DE RUEHAK #1535 2960850
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230850Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1048
INFO RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
UNCLAS ANKARA 001535
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: NASA PREL TSPA TU SUBJECT: TURKEY ASKS FOR PILOT TO BE INCLUDED IN SPACE PROGRAM
On October 19, Cagatay Erciyes, MFA Deputy Director General for Maritime and Aviation Affairs, convoked PolMil Counselor to pass on a request which he said was important to FM Davutoglu. Erciyes said that the Turkish Air Force had a standing request in military channels since 2001 for a Turkish Air Force pilot to participate in NASA's work with the International Space Station. Erciyes claimed that President Gul had considered raising the issue in his telephone call with President Obama over the weekend, but, Erciyes said, FM Davutoglu suggested that a standard approach through diplomatic channels would be more appropriate. Erciyes said, somewhat apologetically, that the issue had an unusually high level of military support and would be raised at the next meeting of Turkey's National Security Council. 2011 would mark the 100th anniversary of Turkey's Air Force and the GOT hoped it could mark that year with a space flight by a Turkish pilot. We agreed to pass the request to appropriate agencies in Washington.
"Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at http://www.intelink.s gov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turkey"