanding U.S. request to site one million
humanitarian daily rations (HDRs) in Turkey. Sensoy
responded that Turkey had the ability to produce HDRs locally
and that this would likely be more cost-effective. The
Turkish delegation provided a brochure issued by Unifo Food
Industry and Trading Company describing its Meals Ready to
Eat (MREs). He suggested the USG buy Turkish HDRs as part of
the economic compensation package (which he claimed had not
been finalized). Dewey agreed that we would look at this
possibility, but asked for an answer on our HDR request.
Note: MFA subsequently told us orally that they are inclined
to approve siting of HDRs, but that further intra-GOT
consultation was required on this issue before the Turks can
provide a definitive answer. End Note.

12. (SBU) WFP Issues: Dewey raised several potential
problems facing the WFP's plan to supply food via Turkey to
Iraq. He noted that WFP planned to import wheat for milling
in Turkey, and urged that Turkey facilitate this as much as
possible by reducing bureaucratic formalities and by
refraining from collection of customs or other duties. He
also raised a potential problem with truck standards.
Finally, Dewey suggested that it might become useful to
channel WFP supplies through Turkey but using Syrian ports,
and asked the MFA to consider this. Sensoy responded that he
did not foresee customs problems with wheat imports. Turkey
had sufficient trucks meeting Turkish standards to carry out
WFP,s mission. Sensoy added that he would have to look into
the question of shipping through Syrian ports. While Mersin
and Iskenderun ports are now designated for aid use, Sensoy
raised the possibility that WFP activities might have to
shift from either or both ports, if they were needed for
military use, to other facilities, such as Toros (private

Turkish General Staff

13. (C) A/S Dewey, accompanied by MCLC Maj. General Osman,
met with Maj. General Suphi Acar, of the Turkish General
Staff J5. Acar seemed reluctant to discuss humanitarian
planning and Turkish intentions in northern Iraq, and a
junior MFA representative who was present in the meeting
repeatedly took the initiative in responding to the U.S.
delegation. Acar stated that the Turkish army did not plan
to go &too deep8 into Iraq, but that its role would be
limited to protecting the Turcoman and fighting terrorists.
He added that TGS would like to coordinate with the USG on
humanitarian assistance and more generally on its presence in
northern Iraq. A/S Dewey emphasized that the USG will
coordinate its humanitarian assistance through the UN
agencies and ICRC.

Turkish Red Crescent (TRC)

14. (SBU) TRC President Ertan Gonen told A/S Dewey that his
organization was capable of providing blankets, heating, food
and hygiene kits for 100,000 DPs. He explained that, if all
TRC resources were deployed, the organization could handle
276,000 DPs, but that TRC needed to keep a portion of its
resources in reserve for domestic contingencies. Gonen
acknowledged ICRC,s mandate to provide aid in conflict
zones, and said that if ICRC lacked resources, TRC stood
ready to assist. He maintained that security (e.g.
terrorism) was Turkey,s greatest concern in connection with
any DP crisis, based on the experience of 1991. Gonen also
said that a protocol with UN agencies might be signed March

14. Note: The protocol has not yet been signed. End Note.
Gonen told A/S Dewey that TRC enjoyed close cooperation with
the American Red Cross, and that U.S. NGO Americare had
visited TRC recently.

Update on UN Agencies, Contingency Planning

15. (U) The U.S. delegation met over lunch with members of UN
Turkey,s country team, led by Resident Coordinator Alfredo
Witschi-Cestari. Andre LaPerriere, UNICEF Northern Iraq
Erbil Office Coordinator, Jean-Marie Fakhouri, UNHCR Regional
Coordinator for the Iraq Situation, and Amin Awad, UNHCR
Deputy Regional Coordinator for the Iraq Situation, also

16. (SBU) Coordination: Witschi-Cestari told the delegation
that the UN is concerned about security, and that it asked
U.S. military not to site its offices (possible Humanitarian
Assistance Coordination Center ) HACC) in Dyarbakir in the
same building now housing UN emergency offices. Dewey
described his proposal to set up a civilian coordination
mechanism including the GOT, UN agencies and the USG.

