Volume #16 - 568.|
ORGANISATION DU TRAITÉ DE L'ATLANTIQUE NORD
ADMISSION DE LA TURQUIE
Note de la Direction européenne|
pour le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
le 9 septembre 1950|
TURKEY AND THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREAT|
1. Turkish Approaches
The new Turkish Government first informed the Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, United States and France in Ankara at the beginning of August of Turkey's desire to adhere to the North Atlantic Treaty. An approach was made to yourself by the Turkish Ambassador on August 10, which was followed on August 25 by formal notification to the Under Secretary of the Turkish Government's application for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
2. Your reply to the Turkish Ambassador on the occasion of his first visit was that if the question was raised in the N.A.T.O. and if the United Kingdom, United States and France and other countries raised no objection to the admission of Turkey, Canada would not veto Turkish membership but would indeed give sympathetic consideration to it. In informing our Missions in London, Washington and Paris of this approach we stated that despite the objections we had seen to the inclusion of Turkey at the time when the treaty was negotiated, we might now reexamine the possibility of Turkey's admission in view of the intensification of the Communist threat, the broadening of the struggle to so many new sectors and the substantial military contribution which Turkey might make. Should Turkey adhere to the treaty, however, it would be difficult to refuse admission to others in the same part of the world, such as Greece or Iran, unless we established a firm criterion for admission in terms of a clearly worth while contribution to the common security.
3. The Turkish Ambassador was reminded of this difficulty when he came again on August 25 to notify us formally of Turkey's application for admission. He was assured, however, that most careful and sympathetic consideration would be given the application by the Canadian Government.
4. On August 29 Mr. Spofford told the Deputies that the United States Government thought it would be undesirable for members of the Organization to give the Turks any indication of their policy pending an exchange of views among all North Atlantic countries. The United Kingdom Deputy thought it might be impossible for individual governments to avoid some discussion of the subject with Turkish representatives, but he suggested that they might refrain from reaching decisions or from intimating to the Turks what eventual decisions were likely to be. The Deputies agreed that pending the proposed exchange of views among North Atlantic countries the governments concerned should not give the Turks any definite reaction to their enquiries. In accordance with this agreement we instructed Canadian Missions to avoid discussing the matter with the Turks if possible, making it clear that Canada will not take any firm position until the attitude of powers more directly concerned is known.
II. Disadvantages of Acceding to Turkey's Request
5. There are several reasons why it has been necessary to examine the implications of Turkey's adherence to the North Atlantic Treaty with some care before replying to the Menderes67 government's request.
(a) Turkey's admission to NATO would lead to similar requests from Greece and Iran, neither of which would have much to contribute beyond the use of their territory and transportation facilities in case of war, though in the case of Greece the unreserved loyalty of the great majority of the people would also be thrown into the balance on the side of the Western Allies. In other respects both Greece and Iran might prove to be something of a liability.
(b) Turkey's inclusion in NATO might impair the cohesiveness of the North Atlantic area, which is based on geographical propinquity, a network of economic and political relationships and a common cultural heritage in which Turkey has not shared.
(c) Despite Turkey's readiness to send troops outside its own territory, the direct contribution it could make to the defence of Western Europe would be limited by the urgency of its obligation to defend its own frontiers from possible aggression. In any case military planning for the defence of Western Europe without Turkish aid is already well advanced.
(d) Turkey is already receiving from the United States as much in the way of military supplies as it could expect if it acceded to the treaty.
(e) Insofar as military aid in time of war is concerned, the United Kingdom and France are already bound by the Treaty of Mutual Assistance of October 1939 to do what they can if an act of aggression by a European power leads to a war in the Mediterranean area in which Turkey is involved. It is doubtful whether any other European member of NATO would be able to send armed forces to aid Turkey even if the latter did adhere to the North Atlantic Treaty. Thus it might be sufficient, as the President of Turkey himself indicated in conversation with the United Kingdom Ambassador in Ankara, if a unilateral guarantee of armed aid in case of attack were offered to Turkey by the United States.
(f) If the United States does not wish to offer such a guarantee, a regional pact, beginning with Turkey and Greece, might be underwritten by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, with the possibility of including Egypt and Iran and perhaps others later. In their tripartite declaration of May 25, 195068 the three Western powers have already undertaken to prevent violation of frontiers or armistice lines in the Middle East. All three have also made pledges of one kind or another to Turkey, and the United Kingdom and United States have aided the Greeks in their struggle against Communist aided guerrillas. A regional pact for the Eastern Mediterranean might develop normally from these beginnings, though hardly overnight. These considerations suggest that Turkey's security requirements might be met without running the risk of over extending NATO by forcing on it new preoccupations in the Eastern Mediterranean area.
III. Arguments in Favour of Turkey's Accession
6. Among the considerations which appear to support the admission of Turkey to NATO are the following:
(a) Turkey has 21 divisions a larger army than all the present European members of NATO together. This army is well equipped, a great deal of money has been invested in it and its morale is excellent. Military observers believe it could hold out for several months against Soviet attack. This is more than can be said for any of the European members of NATO. Thus Turkey's inclusion in the organization would be an asset from a military point of view.
(b) Turkey is a natural bastion which if held could be a continuing threat close to the heart of Russia. It has a garrison already in position. It will fight without question if attacked and is steadily improving its military efficiency and equipment. On the periphery of the Soviet Union there is no country which could be more successfully held if the Western powers so determined, provided they put in the necessary supplementary force.
(c) Although Turkey will fight the Russians in case of direct attack, even without allies, its leaders are anxious for the full acceptance of the republic as a member of the community of democratic states and would like to have this acceptance made manifest to all by the inclusion of Turkey in arrangements for European security.
(d) The rejection of Turkey's request by NATO would be likely to affect the morale of the Turkish army and people adversely, unless some satisfactory alternative were offered at the time when the Council's decision was made known. In Moscow rejection of the application would be interpreted to mean that the Western powers were unlikely to send armed forces to aid Turkey if it were attacked, and this belief might increase the dangers to which Turkey is already exposed.
(e) The United States is anxious to have air bases in Turkey from which attack on the Soviet Union might be pressed in case of war. This would be possible if Turkey were admitted to NATO.
(f) If the Soviet Union, in view of Turkey's strength, decided to by pass that country and attack in Iran, Greece and the Arab states instead, Turkey might conceivably remain neutral or non belligerent as long as it could, as it did during the second world war, unless it is admitted to NATO. The question of whether Turkey's neutrality or non belligerency would be to the advantage of North Atlantic Treaty powers should therefore be carefully considered before a decision on Turkey's application is reached.
(g) The admission of Turkey would not necessarily imply that Greece and Iran must also be accepted as members of NATO if it were clearly understood that Turkey's admission was agreed to because of the contribution it is able to make to general security.
7. A clarification of United States policy toward Turkey is likely to result from the present NATO discussions. In recent weeks Turkish army officers have for the first time been accepting United States advice with regard to the local disposition of armed forces. This is interpreted by some as a step toward joint planning, which in turn might lead ultimately to joint defence. The United States, however, has given no indication yet that it intends to send armed forces to Turkey in case of direct attack. The U.S. decision to act quickly in Korea, where it had relatively few commitments, seems to point to the likelihood that it would also act vigorously if the Soviet Union launched an attack on Turkey, where it has already made a very substantial investment in the form of military equipment, improvement of roads, and the training of Turkish officers. Nevertheless the position is not clear, and the decision soon to be made by the NATO Council will depend to a considerable extent on what the United States is prepared to offer.
8. Although the Ambassadors in Ankara of the United Kingdom, United States and Canada all favour Turkey's admission to NATO, it might be useful, since Turkish leaders themselves are willing to accept other alternatives, to explore the various possibilities open to the Western powers. These would include:
(a) A unilateral guarantee of United States aid to Turkey;
(b) Negotiation of a bilateral treaty of mutual assistance between Turkey and the United States;
(c) The replacement of the tripartite mutual assistance treaty of October 1939 (see 5(e) above) by a quadripartite treaty, revised so as to meet present day conditions and to include the United States as one of the signatories.;
(d) The development of an Eastern Mediterranean regional pact (see 5(f) above). Attached is a copy of telegram No. 1735 of September 8t from Canada House outlining views of the Foreign Office, which appears to favour a direct United States guarantee to Turkey or the development of a regional pact in preference to Turkey's inclusion in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
67Adnan Menderes, premier ministre de Turquie (niai 1950 )
68Voir/See United States, Department of State, Bulletin, Volume 22, No. 570, June 5, 1950, p. 886.