Cablegate: Turkey: Pol-Mil Round-Up, October & November 2005

Published: Tue 13 Dec 2005 10:28 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
REFERENCE: A) ANKARA 3892, B) 2004 ANKARA 6000
(Note: This is one of the regular series of unclassified
reports on significant Turkish defense and national security
issues in the press and other open sources. We welcome
feedback on whether these reports are useful. End note)
-- New National Security Policy Approval
-- EU Progress Report on Turkish Civil-Military Relations
-- Turkey's Security Relations with Other Countries
-- Defense Industry Activity
-- Turkish NGO Seminar on Iran's Nuclear Program
New National Security Policy Approval
1. After months of delay, at the bi-monthly National
Security Council (NSC) meeting on Oct. 24, a revised
National Security Policy Document (NSPD) was approved. The
policy document outlines the Government of Turkey (GOT)
priorities with regard to threats to Turkey's internal and
external security, and is based on input from all Council
member agencies (MFA, TGS, Prime Ministry, MND and MOI).
The NSC made no official announcement on the content or
length of the NSPD, but the Turkish press reported that
fundamentalism, separatist terrorism and radical leftist
ideology were noted as equal internal threats while radical
rightist ideology, which was included in the previous
document, had been eliminated. According to press reports,
the document distinguishes between terrorists with a
religious motivation (Al Qaeda) and other terrorist
organization (PKK and Hezbollah). Iran's nuclear
activities, Iran's Shahab 3 missiles and territorial
integrity of Iraq were included among the external threats
facing Turkey and the situation in Cyprus is of primary
importance to Turkey's security (The center-right Hurriyet
The NSC also discussed Turkey's EU drive and stressed in the
statement issued after the meeting the importance of
protecting Turkey's national interests during the accession
process and the need for effective use of the country's
water resources.
EU Progress Report on Turkish Civil-Military Relations
--------------------------------------------- ---------
2. The European Commission's Turkey 2005 Progress Report,
released on November 9, includes tougher language on civil-
military relations than previous reports. According to the
report, "the armed forces continue to exercise significant
political influence" through public statements made by high-
ranking military members on domestic and foreign policy
issues. Noting that Turkey has made good progress in
reforming civil-military relations since 2002, the report
calls on Turkey to work towards greater accountability and
transparency in the conduct of security affairs in line with
EU Member States' best practice. The report advises that
civilian authorities should fully exercise their supervisory
function over the military, in particular with respect to
parliamentary control of defense expenditures and the
formulation of the national security strategy and its
implementation. While the Turkish press gave broad coverage
to other aspects of the report, it made no mention of the
issue of civil-military relations.
3. The GOT Reform Monitoring Group (formed at the initiative
of the MFA to oversee EU reforms and comprised of the
Foreign Minister, Interior Minister, Minister of Justice and
State Minister and Ali Babacan, State Minister/Chief
Negotiator) convened its 9th meeting on November 22 to
determine what actions to take in response to the Progress
Report. On civil-military relations, the Group decided to
speed up review of the amended law on Military Code of
Conduct -- which in the past was used as the basis for
military intervention in the government -- specifically with
an eye to the abolishment of provisions allowing trial of
civilians at military courts.
Turkey's Security Relations with Other Countries
--------------------------------------------- ---
4. Azerbaijan: TGS CHOD General Hilmi Ozkok visited
Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev on October 6 in
Baku to discuss enhancing military ties.
5. China: President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and TGS CHOD GEN
Ozkok received Xu Caihou, China's Vice Chairman of Central
Military Commission, respectively on October 16 and 17. The
GOT did not discuss publicly the topics of the meeting.
However, the monthly military magazine Aerospace and Defense
Update reported that discussions were held regarding
existing military cooperation between the two armies and
developing new ways to boost bilateral military cooperation.
6. Romania: Romanian CHOD Eugen Badalan visited his Turkish
counterpart on October 20 at the invitation of GEN Ozkok.
No information on the subject of their meeting was made
7. Finland: Finnish Defense Minister Seppo Kaariainen met
Turkish Defense Minister Gonul On November 5 in Ankara.
Stating that it was early to talk about concrete bilateral
projects, MOD Gonul indicated that the visit would create an
opportunity to develop bilateral military relations within
the context of NATO.