17. (SBU) UNICEF on Northern Iraq: LaPerriere said that
UNICEF had developed a plan for northern Iraq that sought to
make each of the three governorates self-sustaining in the
event of a disruption in the supply chain. He noted that the
Syrian route may be a problem as the GOS has been insisting
on a fee of USD 400 per truck for transit. In northern Iraq,
there are five sites for prepositioned supplies (medicine,
blankets, winter clothes, water purification equipment).
LaPerriere said that the estimated displacement in the north
was likely to amount to about 250,000 persons, with the
greatest problems in Zakho and Mosul. He estimated that
about 40 percent of these DPs could be absorbed by local
families. Shelter, fuel, and water are now the chief
concerns, though the Iranians may be able to supply some
fuel. UNICEF said that each governorate in N. Iraq has an
emergency committee and they have worked with UNICEF to train
people for emergency response.

18. (C) LaPerriere emphasized Kurdish hostility to Turkish
intervention in the region, opining that the Kurds in
northern Iraq would prefer to be subject to the Baghdad
regime than to the Turks. He stated the Turks are in fact
building some camps in northern Iraq, and that some appeared
to be completed, but UN staff were denied access to them.
(See also septel on USAID/DART meeting with LaPerriere.)

19. (SBU) World Food Program Issues in Turkey: WFP Emergency
Coordinator John Murray stated that WFP's registration in
Turkey lapsed in the 1990,s and that WFP was experiencing
significant delays in its attempt to reregister. However,
WFP has been able to operate effectively in Turkey under UNDP
cover. Murray said that WFP planned to import wheat flour,
rather than wheat, in the first two months following
disruption of the OFF Program. WFP inquired with the Turkish
Grain Board about procuring wheat locally, but it has not
received a response from the agency. Murray said that there
may be tax consequences for WFP if it mills wheat in Turkey.
He also noted the intermittent closure of the Turkish-Iraqi
border to WFP trucks, and said that only 28 of its 41 trucks
had made it across.

20. (SBU) Kirkuk/Mosul: In a follow up meeting on March 13,
Jean-Marie Fakhouri, UNHCR Regional Coordinator for the Iraq
Situation, Amin Awad, UNHCR Deputy Regional Coordinator for
the Iraq Situation, told A/S Dewey that the return of
primarily Kurdish displaced persons to Kirkuk and Mosul could
spark conflict. Fakhouri said that available information
indicated that some 100,000 to 200,000 DPs have made
preparations and are poised to move quickly. He asked the
USG to provide advance warning of those movements if at all

21. (C) UN Responsibilities in Iraq: On the UN plan to give
the UN Office of Project Services (UN OPS) protection
responsibilities for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in
northern Iraq and IOM responsibility for the center and
south, Fakhouri expressed some skepticism that these agencies
were prepared for these duties. (In his meeting with the
previous day, Witschi-Cestari shared the same concerns about
IOM and UN Habitat. Habitat would have responsibility to
provide some shelter for IDPs. Neither UN OPS nor UN Habitat
has extensive experience as an emergency responder. IOM has
no international staff inside Iraq, and will have to rely on
local agents to implement their mandate to protect IDPs.)
Fakhouri said that UNHCR has been focused on its mission to
provide assistance and protection in neighboring countries
and along Iraq,s borders to refugees and displaced persons,
but it is not well prepared to deal with DPs in Iraq and
would prefer to work through the ICRC there. Nonetheless, he
noted that the Secretary General may task UNHCR to redirect
its aid from the borders to IDPs within Iraq. Fakhouri also
expressed concern about restarting the OFF Program during and
after the conflict, noting that it would take about 8 weeks
for the UN WFP to take over the program from the GOI. WFP,s
planned 120,000 tons per month of food rations are a fraction
of the current 500,000 tons imported and not all households
have laid aside food reserves. Food shortages are possible
before the OFF is fully operational again. Fakhouri pointed
to the potential for terrorist activity in Kuwait, which
could launch an unexpected movement of persons within Kuwait
and from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia.

IFRC on Turkish Red Crescent, ICRC Relations with the GOT
-------------- --------------

22. (SBU) A/S Dewey met with Carl Naucler, Head of
Delegation, International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies (IFRC),on March 13 to discuss TRC,s role
in providing humanitarian assistance in northern Iraq, and
the International Committee of the Red Cross, (ICRC,)
relations with the GOT. Naucler told us that IFRC had
pressed TRC President Gonen not to cross into northern Iraq
to provide aid in violation of the rules and principles of
the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement, but opined that TRC
could be &pushed8 into northern Iraq by the GOT.

