09ANKARA855

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Τηλεγράφημα του Ιουνίου του 2009 που περιγράφει την συνάντηση του Τούρκου υφυπουργού Εξωτερικών Ερτουγρούλ Απακάν με τον Αμερικανό πρέσβη στην Άγκυρα Τζέιμς Τζέφρι με αντικείμενο τις υπερπτήσεις πάνω από Αγαθονήσι και Φαρμακονήσι. Ο Τούρκος υφυπουργός εμφανίζεται αιφνιδιασμένος από το αμερικανικό διάβημα που έχει προηγηθεί και την θετικά διακείμενη προς τις ελληνικές θέσεις στάση των αμερικανικών διπλωματικών. Ο Απακάν εμφανίζεται αδιάλλακτος για το ζήτημα των υπερπτήσεων, καθώς επιθυμεί να το χρησιμοποιήσει όπως σημειώνει, ως ένα ακόμη διαπραγματευτικό χαρτί με την Ελλάδα, ενώ εκφράζει την αντίθεσή του με δικαστική απόφαση των Ελληνικών αρχών τον Ιανουάριο του 2009 που καταδίκασε ερήμην Τούρκο πιλότο ως υπαίτιο σύγκρουσης ελληνικού μαχητικού αεροσκάφους με τουρκικό τον Μάιο του 2006 στην περιοχή της Καρπάθου, όπου είχε χάσει την ζωή του ο Έλληνας πιλότος Κ. Ηλιάκης.

Τελευταία Ενημέρωση : Πέμπτη 07/04/2011


ID : 213022
RefID : 09ANKARA855
Date : 19/6/2009 10:48:00 πμ
Origin : Embassy Ankara
Classification : SECRET
Header :
VZCZCXYZ0009
PP RUEHWEB
DE RUEHAK #0855/01 1701048
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 191048Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9920
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS PRIORITY 0110
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 7259
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY

S E C R E T ANKARA 000855
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2019
TAGS: PARM, PREL, MARR, TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: AEGEAN ISSUES MUST BE ADDRESSED AS A
PACKAGE, SEPARATE TALKS ON OVERFLIGHTS NOT IN OUR INTEREST
REF: A. STATE 61209
B. ANKARA 840
C. ATHENS 1015
D. DAO ATHENS IIR 6 837 0304 09
Classified By: Ambassador James F. Jeffrey for reason 1.4 (b, d)
Summary
-------
1. (S) The Ambassador raised Aegean issues with Turkish MFA
Undersecretary Apakan on June 16, pressing hard that
overflights of inhabited Greek islands did not support the
goal of calm in the Aegean. Apakan was clearly taken aback
by our approach on the overflights specifically, and said he
could not understand why the U.S. would ask Turkey to
undercut the direct, confidential discussions Turkey was
conducting with Greece (which, however, he had not briefed us
on in detail until this meeting). He also raised questions
about the veracity of the Greek allegations that overflights
of the two islands had increased significantly. He said
Turkey supported actions which would calm tensions in the
Aegean and supported our goal of preferring diplomacy and
confidence-building measures over military action. Apakan
said that Turkey sought to negotiate Aegean issues with
Greece as a package, and pulling out one issue important to
Greece -- at the behest of the U.S. -- would lessen
significantly Turkey´s leverage on Greece to negotiate other
issues. Apakan reiterated Turkey´s call for Greece to agree
to negotiate a "code of conduct" for military air operations
over the Aegean to prevent recurrence of deadly consequences
of Greek intercepts of Turkish military aircraft.
Separately, the First Air Force Commander told us that
nothing has changed in recent months in Turkish flights in
the Aegean. End Summary.
2. (S) The Ambassador met with MFA Undersecretary Ertugrul
Apakan on June 16 to discuss Aegean issues per ref a and to
propose a way forward to work to reduce tension. Apakan was
joined by a broad assembly of MFA experts covering bilateral
Turkey - Greece issues, Maritime affairs and U.S. - Turkey
affairs. Pol-Mil Couns accompanied Ambassador.
3. (S) The Ambassador made all of ref a points, focusing on
USG concerns about overflights of inhabited Greek islands and
expressing hope that in light of PM Erdogan´s upcoming trip
to Athens (ref b), more progress could be made towards
finding a way to reduce tensions in the Aegean. After taking
a moment to consider the demarche, U/S Apakan asked to see
the Ambassador one-on-one. Apakan told the Ambassador that
Turkey sought to address Aegean issues directly with Greece
in confidential talks. Turkey sought to use a comprehensive
approach, similar to that proposed in our points, Apakan
said, and sought to inventory and then address issues
comprehensively. Apakan told the Ambassador that PM Erdogan
hoped to advance this agenda during his upcoming visit to
Athens, expected to take place June 20 - 21. The Ambassador
explained that, for the U.S., the issue of overflights of the
two islands was different than the many other Aegean issues,
since the U.S. was a party to the international document
regarding their status, and could well have to make our views
of the two islands´ sovereignty known if an incident
occurred. Apakan took on board our points, but asked that
the Ambassador not/not leave a copy of the points as a formal
non-paper, and then called back to the meeting the rest of
the participants.
4. (S) Apakan said that Turkey had been working with the
Greeks at the Undersecretary level to improve relations, and
had had forty-one meetings since the launch of this dialogue.
Apakan insisted that Turkey does discuss the the status of
these islands, together with the other issues, in sidebars to
those meetings. He suggested that Greece did not like the
comprehensive approach and that Turkey would not agree to a
single-issue approach in its discussions. All of the issues,
including, among others, national airspace, territorial
waters, continuental shelf, status of geographical
formations, demilitarized status of islands, the Flight
Information Region must be discussed. Although there had not
been concrete progress, Apakan continued, the more
understanding and empathy between the parties, the more
likely agreement would be. He expressed real satisfaction
with the progress made, including Greek willingness to at
least include all of these issues. (The Turks have long said
that the Greeks traditionally argue that the only open
bilateral Aegean issue is the continental shelf.)
5. (S) Apakan disputed Greek claims that the number of
Turkish flights had increased. He asserted that the ratio of
Greek to Turkish sorties over the Aegean is ten to one.
Apakan then raised an issue about which Turkey is still
bitter: the trial and conviction in absentia earlier this
year in Greece of a Turkish F-16 pilot who had been involved
in a mock dogfight over the Aegean in May 2006 that had
resulted in a crash and the death of the Greek pilot. Apakan
said that while it was tragic that the Greek pilot had died,
both the NATO and the Turkish investigation suggested that
the Greek pilot was responsible for the crash. Greek
interceptions of every Turkish flight over the Aegean were
irresponsible, said Apakan, and Turkey had long proposed
sitting down with the relevant Greek authorities to negotiate
a "Code of Conduct" for aviation over the Aegean. Summing
up, Apakan said that Turkey´s message to Greece is: "We want
to talk. We know the inherent risks. But this is not just a
one-sided issue."
6. (S) Turkish MFA officials have consistently questioned
whether overflights of Agathonisi and Farmakonisi have
actually increased at all, let alone to the extent to which
the Greeks claim they have. We generally dismiss these
assertions, assuming instead that the Turkish General Staff
may not be sharing this information with the MFA. But on
June 16, on the margins of an international exercise, Lt Gen
Bilgin Balanli, Commander of Turkey´s First Air Force told
ODC Turkey Chief Maj Gen Rosborg that there had been no
change in overflights, implicitly rejecting Greece´s claims.
Balanli, who commands all of the Turkish fighter aircraft
which would fly over the Aegean, has a strong reputation of
being candid.
Comment
-------
7. (S) We recognize that Greece looks to the U.S. for help
in pressing Turkey to focus political attention on Aegean
issues. We think there may be some merit to the argument put
forward by FM Bakoyannis (ref c) that Turkish officials may
look to use the overflights of Agathonisi and Farmakonisi to
strengthen their bargaining position on other Aegean issues.
8. (S) In this regard, we note that the Greek CHOD mentioned
to a USG official that Greece might have to, at some point,
use force to prevent overflights of these islands (ref d).
We suggest/hope that this was intended simply to ensure USG
and NATO involvement in this bilateral issue.
9. (S) We are faced with an interesting phenomenon. On the
one hand the Turks and the Greeks (assuming the Turkish
description above is accurate, Greeks having been more
discreet) seem to be approaching this bilateral agenda with a
new, promising spirit. We saw a similar spirit "on the
ground" with their at least partial cooperation to make the
Turkish-led "Egemen" naval exercise several months ago. On
the other hand, the Turks have apparently/apparently
increased overflights of the two islands, and the Turks per
Apakan are introducing their status into the mix of issues.
Greeks meanwhile are raising with us Turkish actions in
apocalyptic terms while continuing the talks with the Turks
as well as continuing a host of high level contacts.
We will continue to press this issue, and are now certain
that Erdogan will be briefed and ready to discuss this and
other Aegean issues during his trip to Athens.
Visit Ankara´s Classified Web Site at
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turk ey
JEFFREY
;2009-06-19 10:48

Tags :
PARM, PREL, MARR, TU

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