740.0011 European War 1939/33181: Telegram

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

241. For the President, the Secretary and the Under Secretary. My 196, February 4, Department’s 103, February 7. Since my telegram “under reference no overtures have been made by the Turks to reopen the negotiations with the British. While I have every reason to believe that the Turkish Government is seriously disturbed at the abrupt departure of the British Military Mission there is as yet no evidence that the steps thus far taken by the British to express their displeasure are bringing about any change in the Turkish position. This may be due to the desire of the Turkish Government to await a clarification of recent international developments such as the Pravda incident with regard to alleged British negotiations with Germany, the rejection of Allied good offices in the Polish-Russian dispute, the constitutional changes in Russia, the rupture of diplomatic relations between the Argentine and Germany, Allied pressure on Spain, etc., before resuming negotiations which it is well aware must then lead to a commitment. The desire to await such clarification is probably [Page 819] strengthened by the conviction that the general military situation in Europe at the present moment does not warrant irrevocable commitment by the Turkish Government at this time to enter the war as of a fixed date. Having made it clear to the Allies that they are prepared in principle to enter the war the Turks seem disposed to avoid fixing a date for their entry pending developments which will permit them to select the most opportune time.