Cablegate: Got Objects to Inclusion in Port Security

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
SUBJECT: GOT Objects to Inclusion in Port Security

Ref: (A) State 173908 (B) Rome 3096
(C) Miller/McCormick Email 8/13/04

Sensitive But Unclassified. Please Handle Accordingly.

1. (U) This message contains an action request in para

2. (U) Prior to receiving ref C email putting ref A
demarche on hold, Econoff delivered demarche to MFA and
the Turkish Maritime Administration advising that
countries, including Turkey, which have reported less
than full compliance with the International Convention
for the Safety of Life at Sea's (SOLAS) International
Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) will be
included in a Port Security Advisory to be issued by the
U.S. Coast Guard later in August.

3. (SBU) Gurcan Balik, of the MFA Maritime Affairs
Department, responded that the GOT and Turkish ports had
done a great deal to implement ISPS requirements,
perhaps more than most European countries. He stressed
that major Turkish ports, including those servicing
trade with the United States, were in compliance. Balik
explained that, of Turkey's 154 ports, 151 had approved
port security assessments. Of these, 108 had approved
port security plans and the Maritime U/S was working
expeditiously to review the other plans submitted.
(Embassy faxed copies of these lists of ports to U.S.
Coast Guard and EB.) Ports which were not yet in
compliance are minor players which do not service U.S.
ports. Emphasizing that Port Security Advisory would
have a negative effect on bilateral trade, Balik asked
that the USG reconsider inclusion of Turkey in the
advisory, or that the advisory clearly state that ships
calling on ISPS-compliant Turkish ports would not be
considered to pose additional security risks.

4. (U) Balik responded favorably to reftel's offer of
consultations with the U.S. Coast Guard on these issues
and suggested that the Maritime Administration should be
the primary point of contact.

5. (SBU) Sitki Ustaoglu, Deputy Undersecretary of the
Turkish Maritime Administration, did not comment on most
elements of ref A demarche, but confirmed that the port
facilities which have not been been assessed by the
Maritime U/S are generally marginal to international
transport. He stated that Turkey has regularly provided
the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with
updates as to the status of ISPS implementation. In
response to ref A's question, Ustaoglu said that he
should be the primary GOT point of contact on these
issues. He also reiterated his agency's interest in
cooperation and information-sharing with USG agencies,
and stated that the Maritime U/S is considering sending
experts to view security arrangements implemented at
U.S. ports.

6. (U) Embassy has not sent final letter, and per ref C,
will refrain from doing so unless otherwise instructed.

Comment & Action Request

7. (SBU) While we fully support the need to bring our
maritime partners into compliance with ISPS as quickly
as possible, we agree with Embassy Rome's arguments in
Ref B that the current strategy for doing so may not be
the best way of bringing other countries on board. In
particular, the threat of listing Turkey or others in a
security advisory based on self-reported information and
without adequate time to remedy deficiencies will merely
encourage the Turks and others to cut corners to report
full compliance to us and the International Maritime

8. (SBU) Action Request: Embassy urges Washington
agencies to reconsider the timing of the proposed
advisory to allow us to work bilaterally to encourage
Turkey's full compliance with the ISPS. Given that
major Turkish ports shipping goods to the United States
apparently comply with ISPS, Washington may want to
reconsider inclusion of Turkey in the advisory, or at
least specify in that advisory that port calls on ISPS-
compliant ports in Turkey alone would not trigger
additional security measures.

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