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2004-09-29 14:38:00
Embassy Ankara
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						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 005587 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2029


Classified By: Ambassador Eric Edelman, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 005587



E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2029


Classified By: Ambassador Eric Edelman, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (S) Summary: In a wide-ranging discussion on the
U.S.-Turkish security cooperation relationship during their
September 22 meeting, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
(DASD) Ian Brzezinski and Deputy Chief of Turkish General
Staff (DCHOD) Ilken Basbug agreed on the need to elevate the
level of our bilateral dialogue and to move beyond recent
strains over Iraq to strengthen our traditionally close
relationship. DCHOD Basbug confirmed Turkey's acceptance of
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) VII command
responsibilities in Afghanistan and expressed a open mind
regarding the potential unification of Operation Enduring
Freedom (OEF) and ISAF. Basbug registered the GoT's
unhappiness with U.S. handling of recent U.S. military action
in Talafar, Iraq and raised concern over a perceived Kurdish
effort to change the demographics of Kirkuk. Regarding the
U.S. request to establish a Cargo Hub at Incirlik Air Base,
Basbug said that TGS had submitted its response to the
government and was awaiting an answer. He also noted that
TGS was ready to discuss the U.S. proposal for weapons
deployment training. Basbug complained that USG restrictions
on the transfer of military technology hampered military
purchases and said that the tenders for attack helicopters,
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and main battle tanks, which
were canceled in May, would be re-issued. End Summary.

2. (U) Additional participants in the meeting included
Ambassador Eric Edelman, Chief of the Office of Defense
Cooperation MG Peter Sutton, OSD Turkey Desk Officer Lisa
Heald, Embassy Deputy Pol-Mil Counselor Maggie Nardi, Turkish
J-5 Strategy Division Chief, MG Cengiz Arslan.



3. (C) DCHOD Basbug shared DASD Brzezinski's view that our
two countries should elevate the level of our bilateral
dialogue beyond discussions of day-to-day issues, to develop
a strategic partnership on issues of mutual importance based
on our shared values and goals. He added that Turkey was
open to re-negotiation of the DECA if the U.S. desired, but
had no specific interest in doing so. DASD responded that
DECA reform wasn't needed as much as stimulating U.S. and
Turkish companies to get together. The U.S. had facilitated
the EXIM Bank and IMF loans and reinvigorated the Defense
Industry Cooperation (DIC) process. The American Turkish
Council (ATC)-sponsored conference on September 28-29 was
also a good step in the right direction.

4. (C) Noting that it took five years to negotiate one side
letter to the DECA, DASD stated that one should define what
objectives were to be served before beginning negotiations on
the DECA. He added that U.S.-Turkish cooperation extended
beyond the confines of DECA and NATO and that previous
dialogue on a DECA had been unproductive and divisive. It
would be best to avoid this issue if we can move forward on
other issues. This could include joint exercises and
training, Turkish efforts within the Middle East Peace
Process (MEPP) and a GoT response to the U.S. request to
establish a Cargo Hub at Incirlik and to the question raised
by PM Assistant Secretary Lincoln Bloomfield and Hoehn in
June (Note: Whether the GoT would consider a request to
permanently station 48 F-16s at Incirlik. End Note) would
expand our ties and comprise a partnership. Basbug confirmed
his agreement.


5. (S) DCHOD Basbug noted two outstanding U.S. requests that
required a GoT response. He said TGS had submitted its
response to the government on the Cargo Hub request and was
awaiting an answer. On Weapons Training Deployment, Basbug
said that TGS was ready to begin talks at U.S. convenience.
Despite a prompting, Basbug did not comment on the
Bloomfield/Hoehn question whether Turkey would consider a
proposal to permanently base F-16s at Incirlik if such a
request was to be made.


6. (C) Basbug confirmed GoT plans to assume command of ISAF
VII in February 2005. He emphasized that Turkey would not be
able to stay beyond August, when its six month commitment
would end. In response to a question on Turkey's view of the
potential for unifying OEF and ISAF, Basbug claimed no
particular position. In his view the question was command of
the unified structure. He wondered if NATO would have the
resources or interest to take on this responsibility. DASD
inquired how Turkey would adjust its Rules of Engagement for
the ISAF VII command, noting Turkish caveats on the use of
force outside of Turkey's AoR and prohibitions against
engaging in crowd control. Basbug recognized this issue and
agreed that Turkey's constraints needed to be considered.


7. (C) Basbug stated that, as a neighboring country and a
U.S. ally, Turkey wanted the coalition effort to be
successful, but added that both U.S. interventions in Iraq
had had a devastating impact on Turkey. He raised a host of
issues on Iraq:

8. (S) Talafar: Basbug complained that the Turkish LNO chief
assigned to Mosul had been unable to tour Talafar until
September 9 or 10, after the operation had ended. Up until
that time, TGS was unaware of the action taking place and
unable to make an adequate assessment of the situation. Even
now, he said, he still didn't know the true number of
casualties. In Basbug's opinion, while the military didn't
question the operation, the U.S. handling of it created
negative feelings within the Turkish military, which was
working hard not to let the situation affect our bilateral
relationship. The Military had to take into account public
sensitivities to the concerns of Turkmen, who comprised 80-90
pct. of the Talafar population. Basbug expressed discomfort
with the misstatements in the press that implied Turkish
awareness of the operation before it took place and therefore
Turkish participation in the action. Ambassador Edelman
reminded Basbug of the Embassy's actions to correct the press
reporting and enumerated the steps taken by the Embassy to
advise the USG at every level of the GoT's concerns, and to
provide the GoT with up-to-date information, including
satellite imagery. DASD Brzezinski said that GoT concerns
about the Turkmen population were foremost on the USG mind
and that particular care was taken during the operation. He
underscored that GoT statements about the indiscriminate use
of force were unhelpful and that inaccurate GoT statements to
the press only fueled public outrage.

9. (S) Kirkuk: Basbug called Kirkuk the real issue in
northern Iraq. He characterized Kirkuk as very volatile, "an
explosive bomb" with the potential to become the Kosovo of
Iraq. Basbug underlined that the "special status" of Kirkuk
should be maintained and noted that contradictions in the
Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) confused the situation.
While the TAL linked Kirkuk to the central government, one
particular article calls for a decision on Kirkuk's status to
be made in the future while another said the current status
should be maintained. Noting the census scheduled to be
conducted in November, Basbug suggested that Kurds were
making a concerted effort to shift the demographics of Kirkuk
back to its pre-Saddam status, before Arabs were forcibly
moved into the city and Kurds expelled. According to Basbug,
around 2,000 Kurdish families were forced to leave Kirkuk in
the late 1950's, but recently 14,000 Kurdish families have
moved in, suggesting this was an attempt to register an
increased Kurkish population in the census. At the same
time, the cancellation of the property rights law meant that
anyone with Iraqi citizenship could make a property claim,
which would facilitate the perceived Kurdish resettlement
effort. At the same time, he claimed that almost 50 thousand
Arabs have left Kirkuk since spring 2004. Basbug recommended
following the last census taken in using the demographic
numbers contained in the last census taken in 1957. He
warned that anything serious that transpired in Kirkuk would
impact the rest of the country and that the U.S. was the only
country that could keep an eye on the situation.

10. (S) Turkish Truck Drivers: According to TGS accounts, 80
Turks have been kidnapped, of which 29 had lost their lives.
Turkey had the highest number of citizens abducted. He
asserted that he did not want the information to become
public as it would have a devastating impact. He urged
special measures to protect drivers traveling south from
Mosul. Ambassador outlined USG proposed measures for
increased contact between the Interim Iraqi Government (IIG),
the Iraqi military, U.S. military and private companies.

11. (C) Iraqi National Army: Basbug said that, according to
TGS information, 35-40 pct. of the INA is comprised of Kurds.
The entire population should be proportionally represented.
An imbalance today could create problems for tomorrow.

12. (S) Iranian Activity: Basbug said he was unsure about
the level of Iranian activity in Iraq. He had read that a
150-person VIP assassination team may have official Iranian
backing, and thought that individual Iranians could be among
the insurgents. In response to DASD's question regarding
Turkish pressure to discourage Iran from engaging in Iraq,
Basbug was ambiguous.


13. (C) Basbug expressed frustration with the restrictions on
the transfer of U.S. technology. Limitations on the use of
such technology after a project was completed often denies
Turkey full potential benefit out of its investment. Basbug
added that, despite repeated requests, U.S. companies have
not provided line item costs for technology inputs, making it
difficult for TGS to make the necessary cost/benefit
comparison. Turning to the canceled attack helicopter
tender, Basbug noted the Turkish request for mission computer
source codes. He questioned the value of having the source
codes if they could not be incorporated into new products.
Turkey would like to build onto U.S. technology in order to
advance other projects. Basbug said Turkish needs for the
attack helicopters, as well as the main battle tanks and UAVs
remained and that a new tender, with different terms, would
be issued, possibly this year. He was unsure whether U.S.
companies would participate given the certification and
guarantee requirements that will be requested. DASD stated
that the cancellation of the three contracts in May was
frustrating. If Turkey had engaged in more consultation with
the U.S. the process may not have been so drawn out or the
cancellation such a surprise.

14. (U) This cable was cleared by Deputy Assistant Secretary
of Defense Ian Brzezinski.