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Cablegate: Ambassador's January 18 Conversation with Foreign

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 02 ANKARA 000361

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/20/2014
TAGS: CY IZ PGOV PINS PREL TU
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S JANUARY 18 CONVERSATION WITH FOREIGN
MINISTER GUL


REF: A. A) STATE 012103
B. B) STATE 010120


(U) CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR ERIC S. EDELMAN. REASONS: 1.5(B)
AND (D)


1. (S) TAKING ADVANTAGE OF AN EARLIER SCHEDULED FAMILY
BRUNCH ON JANUARY 18, AMBASSADOR DISCUSSED PM ERDOGAN'S
UPCOMING VISIT TO WASHINGTON EXTENSIVELY WITH DEPUTY PM AND
FOREIGN MINISTER ABDULLAH GUL. FM GUL LISTENED ATTENTIVELY
AS AMBASSADOR WALKED THROUGH THE POINTS IN REFS A AND B LINE
BY LINE. AMBASSADOR STRESSED THAT THE U.S. SIDE SAW THE
MEETING, NOT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BARGAIN OR NEGOTIATE, BUT
RATHER A PHILOSOPHICAL AND STRATEGIC CONVERSATION ON THE
FUTURE OF THE RELATIONSHIP AT THE OUTSET OF A CRUCIAL YEAR
FOR TURKEY AND OUR RELATIONSHIP. AMBASSADOR STRESSED THE
BASIC PARAMETERS OF OUR APPROACH ON KIRKUK AND ASKED THAT
TURKEY USE ITS INFLUENCE, AS WE WERE USING OURS, TO KEEP ALL
PARTIES CALM.


2. (S) GUL REPLIED THAT THE AK PARTY GOVERNMENT WAS LOOKING
FORWARD TO THE PM'S VISIT IN THE SAME SPIRIT. WITH REGARD TO
CYPRUS HE NOTED THAT HE AND THE PM BELIEVED THAT THEY HAD NOT
BEEN ELECTED TO PRESIDE OVER THE STATUS QUO BUT RATHER TO
MAKE "CHANGES FOR THE BETTERMENT OF TURKEY AND THE PEOPLE OF
TURKEY." GUL SAID THE GOT WAS WORKING HARD TO GET A
CONSENSUS POSITION AGREED IN ANKARA. NOTING THAT HE HAD
INSTRUCTED U/SECRETARY ZIYAL AND COLLEAGUES TO WORK WITH TGS
FROM THE VERY BEGINNING ON A "COMMON DRAFT" SO THAT THE USUAL
BUREAUCRATIC LOGJAM OF COMPETING DRAFTS WAS AVOIDED. HE
ADDED THAT MUCH HARD WORK HAD BEEN DONE WITH THE TURKISH
PARTIES IN NORTHERN CYPRUS. HE EXPRESSED GREAT CONFIDENCE
THAT THE OUTCOME OF THE NSC MEETING ON JANUARY 23 WOULD
ENABLE THE UN SYG TO MOVE FORWARD TO NEGOTIATIONS. GUL ADDED
RATHER PLAINTIVELY, "BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP. WE WANT THE U.S.
INVOLVED AT A POLITICAL LEVEL TO HELP FACILITATE THE
NEGOTIATIONS."


3. (S) IN RESPONSE, AMBASSADOR DREW ATTENTION TO U.S.
WILLINGNESS TO 'WORK WITH THE UNSYG AT WHATEVER LEVEL
NECESSARY TO FACILITATE FAIR AND REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS TO
ANNAN III; CHANGES WOULD REQUIRE CONCESSIONS FROM BOTH
SIDES." REMINDING GUL OF HIS DECEMBER 9 MEETING WITH U/SEC
GROSSMAN, AMBASSADOR NOTED THAT SECRETARY POWELL HAD
INDICATED HIS READINESS TO BECOME PERSONALLY INVOLVED IF IT
COULD BE HELPFUL. IN ADDITION, AMBASSADOR WESTON, WHO HAD
VISITED TURKEY THREE TIMES SINCE AMBASSADOR EDELMAN'S
ARRIVAL, WOULD CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE ISSUE. GUL SAID THE PM
WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY DISCUSS HIS DESIRE FOR AN ONGOING U.S.
POLITICAL LEVEL INVOLVEMENT IN HIS MEETING WITH PRESIDENT
BUSH (AFTER HIS DISCUSSION WITH THE UNSYG IN DAVOS).


