File No. 763.72119/543

The Ambassador in Turkey ( Elkus) to the Secretary of State


2595. My 2591, 4th. After a long conversation with one of the most influential Cabinet ministers yesterday evening, I am convinced that the Turks are placing all their hopes in a peace between the Central powers and Russia, claiming liberal parties and new government in Russia would desire peace in order to devote all their time and energy to the reorganization of their country. It was hinted Turkey was ready to open the Straits and to make other concessions.

In an interview published in this morning’s Tanine, the Grand Vizier states that the long-standing enmity between Russia and Turkey was due to ambitious aims of the Russian Empire [against] Turkey and that should liberal Russia abandon those aims there is no reason why the Russian and Turkish relations should not be cordial.

In yesterday’s conversation I hinted at separate peace between Turkey and all Entente powers. While I did not receive a definite reply, I believe hopes of peace to be negotiated by Germany between the Central powers and Russia are so deeply rooted [that] Turkey is again failing to see her interest in a peace with all the Entente powers. Should the Department see fit, and in the best interests of the United States, to suggest to the Entente powers that Russia state categorically that she will not conclude a separate peace with the Central powers, I believe it likely that Turkey may then abandon Germany and offer to negotiate with the Entente powers.

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