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Cablegate: Turkey: 2007 Deca Inspection Focuses On Incirlik

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAK #2959/01 3481114
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141114Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4645
INFO RHMFIUU/CDR USTRANSCOM TCJ3 SCOTT AFB IL PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USAFE AMOCC RAMSTEIN AB GE PRIORITY
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
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU PRIORITY

UNCLAS ANKARA 002959

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: 2007 DECA INSPECTION FOCUSES ON INCIRLIK
CONSTRUCTION ISSUES

REF: ANKARA 0026

1.(SBU) SUMMARY: The annual Turkish General Staff (TGS)
inspection of US basing facilities made progress in resolving
the construction delay issue and turn-over of recently
constructed buildings at the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik
Air Base. It proposed establishment of a joint working group
to conduct an environmental assessment of the Yumurtalik Sea
Terminal property prior to the facility's turn-over to the
Turkish government. As in past years, TGS highlighted US
responsiveness to Turkish concerns. While some outstanding
issues, such as the employment of US dependents at Incirlik,
were left unresolved, there appeared to be a concerted effort
by TGS and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address issues
amicably. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) As required under Article XI of the bilateral
Defense Economic Cooperation Agreement (DECA), TGS J-5
Agreements Division Chief MajGen Mehmet Cetin led an
inter-agency team of TGS, Turkish Air Force, Foreign
Ministry, Customs, Labor and Environment and Forestry
representatives to conduct an inspection November 27-30, 2007
of the 425th Air Base Group facility at Bayrakli Park and
Cigli Air Base in Izmir, and the 39th ABW at Incirlik Air
Base outside of Adana. Although General Cetin took a
business-like approach to his first DECA inspection, notably
canceling his team's participation in a US-hosted luncheon in
Izmir and both reciprocally-hosted dinners planned for
Incirlik, TGS staff cited mutual solidarity, good will, and a
desire to achieve positive progress. The results of the 2006
DECA inspection may be found in reftel.

TURKEY PLEASED WITH US CONTRIBUTIONS IN IZMIR

3. (SBU) At Cigli Air Base, the 425th ABG provided up-date
briefings at facilities where the US has made improvements,
including the document control and logistics building, cold
storage warehouse, enlisted dining hall, vehicle service
station, and an aircraft maintenance hanger. Renovations and
upgrades to sole and joint-use facilities were funded by the
annual $1M Cigli support fund that is part of the Cigli Air
Base turnover agreement. The Turkish delegation appeared
pleased by the USG contributions and expressed appreciation
for good coordination on the renovation work.

4. (SBU) The 425th ABG, which supports US troops at NATO's
Component Command Air Izmir and US military operations in
Eskisehir, Istanbul and Ankara, is located on a
privately-leased compound in Bayrakli Park, Izmir. General
Cetin led a 90-minute inspection tour of the facility,
punctuated by a series of briefings by base personnel. The
Turkish delegation asked about communications systems in use,
number of weapons and amount of ammunition stored at the
facility, perimeter security monitoring and alarms, disposal
of hazardous waste, and medical facilities available on the
compound. No major issues were raised.

5. (SBU) The municipality of Karsiyaka, on which the Bayrakli
property is located, has re-zoned Bayrakli Park and adjacent
land as commercial property; the US expects to have to vacate
the compound at some point in the future. The facility
occupies four parcels of land owned by separate landowners,
with current individual leases expiring between November 2008
and December 2011. The primary long-term option under
consideration is a drawdown of the Bayrakli Park facility and
relocation of the main support functions to on-site locations
at the NATO Air Izmir facility. The movement plan, once
approved by the 39th ABW and USAFE, will require future
discussion with and approval from TGS.

INCIRLIK AB -- GOOD FOLLOW UP ON PREVIOUS ISSUES

6. (SBU) Following the three-day inspection of the 39th Air
Base Wing (ABW) at Incirlik Air Base, TGS expressed
appreciation for US cooperation on issues raised during and
since the 2006 inspection. Maj Gen Cetin and his team were
pleased with:

- maintenance of effective base security through use of the
main gate large vehicle inspection station and the new
electronic ID bar code check now mandatory for all local
employees entering and leaving the base;

- treatment of waste water on-base before discharge; building

and effective use of an incinerator for medical waste; and
establishment of a temporary storage area for hazardous
waste;

- remedial action taken for asbestos containment in the
demolition of old buildings and new contracts for
construction debris removal and disposal; and,

- good maintenance of base roads and water drainage lines.

