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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05ANKARA993 2005-02-24 09:54:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

TURKEY MFA UPDATE ON TRANSPORTATION ISSUES

Tags:   EWWT EAIR IZ TU 
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240954Z Feb 05
					  UNCLAS ANKARA 000993 

SIPDIS

ROME FOR CBP ROBERT STIRITI
PARIS FOR TSA
DHS FOR CSI, COAST GUARD
DEPT PASS TRANSPORTATION DEPT
BRUSSELS FOR FAA AND TSA

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EWWT EAIR IZ TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY MFA UPDATE ON TRANSPORTATION ISSUES

Ref: State 22032



1. (SBU) Summary: In February 11 and 15 meetings with
Econ Counselor and Econoff, MFA transport officials:
indicated that the GOT would respond favorably to the
Container Security Initiative (CSI); raised problems in
managing Turkish-Iraqi airspace; warned that Bosphorus
tunnel construction could impact shipping; and provided
updates on ratification of the Montreal and Capetown
Conventions. End Summary.



2. (SBU) CSI and Port Security: Basat Ozturk, Head of
the MFA Maritime Department, told Econ Couns and Econoff
February 15 that GOT agencies had decided to respond
positively to the U.S. proposal to include Turkey in the
Container Security Initiative, and that MFA would
transmit a formal answer soon. However, he said a
bilateral agreement, possibly subject to ratification by
Parliament, would have to be negotiated on CSI. Ozturk
said that Turkish authorities were working diligently to
implement International Maritime Organization port and
ship security standards, with only a few ports
outstanding, and that the "detention" rate for Turkish
ships was down by more than half. He confirmed that the
program for the U.S. Coast Guard port security team,
which is visiting Turkey during the week of February 21,
had been finalized.



3. (SBU) Straits/Marmaray Construction: Ozturk noted
that construction of the Bosphorus Marmaray tunnel,
slated to begin in mid-March, would continue into 2007.
He asserted that construction would rule out any
relaxation of straits navigation procedures for this
period. Moreover, he noted that new regulations for
straits navigation had been posted to the internet, and
would be publicized shortly.



4. (SBU) Turkish-Iraqi Air Links: MFA Deputy Director
General Vakur Gozdenizler said Turkish aviation
authorities were having difficulty communicating with
Iraqi civair counterparts. Gokdenizler stated that
Turkey Airlines (THY) remains interested in flying to
Baghdad once the security situation permits. Other
private Turkish airlines are interested in flying to
Erbil, which was viewed as a potentially safer way to
travel to northern Iraq than by road. He asked us for
assistance in identifying an Iraqi point of contact with
whom the Turks could discuss technical aviation issues
(such as airspace management). The Turkish embassy in
Baghdad is also interested in discussing these issues
with the U.S. Embassy.



5. (SBU) Montreal/Capetown Conventions: In a meeting on
February 11, Econoff delivered reftel demarche urging
GOT ratification of the Montreal Convention to MFA
Aviation Department Head Ahmet Bigali. Bigali responded
that the GOT planned to send the Convention to
Parliament for ratification very soon, but with a
reservation under article 57 (concerning flights for
government/military purposes). Bigali was unable to
provide details on the reservation. He also told us
(somewhat more vaguely) that the GOT would seek
Parliamentary ratification for the Capetown Convention
soon.



6. (U) ICAO Survey of Istanbul Airport: Bigali said
that he had received a report from ICAO on a recent
review of security arrangements at Istanbul Ataturk
Airport, which he characterized as a positive
assessment.



7. (U) Baghdad minimize considered.

Edelman