"Turkey: An Increasingly Key Strategic Asset for the U.S"

Report Middle East

"Turkey: An Increasingly Key Strategic Asset for the U.S"

October 14, 1987 21 min read Download Report
Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
James Phillips is a senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation.

(Archived document, may contain errors)

i 609 October 14, 1987 TURKEX AN INCRE ASINGLY KEY STRATEGIC ASSET FOR THE US INIRODUCIION At a time when war and chaos in the Persian Gulf remind policymakers how difficult it is to.deal with Middle Eastern states, Turkey remains a rock of stability and reliability in the eastern Mediterranea n . Yet the U.S. Congress is contemplating actions that will strain relations with this key ally. Not only is Con ess imprudently considering a reduction in the Administrations request for $78fWon in dtary aid to Turkey, but it is considering attaching oner ous conditions to that aid.

Turkey is of great importance to the United States for geostrategic, political and economic reasons. In strategic terms, Turkey poses a formidable barrier to Soviet expansion in the easternMediterranean and Middle Eastern region s. Its pivotal location and large army make it the eastern linchpin of the North Atlantic Treay Or anizations (NATO) security perimeter. The Iranian revolution and Soviet The Greek governments threats to terrmnate U.S. base ri ts in Greece enhance invasio n o f Afghanistan emphasize its importance in Persian Gulf contingencies.

Turkeys importance in NATOs eastern Mediterranean de v ense plans Muslim Bridge In political terms, Turkeys position as NATOs only Muslim member makes it a bridge between the Western and Muslim worlds and enables it to play a stabilizing role in the volatile Middle East. Turkeys commitment to secularism, instituted in I923 by the far-seeing founder of modem Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, makes it an ideological advers to the Islamic fundamen t alist groups is the only Middle &tern state with a longstanding commitment to parliamentary democracy also is a proved model for economic ,development. Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Ozal has ignited an impressive economic boom by instituting free market e c onomic which threaten the stability of much of 3 e Middle East. Aside from Israel, Turkey Turkey thus offers the Third World a model for secularism and democracy. It -2 reforms The WdZ Street Journal praises him as "the developing world's closest approxim a tion to Ronald Reagan relationship with Turkey. Yet cracks are appearing in the Turkish-American relationship. In -early May Turkish President -Kenan Evren canceled a scheduled visit to the U.S. to signal growing Turkish doubt about American sincerity and reliability because of anti-Turkish actions taken by the U.S. Congress.. Despite Turkey's crucial contributions to the Western alliance, Congress has reduced the Reagan Administration's aid request for Turkey each year since 1981 Congress attaches counter p roductive conditions on that aid and arbitrarily links Greek aid levels to Turkish aid ,levels in an inflexible 7 to 10 ratio The U.S clearly has strong reasons to maintain the closest possible working Because of these. congressional actions, Turks increa s ingly believe that they are taken for granted by Washmgton; they are particularly galled when they contrast their stalwart security cooperation with the U.S. with the shrill anti-American harangues of Greece's socialist Prime Minister, Andreas Papandreou i nterests, the U.S. should To restore the health of Turkish-American relations and enhance American 1) Give $785 million in military aid, which the Administration requested, to modernize the Turkish armed forces and enable Turkey to meet its NATO defense r e sponsibilities against Soviet threats. 2) Set aid levels to Turkey according to its contributions to Western security 3) Refuse to make US aid to Turkey depemdent on Turkish behavior in such regional issues as the Cyprus dispute 4) Press US allies to incr e ase ecoiILomic aid for Turkey and to facilitate Turkish entry into the European Economic Community 5) Ihxnmge rappmckment between Greece and Turkey through a high-level dialogue and such confidence-building measures as a nonaggression pact TURKEWS !WRA.IC IMPORTANCE Turkey anchors NATO's eastern flank, guards one-third of NATO's 3,600-mile front with the Warsaw Pact and is the. only NATO member sharing an extensive border with the Soviet Union. Turkey controls the Bosporus and the Dardanelles the key strai t s that constrain Soviet naval access to the Mediterranean Sea. In the event of conflict, Turkey is to close the straits to the 69-ship Soviet Black Sea fleet nearly one-third of Soviet major surface warships. By doing so, Turkey would prevent Moscow from s urgin against NATO's soft underbelly in the Mediterranean the Persian Gulf. Turkey's 654,OOO-man armed forces are the second largest .in NATO, only after the 2,143,000-man U.S. armed forces, and larger than France's and from cutting sea lines o P communic ation to Greece, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and -3 557,000 and West Germany's 485,0

