WikiLeaks: 2003-09-03: 03ANKARA5553: Turkey's U/S Ziyal: Qualms about Iraq, Urgency on PKK/KADEK, need for Nato Summit Dates and Desire for More Active U.S. Role in Cyprus
Viewing cable 03ANKARA5553, TURKEY'S U/S ZIYAL: QUALMS ABOUT IRAQ, URGENCY ON
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 005553 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/02/2013 TAGS: PREL PTER MARR MOPS CY TU IZ NATO SUBJECT: TURKEY'S U/S ZIYAL: QUALMS ABOUT IRAQ, URGENCY ON PKK/KADEK, NEED FOR NATO SUMMIT DATES AND DESIRE FOR MORE ACTIVE US ROLE ON CYPRUS Classified by Ambassador Eric Edelman. Reasons 1.5 B and D. ------- Summary ------- ¶1. (C) Turkish MFA Undersecretary Ziyal invited Ambassador for a meeting Sept. 3 to discuss Iraq, the PKK, the NATO Summit dates and Cyprus. Ziyal worried that the situation in Iraq was not improving and that Lebanonization remained a possibility. He raised Turkey's unhappiness with the Iraqi ministerial selections, in particular with FM Hoshyar Zebari, and the "insignificant" portfolio given to the Turkmen minister. On behalf of FM Gul, Ziyal offered a facility in Diyarbakir for training Iraqi police. According to Ziyal, FM Gul said that the PKK/KADEK remain very comfortable in northern Iraq, and that a strong US message of determination to eliminate them from northern Iraq was needed. Ziyal told the Ambassador that Turkey needed the US to decide on NATO Summit dates, as prolonging the silence procedure was putting the GOT under great pressure. Finally, on Cyprus, the Turks said they sought a solution, but were concerned that the transparency of the upcoming "TRNC" election was already being called into question, which was not in anyone's interest; and that the numbers of Greek Cypriot returnees would be too large to accept. The Turks asked for a more active direct US role in bringing about a Cyprus solution. End Summary. --------------------------------------------- ----- Iraq - Lebanonization and Views on Turkish Troops --------------------------------------------- ----- ¶2. (C) Ambassador called on MFA Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal Sept. 3 at Ziyal's request. Also present on the Turkish side were Deputy Undersecretaries Baki Ilkin and Nabi Sensoy. Ziyal said Turkey saw Iraq primarily as a political issue with a strong military component. "We have qualms," he said. His personal view was that the situation was not improving, that it reminded him of Beirut in the early 1980s, and that he hoped the Shi'a would not end up trying to break away. This would amount to the Lebanonization of Iraq, he said. Ziyal believed one major problem was that the coalition forces were reacting rather than leading and guiding developments. The Ambassador assured Ziyal that Iraq was dominating Washington's attention and that POTUS would not waiver for one second in his committment to stay the course. In a one-on-one with the Ambassador at the end of the meeting, Ziyal said Turkey had a very mixed picture based on its information-gathering efforts with the Iraqi tribes and others. On a possible Turkish deployment, in private Iraqis were saying they would welcome the Turks so long as they were not too publicly linked with the US or better yet independent of the US. In public, however, Iraqis were saying the Turks would be targets and get killed. The Turks were also being urged to bring a social/humanitarian effort to the field so their presence would not be purely military in purpose. The Ambassador asked what Ziyal thought was meant by "independent of the US," and noted that the US would insist on a unified command. Ziyal replied that the Turks understood the need for a unified command structure, but that Turkey could not be seen as "agents of the US." --------------- Iraqi Ministers --------------- ¶3. (C) Ziyal said it appeared to him that the Iraqi ministers had been selected somewhat arbitrarily, with certain ministerships awarded on a sectarian basis. He asked if the Shi'a Minister of Interior would have authority over the Kurdish areas. It would be important for him to have such authority, in Turkey's view. Ziyal also wondered if the Assyrian Minister of Transportation would prevent the Kurds from charging fees on trucks coming into Iraq or transitting Kurdish areas. Ziyal complained that the Turkmen minister was not given a significant ministry, that Turkmen were only given one-fifth of what Kurds were given and that the Turkmen deserved more. Ziyal said FM Gul wanted the Ambassador to know that Turkey was unhappy with the selection of Hoshyar Zebari as Foreign Minister and that Zebari had made a number of remarks that were insulting to Turkey before and after the March 1 decision on US forces deploying through Turkey. The Ambassador responded that he was well aware of Turkey's concerns and had conveyed them to Washington and Baghdad, but that the ministerial selections were the result of negotiations among the Governing Council (GC) members, and it was therefore not surprising that the results reflected the composition of the GC. The Ambassador urged the Turks to look at Zebari's appointment from the angle that having a Kurd speaking for Iraq is a positive reflection of a Kurdish commitment to an intergrated Iraqi state. The Ambassador noted that he had advocated an early visit to Ankara by Zebari as the best way to clear the air and move forward. ¶4. (C) In the one-on-one, Ziyal repeated that Zebari had offended many in Turkey with his statements, but agreed that an early visit by him would be useful. Ziyal said he had originally wanted the first Iraqi ministerial visit to include meetings with many of Turkey's leaders, but now he would have to determine just what the traffic would bear. In any case, Ziyal said, Zebari will have to understand that he will have a high hurdle to pass in order to get a good hearing in Turkey. In private, Ziyal also agreed that the Ambassador had a legitimate point about the value of having Kurds in Iraq's central government. --------------------------------------------- ---------- New UNSCR, ITF, Israelis, Police Training in Diyarbakir --------------------------------------------- ---------- ¶5. (C) Ziyal