Cablegate: Wolfowitz and Grossman Press Turks for Support On

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 07 ANKARA 009058


E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/09/2012

(U) Classified by Ambassador W. Robert Pearson, reasons 1.5,

1 . (S) On December 3, Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz
and Under Secretary of State Grossman met with new Turkish PM
Gul, an interagency group chaired by MFA Under Secretary
Ziyal, Turkish Deputy Chief of Defense General Buyukanit
(DCHOD), leader of the opposition Baykal, and MND Gonul. At
each meeting DepSecDef emphasized the urgency for clarity on
what role Turkey is prepared to play in possible military
actions in Iraq. Specifically, DepSecDef noted that without
the imminent resumption of military-to-military talks, site
surveys of Turkish facilities, and site preparations, the
"Northern Option" would soon be out of the question.
DepSecDef noted the USG needed an answer by December 6 and
outlined the significant assistance package the USG was
prepared to provide should Turkey decide to become a full
partner. GOT officials reiterated their redlines for an Iraq
operation and highlighted the potential risks to Turkey and
its economy. Gul agreed to resume military-to-military
planning and to allow the U.S. to conduct site surveys of
Turkish military facilities. However, he pleaded for
additional time on the more fundamental decisions concerning
Turkey's possible contributions, including site preparations,
troop lists, role of coalition forces, and Turkish
participation in the Northern Option. The GOT took the
opportunity to underscore the importance of Turkey's
relationship with the EU and Cyprus.

Turkish Prime Minister Gul

2. (S) After congratulating Gul on his recent formation of a
new government, DepSecDef stated he and U/S Grossman were
sent by President Bush to Ankara to discuss Turkey's
potential contribution to preparations for possible military
action against Iraq. Fully recognizing that PM Gul has been
in office only a very short time, DepSecDef underscored the
"real urgency" for a decision on the role Turkey would be
willing to play.

3. (S) Noting that Turkey and the United States have had
good, detailed discussions on the matter since last July,
DepSecDef reminded Gul that President Bush has made no
decision on whether to go to war with Iraq. The USG is
making efforts to resolve this crisis peacefully, but the
President is determined to have Iraq disarmed of its weapons
of mass destruction, "voluntarily if possible, but, if
necessary, by force." The US, DepSecDef added, is asking
Turkey to be involved in the planning and preparation for the
use of force against Iraq. The only chance for a peaceful
outcome is to build a determined show of force. Military
force is the underpinning of our diplomacy.

4. (S) Repeating what the USG has told Ankara it needs from
Turkey, DepSecDef reviewed several key requests:

- Resumption of military-to-military planning talks;
- Permission to conduct site surveys and begin site
preparation of specified Turkish military facilities;
- Turkish participation in the development of the Northern
- Acceptance of proposed troop lists, including the role of
possible coalition forces such as the United Kingdom;
- Removal of constraints on Operation Northern Watch;
- Approval of overflight rights; and,
- Support, if necessary, against terrorists in Northern Iraq.
(DepSecDef noted the presence of several hundred suspected
terrorists in Khurmal.)

5. (S) DepSecDef reemphasized the need to get an answer from
Turkey as the time is approaching when planning will have to
switch from preparing for both a Northern Option and a
Southern Option, to solely pursuing a Southern Option. He
added that if the US acts militarily against Saddam Hussein,
it would do so with a significant number of other countries.
DepSecDef reiterated that Turkey's red lines on military
action against Iraq were also U.S. red lines:

--The territorial integrity of Iraq would be preserved;
--There would be no independent Kurdish state;
--The rights and welfare of the Turkoman people would be
--Iraqi national control of Kirkuk and Mosul would be
retained; and,
--Iraqi national control of the nation's oil would be

6. (S) Turkey, DepSecDef stated, has much to gain by
participating in a military action against Iraq. The
conflict would be less risky, shorter in duration, and less
economically damaging to Turkey's and the region's economies.
The potential for creation of a vacuum in northern Iraq
would be less likely. The conflict's aftermath would be
easier to manage. DepSecDef stated that the United States is
very aware of Turkey's concerns about the economic risks such
military action could generate. For that reason, POTUS is
ready to work with Congress to provide a substantial
assistance package for Turkey. If the US and Turkey go to
war against Iraq, this package would include:

- $2 billion/yr for two years of some mix of Foreign Military
Financing (FMF) and Economic Support Funds (ESF), the latter
being synchronized with World Bank and IMF disbursements;
- $1 billion in oil to be donated by other nations; and,
- Up to $500 million in local procurement by U.S. defense

7. (S) If Turkey commits fully, but war proves unnecessary,
the President is ready to ask Congress for $250 million in
FY04 assistance and hopes to augment that amount with another
$105 million. That would be $175 million in FMF, $175
million in ESF, and $5 million in International Military
Education and Training funding (IMET). Complementing this
would be closer cooperation on missile defense, greater
access to excess defense articles, and improvements to
facilities at Incirlik and Konya military bases.

