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Cablegate: Turkey: Pol-Mil Round-Up, July 2007

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101445Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3338
INFO RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ4/ECJ5//
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//ISA-EUR/DSCA//
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-5//
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2213
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 3141
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 0030
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 8284
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 5877
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002049

SIPDIS


SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MASS MARR PREL UP GR TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: POL-MIL ROUND-UP, July 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.)

Contents
--------

-- Silk Road-2007 Flag Officers Seminar in Antalya
-- Turkish Admiral Takes over Command of NATO's SNMG-2
-- SEEBRIG Moved to Istanbul
-- Former Turkish Naval Commander Imprisoned for Corruption
-- Turkey's Security Relations with Other Countries
-- Defense Industry Activity


Silk Road-2007 Flag Officers Seminar in Antalya
--------------------------------------------- --

1. The Silk Road-2007 Flag Officers Seminar (the 8th annual seminar)
was held on July 2-6 in Antalya. Defense ministers and army chiefs
from NATO, Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue and
Istanbul Cooperation Initiative countries participated in the
seminar. In the keynote address, Chief of Defense Staff GEN Yasar
Buyukanit complained about the lack of international support for
Turkey's struggle against the PKK. Chairman of the European Union
Military Committee GEN Henri Bentegeat and NATO Military Committee
Chairman GEN Raymond Henault held a joint press conference
underlining the importance of cooperation with Turkey.


Turkish Admiral Takes over Command of NATO's SNMG-2
--------------------------------------------- ------

2. Rear Admiral Michael R. Groothousen, USN, handed over the command
of NATO's Standing Naval Mission Group (SNMG-2) to Turkish Rear
Admiral Sinan Ertugrul in a ceremony at Aksaz Naval Base in the
Aegean city of Marmaris/Mugla on July 5. SNMG-2 consists of vessels
of member countries the US, Turkey, Greece, Italy and the UK.
Commander of NATO's Maritime Component Command, Naples, Italian Vice
Admiral Roberto Cesaretti delivered a speech at the ceremony
defining the SNMG-2's mission as providing humanitarian aid,
preserving the peace, evacuation of wounded civilians in times of
disaster, and carrying out counter-terrorist activities in the
Mediterranean.


SEEBRIG Moved to Istanbul
-------------------------

3. On July 10, the Southeastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG)
Headquarters was relocated from Constanta, Romania to Istanbul.
SEEBRIG is a multinational and military organization formed by
Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey in
1999 to develop cooperation and dialogue among southeastern European
countries, contribute to regional security and stability as well as
foster closer bilateral relations among member countries. Istanbul
will host the SEEBRIG HQ from 2007 to 2011, when the HQ will be
relocated to Greece.


Former Turkish Naval Commander Imprisoned for Corruption
---------------------------------------------

4. Ret. Admiral Ilhami Erdil, the first Turkish service commander to
be incarcerated, was imprisoned on July 3. Ret. ADM Erdil was
sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment on charges of fraudulent
acquisition of personal wealth during his tenure as Naval Forces
Commander between 1999 and 2001. The court expelled him from the
military and stripped him of all privileges as a retired force
commander. Erdil returned all military medals, insignia and
documents certifying a military career in Turkish Armed Forces
(TAF). Only one other Turkish general officer has served jail time:
MG Mustafa Muglali, who was tried and convicted of executing 33
villagers in Mugla province in 1948. Five other generals convicted
by the TGS Military Court received prison sentences; however, none
of the sentences were carried out.


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


ANKARA 00002049 002 OF 002


5. Ukraine: Turkish Naval Forces participated in the Sea Breeze-2007
Exercise at Odessa on July 9 with several frigates, a submarine and
a helicopter. The objective of the exercise was to improve
cooperation among multinational forces by performing practical sea
training. The US, Georgia, Greece and Turkey participated.

6. Greece: TGS reported 30 interceptions by Greek jets in
international airspace over the Aegean Sea, six violations of
territorial water in Aegean Sea and one violation of airspace during
the month of July.


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

7. Murad Bayar, Undersecretary of Defense Industry (SSM), said on
July 10 that 1,932 million Euro, the highest offer for the public
tender to construct the new international flights terminal of the
government owned Sabiha Gokcen Airport in Anatolian side of
Istanbul, will be allocated to new defense industry projects.

8. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in close cooperation with
Lockheed Martin, will equip F-16 fighters of the Turkish Air Forces
with sophisticated weapons and flight systems under the 'Peace Onyx
(PO) III' program. The program began with the delivery of the first
four F-16s to the TAI facilities in Ankara on July 2, as reported by
the semi-official Anatolian News Agency (ANA).

9. TAI signed an agreement with South Korean 'Korea Aerospace
Industries Ltd' on July 18 to acquire 40 basic trainer aircraft for
Turkish Air Forces Command. Under the program, TAI will complete
the manufacturing, assembly, flight test and delivery of 40 basic
trainer aircraft to replace the existing T-37s that are in the
inventory of Turkish Air Forces Command (ANA).

10. The large government owned communication company Aselsan signed
on July 27 a $ 2.8 million contract with Uruguayan Armed Forces for
the delivery, installation and training activities for radio and
communication systems software (ANA).


MCELDOWNEY

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