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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06ANKARA1958 2006-04-11 08:25:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

EUR DAS BRYZA'S BLACK SEA DISCUSSIONS IN ANKARA

Tags:   PREL MARR TU RO BU RS UP GG 
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VZCZCXRO9020
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHAK #1958/01 1010825
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 110825Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4718
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISA:EUR/ISA:NESA/DSCA//
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/COMUSNAVEUR DET LONDON UK
RHMFISS/425ABS IZMIR TU//CC//
RHMFISS/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001958 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/05/2031
TAGS: PREL MARR TU RO BU RS UP GG
SUBJECT: EUR DAS BRYZA'S BLACK SEA DISCUSSIONS IN ANKARA

Classified By: DCM Nancy McEldowney for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (C) Summary: EUR DAS Matt Bryza discussed Black Sea
security with MFA, Turkish Navy and Turkish Land Forces
officials during his April 4-6 visit to Ankara. Bryza
expressed appreciation for what Turkey was doing to foster
security cooperation among the littorals, suggested efforts
were needed to focus BSEC's activities, and urged the GOT
send a senior-level representative to the May 5 Black Sea
Forum in Romania. Bryza's interlocutors explained Turkey's
ongoing initiatives in the Black Sea, emphasizing the
improved connectivity between Operation Black Sea Harmony
(OBSH) and NATO's CCMar Naples since September 2005. They
agreed on focusing more on "soft power" initiatives through
BSEC. Turkish Naval Forces Command (TNFC) Plans and
Principles Chief (N5) RADM Cem Gurdeniz noted that
BLACKSEAFOR works by consensus and because Romania (and more
recently Georgia) objected to the transformation of that
organization, it was a dead issue. PMA and FM Foreign Policy
Advisor Ahmet Davutoglu and MFA Deputy Undersecretary Rafet
Akgunay said Turkey would participate in the Black Sea Forum,
but the level had not yet been decided. End Summary.



--------------------------


Managing Risks Through Turkish Initiatives


--------------------------





2. (C) Akgunay, Gurdeniz and Turkish Land Forces Command
(TLFC) Chief of Staff GEN Ergin Saygun all noted during
separate meetings that the littoral states agreed that there
are "risks" of smuggling of WMD, persons, drugs, and other
things in the Black Sea, but there currently were no
"threats." To ensure risks do not become threats, Turkey has
several regional initiatives, including the creation of the
Black Sea Economic Cooperation zone in the 1980s, BLACKSEAFOR
naval organization in 2004 and, in 2005, Turkey's own
Operation Black Sea Harmony to which other littorals have
been invited to join. They argued that NATO was already in
the Black Sea by virtue of three of the littorals being
Allies; Gurdeniz added that NATO's STAVNAVFORMED annually
enters the Black Sea. Akgunay in particular argued that
there was no need to reinvent the wheel -- existing
organizations and programs should be better utilized to
foster regional cooperation. On specific initiatives, they
said the following:

-- BSEC: Akgunay recalled that BSEC included more members
than just the Black Sea littorals, emphasizing that even
Greece and Armenia were included. At first it was solely
focused on economic issues, but it has expanded its horizons,
as illustrated by the creation of a BSEC parliamentary group.
DAS Bryza said the USG wanted not only to revitalize BSEC,
but also to focus its activities to make it more effective.
He suggested that other regional initiatives such as SECI,
SEECP and SEDM might be encouraged to work with BSEC on
specific initiatives. Akgunay agreed. He noted that MFA was
already at work on developing an agenda for the next BSEC
meeting. He suggested that all the littorals should discuss
new ideas openl and honestly, and lamented that members
needed to participate more in BSEC's activities. Saygun
greatly approved of the USG's concentrating on "soft power"
initiatives through BSEC.

-- BLACKSEAFOR: Gurdeniz noted that BLACKSEAFOR would begin
its next three-week activation on April 7 under Russian
command. (Note: Command rotates among the members.) This
would be the first time all six members would provide ships.
While a Georgian officer had previously commanded
BLACKSEAFOR, he had done so from the bridge of a Turkish
vessel because Georgia lacked the assets to provide its own
vessel; this time it will use a ship donated by Turkey. As
an aside, Gurdeniz recalled that Georgia commanded an
activation at the same time trouble was brewing in South
Osetia. Despite kidnappings and shootings on land, the
Russian captain and his ship remained under the Georgian
command, even as the task force pulled into Novorossiysk for
a port call. Gurdeniz underscored this as a success in
BLACKSEAFOR's building regional cooperation. In addition,
the force has produced collateral benefits, he said, as NATO
is adopting the secure communications system BLACKSEAFOR use
was being adopted by NATO to allow Allied vessels in
Operation Active Endeavor to communicate with partner
vessels. Bryza stated that the USG supports BLACKSEAFOR in
its current form as a regional confidence building measure.
Gurdeniz noted that BLACKSEAFOR works on the basis of

ANKARA 00001958 002.2 OF 003


consensus and since Romania and more recently Georgia have
expressed reservations about transforming the organization,
it would not happen. "If someone says 'no,' no one can
criticize them," he added.