10. (S) DepSecDef warned that if Turkey declines this
request, a war against Iraq could last longer, making it
costlier and less certain about events in northern Iraq.
DepSecDef emphasized the U.S. need for clarity from Turkey on
its role in order to plan appropriately. If not, planning
must focus solely on the Southern Option without Turkey.
DepSecDef asked for a decision by the end of the week,
December 6.

11. (S) PM Gul exclaimed "by the end of the week?!" He
followed up by stating Turkey and the US have been strategic
partners for decades, and Turkey wants to continue and to
deepen that relationship. However, the government had just
received its confidence vote, and it has only received two
briefings on this matter. "We have followed this issue but,
of course, it's different when you are in office," Gul added.
Moreover, many pressing issues are on the government's
agenda, including the approaching EU Copenhagen Summit and

12. (S) Gul acknowledged that Iraq is led by a bad regime
that has caused great suffering. He conceded that Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction are dangerous to Turkey and the
entire region. "We know that war is not good. It is to be
avoided, but we understand your points." He added that
Turkey has historical roots in Iraq and that Turkish security
is directly affected by events in northern Iraq.

13. (S) "To give a political decision, we need some time,
frankly speaking," Gul stated. Time is needed to shape
public opinion. Gul repeated twice again that Turkey can say
yes to the requests, but the government needs more time to
update itself on the situation, must go to parliament, and
must shape public opinion. He stated that Turkey's fragile
economy is an issue with millions of unemployed. Military
action against Iraq could damage progress underway in
economic reform. He emphasized, "We will cooperate, we will
cooperate, but we need time to study as the new Foreign
Minister knows little and the new Defense Minister knows

14. (S) Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ugur Ziyal
intervened making two key assertions: First, the offer
DepSecDef reviewed was not commensurate with the risks and
costs Turkey is being asked to bear. Second, Turkey is
entering a decisive phase in its relationship with Europe due
to the approaching EU summit and current state of Cyprus
settlement negotiations. "If we do not pass these two
hurdles (attaining a date for EU accession negotiations and a
resolution of Cyprus), the devastation will preclude our
ability to participate in an attack on Iraq. We cannot give
you an answer before December 12, the date of the Copenhagen
Summit." Ziyal added he had not briefed the Prime Minister
on the terrorist danger present in Khurmal, but if the issue
is terrorism, Turkey will of course be with the US. PM Gul
interjected, "We will fight with you against all types of

15. (S) DepSecDef stated the most urgent priority now is the
need to resume planning talks, to initiate site surveys, and
then to do site preparations. The next major decision point
will be deploying troops to prepare for war. The ultimate
decision point would be the decision to go to war. If
diplomacy is going to be effective, we need to move forward,
he added. Ziyal noted that the resumption of
military-to-military planning and site surveys could go
forward without parliamentary approval, after which the Prime
Minister agreed the military-to-military planning talks can
go forward.

16. (S) Ambassador Grossman stated that POTUS is putting much
effort forward to support Turkey's desire to get a date for
accession negotiations from the European Union -- "You can
count on us to press this line all through December 12."
Momentum is developing toward this goal due to progress in
Turkey's democratic reforms and progress in the Cyprus
negotiations. Grossman urged the new Turkish government to
make a concrete commitment to the UN Secretary General's
Cyprus plan as a basis for agreement. Doing so would
positively affect Turkey's prospects to attain a date certain
from the EU for accession negotiations.

17. (S) PM Gul responded that his government is talking to
Turkish Cypriot President Denktash. He emphasized that
Turkey will inevitably join the EU, "That is our mentality."
When Turkey joins, he asserted, the EU will become more of a
world player. Turkey's membership would send a message to
the Muslim world that being democratic is attractive.

