Viewing cable 03ANKARA6450

03ANKARA64502003-10-16 09:00:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ankara
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
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 
AND D). 
¶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. 
¶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. 
¶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 
¶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 
¶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 
region's success." 
¶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 
¶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. 
¶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. 
¶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). 
¶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. 
¶11.  (SBU) CODEL Saxton did not clear this cable.