Cablegate: American-Turkish Association Staffdel Focuses On
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAK #2173/01 2340822
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 220822Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3511
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5//
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU//TCH//
RUEUITH/TLO ANKARA TU
RUEHAK/TSR ANKARA TU
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002173
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER OSCE TU
SUBJECT: AMERICAN-TURKISH ASSOCIATION STAFFDEL FOCUSES ON
IRAQ, PKK, ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RESOLUTION
1.(SBU) Summary: American-Turkish Council (ATC) staff
members focused on Iraq, the terrorist PKK organization, and
a potential Armenian genocide resolution (AGR) during August
7-8 meetings in Turkey with MFA and Turkish business
officials. MFA U/S Apakan told the group that a U.S.
withdrawal would exacerbate problems in Iraq, and that the
GOT needs concrete USG actions to counter the terrorist
Kurdistan Workers, Party (PKK) there. Apakan also explained
that passage of an AGR would complicate US-Turkish relations.
In Istanbul, the American Business Forum Turkey (ABFT)
described how continuing PKK attacks and possible passage of
an AGR could undermine U.S. companies, interest in Turkey.
Staff members acknowledged the potential adverse effect of an
AGR, and suggested the GOT and ABFT step up efforts to
educate Congressional staff in Washington during the summer
recess. End summary.
2.(SBU) MFA U/S Apakan told five Republican Senate staff
members on August 7 that a U.S. failure in Iraq would be a
failure for all. A precipitous American troop pullout would
destabilize the region and have severe negative repercussions
in Turkey. According to Apakan, sectarian divisions would
prolong violence, and it would take ten years to stabilize
Iraq. UN support would help, but stability and progress
ultimately would depend on continued USG presence and
increased dialogue between the USG and Iraq's neighbors.
3.(SBU) Apakan reiterated GOT policy that Turkey has a right
to defend itself from terrorism by undertaking a cross-border
military operation (CBO) against the PKK in Northern Iraq.
He stressed that Turkey must see more cooperation from the
U.S. soon to alleviate the necessity of a CBO.
4.(SBU) Turning to the AGR, Apakan emphasized that passage of
an AGR would severely strain US-Turkish relations. The
Turkish public would be outraged, making cooperation with the
USG difficult. Apakan stressed that Turkey has opened its
historical archives so that any scholar may study the issue,
and has asked Armenia to do the same. The GOT has offered to
convene a joint historical commission with Armenia to study
the issues, and Turkey has agreed to accept the conclusions
of such a body, he said.
5.(SBU) At a separate August 9 meeting in Istanbul with the
American Business Forum Turkey (ABFT), ABFT board members
described a steady improvement in Turkey's business climate
over the past several years and were optimistic that recent
election results would result in continued pro-business
policies. They noted that U.S. policy regarding PKK
operations in northern Iraq and the potential passage of an
AGR could adversely affect U.S. companies doing business in
Turkey. The perception that the U.S. is "doing nothing" to
stop the PKK from using northern Iraq as a base to attack
Turkey was widespread, ABFT Vice Chairman Jeff Kemprecos
explained, and the ill-will created by this perception could
easily spread to U.S. companies. The lack of "kinetic
action" by the U.S. military is particularly difficult to
explain, commented one defense sector representative.
6.(SBU) Chairman of the Board Galip Sukaya stressed that
passage of an AGR would definitely hurt U.S. companies
operating in Turkey. Board members representing the consumer
products and food and beverage industries told Staffdel
members that the effect of an AGR would also be felt by U.S.
companies throughout the region, particularly in Azerbaijan.
A representative from the defense sector noted that French
defense firms had been effectively black-listed from all
military equipment tenders following passage of a related
piece of legislation by the lower house of the French
7.(SBU) Staffdel members encouraged ABFT to work closely with
business headquarters in the United States, as well as
industry groups, to convey their concerns on AGR directly to
House staff before the end of August. They also encouraged
MFA officials to meet with House staffers to explain the GOT
position during this summer's recess.
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