-- Operation Black Sea Harmony: Akgunay and Gurdeniz asserted
that OBSH is a "NATO-led" activity because Turkey is a NATO
member and it is a Turkish operation. They expected Russia
and Ukraine to join the operation in the near future, and
they asked Bryza to help convince Romania to join as well.
Bryza said Washington would encourage both Bucharest and
Sofia to cooperate more fully. Gurdeniz explained how early
communication problems between NATO's Component Command
Maritime Naples and TNFC had been resolved after a September
2005 meeting in Naples. OBSH now provides information hourly
to CCMar Naples to feed into the Operation Active Endeavor
data base of suspect shipping. Both he and Akgunay cited
statements of appreciation from NATO for what Turkey is doing
in the Black Sea. Gurdeniz thought Georgia and perhaps
others misunderstood what OBSH was and what joining it meant.
He explained that each participant would patrol its own EEZ
and share information at least with the other OBSH
participants but preferably with NATO as well. Even if some
participants do not share their information with NATO, he
said, their information would go into TNFC's recognized
maritime picture which is shared with NATO. One reason for
avoiding joint operations was Turkey's desire to not have the
Russian Navy patrolling its waters. After 12 wars with
Russia, there is no way to predict Moscow's intent once the
Russian Navy begins to grow again, he said.



--------------------------



--------------------------


Working out Differences with Neighbors and Allies


--------------------------



--------------------------





3. (C) Akgunay reported that Romanian and Turkish officials
were scheduled to meet on April 6 to discuss "all aspects of
the Black Sea." A trilateral with Romania and Bulgaria on
military issues was also planned for the near future.
Gurdeniz declared that based on his meeting with OSD/ISA/EUR
the previous week in Washington, there was no difference
between the US and Turkish visions for security in the Black
Sea. Both acknowledged that the Montreux Convention limits
non-littoral naval presence in the Black Sea while
emphasizing the treaty's utility in ensuring security and
stability. Bryza told them both that the USG has come to
appreciate the importance of Montreux, in conjunction with
the Treaty of Lausanne, as a legal foundation of the Turkish
Republic and how the Turkish Navy does indeed provide a NATO
presence in the Black Sea. More NATO ships in the Black Sea
was not the issue, ensuring security was. He was happy to
hear that issues between OAE/CCMar Naples and OBSH/TNFC had
apparently been resolved as Washington's desire was that the
two operations work together harmoniously.



4. (C) Both Akgunay and Gurdeniz complained about apparent
misperceptions within the USG about Turkey's policies toward
the Black Sea Region. Akgunay said he kept hearing that
Turkey opposes Georgia's eventual membership in NATO. This
was not the case, he averred. (Comment: See reftel regarding
GOT reservations about moving too fast toward Georgian NATO
membership. End comment.) Similarly, both he and Gurdeniz
vigorously denied rumors they had heard that Turkey was
leaning towards Russia and away from NATO in the Black Sea.
Gurdeniz in particular went on at length about Russian wrongs
against the Ottoman Empire and Soviet affronts to the
Republic of Turkey as reasons why Turkey could not befriend
Russia. Nonetheless, Russian cooperation -- and not
opposition -- in regional initiatives was essential to their
success. Even during the Cold War, Turkey had been careful
to avoid unnecessary acrimony with the USSR. GEN Saygun
noted that Turkey had worked for decades to build operational
naval cooperation in the Black Sea as reflected in
BLACKSEAFOR and OBSH involving all littorals. Still, such
cooperation should leave no doubt that Turkey's strategic
home is within NATO.



5. (C) With Davutoglu and Akgunay, Bryza urged that Turkey
send a senior representative to the May 5 Black Sea Forum in
Bucharest. Both responded that Turkey would definitely be
represented, although at what level had not yet been decided.
Davutoglu agreed thsi should be at a high level, perhaps by
the FM or himself.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at

ANKARA 00001958 003 OF 003


http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON