811.20 Defense(M)Turkey/988: Telegram

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

702. See my 689, April 15, midnight. I am in receipt of a note from Minister for Foreign Affairs under date of April 17 in reply to my note of April 14 a translation of the text of which reads as follows:25

“Mr. Ambassador: The Government of the Republic has examined the note which Your Excellency was good enough to deliver to me on the 14th instant, in order to make to me, in the name of the Government of the United States of America, a communication regarding Turkey’s trade relations with the Axis countries.

Your Excellency is fully aware that, even before the start of the world conflict, Turkey had chosen her place and in the various circumstances which have subsequently occurred, she has never, at any time, deviated from the clear-cut position which she had thus adopted. The collaboration which is requested of her today is, accordingly, in conformity with her foreign policy, and it is in this spirit that the Government of the Republic has received the words of the very Honorable Mr. Cordell Hull as well as the communication which Your Excellency has made to me in the same sense.

The mutual aid which our two countries have given each other throughout all the vicissitudes of the war has been based upon a reciprocal understanding of the unavoidable necessities and of the vital interests of each of them, and I can assure Your Excellency that the same spirit of understanding is at the basis of the favorable consideration accorded by the Turkish Government to the suggestions of the Government of the United States of America.

I can, therefore, state to Your Excellency that, in the spirit of sincere collaboration which forms the foundation of its policy, the Government of the Republic will, within the limits of its material possibilities, [Page 830] give to the United States of America the aid which has been suggested.

Please accept, Mr. Ambassador, the assurances of my very high consideration. Signed N. Menemencioglu.”

  1. Telegram 703, April 18, 7 p.m., from Ankara, reported that a similar note had been delivered to the British Ambassador as a reply to the British note of April 14 (811.20 Defense(M)Turkey/989).