761.6711/6–2245: Telegram

No. 686
The Ambassador in Turkey (Wilson) to the Acting Secretary of State

secret
operational priority

844. Acting FonMin has informed me as follows:

A second conference took place between the Turk Amb at Moscow and Molotov on June 18 (Embs 817, June 181). Turk Amb said to Molotov that he had been instructed to state the Turk Govt could not accept as a basis for discussion the three points proposed. There was then a lengthy discussion not acrimonious, in the course of which Molotov indicated the Soviet Govt was prepared to envisage the negotiation of a treaty of “collaboration and alliance” between the Soviet Union and Turkey.

Molotov then brought out a new point. He stated the Soviet Govt might desire to present to Turkey the point of view of the Balkan States re certain questions affecting those states and Turkey. (Re this point the Acting FonMin said Molotov had not indicated what these questions might relate to, whether territorial, economic or other matters. In any case there were no questions pending between the Balkan States and Turkey. The Balkan States had been belligerents, they were at present under the authority of ACC’s and the Turk Govt could not agree to receive any claims on their behalf put forward by the Soviet Union).

At the end of the conversation between the Turk Amb and Molotov, the latter had stated “Think it over; let us see if we cannot work out something useful on these points”.

Acting FonMin said he had a “negative impression” of this interview and felt it had “gotten nowhere”.

Acting FonMin then said that on the day when the report of the foregoing conference reached him, the Soviet Amb in Ankara2 had come in to present the Soviet note requesting access to the German archives in Turkey. After a brief discussion of this matter, the Soviet Amb had inquired if there were any news from Moscow and whether the second conversation there had taken place. Sumer replied a report had been received re this conversation and he had gained a “negative impression” concerning it. They had then talked for an hour and a half in the course of which the Soviet Amb had gone over the points raised by Molotov. Sumer said he had made it clear to the Soviet Amb that any new treaty of friendship between the two [Page 1025]countries could not be based on questions such as those put forwarded [sic] by Molotov but only on “mutual respect and esteem”. He had said that if the Soviet Union continued to make such proposals, it would lead in his opinion instead of towards a better understanding between the two countries, towards their drawing further apart. Therefore such questions should be eliminated from any future discussion. The Soviet Amb stated Molotov had “put aside” the territorial question. The Acting FonMin had replied there were two ways of putting aside matters: First, to put them aside with the intention of taking them up again; and second, to put them aside definitely with no intention of taking them up again. He had inquired of the Amb whether the Soviet Union which possesses a respectable portion of the earth’s surface really needed any additional territory. The Amb had replied the Soviet Union did not need additional territory but the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic was very small and needed additional territory. The Acting FonMin had replied he, of course, could not accept such a statement.

At the end of this talk, the Soviet Amb had indicated he might wish to discuss further in Ankara this question of a new treaty. Sumer had replied he would be glad to do so at any time[;] the Turk Govt attached value to a new treaty of friendship with Russia provided all territorial and other objectionable questions were left aside.

Sumer told me that instructions were telegraphed yesterday to the Turk Amb in Moscow to the effect that in any further conversations with Molotov, he was authorized to say that Turkey would attach value to a new treaty of friendship drawn up on a proper basis. Also he was to say as regards the question of revision of the Montreux Convention that Turkey would like to know what the views of the Soviet Govt are concerning such revision and that once in possession of these views, the Turk Govt would be glad to consider them and discuss them with other interested Govts in order to determine whether it would be helpful to hold a conference for the revision of the convention.

Sumer said the Turk Govt was annoyed by the fact that Molotov in this second conversation had referred frequently to Poland. He had stated that after the First World War Poland and the Soviet Union, when the latter was weak, had negotiated a treaty which was “unjust” to the Soviet Union. Poland had now repaired this injustice and the basis was laid for a lasting entente between the two countries. Sumer said it was not at all the conception of the Turk Govt that Turkey should be placed in the same boat and painted with the same color as Poland, Yugo and Rumania.

Sumer said the Brit Amb had informed him concerning the conversation at Washington between Halifax [sic] and Acting Secy [Page 1026] Grew in which the British had proposed that the US join in a démarche at Moscow.

Grew had replied that while this matter would require consideration, he personally viewed the proposal with sympathy.3 (Peterson told me of this yesterday) Sumer said the Turk Govt appreciated this very much and sincerely hoped that the US Govt would agree to take some action in Moscow as the Turk Govt considered that this would be of the greatest assistance.

Sumer then referred to the report of certain Soviet troop movements on the eastern frontier. He said the Turk Govt had info which it considered reliable that Russian garrisons near the frontier had in fact recently been increased. He said the Turk Govt was not giving undue importance to this but that it was, of course, obliged to take “certain precautions”. I inquired whether they were in fact calling up additional classes. He said no that they would not call additional classes prior to the meeting of the Big Three but they had taken steps so that additional reserves could in fact be mobilized very quietly (I understand this decision not to call the classes now was taken by the Prime Min 4 on his own initiative without any suggestion having been made by the Brit Amb).

Sent to Dept: rptd to Moscow as 45.

  1. Document No. 684.
  2. Sergey Alexandrovich Vinogradov.
  3. Cf. documents Nos. 696 and 703.
  4. Şükrü Saracoğlu.