|03ANKARA5144||2003-08-13 09:06:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Ankara|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 005144
1. (U) Classified by Charge d'Affaires a.i. Robert Deutsch.
Reasons 1.5 (b) and (d).
2. (U) Action request at paragraph 7.
3. (C) Following the conclusion of the "Statement of Intent
between the United States Department of Defense and the
Turkish General Staff for Defense Space Cooperation" in July
2002, the GOT continues to stress strong interest in
concluding a memorandum of understanding that will establish
the specific framework for space cooperation between the USG
and the GOT. Representatives from the Pol-Mil Affairs
section, the Defense Attache Office, and the Office of
Defense Cooperation recently met with Colonel Yavuz Goker,
Chief of the Aerospace Branch of the Turkish Air Force
(TUAF), to discuss this issue.
4. (C) Goker reported that the GOT had expected a draft MOU
from the USG by the end of 2002, and the MOU to be concluded
by May 2003. The delay in moving forward on this issue has
caused a great deal of frustration within the TUAF, according
to Goker. The former TUAF Commander, Cumhur Asparuk, was the
signature authority for the GOT for the MOU, but his
authority has expired due to his recent retirement. The GOT
must now go through another lengthy internal process to
designate a new officer with signature authority. At the same
time, Goker stressed that the GOT is ready to look elsewhere
for assistance with its space program (Russia, China, or the
United Kingdom are possibilities) if an MOU is not concluded
soon with the USG.
5. (C) Goker also gave an overview of the GOT's current space
activities and plans for the future. He noted that Turkey
will embark on a program to develop a reconnaissance
satellite in 2005, and that the GOT is currently assessing
the extent to which foreign assistance will be required to
complete this project. He also said that Turkey would like to
send a Turkish astronaut on one of NASA's space missions.
Obtaining the funds to support a robust space program will
not be difficult once the GOT reaches a cooperative agreement
with a specific country, according to Goker.
6. (C) The training of personnel for the Turkish space
program is a priority of the TUAF. Goker said that Turkey has
divided its training requirements into a beginner course, a
project officer course, and an engineering-level course. The
TUAF has budgeted $200,000 for a beginner's course that is
currently being taught by Stanford University and is
budgeting $200,000 for the same type of course in 2004. The
TUAF is also waiting on an official confirmation from the Air
Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) for inclusion of two
Turkish officers in the 2004 Operations Space Prerequisite
Training (OSPT) course, and for five slots for Turkish
officers in the same course annually, beginning with the 2005
iteration. This should satisfy the project officer course
requirement. In order to provide the engineering-level
training, the Turkish Air Force Academy has created an Air
and Space Technological Institute (HUTEN). Ten Turkish
students will begin the HUTEN program in the fall of this
year, and the GOT plans to train ten students annually within
7. (C) ACTION REQUEST: U.S.-Turkey space cooperation has been
one of the central issues discussed during recent meetings of
the High Level Defense Group. TGS certainly will raise this
issue when the two countries next meet (tentatively this
November in Washington). Embassy Ankara therefore requests
that Washington provide an update regarding its intention to
conclude an MOU on space cooperation with the GOT.