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Cablegate: Turkish Court Calls for Removal of Embassy

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAK #2040 2211446
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091446Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3328
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3182
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC

UNCLAS ANKARA 002040

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SECSTATE FOR L/DL - CAROL LIGHT, DS/DSS/IP, DS/PSP/PSD,
OBO/PE/SM, L/LM, EUR-IO EX, EUR/SA; DOJ/OFL FOR ROBERT
HOLLIS; LONDON FOR DOJ REPRESENTATIVE - DONNA C, MAIZEL;
EUR/EX FOR JOEL DANIES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC ABLD AMGT TU
SUBJECT: TURKISH COURT CALLS FOR REMOVAL OF EMBASSY
EXTERNAL BOLLARD LINE

REF: A. 2004 ANKARA 05172

B. 2004 STATE 37111
C. 2004 ANKARA 506

1. SUMMARY: Embassy's perimeter is enhanced with a line of
concrete bollards along the sidewalk. In response to civil
litigation, an administrative court in Ankara has ruled that
the bollards must be removed and the Court is insisting the
Municipality take immediate steps to comply. We have
convinced the MFA to intervene with the Municipal authorities
to forestall immediate action, and have expressed a
willingness to engage in a consultative process with the
Municipality, the Justice Ministry and the MFA. END SUMMARY

2. In 2004 Embassy constructed a bollard line around much of
the chancery compound perimeter, in the aftermath of the 2003
Istanbul bombings. This action was undertaken with full GOT
and Municipal approval (reftels). A Turkish citizen then
filed a lawsuit against the Ankara municipal government in
2005, claiming the bollards were an impediment to pedestrian
traffic and caused visual pollution. In December 2005 the
12th Administrative Court of Ankara decided in favor of the
plaintiff and ordered the Ankara municipal government to
remove the bollards. The decision was appealed to the 8th
Council of State Court, who decreed in December 2006 that the
12th Administrative Court's decision should not be
implemented and a panel of experts should be convened to
review the original claims. Though no such panel has yet
been convened, the 12th Administrative Court is now demanding
that the Ankara city government immediately move ahead with
removal of the bollards, in spite of the appeal.

3. On July 23, 2007, a team from the Ankara Municipality
appeared outside the Embassy to begin removal of the bollards
along one street (Ataturk Boulevard). Upon a verbal appeal
from the Embassy, the team's manager agreed to delay
implementation of his orders. However, on August 3, Embassy
was warned by municipal officials that workers might appear
early the following week to begin removal work on the bollard
line. Embassy responded with a series of conversations with
MFA and Municipality officials outlining security concerns,
emphasizing MFA's responsibilities in dealing effectively
with the issue, and calling upon them to ensure that
"destruction" work did not ensue.

In an August 6 meeting with MFA Under Secretary (M
equivalent) Urdogan, Charge reiterated Embassy position and
proposed that a consultative mechanism or working group be
established to address the issue, with participation from
MFA, the municipality, Justice Ministry and the Embassy.
Urdogan responded positively to the proposal, and expressed a
desire to work with Embassy and municipality to resolve
matters, while repeating MFA's view that the court ruling and
demands could not be ignored.

4. We are following up with MFA and Ankara Municipality to
move ahead on proposed working group. Our principal
objective will be to maintain the bollard line as currently
configured. However, we may also proceed with a compromise
arrangement for the removal of the horizontal steel
connectors between the bollards, as a way to comply with the
ruling while maintaining effective security for Embassy.

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

MCELDOWNEY

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