00. The tough, disciplined Turkish forces would tie down 20 to 30 Soviet divisions in the event of war, some of which otherwise could be deployed on NATO's central front The bo g Border With the soviets Turkey has long experience in dealing with Russia, having confronted Russia in thirteen wars over the last four centuries. Faced with post-World Wk 11 Soviet demands for bases on the straits and territorial concessions, Turkey tu r ned to the U.S. for support. Under the 1947 Truman Doctrine, Turkey along with Greece became a successful test case for the strategy of containing an expansionist Soviet Union through U.S. economic aid, military assistance, and diplomatic support. Turkey f ought alongside the U.S. in the Korean War, joined NATO in 1952, and later became a member of the pro-Western Baghdad Pact and its successor, the Central Treaty Oreanhation (CENTO Greek-Turkish disagreements over Cyprus have been the mam irritant in U.S.- T urkish re1ations.l The importance of maintaining close strategic ties was underscored by the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which dramatically demonstrated Moscow's expansionist designs for pushing closer to the Persian Gulf.2 Hard InteUigence. The U.S. today enjoys access to six major and 21 smaller facilities in Turkey that are dedicated to NATO military and intelligence functions.

The air base at Incirlik in southern Turkey offers a staging area for U.S. fighter bombers; facilities at Sinop on the Black Sea and Diyarbakir in eastern Turkey provide intelligence on Soviet military activities; Belbasi near. Ankara contains a seismic station for monitoring Soviet nuclear tests; Pirinclik is the site of radar warning and space monitoring stations; and s torage facilities at Yumurtalik and Iskenderun house fuel and military supplies. These facilities provide 25 percent of NATO's hard intelligence on Sowet strategic nuclear activities, weapons development, military readiness, and force movements.3 U.S. Air Force units from as far away as Spain and Great Britain use Turkish bombing ranges on training missions As important as Turkish defense installations have been to the U.S., they are likely to become even more important in the future. Greece's Papandreou r epeatedly has threatened to dismantle U.S. bases in Greece when the current agreement governing their operation expires in December 19

88. Turkey is the logical choice to help fill the gap that could be left by the loss of the four major and several minor U.S. installations in Greece 1. After Greek-Turkish tensions flared on Cyprus in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson sent a letter to Ankara hintin that NATO would not back Turkey if a Turkish intervention precipitated a Soviet arms embargo on Turkey that was, not lifted until 1978 2.. See: James A. Phillips A Mounting Soviet Threat to the Northern Tier Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 214, July 1, 1983 3. Bruce Kuniholm Turkey in the Worlc in George Harris, ed The Middle East in Tunkish- American Relations (Washington, D.C The Heritage Foundation, 1985 p. 9 reaction. Fo lr owing the 1974 Turkish military intervention in Cyprus, the U.S. Congress imposed an -4 hkish Role in Persian Gulf The 1980 Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement (DECA) between the U . S. and Turkey limits American use of Turkish facilities to NATO defense purposes. This condition was imposed by Turkey to avoid regonal conflict-without NATO backing Yet Turkey' still deterring a Soviet move to the Persian Gulf. In 1982 the modernize ten Turkish air bases, several of them in eastern Turkey, on the flank of possible Soviet invasion routes through Iran. These air bases could enable U.S warplanes to interdict the supply lines and slow the momentum of a Soviet invasion force attacking Iran.