complained that the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) was still considered by some to be a "fifth column," and that this assumption should be dropped. The ITF, he said, was making a real effort to reach out to all of Iraq and to all Iraqi Turkmen. Ziyal was also concerned about reports that there were Israelis in Iraq. He urged the US to be very careful on this point, stating, "if it's true, this could blow the lid off of things in Iraq." Ziyal said FM Gul had seen that the US planned to train Iraqi police in Hungary and wanted the US to know that Turkey had a police training facility in Diyarbakir that it was willing to make available for the training of Iraqi police much closer to Iraq. The Ambassador said we appreciated the offer and would pass it back to Washington. Ziyal said a new UN resolution on Iraq would be helpful for many countries, including Turkey. In the one-on-one Ziyal also said he had been pushing hard to open a new border gate and trying to get the PM to go to the area to see first hand the capacity problem at Habur, which Ziyal expected to grow worse in the coming year. ------------------------------------------ PKK/KADEK - Something Must Be Done Quickly ------------------------------------------ ¶6. (C) Ziyal said that according to FM Gul, the PKK/KADEK was "very comfortable" in northern Iraq. "Nothing has come of our efforts," Ziyal said. He reminded the Ambassador that POTUS had spoken of the need to cleanse Iraq of terrorist elements, and that the US had discussed "eliminating" the PKK/KADEK from northern Iraq. The reintegration law has not had an impact, and, he said, the PKK/KADEK must be told clearly to take Turkey's offer or suffer dire consequences. He said Turkey was ready to discuss the issue and awaited a US delegation that would do so. Deputy U/S Sensoy then added that the reintegration law seemed to be unsuccessful due to PKK/KADEK leadership telling cadres not to surrender. Since August 6, he said, only 118 had surrendered, of whom 97 had been released. Of those in prison, 1,702 have asked to avail themselves of the law's benefits, and 390 had been released. Renunciation of the unilateral cease-fire also gives the impression, Sensoy continued, that the PKK/KADEK will not give up their arms or take advantage of the law. We need, he said, a strong message of determination to cleanse northern Iraq of PKK/KADEK. They should be told to give themselves up to Turkey. Sensoy said Turkey had asked European leaders to take up adding KADEK to their terror list at the upcoming Gymnich meeting in Italy. Ziyal added that there have recently been clashes with the PKK/KADEK in southeast Turkey for the first time in a long while. "Something must be done about the PKK/KADEK and quickly," he said. ¶7. (C) The Ambassador said he hoped the USG would soon send a team to Turkey to discuss this, and shared that Minister of Interior Aksu told him Sept. 2 that many of the 4,500 PKK/KADEK members in Iraq were not aware of the opportunities under the reintegration law and that an information operations campaign was urgently needed. POTUS had been unequivocal about ending the threat of terror in Iraq in all its forms, which may require a military element at some point. The situation, the Ambassador explained, was very difficult and US forces had their hands full in Iraq. A process of sequencing and prioritization was needed. It would help over time, he added, if other forces were in Iraq to take up peackeeping duties, which would free up US forces for other operations, including dealing with the PKK/KADEK. The Ambassador informed Ziyal that the US was also pressing the EU very hard. It would be helpful, he noted, if Turkey pressed the EU as hard as we have/are. ----------------- NATO Summit Dates ----------------- ¶8. (C) Ziyal noted that the proposed dates for the NATO Istanbul Summit (May 20-21) are in high season, that Turkey has made block reservations and has a NATO HQ team coming Sept. 15 to sign an MOU, but the US continues to be the only country that has not agreed to the dates. "We're being pressed very hard," Ziyal said. He asked the Ambassador to do whatever he could to a positive answer asap. The Ambassador assured Ziyal he was working hard to get them that answer. ------ Cyprus ------ ¶9. (C) Ziyal turned the floor over to Baki Ilkin to discuss Cyprus. Ilkin reported that Turkey had recently been approached by various parties who noted that the upcoming elections in northern Cyprus must be transparent. Ilkin said he did not understand where the concern was coming from, that elections had been held there before and transparency was never a problem. However, he warned, if people start talking that way it will cast suspicion on the outcome regardless of the results. The elections, he said, must be observed by all interested parties. The GOT, Ilkin stressed, wants a solution on Cyrpus, but not any solution. Turkey was trying to come up with a text, he said, and hoped for a new US approach with more direct US input. There would be a problem absorbing a large number of Greek Cypriots returning north, especially if it forced many Turkish Cypriots to leave their homes. Both sides, Ilkin noted, were happy with the opening up of travel between the sides, but if that led to massive property claims across the line, the people would no longer be happy about it. ¶10. (C) The Ambassador said he agreed with the point on not casting doubt on the elections. He suggested that Denktash's refusal to allow a referendum on the Annan plan cast doubt in people's minds on his willingness to allow an unfettered expression of public opinion. We were aware of the issues involved with resettlement. The Ambassador said he hoped Amb. Weston could come to Ankara to discuss the details in the near future. He cited FM Gul's point that a settlement must be made on a lasting basis and not one that papers over problems. There would be huge up-sides to Turkey to getting a Cyprus solution soon, and huge complications if there is none. The Ambassador said he would pass to Washington Turkey's desire to see the US play a more active role. ¶11. (U) Baghdad minimize considered. EDELMAN