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Cablegate: Turkey Protests Use of "Peters Map" in Nato

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAK #5582 2651459
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221459Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8946
INFO RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6586
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISA:EUR/ISA:NESA/DSCA// PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5// PRIORITY
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 5180
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY

UNCLAS ANKARA 005582

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY PROTESTS USE OF "PETERS MAP" IN NATO
DEFENSE COLLEGE CLASS

1. (SBU) MFA Deputy Director General for Americas Affairs
Murat Esenli called us under instructions on September 21 to
complain about the use at the NATO Defense College of a map
authored by retired U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters that
redraws the boundaries of Turkey and neighboring countries to
create an independent Kurdistan. He noted that the map was
presented by an active-duty US colonel, and lamented that he
had thought this was resolved.

2. (SBU) This was Esenli's second call in six weeks on the
"Peters map," which appeared in the June 2006 edition of
Armed Forces Journal together with an article entitled "Blood
Borders: How a Better Middle East Would Look," that received
extensive coverage in Ankara. In late July, he and other
Turkish officials complained about the map, with some
suggesting that it depicted the U.S. vision of the "new
Middle East" outlined by Secretary Rice. Not to miss an
opportunity, the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet plastered the map
across the front page of its July 27 edition. (Note:
Cumhuriyet and Vatan dailies had both previously published
the map and continue to do so. End Note.) We responded with
a press statement on August 3 -- which Esenli had requested
to give the MFA its own ammunition against the map -- stating
that neither the publication nor the author had any
affiliation with the USG and that the opinions reflected in
the article did not reflect US policy.

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3. (SBU) Esenli's September 21 call followed on the heels of
an informal contact on September 20 by a retired Turkish
military general close to current Deputy Chief of the General
Staff (DCHOD) GEN Ergin Saygun, who noted the DCHOD's
unhappiness with the use of the map. According to the
general, a NATO officer (presumably Turkish) in the class
protested the presentation of the map as soon as it was
unveiled but his request to have it taken down was rejected.
As a result, the general said, Turkey's Ambassador to Italy
was engaged on the issue. (Note: Colleagues with whom we
spoke at Embassy Rome and US NATO were unaware of the map
"crisis" or of any complaint by Turkey's missions to Italy or
to NATO. End Note.)

4. (SBU) COMMENT: We will continue to reinforce with our
Turkish interlocutors that Peters' opinions do not reflect
those of the US government and restate the importance with
which we hold freedom of speech and the value of discussion
and debate, particularly in establishments of higher
learning. The persistence of the story here, however, does
highlight the government's sensitivity regarding the
country's own territorial integrity. END COMMENT.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

© Scoop Media

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