23. (SBU) Naucler said the ICRC had sent a letter to TRC
explaining that a TRC presence in Iraq would be fully legal
only under the following circumstances: as a uniformed
auxiliary to the Turkish armed forces responsible only for
medical support; with the consent of the Iraqi Red Crescent
(which he noted is completely hostile to a TRC presence in
Iraq); or in coordination with the ICRC. The letter reminded
TRC that, even with ICRC permission, TRC would merely have
the status of a &Participating National Society8 and could
be one of several national societies authorized to provide
relief. According to Naucler, TRC,s written reply
acknowledged the requirement to coordinate with the ICRC, but
said it would do so when IFRC provided logistical support,
implying that TRC did not fully understand or accept ICRC,s
lead role. Naucler has suggested to Gonen that he get in
touch with ICRC to discuss TRC,s possible role in providing

24. (SBU) Naucler told Dewey that IFRC would not support TRC
activities in northern Iraq unless it obtains a clear mandate
to operate there, although he hinted that IFRC could show
flexibility if TRC operated close to the frontier and if the
circumstances (difficult terrain, lack of alternatives)
required TRC to respond on Iraqi rather than Turkish
territory. He said IFRC would primarily have a
monitoring/reporting role for other donors with respect to
TRC, and might also deploy several media and logistical

25. (SBU) ICRC Status: Naucler told us that the GOT agreed
to ICRC,s request to open a temporary office in Turkey, but
imposed a number of conditions that would make it impossible
for ICRC to fulfill its mandate. He said that ICRC would
post someone to Turkey during a possible conflict in Iraq,
with or without formal status from the GOT.

26. (SBU) TRC Preparedness: According to Naucler, TRC staff
are prepared and well-trained to cope with disasters, but he
fears that they are susceptible to Turkish military
interference. He said TRC has not moved supplies into
northern Iraq, but has stockpiled goods in Silopi.
Naucler,s deputy, who is in Silopi, reported that some of
the camp locations on Turkish territory are now under two
meters of snow and are not suitable locations.

27. (SBU) IFRC also criticized the TRC,s/GOT,s
uncoordinated appeal for relief supplies. Naucler noted that
the Turks had requested tents from NATO to shelter 276,000
persons, and had also requested supplies from other donors

KDP/PUK on Possible Turkish Military Intervention, Appeal for
Humanitarian Supplies

28. (C) Safeen Diyazee, Ankara Representative, Kurdistan
Democratic Party, and Bahros Galali, Ankara Representative,
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, expressed concern about
possible Turkish intervention in northern Iraq and outlined
their humanitarian contingency planning. Galali noted that
the Turks cite Kurdish designs on Kirkuk and Mosul as a
rationale for Turkish military intervention. However, he
emphasized that some 250,000 displaced Kurds are only seeking
return to their homes, that the KDP and PUK do not oppose the
return of Iraqis of Arab, Turkmen and other ethnic origin to
their homes in Kirkuk and Mosul, and that the oil resources
of this region belong to all the people of Iraq. Diyazee
told Dewey that the Turks were using humanitarian concern as
a pretext for intervention, and that there would be no wave
of displaced persons from the PUK and KDP regions. He added
that Turkish intervention was an unnecessary distraction from
the war against Baghdad. Based on their contacts with senior
Iraqi military officers, Dizayee does believe the Iraqi army
would destroy the oilfields in Kirkuk and Mosul.

29. (SBU) Dizayee said that the KDP had developed extensive
contingency plans for humanitarian assistance and that these
had been shared with USAID and the Humanitarian Planning
Team, but emphasized that resources were urgently needed.
KDP has identified potential camp locations for displaced
persons from central Iraq as well as for Iraqi POWs and
defectors. Dizayee pointed out that Baghdad has blocked some
supplies (particularly food and fuel) for northern Iraq under
the OFF Program, and that the north has thus not been able to
build stocks in preparation for a possible conflict. He
added that non-emergency medical treatment was being deferred
to conserve medicine. Dizayee stated that Peace Wind, a
Japanese NGO, had pledged USD 2.6 million in assistance in
the event of a crisis. He said KDP had provided an inventory
of needed relief materials to USAID and said he expected help
in filling those gaps.


30. (C) Embassy will follow up with MFA and resident UN
agencies to secure agreement to the proposed humanitarian
coordination mechanism and to storing HDRs in Turkey, but the
GOT may not formally respond and go on a crisis footing until
and unless hostilities in Iraq begin. Fakhouri,s comment
that delays in restarting the OFF under WFP management could
leave the Iraqi population short of food is worrisome and we
would encourage Washington agencies to address the issue on
an urgent basis.