As it turned out Sarper himself
opened Yassiada question, saying that he being very active in matter
having discussed with Gursel,
Inonu, Aksal and entire
Cabinet, all of whom favor moderation. He had also just had two-hour
talk with General Sunay who, as
head TGS, key figure in army and he
believed could now be counted on to work quietly against executions.
There had also been some approaches by diplomatic representatives but
matter is now one where “job can only be done here” and he believed
maximum efforts being made. He requested I pass this on to Secretary in
pursuance their previous discussion.
I replied Sarper had jumped gun on
me a bit since I too had come prepared discuss Yassiada and had in fact
prepared some notes on subject in order be as clear as possible. I then
spoke from notes to following effect:
1. Matter discussed on several occasions previously on understanding that
an internal issue but nevertheless one having potential international
2. As trials appear be drawing to close I wished as representative of
close friend and ally review again on informal basis but under
discretionary authority my government.
3. Turkey has important role in world today as example of country in
evolution through democratic process which at same time recognized world
responsibilities, serving as bridge between East and West and old and
4. Military coup of last year was rational and bloodless; free world had
5. Imposition death penalty could alter this image, bearing in mind,
among other things that political executions usually associated with
6. Also desirable all NATO powers put
best foot forward in this time of danger.
7. These thoughts not new and I had been assured they known to those in
decision making positions.
8. Aside form restating our views, I understood some missions had
expressed their views more formally and I wished be assured that
informal character of our approach, which had seemed appropriate in
light delicacy of situation, should not be regarded as indication any
lesser concern than more formal representations of other good friends of
Sarper replied could assure that
nature our approach would not mitigate its effectiveness; in fact, he
still felt would have been inadvisable for us do otherwise since, in
light closeness Turco-American relationship, formal intervention could
easily be regarded as threat. He also wished assure that Secretary's
views had been communicated to appropriate government authorities.
Finally, noticing that I had spoken from paper, Sarper asked if I intended leaving it
with him. I replied it not prepared for that purpose and asked if he
actually wanted something or would himself make record of conversation.
Sarper said did not think
document of usual diplomatic character would be in order but might be
useful if he could be given points covered on plain paper.
*Source: Department of State, Central Files,
782.00/8 – 761. Secret.
1Telegram 151, July 31,
reported that the West German Government had urged Turkey to avoid
“draconian” solutions in the punishment of the members of the
Menderes regime. (Ibid., 782.00/7 – 3161)
reference to the Nicosia conference of Ambassadors to the Eastern
Mediterranean states, chaired by Under Secretary Bowles July 31 –
August 2. Documentation on the meeting is ibid., NEA Files: Lot 66 D 5, Regional
3Secretary Rusk visited Paris
August 3–8 for meetings with the Foreign Ministers of France, the
United Kingdom, and the Federal Republic of Germany and a separate
meeting with the NATO Permanent
4Talbot participated with Under
Secretary Bowles in a
regional Ambassadors meeting in Delhi August 6-d11.
5Text of the paper handed to Sarper was transmitted to the
Department of State as airgram A–117, August 8. (Department of
State, Central Files, 782.00/8 – 861)