Turkey is reluctant to become involved in Middle Eastern conflicts because of a desire to avoid stirring up memodes of Ottoman imperialism. It seeks to preserve its neutrality in the Iran-Iraq war to preclude Iraqi or Iranian support of Kurdish terrorists inside Turkey. Turkey also enjoys lucrative trade with both belli8erents in the Gulf war. Although the Turks permit U.S. intelligence-gathering activlties related to Persian Gulf events, they have refrained from co-tting themselves in advance to granting U .S. access to their bases in the event of a Persian Gulf flareup. Turkish involvement in Persian Gulf affairs is unlikely unless Soviet forces are involved and Turkish efforts are subsumed under a NATO umbrella. Nevertheless, no Soviet military planner ca n afford to ignore Turkey when contemplating aggression in the Gulf ISSUES IN US-TURKB"RELATIONS Turkqr's De Needs In addition to the Soviet Union, Turkey is surrounded by some of the world's most ruthless regimes: the pro-Soviet states of Bulgaria, Syria, and Iraq, as well as revolutionaxy Iran. Greece, Turkey's only western neighbor, is led by the volatile Papandreou regime, which persistently conjures up a Turkish bogeyman to distract its increasingly disenchanted citizens from the economic havoc wrought by its myopic socialist ohaes. Since Turkey cannot count on being reinforced rapidly by its NATO ap lies in the event of Soviet attack, it must maintain a large military establishment. Ankara devotes 4.5 percent of Turkey's Gross National Product GNP) to national defense, one of the highest commitments in NATO. Yet Turkey's economic base is not broad enough to finance the acquisition of enough modem defense systems to enable Turkey to fulfill its NATO responsibilities.

Turkey's obsolescent tanks, aircraft, and ships are often far older than the crews that man them. In fact, Turkish military equipment has been described as a museum of World War 11 The Turks have initiated an extensive program to upgrade their aging M-48 tanks, and they hope to replace Korea n War vintage warplanes with F-16 fighter-bombers produced under a coproduction agreement with the U.S. -5 In 1983 the Pentagon estimated that bringing Turkish forces up to minimum NATO standards would cost $18 billion over thirteen years? Although the 198 0 DECA did not establish an explicit quantitative link between U.S. aid and access to Turkish bases, Washington pledged its %est efforts" to underwrite Turkey's NATO defense commitments. Ankara estimated that this would require in excess of $1 billion in. A merican aid -'each. year But Congress has-pared back the Administration's aid request each year. Although Turkey has been the third largest recipient of U.S. aid in recent years after Israel and Egypt, American militaly ad has fallen from a peak of $718 m i llion in Fiscal Year 1984 to $615 inillion m FY 1986 and $490 million in FY 1987 bbbying Congress. When the 1980 DECA expired in December 1985, the Turks sought to extract firmer U.S. aid level guarantees. After more than a year of hard bargaining, the Tu r ks last March accepted letters between Secretary of State George Shultz and Foreign Minister Vahit Halefogu that contained the unusual clause that the Reagan Admistration would lobby Congress with "vigor and determination" to help Turkey meet its NATO res ponsibilities.

To their credit, the Turks did not threaten to terminate American access to their bases, as has Greece's Papandreou. The Ozal government subsequently was criticized by its political opposition for agreeing to renew the DECA without binding U .S. comtments. Although Ankara signed the new agreement in March 1987 Prime Minister Ozal announced in April that it would not be ratified by the Turkish Parliament because the U.S. Congress slashed the Administration's requested aid package by 36 percent from $913 million to $569 million. President Evren's subsequent cancellation of his planned U.S. visit further underscored growing Turkish exasperation with its American ally The Qpms Dispute aid, particularly the linkage to progress in resolving the long -running Cyprus issue.

The 1974 Turkish intervention on behalf of Turkish Cypriots prompted the U.S. to impose an arms embargo on Turkey from 1975 to 19

