Cablegate: Demarche to Turkey On Fuel Supplies to Iraq

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

241045Z Dec 04





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 273248

B. ADANA 171
C. ANKARA 7119

1. (SBU) Summary: Post passed on ref a message to foreign
ministry officials on December 24. Turkish MFA says it is
seized with the issue and is doing what it can to encourage
transporters, fuel contractors and truckers to resolve the
strike. MFA officials believe the single biggest problem is
fees levied by authorities in Northern Iraq which add to
Turkish truckers' costs. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Following up on CDA's conversation with Turkey's
Special Representative on Iraq Koruturk yesterday (ref c),
Acting Econ Couns passed on the message in ref a to
Koruturk's office as well as to Deputy Undersecretary for
Economic Affairs Ender Arat. Both Koruturk and Arat are at
the parliament all day today as the Foreign Ministry defends
its budget. A/EconCouns spoke separately with Director
General for Economic Affairs Oguz Ozge and with Deputy DG
Mehmet Gucuk who has been following this issue.

3. (SBU) Both officials undertook to pass on the message to
Arat and Koruturk. Ozge claimed that, in addition to
financial issues, there were "political considerations" that
Koruturk is looking into. When pressed to explain, Ozge
suggested their may be a "Kongra Gel" (i.e. PKK) link to the
intimidation experienced by those truckers trying to deliver
product. In the conversation with Gucuk, he said the GOT was
trying to stop the intimidation but he did not allude to any
Kongra-Gel connection.

4. (SBU) Gucuk went into more detail on economic factors. He
said the MFA is seized with the issue, up through the
Minister, who had met with the manager of one of the
transport companies whose truckers are striking last week.
This particular transporter is also a board member of the
RODER transporters' union. Gucuk said that the Minister
urged the transporters to do what they could to resolve the
strike but that the transport companies say they can no
longer control individual truckers.

5. (SBU) Gucuk also said that the Turkish authorities believe
that the single biggest problem is the fees levied by
"Northern Iraqi authorities." He said that even if SOMO
raised its payments, the "Northern Iraqis" would increase
their fees accordingly, as this has happened in the past.
According to Gucuk, the "Northern Iraqis" charge an average
of $300 per truck on all petroleum products. Gucuk also said
that the $300 sometimes runs as high as $500. He said there
are other charges on other products, such as $368 per
truckload of electronics.

6. (SBU) Finally, Gucuk said that both the Foreign Ministry
and Foreign Trade Undersecretariat would continue to work on
the issue, and would welcome discussions with SOMO and the
IIG on how best to resolve this complex problem.

7. (SBU) Comment: Post passes on GOT officials' comments
without being able to verify their assessment of the problem
in Northern Iraq. Post also urges the Department and Embassy
Baghdad to factor in the information obtained by Consulate
Adana in ref b, based on discussions with contractors and
transporters on the ground. On ref a's reference to Petrol
Ofisi being government-owned, post notes that majority
ownership (51%) of Petrol Ofisi was sold to private companies
in 2000 and our understanding is that the company operates
like a private business. Moreover, post's understanding is
that Petrol Ofisi is the leading contractor on sustainment
fuels, but is only the third or fourth largest Turkish
supplier to SOMO.

8. (U) Baghdad Minimize considered.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>