767.94/12–2844: Telegram

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

2421. Department’s 1180, December 15 and my 2389, December 20 and 2416, December 27.88 I called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs89 this morning to express to him the desirability of a severance of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Japan. I left with him an aide-mémoire drafted in agreement with the British Ambassador the English text of which reads as follows:

“In suggesting to the Turkish Government that it sever diplomatic relations with Japan, the Government of the United States believes that the Turkish Government may desire to help shorten the war by making a concrete contribution to the Allied victory against Japan. At the same time, such a severance of diplomatic relations would have the effect of depriving the Japanese of important points of observation of Allied operations.”

Saka stated that without predetermining the reply his Government might make he could see little advantage to Turkey in taking the desired step but that if “Turkey’s allies” believed such action would be to their advantage he was certain his Government would give the most careful consideration to the suggestion.

He then inquired as to the Russian point of view. I said that while I had no information as to the Russian position, it was my personal opinion that the Russians would see a decided advantage in a severance of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Japan as it would deprive the Japanese of a vantage point for espionage and observation purposes particularly at a time when the movement of war material to Russia through the Straits was imminent. Saka said he would discuss the matter with the Prime Minister90 at the earliest possible moment and that there would be no unreasonable delay in the reply of the Turkish Government.

The British Ambassador is seeing Saka this afternoon to take the matter up with him and will leave with him an aide-mémoire substantially the same as ours.

Please repeat to London and Moscow.

  1. Telegrams 2389 and 2416 not printed.
  2. Hasan Saka.
  3. Sükrü Saraçoğlu.