18. (S) DepSecDef added that it is "an incredible strategic
opportunity for the EU and I hope it doesn't blow it." But
in practical terms, EU accession and Cyprus are tied.
Progress on the latter would be a huge step forward toward
the former. It would enable the US to be even more helpful
to Turkey. Closing the meeting, DepSecDef responded to
Ziyal's criticism of the assistance package, stating that
"the numbers may not be big to you, but they are big to our
government. They represent a major Presidential commitment."
He urged the Turkish government not to go public with these
figures. The public line should be simply that: The United
States is ready to assist Turkey.

Roundtable Discussion at MFA

19. (S) Ziyal then hosted DepSecDef and Grossman at an
hour-long interagency meeting at the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs. The meeting focused on the Turks' proposal for a
bilateral standby fund intended to sustain market confidence
in Turkey's economy in the event of war with Iraq. DepSecDef
agreed to explore the merits of the proposal. Following
Ziyal's recap of DepSecDef's earlier meeting with PM Gul,
they discussed the Prime Minister's agreement to re-start
mil-mil planning talks and to permit site surveys of Turkey's
military facilities. U/S Grossman had a long, follow-on
discussion with the MFA representatives about Cyprus. He
argued that now is the best time to resolve Cyprus -- before
the EU decides on Cyprus accession December 12-13 -- and that
the GOT should simply sign the first two pages of the UN plan.

20. (S) Bilateral Standby Fund: Ziyal opened the meeting by
asking Treasury U/S Oztrak to report on his assessment of the
economic consequences Turkey would face in the event of war
with Iraq. Oztrak estimated the impact of an Iraq operation
in terms of the financing gap for 2003: $47 billion best
case (short war) to $58 billion worst case (long war). A
war, he predicted, would cause oil and natural gas price
rises, export decline, and loss of tourism and oil pipeline
revenues. Psychological effects would lead to decreased
consumer spending, loss of tax revenues, and increased
government spending for social security and refugees.
Interest rates would rise 10% and the lira's exchange rate
against the dollar would fall by 28%. Post-conflict
uncertainty would have a substantial impact on the economy.
Oztrak also mentioned indirect costs to Turkey such as an
economic slowdown in Europe which could dampen Turkey's
export trade. He then boiled the factors down to three:
losses in revenue, increased expenditures, and limits on
access to financial markets.

21. (S) Both Oztrak and Ziyal argued for "early and
substantial" US financial support in the form of a "standby"
arrangement, mentioning a figure of $20 billion. This, they
said, would be the best way to positively influence the
perception of the markets that the US would "not let Turkey
go down the drain" and that the Turkish economy would "stay
afloat." Turkey would be allowed to draw on these standby
funds only to the degree it needed them -- less in the best
case and more in the worse cases. Oztrak accepted Ambassador
Pearson's point that the Turks' analysis had not factored in
any of the possible medium- to longer-term benefits DepSecDef
had outlined, such as an upturn in trade relations with Iraq
and other neighbors as well as increased tourism in a more
stable region. Oztrak also confirmed to U/S Grossman that
Turkey much preferred that the USG control the escrow account
rather than negotiate a new IMF standby, which "would have
too many conditionalities."

22. (S) DepSecDef said the Turkish "standby" approach might
be an alternative to the President's package he had outlined
to the PM. We could not do both. The problem was how to
devise a mechanism to mitigate negative market effects and
create a fund Turkey could draw on only as needed.
DepSecDef agreed with Ziyal's suggestion to open a "third
channel" (in addition to the existing political and military
ones) of economic experts to discuss the feasibility of the
Turkish approach. Ziyal urged the US to begin its
consultations with Capital Hill on an aid package for Turkey
even as the economic experts talk, in order not to lose time.

23. (S) Site Surveys and Military-to-Military Planning Talks:
Ziyal recapped the decisions reached in the PM's meeting:
"yes" to site surveys, and re-starting the mil-mil
discussions. The PM understood the need to "impress" Saddam
visibly through overt cooperation. Although Turkey
understood the urgency the US attached to a political
decision on furthering such cooperation, including stationing
US and possibly other coalition (possibly British) troops in
Turkey, Ziyal said that would be impossible before the
December 12 Copenhagen EU Summit. The Parliament would have
to debate and approve any influx of foreign troops into

24. (S) DepSecDef underscored the need to allow site
preparation teams into Turkey. They would send a strong
signal to Saddam about the seriousness of the coalition's
resolve. The US was prepared to spend $200-300 million on
needed construction. LTG Casey said this could involve up to
6,000 engineers and logisticians. TGS Deputy J3 MG Kalyoncu
said the GOT would have to study the "legal" aspects of
bringing in such large numbers of "foreign groups."

25. (S) The Growing Coalition: In response to Ziyal's query
about the composition of the coalition, DeSecDef responded
that he knew of at least 23 NATO members and aspirants who
would be with us either unconditionally (16) or under another
UNSCR (7). He thought France and Russia would also come
around. In the Gulf region, most countries were committed
privately while saying otherwise publicly. In response to
Ziyal's question, he admitted Egypt's and Saudi Arabia's
positions were less clear, but he thought they would end up
supporting any operation.

26. (S) DepSecDef warned again that further delay in Turkish
decision-making could sideline the Northern Option. Planning
for the South was already far advanced. While the site prep
teams could not actually start before mid-January, we need to
know now--before they start--that Turkey would indeed allow
US and possibly other coalition troops to come to Turkey.
The big decision on actual use of force could come later.

27. (S) Finally, D/US for the Mideast Tuygan called attention
to the upcoming (13-15 Dec.) Iraqi Opposition conference in
London. The Group of Six had become too powerful, to the
exclusion of the Turkomen. Turkey insisted that the Turkomen
be included in the core group. Ziyal later emphasized that
this is a critical concern for Turkey.

DCHOD Buyukanit

28. (S) USG Request for Military Support: DCHOD stated the
TGS was very familiar with US military requirements as well
as with the discussion DepSecDef had earlier that day with PM
Gul. The TGS will deliver a detailed brief on Iraq to the
new government on 9 Dec. 02. The purpose of the TGS briefing
will be to help the government reach necessary political

29. (S) DepSecDef proposed that potentially three sets of
decisions are needed: (1) The first decision set, needed
now, is to resume mil-to-mil planning talks, and to
immediately initiate site surveys that would be followed by
site preparations beginning early to mid January 03. (2) The
second decision concerns acceptance of foreign troops on
Turkish soil, recognizing that the earliest likely troop
deployment would be 4-6 weeks from now. (3) The final
decision would be to use force, should the President of the
United States decide to do so (a decision he has not yet
made). DepSecDef expressed appreciation that the Turkish PM
recognized the USG need for a timely response and personally
gave earlier that day his approval for immediately resuming
mil-to-mil planning and initiating site surveys.

30. (S) DCHOD asked what role NATO could play in an Iraqi
operation, emphasizing that it would be very helpful for
Turkey to have some NATO cover. DepSecDef replied that NATO
mechanisms could in principle be used for infrastructure
improvements as well as potential Article 5 scenarios if
conflict made it necessary to defend Turkey. Ambassador
Pearson added that NATO's Prague Summit statement supporting
UNSCR 1441 could be useful in providing a NATO "umbrella" for
Turkish site surveys and site preparations. TGS Dep J3
emphasized that a parliamentary decision would be needed for
any troop deployments, whether they were engineers conducting
site preparations or combat troops.

31. (S) Turkey is Prepared to Deploy to Northern Iraq: DCHOD
stated that the Turkish military has almost completed
preparations to prevent immigration and to control IDPs
inside Iraq, should military operations be required. In the
event that Turkish forces deploy to Northern Iraq, the DCHOD
asked the USG to emphasize to Iraqi groups that Turkish
forces were not there as an occupying force. DepSecDef
responded that the best way to convince the northern Iraqi
groups was to integrate all forces into a coordinated
coalition that could both manage the IDP challenges and exert
pressure on Baghdad. DepSecDef again reiterated the value of
a two-front war to expedite successful operations; he also
noted that the potential role for UK forces was not "in"
northern Iraq, but deploying "through" northern Iraq.

32. (S) NATO Command Structure Review: DCHOD related that
the TGS was "not happy" with a recently received draft NATO
command structure document (MC324). The draft did not
include any criteria by which to justify or rationalize the
NATO HQ structures and their proposed locations. It gave an
appearance of taking a "sudden decision" without proper
criteria. DepSecDef agreed that criteria needed to be
included and that USG was equally frustrated with the timing
of the document.

Parliamentary Opposition CHP Leader Baykal

33. (C) In his meeting with CHP and opposition leader Baykal,
DepSecDef highlighted US support for Turkey's EU candidacy
and for a definite accession negotiations date for Turkey to
be granted during the EU Copenhagen summit. He reiterated
the USG view that the UN proposal for a Cyprus settlement
represents a way to a rapid solution and that turkey should
accept as the basis for further negotiations. On Iraq,
DepSecDef underscored that:
- The US is working with a coalition of nations;
- The only way to hope for a peaceful resolution is to
demonstrate a credible threat of force;
- We recognize Turkey's economic vulnerabilities;
- All nations will benefit if Iraq becomes a free, open and
prosperous country; and,
- If war proves necessary, a strong coalition, including
Turkey, is critical to ensuring that the conflict is short
and to reducing its costs and risks.
27. (C) EU accession: Baykal regretted that an earlier
Turkish government (read: his rival Ecevit) had failed to
grasp the opportunity to join the EU at the same time as
Greece. As a result, Turkey now works at a disadvantage
compared to Greece. But CHP is committed to pursuing
Turkey's EU candidacy and, in this regard, will support
efforts to this end by the AK government. A "date for a
date" from Copenhagen is not enough. We all need to know
whether Turkey is a European or Middle Eastern country. If
Turkey is rebuffed by the EU and at the same time is forced
to cooperate with the US in an Iraq operation, especially in
northern Iraq, then the country could become destabilized.
If Turkey feels it is accepted as European, it can raise the
level of its cooperation with the US; in any event, relations
with the US are the pillar of Turkey's foreign policy.

28. (C) Cyprus: while supporting a fair and peaceful
solution, Baykal expressed reservations whether a solution is
possible in a short time and asserted CHP's dissatisfaction
with the UN paper. First, a solution has to start from the
post-'74 bizonality in which each community is homogeneous.
Second, the paper would have Cyprus revert to a pre-'74
arrangement. One-third of the Greek Cypriots would move back
to the north, which would thus have two ethnic groups,
whereas the Greek Cypriot south would remain homogeneous,
thereby creating a disequilibrium which would lead to loss of
political equality over the next 20 years. CHP economic guru
Dervis added that mixing the populations too fast would risk
an incident, e.g., a killing, which would toss 10 years of
good will out the window instantly. Third, Baykal continued,
the proposed boundary lines are a problem.

29. (C) Iraq: reiterating his preference for a peaceful
diplomatic solution, Baykal called for the elimination of WMD
from the region around Turkey and expressed his desire for a
democratic, peaceful regime in Baghdad He acknowledged how
critically important the Iraq question is for the US. And he
noted that sometimes it is impossible for a country like
Turkey to decide its own preferences in the face of the
strategic interests of a country like the US. If
intervention is inescapable, then:
- It should be carried out under international legitimacy
with a clear legal basis;
- The burden on Turkey, both financial and refugee, must be
eliminated to avoid the damage done to Turkey's economic,
social and political fabric under the economic and refugee
impact of the Gulf War;
- It is essential to maintain the territorial integrity of
Iraq (and in this regard Baykal wants a clear picture of how
Turkey's concerns about Kurdish independence movements will
be met); and
- Any solution must take into account the interests of the
Turkomen who face Saddam Hussein's efforts to eliminate their
identity and homeland in and around Kirkuk.

MOD Gonul

30. (S) DEPSECDEF's meeting with the new AK Party Minister
of Defense was largely unsubstantive. Not only is Turkey's
Defense Ministry restricted also exclusively to defense
procurement issues, but Gonul admitted he had not yet been
briefed on Iraq. DEPSECDEF outlined the nature of our close
and transparent consultations to date, stressing that joint
military planning is our best chance for peace. Saddam would
only change his mind about obeying UNSCRs if he is convinced
the only alternative is his removal by force. He would be
convinced by actions, not words. Gonul agreed on the need to
be firm on UNSCR 1441. He asserted that Saddam had thus far
complied with 1441 and urged the US to await the inspection
reports before deciding on a military option. A Turkish
decision to cooperate, especially if it offered troops, would
be a huge decision. DYP Chairman Ciller had lost many votes
by implying she would commit Turkish troops if she became PM.
That said, Gonul said Turkey would cooperate with the US, as
it always had, but he hoped it would not be in a crisis.

31.(S) DEPSECDEF cautioned against "over-scaring" the Turkish
people about a possible Iraq operation. Economic problems
largely spring from psychological reasons. Any war could be
over relatively quickly and result in some substantial
benefits for Turkey. The government should begin
accentuating the positive.
32. (U) This cable has been cleared by DepSecDef Wolfowitz
and U/S Grossman.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>