Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07ANKARA2577
2007-10-18 12:41:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

TURKS REQUEST HIGH-LEVEL ASSURANCES ON US MATERIEL

Tags:  PREL MARR MOPS PTER ETTC KOMC IZ MG UP CY TU 
pdf how-to read a cable
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C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 002577 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR PM A/S MULL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/18/2022
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS PTER ETTC KOMC IZ MG UP CY TU
SUBJECT: TURKS REQUEST HIGH-LEVEL ASSURANCES ON US MATERIEL
FOR IRAQ ABOARD MV ONYX

REF: A. ANKARA 2552


B. ANKARA 2545

C. STATE 108929

Classified By: AMBASSADOR ROSS WILSON FOR REASONS 1.4 (B,D).

C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 002577

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR PM A/S MULL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/18/2022
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS PTER ETTC KOMC IZ MG UP CY TU
SUBJECT: TURKS REQUEST HIGH-LEVEL ASSURANCES ON US MATERIEL
FOR IRAQ ABOARD MV ONYX

REF: A. ANKARA 2552


B. ANKARA 2545

C. STATE 108929

Classified By: AMBASSADOR ROSS WILSON FOR REASONS 1.4 (B,D).


1. (C) Action request at para 5.


2. (C) MFA U/S Apakan convoked Ambassador October 18 to
discuss continued GOT concerns about the MV Onyx and its
cargo. Apakan told Ambassador he has had many conversations
in recent days with the Turkish General Staff about the Onyx
and that he is "sick of ships". Concerns about the cargo of
the Onyx go beyond the military. The Turkish media is aware
of the armaments bound for Iraq and the public will be
concerned, particularly given the prior diversion of arms
into PKK and criminal hands affecting Turkish interests. The
matter of letting the Onyx proceed without interference would
be decided by Prime Minister Erdogan; President Gul is also
concerned. Turkey needs assurances that the materiel aboard
the Onyx will not fall into the hands of the PKK. DCHOD GEN
Saygun had telephoned Ambassador the evening of October 17
with the same concerns.


3. (C) Apakan turned to Maritime/Aviation Deputy Director
General Ozturk, who thanked the Embassy for the information
it had provided thus far, but underscored that government and
military authorities remain deeply concerned that the
weaponry aboard the Onyx -- particularly the 84 Fagot
anti-tank guided missile systems -- might be diverted into
the hands of the PKK. Turkish suspicions have been
reinforced in recent months by several cases of bad
intelligence and misinformation regarding this shipment and
other ships in the eastern Mediterranean. Ozturk
specifically mentioned an October 5 French request that
Turkey inspect the cargo of the MV Neptune in Mersin, which
the MFA believes was based on bad information. Security
Affairs Director General Guven also noted that neighboring
Arab countries are also asking about the materiel aboard the
Onyx.


4. (C) Ambassador conveyed to U/S Apakan what he told DCHOD
GEN Saygun on October 17: We have no basis to ask the ship
to turn around. Its cargo is U.S. property, purchased for
the use of our armed forces to carry out training in Iraq of
the Iraqi military. Ambassador acknowledged that the matter
had not been handled well. Turkey's concerns about diversion
of arms are reasonable. A way out, he said, is for us to
provide Turkey with clear, credible information about our
commitment to ensure that this materiel remains accounted for
and is not diverted. He said that he would, as an initial
step, raise this matter with DOD IG Kicklighter in the
context of mechanisms his effort is putting into place
regarding diversion. Credible safeguards will go a long way
toward reassuring Turks about this sale and will enable the
GOT to respond to expected press inquiries with the
confidence that they reviewed this matter with us and that
they received strong assurances that the military equipment
would remain in the hands of U.S. or the proper Iraqi
authorities.


5. (C). Action Request: Post requests Department provide,
as soon as possible, a letter signed by a senior official to
U/S Apakan stating that effective measures will be in place
to prevent the diversion of this equipment to unintended
users and that it should remain in the hands of the Iraqi
Army after the equipment's eventual transfer to it.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON