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Τετάρτη, 20 Απριλίου 2011

Wikileaks 09ANKARA855


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.

S E C R E T ANKARA 000855 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2019 
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) 


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. 

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 
;2009-06-19 10:48

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