Cablegate: Turkey: Pol-Mil Round-Up, May 2007
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SUBJECT: TURKEY: POL-MIL ROUND-UP, May 2007
(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.)
-- 8th International Defense Industry Fair in Ankara
-- Turkish General Staff Hosts International Symposium on Security
-- Anti-Terrorism High Council Convenes
-- Turkish Military to Close Camps on Election Period
-- Turkey's Security Relations with Other Countries
-- Defense Industry Activity
8th International Defense Industry Fair in Ankara
1. The 8th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF - the biennial
Turkish defense fair) was held on May 22-25 in Ankara. 494
companies (333 foreign and 161 Turkish firms) from 48 countries
participated in the fair, including 42 American companies. Many
high level officials from different countries attended, including 10
defense ministers, 6 deputy defense ministers, 4 Chiefs of General
Staff, and 7 defense undersecretaries. Ceremonies to mark the
signing of 13 contracts were held. Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi
Gonul met with official and unofficial visitors in an office
dedicated to him in the fair area. On May 22, a bomb explosion near
the site of an IDEF reception hosted by Turkish CHOD GEN Buyukanit,
which was attributed to the PKK terrorist organization, killed 8 and
injured 100, including 6 Pakistani IDEF participants. As a result,
Turkish authorities increased security at the IDEF fairgrounds.
Turkish General Staff Hosts International Symposium on Security
2. The Turkish General Staff hosted an international symposium
entitled 'New Dimensions of Security and International
Organizations' at the War Academies in Istanbul on May 31-June 1.
Turkish CHOD GEN Yasar Buyukanit delivered the opening remarks to
800 participants from 55 countries. GEN Buyukanit said in his
remarks that he has already notified the government of the need to
launch a cross-border operation into northern Iraq. He also said
countries providing logistical, financial and propaganda support to
terrorists should be considered terrorists. Defining proliferation
as a potential threat, GEN Buyukanit noted that the weapons
development activities of some countries threaten the region. The
changing roles of international organizations and their contribution
to security policies; the role of the UN and NATO; and nuclear,
biological and chemical weapons counter-measures were among other
issues discussed in the symposium (ANA).
Anti-Terrorism High Council Convenes
3. Turkey's Anti-Terrorism High Council, chaired by Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul, convened on May 18. This is the fifth meeting of the
council in one year, but only the sixth since 1997. The Prime
Ministry announced that issues like preparations for the fight
against terrorism, border security, and electoral security were
discussed in the meeting.
Turkish Military to Close Camps for Election
4. The Turkish General Staff announced it will shut down all
military camps and recreational facilities during the week preceding
the July 22 parliamentary general elections. Additionally, military
personnel will not be granted annual leave during the period. The
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decision will affect around half a million people considering
families of the military personnel, as reported by the Center-right
mass appeal daily of Sabah. The purpose of the closure is to
encourage military personnel to stay in their district of residence
during the election period and exercise their right to vote.
Turkey's Security Relations with Other Countries
5. Georgia: Turkish Deputy Chief of Mission in Tbilisi, Firat Sunel,
said at a ceremony at a military airport near Tbilisi that bilateral
military relations with Turkey are advancing at a satisfactory
level, while Georgian Deputy Defense Minister Batu Kutelia said
Georgia would work to boost military relations with Turkey.
Turkey's military equipment grant to the Georgian Armed Forces is
worth $ 750,000.
6. Macedonia: Turkey donated five new vehicles and equipment worth
$291,000 to the Macedonian army on May 7. Macedonian Defense
Minister Lazar Elenovski said Turkey has been providing aid to the
Macedonian military since 1991. Elenovski also noted that Turkey's
assistance is valued at $50 million, according to the official
Macedonian Information Agency.
7. Bosnia: A Turkish delegation led by Chief of Military History and
Strategic Studies LG Eyup Kaplan visited Bosnian Defense Minister
Selmo Cikotic on May 8. The Turkish delegation was composed of 12
generals, as reported by Sarajevo OSANA Independent News Agency.
8. Afghanistan: The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) donated 24 howitzers
to Afghanistan on May 9. Afghan personnel who will be in charge of
the howitzer batteries will be trained in Turkey, according to
semi-official Anatolian News agency (ANA).