78. The result: the Turks hardened their position. It also weakened NATO defenses and harmed U.S inter ests by depriving the U.S. during that period of access to Turkish intelligence gathering installations. The deterioration of Turkish-American relations also led the Turks to seek improved relations with Moscow. One result was Turkey's acceptance of a bro a d interpretation of the 1936 Montreux convention, which governs usage of the Bosporus and Dardanelles. This new interpretation permitted the Soviet aircraft carrier Kiev to transit the straits in July 1976 under the pretense that it was an anti-submarine c ruiser Ankara justifiably bridles at some of the congressional strings attached to' U.S Although the U.S. arms embargo was lifted in 1978 when it became clear that it did not produce the intended results, it has left scars in the Turkish-American relation s hip. Yet Congress continues to link aid to Turkey to Cyprus negotiations in a manner that the Turks find biased toward Greece. This April, for example, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution to prohibit the use of U.S 4. Bruce Kuniholm Turkey and 'NATO: Past Present and Future Ohis, Summer 1983, p. 441. -6 provided wea om by Turkish forces on Cyprus and called for a reduction in The 7 to 10 Aid Ratio numbers of tg e roughly 20,000 Turkish troops stationed on that island Another case -of - congressional- micro-management that impairs American interests is the 7 to 10 aid ratio that Congress has been using as a rule of thumb in setting Greek and Turkish aid levels. For every ten dollars that Turkey receives Greece receives seven dollars. Thi s arbitrary ratio, never agreed to by the U.S executive branch, supposedly maintains the regional "balance of power between Greece and Turkey, although the nature of this

'balance has never been made explicit. Turkey's population is five times larger than Greece's, and its armed forces are three times larger. Turkey requires far more military aid than does Greece because, with its 1ong.common border, it faces a much more direct Soviet threat.

Doling out security assistance according to criteria set by the "Greek lobby" in the U.S. skews the distribution of scarce funds and weakens Western defenses. In practice, the ratio does not .help Greece, and it hurts Turkey. While Greece amassed up to 1 billion in unspent U.S. military credits at one point,5 Turkey h as been forced to delay the long-overdue modernization of its armed forces. The inflexible application of the ratio reduces U.S. influence with both aid recipients and allows Greece's Papandreou to continue to thumb his nose at Washington because he can c ount on Greek aid automatically being set at 70 percent of Turkey's aid.

The de facto 7 to 10 aid ratio, moreover, contradicts official U.S. policy by implicitly endorsing Greek claims that Turkey, not the Soviet Union, is the chief threat to Greek security.

The Greeks once were a Christian minority group living within ,the Turkish ruled Ottoman Empire. Since regaining independence in 1832 with British, French and Russian support, the Greeks zealously have guarded their sovereign rights against a return of Turkish domination. Greece historically has sought foreign help to offset its neighbor's greater size. In 1921, Greece took advantage of Ottoman weakness to invade Anatolia in an unsuccessful attempt to incorporate Greeks on the eastern coast of the Aege a n Sea into an expanded Greece As with other international conflicts involving claims of rival nations to disputed territories, the Aegean conflict has created extreme bitterness and distrust on both sides. After World War II, Soviet meddling in the Greek c ivil war and territorial demands on Turkey gave both a common enemy and earned both a common friend in the U.S. In recent years, however, the declining perceptions of the Soviet threat, rising tensions over Cyprus, and disputes about sovereignty over Aege an air space, coastal waters, and the seabed have plagued Turkish-Greek relations.

Greece claims sovereignty of the waters within six nautical miles of the coasts of its Aegean islands but reserves the right to extend its claim to twelve miles 5. The Wall Sbeet Journal, September 10, 1986. -7 Turkey considers such an extension a belligerent act because it would close most of the Aegean to the Turkish Navy. Turkey would like to settle the issue in bilateral negotiations, but Greece has rejected such an appr o ach, preferring to bring the dispute before the International Court of Justice at The Hague. The World Court however, has become a highly politicized tribunal which probably would not give Turkey a fair hearing Refusing to Tal& The possible existence of o f fshore oil deposits has raised the stakes and suspicions of both sides. This March, a naval confrontation over oil exploration in disputed waters narrowly was averted. A similar dispute in 1976 led the two states to a ee to avoid provocative acts and ne o tiate a solution. These took office in 19

81. As a result, minor Turkish-Greek issues have become politicized to such an extent that they become contentious tests of national wills that all too easily escalate into saber-ratthng crises. talks, along with o ir er bilateral contacts, were broken o d by Papandreou when he Although Turkey's pragmatic Ozal seeks to open a dialogue and has offered to meet Papandreou "anytime, anywhere the Greek leader has ruled out such a dialogue as long as Turkish troops remai n on Cyprus. This puts the cart before the horse. No progress can be expected on the Cyprus issue without a broad willingness to compromise on both sides. By refusing to talk or listen to his Turkish counterpart, Papandreou perpetuates distrust and diploma t ic paralysis. This may benefit him politically by allowing him to pose as the uncompromising defender of Greek sovereignty, but it increases the risks of a blow-up in the Aegean that could harm Greek, Turkish, American, and NATO interests TURKEYSExpERIMEN T WlTHFREEENTERpRIsE market economic reforms. He has been praised by Ronald Reagan as "a real Reaganite in economic terms" because of his determined efforts to prod Turkey toward free enterprise. Since 1980, Ozal has rationalized the price system by abolish i ng subsidies and lifting price controls, overhauled the tax system, and slashed income taxes by 20 percent for most workers. He has opened up the economy by liberalizing currency exchange rules and expanding access by Turks to foreign imports, credit, and investment. By encouraging Turkish industry to shift toward exports rather than import substitution, Ozal hopes to harness fully Turkey's comparative advantages, especially its large, skilled workforce and its geographic prommity to both Europe and the Mi ddle East.

Under Ozal's stewardship, first as head of the State Planning Organization and since 1983 as Prime Minister, Turkey has made dramatic economic gams. Today it boasts the strongest growth rate of any of the twenty-four countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development--7.9 percent real growth in Gross National Product in 19

86. Inflation plummeted from over 100 ercent in 1980 to 26 percent in 19

87. Exports surged from $2.9 billion in 1980 to E 7.5 billion in 1986, and foreign investment inceased fivefold in the same period Prime Minister Ozal, trained as an engineer in the U.S., is dedicated to free -8 Despite Ozal's success in stimulating econo m ic growth, his centrist Motherland Party is losing ground politically because of its austerity program and a persistent unemployment rate of 20 percent. Moreover, Ozal's efforts to protect Turkey's credit rating by assiduously meeting its forei debt commi t ments 4 billion in rincipal and interest was paid on Turkey's P 25 billion foreign debt in 1986) have Eft him -open to- opposition-charges :that he serves-"urkey's foreign creditors better than his own people RivateSectorE To reduce the budget deficit, An k ara is moving slowly to privatize some of the State Economic Enterprises that collectively account for approximately 40 percent of Turkey's industrial production. Privatizing such state enterprises as mining, textiles, cement, and aviation are under consi d eration. Sales of shares in the toll revenues of a bridge across the Bosporus already have provided money for a second bridge. Encouraged by interest rates that exceed the rate of inflation, and continued political stability, the private sector now may ha ve the enthusiasm and financial strength to support the rapid growth of privatization.

Textile exports are the centerpiece of Ozal's export-oriented economic strategy making up the single largest source of Turkey's export earnings. Turkish textile exports to the U.S. rose to about $140 million in 1986, up from roughly $80 million in 19

85. But the growth rate of Turkish textile imports to the U.S. is inhibited by import barriers. The Turks complain that as a late entrant to the Multifiber Arrangement that sets quotas for U.S. textile imports, the lose out to such Far Hong Kong U.S. officials argue that granting Turkey a larger textile quota would prevent the U.S. from fulfilling its commitments to other textile exporters. This is a lame answer. The U.S. is now in a position to reduce signficantly its barriers to textile imports.6 The chief Turkish-American bilateral economic issue concerns Turkish textiles.

Eastern textile producers as South Korea, the Republic o r China on Taiwan, and In addition to ration alizing its economy, Turkey is reforming its political system. The army, which mounted a bloodless 1980 coup to avert impending civil war, returned power to civilians just three years later and held elections. Although military rule sparked harsh Western c riticism, the army garnered little Western praise for restoring democracy and preserving Ataturk's secular reforms against growing (but still marginal) Muslim fundamentalist extremism. The participation of twelve political parties in Turkey's September 19 86 'by-elections and the referendum last month that lifted a ban on several politicians attest to the steady evolution of Turkey's "guided democracy" into a thriving, stable democratic system.

