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WikiLeaks: 2007-12-11: 07ISTANBUL1046: Codel Shays Confronts Skeptical Businessmen in Istanbul

by WikiLeaks. 07ISTANBUL1046: December 11, 2007.

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 08:32 PM UT


Viewing cable 07ISTANBUL1046, CODEL SHAYS CONFRONTS SKEPTICAL BUSINESSMEN IN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ISTANBUL1046 2007-12-11 08:50 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Consulate Istanbul
VZCZCXRO8518
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHFL RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHIT #1046/01 3450850
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 110850Z DEC 07
FM AMCONSUL ISTANBUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7735
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ISTANBUL 001046 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/06/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER ETRD TU IZ
SUBJECT: CODEL SHAYS CONFRONTS SKEPTICAL BUSINESSMEN IN 
ISTANBUL 
 
REF: A. ANKARA 2885 
     B. ANKARA 2867 
 
Classified By: Consul General Sharon A. Wiener for reasons 1.4 (b) and 
(d). 
 
1.  (C) Summary.  Codel Shays' November 29 meetings in 
Istanbul underlined contrasts in Turkish thinking on Iraq, 
the PKK and the U.S. image in Turkey.  President of Karadeniz 
Holding Orhan Karadeniz told Congressman Shays Iraq remains a 
mess, despite military accomplishments.  Turkey is very 
sensitive to any news on PKK-related topics due to the loss 
of 40 soldiers in the last two months to PKK activity; Turkey 
has done nothing wrong respecting the Kurdish minority in 
Turkey.  Codel Shays' also met with Delta Petrol Chairman 
Mehmet Habbab who, unlike Karadeniz, said his company was not 
trading in Iraqi oil due to the slow-down of traffic at the 
Habur Gate.  Habbab told Shays his November 28 visit to the 
southeast of Turkey was sure to have been viewed with 
suspicion by "the bureaucracy," which would suspect Shays of 
meeting with the PKK.  More troubling is the perception that 
until very recently, the U.S. has done nothing to fight PKK 
activity in Turkey.  Codel Shays concluded meetings in 
Istanbul with a visit to the family of a victim of PKK 
terrorism.  End summary. 
 
HABUR GATE DELAYS MAKE NO DIFFERENCE TO ONE BUSINESSMAN 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
2.  (C) Orhan Karadeniz is the President of Karadeniz 
Holding.  Representative Shays' goal in meeting with 
Karadeniz was to get his measure of progress in Iraq. 
Karadeniz said the Iraqi government is not functioning; the 
military situation is improved, which is good, but expected 
and therefore not impressive.  Inertia makes it very 
difficult to break the cycle of poor Iraqi government 
decision making.  Routine government actions proceed well but 
anything requiring original or new decision making is 
thwarted by conflicting interests; even cabinet ministers are 
afraid to initiate new programs or propose new solutions. 
 
3.  (C) Shays asked Karadeniz about the wait at Habur Gate 
for trucks passing in either direction.  Karadeniz repeatedly 
maintained this was no problem for his company.  Families 
were very large in the southeast, multiple families owned one 
truck and the many drivers had plenty of time while rotating 
driving responsibility.  Karadeniz  said it didn't matter if 
trucks made the roundtrip to Iraq for oil twice a month or 
ten times a month. 
 
4.  (C) Karadeniz' felt Turks hold a grudge against the U.S. 
because of the situation in Iraq.  His solution for public 
image difficulties was "better marketing."  Shays suggested 
Turkey did not value diversity in its population, citing a 
Syriac priest he had met the day before that said he was 
treated like a second class citizen.  Karadeniz said the 
discussion was only about Kurds and asked why Kurdish 
Regional Government (KRG) leaders hadn't labeled the PKK a 
terrorist organization.  The U.S. could be a stronger player 
in Turkey, despite the great sensitivity in the country 
toward the U.S. caused by the recent deaths of some 40 
Turkish soldiers through PKK terrorist activity.  Better 
marketing could help both Turkey and the U.S. -- Turkey with 
respect to the place of minorities in the society and America 
with respect to Iraq and the PKK. 
 
BUT DELTA PETROL CAN'T MAKE MONEY; SIDELINED FOR NOW 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
5.  (C) Chairman Mehmet Habbab of Delta Petrol told 
Representative Shays his company is currently on the 
sidelines in the oil trade with Iraq precisely because the 
delays at Habur Gate wiped out any price advantage.  In 2005, 
Habbab claimed 3500 to 4000 trucks transited the border 
crossing into Turkey from Iraq each day; 2000 returned empty. 
 During the reconstruction upgrade of the gate in 2005, 1700 
to 1800 trucks passed each day.  The count is now on average 
800 per day.  Habbab's explanation:  bureaucracy.  The Iraqi 
system is chaotic and requires complete revamping.  Employees 
are chosen on the basis of religious affiliation, not 
competence, he said.  He acknowledged delays were similar on 
both sides of the gate. 
 
6.  (C) If the transit delays were not economically 
prohibitive, Delta would be involved in the Iraq oil trade. 
Investors today receive 25% of the oil revenue from Iraqi 
 
ISTANBUL 00001046  002 OF 002 
 
 
oil.  Absent other problems, that is a sufficient margin, 
with a 15- to 25-year contract, to undertake the risk.  In 
normal circumstances, however, investors receive 55 to 60% of 
oil revenues, the balance going to the state.  Lack of 
coordination among Iraqi government entities is the reason 
for the decreased revenue percentage for investors, according 
to Habbab.  Currently, Northern Iraq continues to produce 
some oil but cannot export product legally.  A "small amount" 
smuggled to Syria keeps a refinery there in operation.  This 
smuggled product has no documentation and is sold for USD 
30-40 per barrel. 
 
7.  (C) Addressing Congressman Shays' experience on November 
28 in Turkey's southeast (ref A), Habbab told Shays he was 
not surprised by MFA suspicion of his visit to the region. 
Cultural differences affect the way such a visit is viewed. 
In addition, he explained, the GOT would have been afraid 
that had Shays gone on his own, he would have met with the 
PKK.  A deeper problem at the moment was that until very 
recently the U.S. had "done nothing" with respect to the PKK 
threat.  The U.S. was now coordinating with Turkey to enable 
attacks against the PKK. 
 
MEETING WITH A FAMILY VICTIMIZED BY PKK TERRORISM 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
8.  (C) Shays completed the visit to Istanbul with a call on 
the family of slain Jandarma conscript Nesimi Akyar. Akyar 
was killed in 2004 in Tunceli Province when his convoy was 
attacked by the PKK.  He had survived the attack and asked 
compatriots to keep the extent of his wounds from his mother 
in initial reports.  His friends complied but he subsequently 
died.  Shortly before being attacked, Akyar had phoned his 
mother to tell her how much he loved her.  Akyar, though 
engaged, had decided against marriage until completion of his 
military service.  He was survived by his parents and three 
sisters, including a set of twins still at home.  The 
one-half hour visit, though discussing unhappy events, was 
relaxed and attended only by the immediate family, Codel and 
Codel's police escort. 
 
9.  (U) Codel Shays did not clear this cable. 
WIENER

 



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