740.0011 European War 1939/27663½: Telegram

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

222. For the President, Secretary and Under Secretary. In a talk with Prime Minister this afternoon he said that he was “completely satisfied” with Adana Conference. As his summary of conversations was similar to that given me by British Ambassador (see my No. 211 of February 2), I am not repeating it here.

Saraçoğlu stated that both British and Turks had spoken with utmost frankness on all of subjects discussed and that there had at no time been any divergence of opinion. He said he was particularly pleased that Churchill had not sought to obtain a definite commitment from Turk Government to enter war but had confined himself to pointing out that a situation might arise “when the Turks by pulling one brick out of the wall might cause the whole wall to collapse”. The Prime Minister remarked that he had gained the impression throughout the conference that Churchill was speaking very much under the influence of the views of President Roosevelt. He said that Churchill had been most generous in giving credit to the United States for Britain’s present favorable position in the war.

The Prime Minister said that as there had been frequent discussions between us, particularly when he was Foreign Minister, on the subject of improving Turkish-Soviet relations, I would be interested to know that Churchill had suggested to him the desirability of making every effort to avoid offending the susceptibilities of the Soviet Government in view of the great contribution the Russians are making to the defeat of Germany.

I gained the impression from my talk with Saraçoğlu that he was entirely sincere in expressing his satisfaction with the outcome of the conference. In my opinion the Turkish Government is convinced that the Allies will win the war, that an Allied victory is in the interests of Turkey, that Turkey’s only salvation from possible Russian aggression lies in such protection as she may be able to obtain from the United States and Great Britain and that this protection as well as [Page 1064] desired influential voice in Balkan affairs can only be obtained by associating herself with the victorious powers. Consequently I am convinced that the Turkish Government is prepared, at an appropriate time, to facilitate an Allied victory either by permitting the use of Turkish airfields and ports or by entering the war as an active belligerent should such a step be deemed desirable.