Turkey also has been making strides in correcting the human rights abuses that accompanied the crackdown on warring leftist and rightist terrorists in 19

80. It has 6. See Edward Hudgins Robust U.S. Textile Industry Needs No More Protection Heritage Foundation Brrekgrounder U

e No. 54, September 29, 1987, and Katsur o Sakoh and Edward Hudgins The Multifiber Arrangement: U.S. Gains From Relaxing Its Restrictions Heritage Foundation Backgvunder Update No. l.3, June 6, 1986. -9 established a commission to ,investigate Turkish prison conditions and permitted Council of E urope officials to visit prisons. The U.S. State Department's most recent Human Rights report for Turkey concluded that In general, the positive trend in the observance of human rights continued in 19

86. The Government made considerable progress in reduci ng human rights abuses, although significant shortcomings are still evident question of past Turkish treatment of its Armenian minority. Each year a measure is introduced in Congress to designate a day of remembrance in the official U.S calendar for hundr e ds of thousands of Armenians who perished in the final tumultuous years of the Ottoman Empire. Although the resolution has never been passed by both Houses, the Turks see it as providme a fig leaf of respectability to Armenian terrorists who have waged a w ar of terronsm against Turkey since the mid-1970s. Over fif an average of 25 hves a day in 1980, the Turks have taken a hard line against terrorism of any stripe. The Turkish public interprets support in the U.S. for the Armenian resolution to be support f or anti-Turkish terronsm, an equation that could harm bilateral relations if the resolution were passed Perhaps the most emotional issue in Turkish-American relations is the thorny Turkish cittzens, most of them diplomats, have been murdered, including Y o ur in the U.S.7 Seared by a terrorist bloodbath that claimed Turkey is a steadfast ally and should not be taken for granted: The Ozal government's strong commitment to NATO, modernization, free enterprise, and free trade make it one of the most pro-Americ an Turkish governments ever to hold power Ozal's opposition derides him as "Amerikanci" and criticizes him for not securing firmer U.S. aid commitments in the DECA signed earlier this year.

Washington should help Ozal demonstrate the benefits of a close U.S. connection.

It should avoid giving Ozal's critics on the left and the right issues that can be used to discredit him and the rising generation of U.S.-educated technocrats.

Long-term U.S. goals should be to facilitate Turkey's transition -to a stable democracy, to a free market economy, and to full integration into Western Europe's economy as well as its defense alliance. To accomplish these goals must meet its DECA obligations to help mode hr9s armed foras is committed to make its best efforts to hel p Turkey upgrade its military strength.

The Administration's request for $785 million in military aid for Turkey is an absolutely necessary investment in Western security. Congress undermines NATO security to the extent that it arbitrarily cuts this aid. M ilitary aid to Turkey is one of the most cost-effective means of deterring Soviet aggression in the eastern Mediterranean as well as southwest Asia. While it costs the U.S 60,000 to outfit enable the Turks to fulfill their NATO responsl'bilities The U.S. 1 ) w 7. The Armenian Secret Army For the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) which is responsible for many of these outrages is supported by the Soviet Union, Syria, and Palestinian terrorist groups. For an excellent analysis of the Armenian terrorism see: Micha e l Gunter, Acming the Just Cause o Their People: A Study of Contemponuy henian Tem*m (New York Greenwood Press, 1986 10 and station one American soldier in Turkey, the cost for one Turkish soldier is roughly 9,000.8 the Cyprus question. Cyprus is a complex problem that cannot be resolved by solutions imposed by outside powers Only-direct--talks between Greece and Turkey will lay the groundwork for a settlement. If the U.S. pressures Turkey to make concessions, the Greeks may lose incentives to make reciproc al concessions and be tempted to negotiate with Washington rather than Ankara. Moreover, the U.S arms embargo proved to be a blunt instrument that hardened Turkey's position instead of encouraging compromise.

