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Cablegate: Turkey: Pol-Mil Round-Up, August 2006

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MASS MARR PREL TU AF BK
SUBJECT: TURKEY: POL-MIL ROUND-UP, August 2006

(Note: This is one of a regular series of unclassified reports on
significant Turkish defense and national security issues in the
press and other open sources. End note.)


Contents
--------

-- National Security Council Convenes
-- Turkish Defense Undersecretariat Restructuring
-- Turkey's Security Relations with Other Countries
-- Defense Industry Activity


National Security Council Convenes
----------------------------------

1. Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) held its bi-monthly
meeting on August 21. National security issue and the fight against
terrorism topped the agenda of the meeting. Recent developments in
the Middle East, humanitarian assistance to Lebanon and Palestine,
Turkey's policy on Black Sea security and regional developments were
among the other issues discussed.

Turkish Defense Undersecretariat Re-Structuring
--------------------------------------------- --

2. Established in 1985 to develop modern defense industrial
infrastructure in Turkey, Turkish Defense Undersecretariat (SSM)
restructured its organization. Six additional heads of departments
were added: Research & Development and Technology Management,
Quality-Test Certification, International Cooperation, Naval
Platforms, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, and Rocket-Missile and
Ammunition. All of these positions were filled by employees
promoted from within the organization. SSM will also hire a number
of new personnel by the end of the year. According to one
government contact, further personnel assignments at the level of
chief of section and heads of department are expected by the end of
the year.

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

2. Afghanistan: Turkish Defense Minister met with his Afghan
counterpart Gen Abdurrahim Wardak during his official visit to Kabul
on August 6. During his visit, Gonul said Turkey will continue its
assistance program to support rebuilding the country and developing
the national army, as reported by Peshawar-based Afghan Islamic
Press (AIP). This visit was not reported by Turkish media.

The ISAF Kabul Regional Command Center started operations under
tripartite command of Turkey-France-Italy on August 6. As part of
its participation in this command, Turkey will increase its troop
contribution in Afghanistan to the level of battalion, according to
the semi-official Anatolian News Agency (ANA).

3. Bosnia-Herzegovina: Turkey signed a military cooperation
agreement with Bosnia on August 14. The agreement was signed in
Sarajevo by Turkish Military Attach Col Osman Aksakal and Bosnian
Deputy Defense Minister Enes Becirbasic. The agreement covers
cooperation in the fields of training, technology and science
including the exchange of personnel, material, equipment,
information and experience, as reported by the Bosnian Independent
News Agency.

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

4. Turkey is planning to buy a new squadron of F-16 fighter jets
worth at least $ 1.5 billion as a stop-gap solution until
new-generation fighter aircraft join its Air Force in the next
decade. Air Force Chief General Faruk Comert said on August 30 that
Turkey was planning to purchase 30 F-16s by 2011. Turkish military
officials expect final agreement on the purchase before the end of
this year if all technical and financial talks with Lockheed Martin
go smoothly, according to the Turkish Daily News.

5. Procurement officials are to finalize the multibillion dollar
ATAK helicopter tender this year. Four companies submitted bids
(South Africa's Denel, Italy's Augusta Westland, German/French
consortium Eurocopter, and Russia's Kamov) in the tender which was
issued in February 2005, following the cancellation of an initial

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tender in the mid 1990s which had been awarded to Bell-Textron.
Denel and Agusta Westland were named as the two finalists in this
second tender. According to a defense analyst, it is possible that
the military, under new Chief of the General Staff GEN Yasar
Buyukanit (former Chief of the Turkish Land Forces) who took office
on August 30, may push for a review as none of the two remaining
options fully satisfies the command from operational and technical
viewpoints (Ankara Turkish Daily News). However, according to a
government contact announcement of a new tender with revised terms
of condition cannot take place before general elections of 2007 in
Turkey.

. Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said on August 9 that Turkey
reached an agreement with the US for purchasing 50 Slam-ER missiles
(Standoff Land Attack Missiles-Expanded Response) for $ 139 million
from the US through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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