|04ANKARA5784||2004-10-12 04:49:00||SECRET||Embassy Ankara|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 005784
1. (C) Summary: UK FM Straw met with Turkish FM Gul the
morning after the EC issued its Turkey report. Gul said
Turkey is pleased overall with the report but cited some
complaints, including on economic issues. Gul wants PM
Erdogan to write to the EU about them. Gul urged direct
flights to north Cyprus; Straw briefed him on the status of
EU trade and aid proposals for Turkish Cypriots. Gul
stressed the number of Turkish truckers killed or missing in
Iraq, the lack of U.S. action against the PKK, the explosive
situation in Kirkuk, and what he characterized as
disproportionate use of force by U.S. forces. After the
Straw/Gul meeting, FCO PolDir Sawers met with MFA Deputy U/S
Tuygan to discuss Iraq, Iran, and the Caucasus. End Summary.
2. (C) UK FM Straw came to Turkey late October 6 for October
7 meetings with FM Gul, Interior Minister Aksu, and Justice
Minster and government spokesman Cicek. After an hour-long
breakfast with Gul, Straw met with Aksu on bilateral law
enforcement issues. UK Political chief Sharma gave us a
readout of the Gul meeting, which he said had good
3. (C) Straw congratulated Gul for the October 6 EC
Recommendation report on Turkey's EU accession. Turkey had
achieved its objective and gotten a strong positive
recommendation. Straw urged Gul to focus on the positive and
not to worry about the report's comment that the process is
"open-ended," or about the possibility of suspension of
negotiations. Once negotiations start, Turkish and European
publics will forget about the conditions and become
accustomed to the idea of Turkey in the EU, Straw assured
Gul. Straw added that there can be no permanent derogation
on free movement of people, because that would violate a core
EU principle. Straw said he expects negotiations to begin
before the end of the Luxembourg Presidency (i.e., before
4. (C) Gul said Turkey is pleased overall but unhappy about
a few things. Gul read off a list: opening negotiations on
economic chapters when, Gul said, Turkey already has a market
economy; stating that Turkey must fulfill Customs Union
obligations before opening negotiations; the ongoing
screening process; waiting until after 2014 to start the
chapter on financial issues. Gul said Turkey is looking
forward to the European Summit to "correct" these things in
December, and he said he wants PM Erdogan to write to the EU
about them. Turkish UK Ambassador Alptuner added that Turkey
had had too many conditions placed on it.
5. (C) Gul reiterated that Turkey is seeking direct flights
between the UK and north Cyprus; such flights are not
economically feasible from New York but are from the UK.
Straw said he understood the Turkish request but that the UK
wants to proceed carefully in order to avoid provoking the
Greek Cypriots before the December EU Summit decision on
Turkey's EU accession. Straw was more optimistic about
prospects for measures to help Turkish Cypriots after
December. He said that the UK will try to prevent decoupling
of the EU's trade and aid provisions for Turkish Cypriots.
6. (C) Straw briefed Gul on the status of EU trade and aid
proposals for the TCs. Aid has been agreed to in substance
with some conditions (NFI), and will be passed in November.
As a condition of the agreement on aid, trade will be adopted
by a date certain (NFI). Gul appeared reassured. He asked
if aid had been "diluted"; Straw replied the TCs will be
able to participate.
7. (C) Straw told Gul the security situation in Iraq was bad
and had become worse over the past year. Gul claimed 47
Turks had been killed in Iraq and another 60 are unaccounted
for. This is more than the number of UK soldiers killed in
Iraq (11), Gul added. Gul complained that PKK leader Osman
Ocalan is moving about Iraq freely while Turkish truck
drivers are killed. Coalition forces' disproportionate
(according to Gul) use of force is alienating the Iraqi
population. He said the Kurds are taking over Kirkuk and
this could spark conflict.
8. (C) Straw said he had counseled the Kurds to be
restrained and patient during his recent trip to Iraq. Straw
observed the IIG is making a significant contribution to
Iraqi security, including on a political track through
contacts with local leaders. The UK is concerned about
possible flare-ups in Mosul and Fallujah. However, election
preparations are advancing.
Sawer/Tuygan on Iraq
9. (C) After the Straw/Gul meeting, FCO PolDir Sawers met
with MFA Deputy U/S (soon to be U/S) Tuygan for two hours,
mostly on Iraq. In general, Tuygan amplified Gul's points.
On Kirkuk, Sawers noted local leaders' tradition of
co-existence; Tuygan agreed but added pointedly that newcomer
Kurds did not have that tradition.
10. (S) Tuygan echoed Gul's complaints about Osman Ocalan's
apparent ability to move about freely; adding U.S. inaction
is disappointing. He claimed the U.S. and GOT had agreed to
a "roadmap" to either seize senior PKK officials or to engage
in operations and that had not happened. He said 1500 PKK
had crossed from Iraq into Turkey (without mentioning what
time period he was talking about). If there were more
reports of crossings in large numbers, Turkey will have to
take action. Sawers emphasized the need for Turkey to
discuss any such plan with the MNF and IIG beforehand; Tuygan
said Turkey would want to consult. Sawers asked if Turkey
would talk to Osman Ocalan; Tuygan said never.
Sawer/Tuygan on Iran, Caucasus
11. (C) Sawer said the EU-3 initiative is likely coming to
an end: they will give the Iranians a final chance over the
next three weeks and if there is no positive result, go to
the IAEA board for UNSC referral. Sawer doubted the Iranians
would meet EU-3 demands. Tuygan said Iran has a great
ability to absorb punishment but Turkey supports the EU
position on Iran. Tuygan described Turkey's commercial
relations with Iran as "extensive." However, Turkey is
feeling the effect of conservatives' consolidated hold on
Iran, Tuygan said, citing stalled commercial deals.
12. (C) On Georgia, Tuygan worried about Tbilisi's
nationalist rhetoric on South Ossetia and Abkhazia -- and
Turkey, he said, noting a recent Georgian TV program showed
parts of eastern Turkey as formerly included in Georgia.
Turkey will continue to support Georgia and counsel
Saakashvili to exercise caution in dealing with problems, but
will watch Georgia closely. Straw said the UK is telling
Russia a stable Georgia is in Russia's interest; Tuygan said
Russia needs to be engaged.
13. (C) Tuygan said Turkey is in dialogue with Armenia on
bilateral issues and Nagorno-Karabakh. Tuygan said the
Armenians want to "decouple" these issues but Turkey will not
open the border without concessions on NK.
14. (U) Baghdad minimize considered.