wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07ANKARA859 2007-04-12 15:22:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

TURKISH MFA APPRECIATES EFFORTS TO AVERT GENOCIDE

Tags:   PGOV PHUM PREL TU 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO2905
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHAK #0859 1021522
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 121522Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1704
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 000859 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/2017
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL TU
SUBJECT: TURKISH MFA APPRECIATES EFFORTS TO AVERT GENOCIDE
RESOLUTION; AMBASSADOR REVIEWS ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH ISSUES

REF: SECSTATE 101834

Classified By: Ambassador Ross Wilson, reasons 1.4 (b), (d)



1. (C) Summary: In an April 11 meeting with Ambassador, MFA
U/S (D equivalent) Ertugrul Apakan expressed appreciation for
US Administration efforts to avert a congressional Armenian
genocide resolution and asked about language of the
Presidential proclamation that would be issued on the
occasion of Armenian Remembrance Day. He also referred to a
letter to PM Erdogan apparently being prepared by Reps Lantos
and Ros-Lehtinen on the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul
and the Halki Seminary. Ambassador used the occasion to
review the reasons why forthcoming GOT measures on both sets
of issues are needed. End summary.



2. (C) Apakan expressed GOT appreciation for continued USG
efforts to avert passage of a congressional Armenian genocide
resolution. Ambassador used the occasion to deliver
President Bush's response to PM Erdogan on the topic
(reftel). The Turks are now focused on the wording of the
Presidential proclamation that will be issued April 24 for
Armenian Remembrance Day. Ambassador responded that while we
had not seen a draft, it is likely to be very close in
language to previous years' statements.



3. (C) Apakan then referred to a draft letter to PM Erdogan
that the Turkish Embassy in Washington has learned Reps
Lantos and Ros-Lehtinen are preparing, apparently expressing
concern regarding the Greek community in Istanbul, continued
viability of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the reopening of
Halki Seminary and related religious freedom issues.



4. (C) Ambassador used the opportunity to review the state of
play of Ecumenical Patriarchate issues, including the fate of
the Patriarch himself, the status of Halki and the return of
expropriated properties that had belonged to the
Patriarchate. We were aware that the Foundations Law that
President Sezer vetoed would resolve some of the property
issues, but there are other property issues, as well.
Concerns remained about the ability to elect a new Patriarch
and citizenship issues that would arise. Halki has been
closed so long, and the community has shrunk so much that it
has few Turkish priests and risks dying out. This result
would be good neither for the diversity on which Turkey has
so long prided itself nor for relations with the
Greek-American community.



5. (C) The GOT, Apakan responded, had shown flexibility
nearly three years ago, when non-Turkish members were added
to the Synod. The GOT's decision to look the other way was
deliberate; it was not, as some believe, a bureaucratic
error. Two years ago, when FM Gul met Bakoyannis, he
explained that the GOT had looked at how Halki could be
reopened under existing Turkish law, and conveyed on paper
the proposal that Halki's reopening take place under an
Istanbul university. He added that a number of Greek
diplomats believe this would be a fine solution. Ambassador
said he understands that Bartholomeus had previously agreed
to this proposal and might again if he were truly convinced
that it would result in reopening Halki. A positive step,
either now or immediately after parliamentary elections,
would be for the GOT to assure Bartholomeus that it will not
stand in the way of the Synod electing the next Patriarch,
and will resolve the citizenship issue in a sympathetic
manner. There was a similar precedent in 1947. Apakan was
fully aware of the precedent; the GOT would not obstruct the
election of any Patriarch.

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

WILSON