4. (S) ON IRAQ, GUL WELCOMED THE RECENT U.S. DESIGNATION OF
KONGRA GEL AS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION AND THE NEWS THAT THE
U.S. WOULD BE PREPARED TO ADDRESS LONG-STANDING TURKISH
CONCERNS ON THE PKK DURING THE VISIT. HE DID NOT DWELL ON
THE PKK ISSUE, HOWEVER, BUT WAS QUITE CONCERNED ABOUT IRAQ'S
POLITICAL FUTURE AND THE QUESTION OF FEDERALISM. GUL SAID
THAT ETHNIC FEDERALISM WAS A POTENTIAL THREAT TO IRAQ'S
TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AND ULTIMATELY TO TURKEY'S AS WELL. HE
SAID HE HAD SUMMONED BARHAM SALIH TO HIS RESIDENCE THE
PREVIOUS EVENING (JANUARY 17) TO DISCUSS THE MATTER. (FYI:
THE TURKISH PRESS HAS STILL NOT REPORTED ON THIS MEETING.
PREVIOUSLY TURKISH MEDIA HAD SUGGESTED THAT TURKEY WOULD
CONVEY ITS DISPLEASURE WITH THE RECENT KDP-PUK AGREEMENT ON
FEDERALISM BY HAVING GUL STIFF SALIH. END FYI) GUL SAID HE
HAD TOLD HIS GUEST THAT THE KURDS HAD BUILT WHAT THEY HAD
UNDER THE PROTECTION AFFORDED BY U.S.-TURKISH COOPERATION IN
ONW AND WITH OTHER TURKISH ASSISTANCE OVER THE YEARS. "TURKS
AND KURDS SHOULD NOT BE AT EACH OTHER'S THROATS." HE
INDICATED CONCERN TO BARHEM THAT KURDISH OVERREACHING COULD
JEOPARDIZE THE POLITICAL PROCESS IN IRAQ. HE NOTED THAT
TURKEY HAD OVERPLAYED THE TURKMEN CARD IN THE PAST AND THAT
THE TURKMEN POPULATION IN IRAQ NEEDED TO BECOME MORE LIKE THE
TURKS IN BULGARIA WHO WERE "BULGARIANS FIRST." NONETHELESS,
THERE WAS CONCERN ABOUT THEM IN TURKEY AND SOME DUE REGARD
FOR THE STATUS OF THE TURKMEN IN IRAQ NEEDED TO BE EXERCISED.
THEY WERE AN IMPORTANT PART OF IRAQ'S MULTI-ETHNIC MAKEUP.
GUL EXPRESSED APPRECIATION FOR THE U.S. APPROACH IN KIRKUK
AND SAID HE WISHED THE U.S. WELL. "WE WANT YOU TO SUCCEED IN
BUILDING A DEMOCRATIC IRAQ," HE SAID, "THERE REALLY IS NO
OTHER ALTERNATIVE."


5. (S) AMBASSADOR NOTED THAT TURKEY'S TRADITIONAL
GEOSTRATEGIC IMPORTANCE TO THE U.S. WAS, IF ANYTHING, GREATER
THAN EVER BEFORE. PRESIDENT BUSH HAD SIGNIFICANTLY
REORIENTED U.S. POLICY IN THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST. THE
U.S.G. WOULD NO LONGER BE SILENT ABOUT THE ABSENCE OF
DEMOCRATIZATION AND THE FAILURE TO MEET BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS
STANDARDS. TURKEY WAS A POWERFUL EXAMPLE OF A SECULAR,
MUSLIM DEMOCRACY THAT WAS SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTING POLITICAL
AND ECONOMIC REFORMS IN ORDER TO BEGIN THE PROCESS OF EU
ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS. TURKEY'S SUCCESS WAS IMPORTANT TO
THE U.S. AND WAS SOMETHING WE HOPED TO HIGHLIGHT AT THE
ISTANBUL SUMMIT. GUL SAID HE HAD NO DOUBT THAT TURKEY COULD
PLAY A VALUABLE ROLE IN FURTHERING U.S. POLICY GOALS IN THE
REGION. TURKEY, HE ASSERTED, COULD SPEAK DIRECTLY TO THE
COUNTRIES OF THE REGION ABOUT DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS (AS
HE HAD IN TEHRAN AT THE OIC SOME MONTHS AGO) WITHOUT AROUSING
SUSPICIONS. HE LOOKED FORWARD, HE SAID, TO HEARING FROM
AMBASSADORS SENSOY AND MORALI ABOUT THEIR DISCUSSIONS IN
WASHINGTON ON U.S. IDEAS FOR USING THE NATO SUMMIT TO ADVANCE
A BROADER AGENDA IN THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST.
EDELMAN

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