Washington should offer its good offices to exp lore possible solutions but should not cajole either side into a settlement that could later unravel, leaving the U.S. as a scapegoat. Nor should Washington recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus established in 1983 or any other unilateral appr o aches 2) Coogress should stop linking Turkish aid levels to diplomatic progress on 3 Tbe arbitrary 7 to 10 Greece:Turkey aid ratio should be scrapped. Scarce funds d or security assistance should be disbursed to maximize Western defenses against Soviet th r eats, not to offset the real or imagined threats posed by one NATO member against another. If Greek Prime Minister Papandreou genuinely believes that Turkey is more of a threat to Greece than is the Soviet Union, then he should withdraw from NATO. Since h e does not, it is clear that the real enemy of Greece is the Soviet Union. An inflexible U.S. formula for doling out aid undermines the rationality of NATO defense planning, constrains the 8 President's ability to conduct foreign policy, and limits U.S. in f luence in both capitals on should invoke the 1986 amendment to the on to transfer surphs military Defense autho-on act that aUm the e equipment to Turkey, Greece, and Portu F-4 fighter-bombers, that they may be eligible to receive. The Admnistration shoul d use such surplus equipment transfers as much as possible to help offset expected congressional cuts in military aid. Increased contributions from U.S mditary construction, the NATO Infrastructure program, and the Defense Industrial Cooperation program al s o can help to make up the difference amsider favorably Turkey's applidm for full membership in the Eurapean Economic Chummily. Japan, which claims to be looking for ways to strengthen the Western alliance on which it depends, should be encouraged to buttr e ss Turkey with economic aid 4 Rea&an Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger has given the Turks a list o P surplus equipment, includinp 40 Phantom 5) Washingon should press its aUies to increase foreigu aid to Turkey and to 6) Tbe U.S. should open its mar k ets,to Turkish textile exports as much as possile under the Multifiber Arrangement. Better yet, the Multifiber Arrangement 8. Testimony of Ambassador Parker Hart, cited in Bruce Kuniholm Rhetoric and Reality in the Aegean: U.S. Policy Options Toward Greec e and Turkey SAIS Review, Winter/Sprhg 1986, p. 153 9. For an excellent analysis of U.S. policy toward Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus see: Paul He Out of Kilter: Greeks, Turks and U.S. Policy," The Nufionol Infemf, Summer 1987 11 should be phased out to libera l ize the textile trade and reduce clothing and other fabric prices for U.S. consumers a full, open revim of the Turks' treatment of Armenians While the Armenians unquestionably suffered. grievous wrongs, there -is no incontrovertible proof of a systematic g enocide campaign by the Turks against them. Moreover, the acts in question were committed by the defunct Ottoman government, not the Turkish Republic. A full-scale investigation of the matter, using the old Ottoman archives could clear up the issue. Congr e ssional resolutions on the Ottoman Armenians would only reopen old wounds and disrupt Turkish-American relations without resolving anythmg 8) Washington should enoourage a rappmchememt between Greeoe and Turkey by offering itself as a conduit for pnvate c o mmunication, by calling on both sides to tone down their rhetoric, by exploring the possibilities of a mutual nonaggression pact and other confidence-buildmg measures. A dialogue between Athens and Ankara must be established before any progress can be mad e on sovereignty disputes in the Aegean. Such disputes are essentially a matter of national pride. They will not be resolved until there is a political will on both sides to accept compromise 7) TheU.S.shouldenarurageAnkaratoopentheOttomanarchivestoaUow CO N CLUSION The U.S. cannot afford to take Turkey for granted. Turkey anchors NATO defenses in the eastern Mediterranean and contributes to the deterrence of Soviet expansion toward the Persian Gulf. Turkish facilities provide 25 percent of NATO's hard intell igence on Soviet military activities.

Turkey also is important as a stabilizing force in the Middle East and as a bridge between the Moslem world and the West. Its secular system provides a workable alternative to the rising tide of Moslem fundamentalism that plagues the Middle East. Moreover , Prime Minister Ozal's free market economic reforms provide a valuable model for economic development for scores of other countries.

The U.S. must live up to its commitment to make its best possible effort to help Turkey fulfill its NATO obligations. By trimming the Administration's aid proposals for Turkey and attaching counterproductive aid conditions, the U.S.

Congress undermines Western security and strains bilateral relations ivith a valuable ally.

Given the stead drift of Papandreou's Greece away f rom the Western alliance Minister Papandreou chooses to oust U.S. bases from Greece, Turkey is the obvious candidate to provide substitute facilities the U.S. must strengt i en its ties to Turkey, not weaken them. For if Prime James A. Phillips Senior Pol icy Analyst


James Phillips

Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation