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Cablegate: Turkey: Pol-Mil Round-Up, August 2005

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 005627

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR MOPS PREL PTER TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: POL-MIL ROUND-UP, August 2005

REFERENCE: A) ANKARA 3892, B) 2004 ANKARA 6000

(Note: This is one of the regular series of unclassified
reports on significant Turkish defense and national security
issues in the press and other open sources. We welcome
feedback on whether these reports are useful. End note)

Contents
--------

-- NSC Mum on Revised National Security Document
-- Turkey's Security Relations with Other Countries
-- Defense Industry Activity

NSC Mum on Revised National Security Policy Document
--------------------------------------------- -------

1. (SBU) Discussion of a new National Security Policy
document (outlining the government's priorities with regard
to threats to Turkey's internal and external security),
which was postponed to August from the June NSC meeting, was
not discussed in the NSC bi-monthly meeting of August 23.
No official statement was released regarding the
postponement. Publicly, NSC officials have stated that the
annual Supreme Military Council meeting (Aug. 1-4) which
decided the 2005 promotion, retirement and assignments of
Turkish General Staff officers took precedence. Privately
they have insisted that the postponement was due solely to a
lack of time for all agencies to review the draft and that
disagreement between the government and the military over
policy priorities is minimal. Our academic contacts believe
the issue will be kept off of the agenda until after the
Oct. 3 start of Turkey's EU accession negotiations.
According to one Turkish academic, the government does not
want to announce a final decision on the 25-page draft
document -- which had previously defined Greece as an
external threat -- in the run-up to the start of accession
talks. For that same reason, our NSC contact has suggested
that the security policy document may not be considered
until December.

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2. (U) Following the August meeting, the NSC released a
declaration reiterating Turkey's determination to continue
the fight against terrorism. However, according to the
center-left daily Radikal, a report drafted by the NSC
Secretary-General warned that the struggle against terrorism

SIPDIS
should not damage Turkey's membership negotiations with the
EU and that the military's demand for broader authority in
the fight against terrorism could do so. The same daily
wrote on August 24 that Turkish military expressed
uneasiness about PM Erdogan's early August public reference
to Turkey's "Kurdish problem"; emphasized the importance of
coordination between state organs before making such
statements; and dismissed the possibility that a new policy
on the sensitive topic of Kurdish rights could be adopted.

Turkey's Security Relations with Other Countries
--------------------------------------------- ---

3. (U) Greece: Turkish and Greek Battalions under the
command of NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) held a joint exercise
on August 23. According to a GOT statement during the
exercise, 62 Turkish and Greek soldiers in Kosovo met at
check points on the border with Albania and in the Dragas
region of Kosovo to train in how to combat against illegal
border crossings, and weapons, drug and human smuggling (The
semi-governmental Anatolian News Agency).

4. (U) Georgia: Georgia's NSC Secretary-General Gela
Bejuashvili stated that Georgia prepared a new state
security document on terrorism in which Turkey, Ukraine and
the US were noted as the most important strategic partners
in the fight against terrorism. (The Anatolian News
Agency).

5. (U) Nigeria: Turkish Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu,
who received his Nigerian counterpart Magaji Mohammed on
August 26, said that Turkey would welcome a security
cooperation agreement with Nigeria (The Anatolian News
Agency).

6. (U) Meeting with his Kyrgyz counterpart in Kyrgizstan in
mid August, Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul reaffirmed
Turkey's military support for the Kyrgyz Republic (The
monthly Defense and Aerospace Newsletter).

Defense Industry Activity
-------------------------

7. (U) Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defense Industries
(Savunma Sanayi Mustesarligi - SSM) has opened an
international competition for the combined purchase of 32
military helicopters and 20 helos for the Forestry Service
valued at USD 700 million. Responses to SSM's Request for
Proposal are due December 5 (Defense News).

8. (U) SSM has invited bids for an under-water and above-
water surveillance and detection system for Yunus-Aksaz and
Foca Naval Bases. The project also involves delivery of
active acoustic systems, passive acoustic systems, diver
detection systems, electro-optic, radar, and communication
systems for the defense operation center at those bases (The
Anatolian News Agency).

9. (U) The Turkish defense firm Aselsan signed a contract
valued at USD 17.4 million with the IUP (Israeli UAV
Partnership) as part of Turkey's broader agreement with
Israel for the purchase of UAVs. (center-left daily
Radikal).

10. (U) Aselsan won a USD 100 million tender to sell 18
Stinger missiles to the Dutch military (The center-right
Hurriyet daily).

11. (U) Some 50 local and foreign companies (including
Lockheed Martin) have requested from SSM the Reconnaissance
and Surveillance Satellite Project Request for Information
(RFI). The project is valued at around USD 250 million (The
monthly Defense and Aerospace Newsletter).

12. (U) The bid submission deadline for the ATAK helicopter
tender was extended for a second time, from Sept. 13 to
November 8 (the original due date was early June). US
industry sources believe that the second postponement was
due to a lack of bidders. Turkish media sources indicated
that a South African company which took the tender has
decided not to bid due to the onerous RFP Terms and
Conditions (T&Cs). The center-daily Sabah reported that the
Russian Kamov Company would submit a bid for the ATAK
helicopter tender; however the Kamov does not meet the
tandem configuration requirement and was eliminated from
consideration in the original tender won by Bell Textron.
Our industry contacts suggest that Eurocopter and Italy's
Agusta remain interested in participation. However, the
T&Cs may prove too onerous for any company to submit a
compliant bid.


MCELDOWNEY

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