9. Greece: In January, the Turkish General Staff (TGS) began to
report Greek violations of Turkish airspace. To date, the website
has recorded 36 interceptions by Greek jets in international
airspace over the Aegean Sea. An interception by Mirage-2000 and
F-16 Greek jets over international airspace near Lesbos Island four
times on May 19, another interception by Greek F-16 fighters on May
21, an interception in international airspace east of the Greek
island of Rhodes by Greek F-16 and Mirage-2000 jets on May 26, and
four interceptions by Greek F-16s in the international airspace over
the Aegean Sea on May 28 are some of the interception reports. TGS
reported 13 airspace violations of Greek planes in May alone.
10. Egypt: Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul received his
Egyptian counterpart Sayyid Mash'al on May 23 to discuss boosting
bilateral defense cooperation, as reported by the Cairo MENA
official news agency.
11. Azerbaijan: A Turkish delegation of 12 generals headed by GEN
Eyup Kaptan visited Azerbaijani military officials on May 23. GEN
Kaplan said their visit aimed to boost relations and cooperation
between the two armed forced (ANA).
12. Qatar: Turkish CHOD GEN Buyukanit signed a framework agreement
for military cooperation in education, technology and science with
Qatari CHOD GEN Hamed Bin Ali Alateyah on May 23 in Ankara.
13. Bahrain: Turkish CHOD GEN Buyukanit signed a framework agreement
for military cooperation with Bahraini Defense Minister GEN Mohammad
Bin Abdallah Al-Khalifa May 23 in Ankara.
14. Saudi Arabia: A delegation led by Defense Minister Gonul and SSM
Undersecretary Bayar (Defense Industry Undersecretariat) visited
Saudi Arabia from on May 27-31. The delegation met the Saudi King's
deputy, the Defense Minister, and the Chief of General Staff and
discussed the export of Turkish defense industry products to Saudi
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Arabia as well as possibilities for bilateral defense industry
14. Kosovo: Turkey assumed command of Multinational Task Force South
(MNTF-S), one of the 5 regional commands of the NATO-led KFOR, on
May 29. A Turkish battalion will serve with 757 troops in MNTF-S.
The battalion's medical unit will provide health services to
civilians in Kosovo (ANA).
15. Lebanon: The Turkish parliament on May 29 extended the mandate
of Turkish troops under the banner of the UN Interim Forces in
Lebanon (UNIFIL) for another year. The Turkish forces mandate will
therefore expire on September 5, 2008 (ANA).
Defense Industry Activity
16. SSM Undersecretary Murad Bayar signed the NBC Protective Suit
Project Agreement signed with GAN Company at IDEF Defense Industry
Exhibition, for the purchase of 149,792 NBC protective suits for the
17. Cessna Aircraft Company, EADS, Diamond Aircraft Ind., Shinyoung
Heavy Industries Co, Alenia Aeromacchi, Aero Vodochody, Morovan
Aviation, Cirrus Desing Corp took the RFP (Request for Proposal) for
SSM's tender to procure 46 Basic Trainer Aircraft for Turkish Land
Forces to replace the U-17 and T-41 aircraft (ANA).
18. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., EADS, Bombardier Inc-Aerospace and
Boeing received the RFP for two Command and Control Aircraft for the
Turkish Air Forces. The bid deadline is June 27 (ANA).
19. 28 Turkish and foreign companies applied for an information
document for SSM's tender for 1 LPD, 4 landing craft (LMC), 27
Amphibious Armored Attack Vehicles (AAV), 2 Landing Craft Vehicle
Personnel (LCVP), and 1 Rigged Hall Inflatable Boat (ANA).
20. Defense Minister Gonul and Ambassador Wilson announced in a
joint press conference on May 11 that Turkey will procure 30 F-16
Block 50 aircraft, to be delivered in the first half of 2010. The
total package price is about $ 1.78 billion.
21. Boeing announced on May 21 at the TUSAS-TAI facilities that the
delivery of AEW&C (early warning and control) aircraft would be
delayed due to software and hardware problems. SSM Undersecretary
Bayar said it is not clear how much Boeing will pay SSM to
compensate for the delay (Moderate pro-Islamic Zaman daily).
22. SSM signed a contract with ASELSAN on May 22 for the
installation of electronic warfare defensive systems against on
helicopters in the military's inventory (ANA).