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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

Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 11:36 AM CT


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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
03ANKARA5553 2003-09-03 15:12 2011-08-30 01:44 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 03 ANKARA 005553 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/02/2013 
Classified by Ambassador Eric Edelman.  Reasons 1.5 B and D. 
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 
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. 



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