8. Cyprus: Toros-2005, a military exercise held by Turkish
and Turkish-Cypriot forces in Cyprus -- which was suspended
for 3 years based on an agreement with the Greek Cypriot
administration in parallel to efforts to solve the Cyprus
problem -- was conducted on November 23-25 in response to
Nikiforos-2005, a Greek Cypriot exercise(The semi-
governmental Anatolian News Agency).
9. Kazakhstan: The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) signed an
agreement in late November in Almaty to provide $900K in
military aid to the Kazakh Army. A high ranking Turkish
military official stated that Turkey would provide military
vehicles, wireless communication and night vision systems as
well as training to the Anti-Terrorism Unit of the Kazakh
Armed Forces. According to the press report, Turkey's
technical military aid to Kazakhstan exceeded $5 million
(Anatolian News Agency).
10. Qatar: Qatar's CHOD General Hamad Bin Ali Al Attiyah
visited CHOD GEN Ozkok on November 7 in Ankara. No
information on the subject of their meeting was made public.
Defense Industry Activity
11. TUSAS Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed an agreement
with the Jordanian Air Force for the modernization of 17 F-
16s by applying Falcon-Up, Falcon Star and Mid Life
upgrades. Delivery of the upgraded F16s to Jordan is
expected by October 2009 (The semi-governmental Anatolian
News Agency).
12. SSM (Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries)
Undersecretary Murad Bayar visited Italian Deputy Defense
Minister Filippo Berselli on November 29 in Rome. Berselli
confirmed reports that Turkey was highly interested in the
Eurofighter jets (Note: as an alternative to the Joint
Strike Fighter. End Note.) (The semi-governmental Anatolian
News Agency).
13. The Italian Agusta Westland, French Eurofighter, Russian
Rosoboronexport and South African Denel are expected to
submit bids for the attack helicopter tender. SSM extended
the deadline for the second time to December 5 upon request
of the Italian bidder Agusta Westland.
14. TUSAS-TAI launched production on November 24 of 360
ailerons (wing components) and 1800 spoilers for 180
airplanes within the context of A400M Cargo Plane Program
(Liberal pro-Islamic daily Yeni Safak).
15. SSM held its annual 2005 International Defense Industry
Conference on November 14-15 in Ankara. In the symposium,
held in honor of the 20th anniversary of SSM and with
participation of more than 500 military and civilian
officials, significant attention was given to development of
local R capacity and the role of techno-parks and
universities in developing Turkey's defense capabilities.
16. SSM issued an RFI - Request for Information) on October
24 for FCA (Turkish Future Combat Aircraft) covering 120
aircraft with a submission date of January 20, 2006. The
RFI was sent to Lockheed Martin, Alenia Aeronautica and
Boeing (The Turkish Defense and Aerospace Update monthly).
17. SSM extended the proposal deadline for the TAF (Turkish
Armed Forces) and Forestry Service helicopter program,
covering procurement of 52 medium-class twin-engine
helicopters, to March 15, 2006 from the previous deadline of
December 5.
18. Turkish Land Forces signed a contract valued at 300
million Euros with the German Army on November 8 for the
purchase of 298 Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks.
19. Boeing, SSM and Turkish Air Forces completed the CDR
(Critical Design Review) of Turkey's first B737-700 AEW
aircraft (Airborne Early Warning and Control) on October 15
under the Peace Eagle Program.
Turkish NGO Seminar on Iran's Nuclear Program
--------------------------------------------- ---------
20. The International Security Strategic Research
Institution, a Turkish think tank with a nationalist bent,
organized a forum to discuss Iran's nuclear program on
October 16 in Ankara. Thirty Turkish and Iranian officials
participated, including: 7 Iranian diplomats, 1 Turkish
Foreign Ministry representative, 1 MIT (Turkish
intelligence) representative, 7 academics, 3 MPs, 2 PM
advisors, 3 NGO representatives, 2 security experts, and 4
journalists from IRNA (Iranian News Agency), Zaman (A
moderate pro-Islamic daily supportive of Nurcu sect leader
Fethullah Gulen), IRIB (Islamic republic of Iran
Broadcasting), and Turkish Daily News (English-language
centrist daily). There was no participation from any
European country, nor from any other mission.
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