INCIRLIK -- TGS PLEDGES HELP WITH CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING
TURN-OVER ISSUES

7. (SBU) ODC raised with TGS and MFA the US frustration with
delays of important construction and maintenance projects at
Incirlik. The delays, experienced since August 2007, were
initially caused by the failure of 10th Tanker Base Command
to allow certain construction materials on to Incirlik Air
Base because they were not manufactured in Turkey. According
to regulations contained in the MFA's 2002 circular governing
construction at US facilities in Turkey, all projects are
required to use materials procured locally whenever possible.
ODC disagrees with MFA's interpretation of the construction
circular. Confusion on the issue of place of procurement
versus place of manufacture caused TGS to reevaluate
construction materials lists, resulting in delays in the
delivery of materials which forced a halt to work on a range
of projects, including: new base housing construction,
communications infrastructure, waste water systems, and
essential, on-going runway repair work. TGS and MFA agreed
to review the issue of the procurement of construction
materials and pledged to find a solution to this problem.


8. (SBU) The US side also discussed the delays in allowing
the 39th ABW to occupy three US-only buildings constructed
within the last year for the storage of hazardous materials.
Construction of the buildings was completed in March and
April 2007 and registration with Ministry of Defense
completed. The 10th Tanker has refused to allow occupation
and use of the buildings, however, due to lack of a turnover
protocol document. TGS agreed to complete negotiations for a
protocol to facilitate the formal transfer and use of the
buildings as soon as possible.

INCIRLIK -- OUTSTANDING ISSUES FLAGGED BY TGS

9. (SBU) Issues cited by TGS as requiring resolution:

- Fire arms accountability: The quarterly ammunition list
contained in Memo 60-2 should be updated and approved, and
serial numbers of all fire arms in the US inventory are to be
included in the inventory.

- Overtime payment for Customs and Immigration officers at
the Cargo Hub: Customs repeated its request, first made in
2006, for US payment of overtime salaries and transportation
expenses to cover Customs officers' travel to and from the
base. In response, ODC reiterated the response made
following the 2006 DECA inspection that a formal request for
payment be transmitted via an MFA diplomatic note. The
Embassy has not yet received such a request. Subsequent to
initiation of Cargo Hub operations, Customs notified the 39th
ABW of an inspection requirement and requested payment of
overtime fees for one Customs officer to ensure 24-hour
coverage. Customs Ministry officials have since confirmed
that Customs does have the authority to check all cargo
transiting Turkey but that it typically does not exercise
this authority except in cases of suspicious cargo.

- Communications plan: TGS requested that the Master
Communications Plan prepared annually should be prepared for
2007, inspected by the 10th Tanker Base Command, and
forwarded to TGS.

- US Dependent Hires: The Labor Ministry repeated its
complaint that the 39th ABW has not provided a list of
specific jobs for which it would like to hire US dependents
and is not applying for work permits for US dependent hires
in accordance with Turkish labor law. This issue was
initially raised at the 2005 DECA, after which ODC offered to
meet to discuss this issue. The MFA subsequently notified
the Embassy that the Turkish side could not come to an
agreed-upon position and therefore preferred not to meet. At

the 2006 inspection, the Turkish delegation reiterated a
request for this information for the record but did not press
the issue.

- Domestic employees working on-base: Domestic employees
working for American personnel on the base are subject to
Turkish labor laws requiring their employers to pay social
security insurance, according to Social Insurance Law No.
506. Contracts for all such employees should be prepared and
should be in compliance with Ministry of Labor regulations.

- Environmental issues: Formal permission should be obtained
from the Adana municipality, with coordination of the 10th
Tanker Base Command, for the discharge of treated waste water
into the Adana sewage system. In addition, the US should
maintain the proposed schedule for the rehabilitation of the
former landfill site on the base, originally proposed to be
completed in 2009 and recently postponed to 2014.

NEED FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY OF YUMURTALIK SITE

9. (SBU) General Cetin led both delegations on a walking tour
of the Yumurtalik Sea Port facility, located about 30 miles
east-southeast of Adana. The turn-over to Turkey of this
fenced, 12-acre 1950s-era US fuel terminal and storage
facility was the most significant issue raised during the
previous year's Incirlik inspection. The facility has not
been used for several years and has no resident US personnel.
While the perimeter fence appeared intact, the Turkish
delegation expressed concerns about security for the site.
TGS requested:

- The formation of a joint working group to schedule the
transfer of the facility and assess any environmental damage
at the site, including any possible soil or groundwater
contamination, and make preparations for any remedial action
that may be required.

- Continued USG oversight of the facility during the interim
between the departure of US personnel and the removal of USG
equipment and TGS assumption of responsibility for the
facility following signature of a Turnover Agreement.

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

WILSON

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