C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 006450
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/14/2013
TAGS: PREL OREP MOPS PGOV TU IZ
SUBJECT: CODEL SAXTON'S ANKARA STOP FOCUSES ON IRAQ
(U) CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR ERIC EDELMAN. REASONS: 1.5 (B
Â¶1. (C) Summary: Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin told
visiting CODEL Saxton (Oct 9-10, 2003) that the Turkish
government is determined to expand Turkey's partnership with
the US beyond Iraq, regional security, and international
terrorism. In the AK Party's estimate, according to Sahin,
stability and prosperity in Iraq must first be established by
providing basic necessities like water and electricity.
Sahin indicated that Turkish troops deployed to Iraq would
focus on these humanitarian issues, core components of
establishing security, building trust, and fostering hope in
the future. U/S Ziyal delivered much the same message. Iraq
is bleak, but Turkish troops are better prepared to stabilize
the situation, Ziyal observed. Ziyal voiced concerns about
the over-representation of Kurdish officials on the IGC, the
under-representation of ethnic Turkomen, and the importance
of U.S. assistance in capturing and delivering PKK leaders.
Big on timetables, he encouraged members of the CODEL to work
with Congress to set a withdrawal date from Iraq. Details of
CODEL's meeting with TBMM Speaker Bulent Arinc will be
reported separately. End Summary.
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER SAHIN
Â¶2. (C) After warmly welcoming the CODEL, Deputy P.M. Sahin
stressed the importance of strong bilateral ties and noted
that Turkey and the U.S. share common interests in promoting
regional stability and prosperity. The GOT is determined to
build on Turkey's partnership with the U.S. by expanding the
relationship beyond security and terrorism, which will
nevertheless remain important.
Â¶3. (C) Sahin then turned to Iraq, asserting that based on AK
Party's own finding, the Iraqi people are not optimistic
about the future. Iraqis are concerned about their own
safety and are not receiving basic services like electricity
and water, he claimed. Sahin said that, by addressing
Iraqis' basic needs, a stabilization force will build trust;
otherwise it will take a long time to establish security.
The administration should be handed over to the Iraqi people
as soon as possible. The GOT received permission from
Parliament to send troops to Iraq, but the Government plans
to focus on humanitarian assistance as well. The GOT has
adopted a humanitarian approach to the PKK/KADEK issue, Sahin
said. It adopted the re-integration law, and the GOT hopes
that further cooperation with the U.S. will make the law more
Â¶4. (C) Rep. Saxton expressed appreciation for Parliament's
decision to send troops to Iraq. The U.S. will need to work
with allies like Turkey, which have experience dealing with
terrorists, to solve terrorism as a global issue. Saxton
said the GOT is right to focus on humanitarian aid and added
that a substantial portion of the 87 billion dollars being
requested from Congress will go to humanitarian projects.
Rep. Jim Turner (Texas) asserted that Turkey can help the
situation in Iraq greatly and stressed that a stabile,
democratic, and prosperous Iraq will benefit Turkey. Turner
noted that the U.S. does not plan to stay in Iraq
indefinitely, which would build resentment among Iraqis.
Turkish presence in Iraq, Turner said, will help mitigate any
MFA UNDERSECRETARY UGUR ZIYAL
Â¶5. (C)Ziyal said the situation in Iraq is "not good," and
Iraq could end up like Lebanon. However, Iraq is the "natural
leader" of the area, and with good government could become
the Switzerland of the Middle East. Turkish troops can be a
very big help in "putting out the fire." Turkish troops will
be more culturally sensitive than American troops and thus
will not have as many problems. Ziyal views their mission as
not just military, but more like their role in Bosnia and
Afghanistan. Ziyal said that Turkey will make a mission
proposal to the U.S., to which Turkey would like a prompt,
open and frank response. "Your success is our success is the
Â¶6. (C) Ziyal indicated he does not think very highly of
the IGC, saying, as currently composed, is unable to agree
upon anything. Ziyal likes the fact that all Iraqi ethnic
groups are represented, but thinks the Kurds are
over-represented and the Turkomen under-represented. He
suggested IGC seats should be filled by first having a census
(presumably, to determine Iraq's ethnic composition) and then
Â¶7. (C) Ziyal pushed hard for a timetable. "One year or two
doesn't matter" but the Iraqis need to know where they are
going. "Iraq needs a concept more than a blueprint." He has
spoken to countries throughout the region, soliciting their
support in Iraq, and while he has met with mixed reactions,
everyone says a timetable is necessary. He thinks the USG is
overly concerned with becoming boxed in by a timetable,
noting the traditional tolerance of Middle Eastern cultures
to delay. He acknowledged the domestic problem that the USG
could have with slippage, given the American intolerance of
delay, but said that by working together we should all be
able to figure our a solution to this problem.
Â¶8. (C) Ziyal warned about the "dismantling" of Iraq that
would result if the Kurdish "mechanism" became entrenched and
formally recognized (apparently a reference to a federalized
Iraq). He twice predicted that, within 5 years, there would
be an Kurdish-Arab confrontation.
Â¶9. (C) Ziyal pitched hard for the capture and delivery to
Turkey of 1-2 PKK leaders, saying it would send a strong
message to the PKK rank and file (whom, he claimed, would
accept the amnesty but for the opposition of its leadership).
GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SPEAKER ARINC
Â¶10. (SBU) Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) Speaker
Bulent Arinc cited rules of protocol as the reason for
restricting his meeting to include elected officials only.
Armed Services Committee staff were not permitted to attend.
Embassy's notetaker was also excluded from the meeting.
Ambassador instructed the Army Legislative Liaison office to
include, under separate cover, a report of the CODEL's
meeting with Arinc.
Â¶11. (SBU) CODEL Saxton did not clear this cable.