Cablegate: Got Reaction to Tsa Emergency Amendments

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





E.O. 12958: N/A

Sensitive but Unclassified. Please Handle Accordingly.

Ref: (A) Knudsen/Sirotic 6/30 Email
(B) Aguilar/Sirotic 6/30 Email
(C) Ankara 3676

1. (SBU) Summary: Embassy and TSA personnel briefed
GOT agencies, airport authorities, carriers and the
airport security contractor on the June 29 Emergency
Amendment and Security Directive. GOT officials said
they would cooperate in implementing the new
requirements, but maintained that screening of all
passengers would create massive delays and might not be
feasible. Explosive trace detection devices for use at
Istanbul Ataturk Airport are in Turkish customs and are
slated to be delivered sometime in July. Aviation
officials are trying to expedite customs clearance.
The investigation into the June 29 explosion on a
Turkish Airlines plane parked at Istanbul Ataturk
Airport is continuing. End Summary.

2. (SBU) The Embassy transmitted Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) Emergency Amendment (EA)
and Security Directive (SD) (refs A and B) via
diplomatic note on June 30. Econoff and Econ
Specialist also met with Turkish National Police (TNP)
and Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA)
officials on June 30 to discuss the EA/SD. TSA Paris
Representative Nouri Larbi, who is TDY in Istanbul,
advised post that he briefed airport and air carrier
personnel on the new requirements on June 30 as well.

3. (SBU) Mustafa Bal, Head of TNP's Protection
Division, and Turgay Sahan, of the TNP's Airport
Division, told us that GOT authorities would approach
the EA/SD "positively" and do everything possible to
cooperate with U.S. requirements. Sahan argued that
some requirements, particularly 100 percent physical
screening of passengers, are feasible if there is
reason to believe that a specific threat to a specific
flight exists. However, implementation for each and
every U.S.-bound passenger would be impractical or
impossible to carry out on a regular basis. Sahan
added that Gozen, the security contractor at Istanbul
Airport, was not authorized under Turkish law to search
passengers, and that this requirement would have to be
carried out by a state law enforcement authority unless
appropriate equipment (explosive trace detection - ETD)
were in place. Sahan said that two ETD machines had
been ordered, with delivery expected in July. Econoff
responded that he would convey TNP's concerns, but that
TSA's requirements for added security arrangements were

firm. Bal ended the meeting by saying that TNP would
issued a directive to implement the EA/SD and would try
to respond to any problems (passenger delays) that
could arise in implementation.

4. (SBU) Topa Toker, Director General for Civil
Aviation, told us that additional security measures had
already been implemented following the June 29
explosion on a Turkish Airlines (THY) aircraft (ref C).
He and his staff said that most of the EA/SD
requirements were already in force, but that the 100
percent passenger screening would be very difficult to
implement and would cause massive delays given the busy
summer travel season. Toker said that THY officials
had called the Transport Minister earlier that day to
ask him to intervene with TSA to modify the EA/SD
requirements. Toker said that 14 ETD devices, to be
installed at Turkey's international airports, including
two for Istanbul Ataturk Airport, were now in Turkish
Customs. He told us that DGCA was working to have this
equipment released as soon as possible.

5. (SBU) TSA Paris Representative told us that he had
extensively briefed Ataturk Airport officials, and
representatives of THY, Delta and Gozen on the EA/SD,
and that full implementation must begin on July 1. THY
raised a number of concerns about implementation, and
asked for less than 100 percent passenger screening.
TSA responded that TSA was prepared to entertain

alternative proposals to implement the security
requirements for the medium-term, but that in the short-
term, there could be no flexibility on these
requirements. TSA told us that his agency is prepared
to lend the Turks ETD equipment for up to 90 days if

6. (SBU) TNP and DGCA told us that the investigation
into the June 29 incident (ref C) was continuing. TNP
reported that the explosive used was tri-acetone tri-
peroxide (TATP).


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