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Cablegate: Turkey: Codel Tanner Discusses Eu, Terrorism and Energy

VZCZCXRO6303
RR RUEHDA
DE RUEHDA #0022 1630922
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 110922Z JUN 08
FM AMCONSUL ADANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4656
INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1198
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 1020
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1260

UNCLAS ADANA 000022

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP PGOV PREL PTER ENRG TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: CODEL TANNER DISCUSSES EU, TERRORISM AND ENERGY
WITH ADANA GOVERNOR ILHAN ATIS

1. (SBU) CODEL Tanner met with Adana Governor Ilhan Atis on
May 30. During the meeting, participants discussed topics
covering Turkey's European Union accession process, security and
terrorism, and energy. Atis said Turkey's bid for the EU was
motivated by a desire to improve technology and economic
wherewithal, and anchor itself in "comparable wisdom." When
asked why he thought the Europeans were putting obstacles in
Turkey's way, the Governor said it was because Turkey was a
Muslim country, adding French President Sarkozy's latest remarks
had proved this. Atis thanked the representatives for the
United States' enduring support on Turkey's EU accession, noting
the incongruity of some European countries that Turkey protected
during the Cold War on NATO's flanks were now blocking her
membership bid. He also insisted that Turkey's democracy and
economy are fully on par with those of the former Warsaw Pact
that are currently EU members.

2. (SBU) Atis also expressed his gratitude for recent U.S.
support with the fight against the PKK. He noted that this
issue had caused ups and down in the bilateral relationship, and
his perception of American disregard for Turkey's terrorism
problem had, at one time, "left him cold." But, with the
cooperation between America and the United States - whether
against the PKK or al-Qaida in Afghanistan - he said terrorism
would soon be snuffed out. When one member asked his thoughts
on radical Islam-based religious terrorism, Atis dismissed the
religious element. Terrorists are simply terrorists, he said,
and what justification they use to propagate terror was
irrelevant.

3. (SBU) Chairman Tanner asked about the Baku- Tblisi-Ceyhan
pipeline, noting Turkey's strategic regional role as a transit
country and future as an energy hub. Atis praised the United
States for helping to secure the pipeline through Turkish
territory, and said plans were underway for turning the Ceyhan
area, which will include three shipbuilding docks, a free
industrialized zone, and up to three refineries, into a vital
energy hub.

4. (SBU) The evening of May 30, the Turkish-American Business
Association (TABA) hosted a reception for the 29-person
delegation. During opening speeches, TABA officials called for
increased trade between the United States and Turkey, and made
an appeal for more direct investment. The president of TABA's
local chapter referenced the Armenian Genocide Resolution,
calling it a "fabrication" and stating it should not continue to
cast a shadow over the bilateral relationship. While in Adana,
the delegation also received a briefing and tour of Incirlik Air
Force Base, with an emphasis on the facility's on-going support
for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

GREEN

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