761.6711/7–245: Telegram

No. 694
The Ambassador in Turkey ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State ad interim

top secret
us urgent

893. I submit herewith some reflections on recent developments between Turkey and USSR:

Questions raised by Molotov are opening move in campaign on broad front extending far beyond Turkey. Perhaps most significant aspect of Molotov conversation was his remark that USSR may wish to present points of view of Balkan states. Some indication of nature of these points of view may be revealed in recent reports here of beginning Bulgarian movement for outlet on Aegean; stepping up of Moscow radio attacks on “Fascist” Greek Govt; and Belgrade and Sofia radio protests that Slavs in Macedonia are being persecuted. It is entire Balkan question which is being raised.
Request for return of Kars and Ardahan must be taken seriously. It is matter of prestige for present Soviet Govt to recover what Czarist regime formerly held. Furthermore these territories have [Page 1034] high strategic value covering approaches to northern Iran and eastern Anatolia.
Requests re Black Sea security and revision Montreux Convention carry interesting implications. If Soviet security requires freedom of passage through Straits it is obvious that such freedom of passage cannot be guaranteed either by bases in Turkey or by revision of Straits convention. This war has demonstrated that Straits can be closed by airpower based on Crete. It may therefore be expected that claims relating to Soviet security will be extended to Aegean. If this succeeds whole debate can be transposed from Black Sea Dardanelles to Mediterranean–Suez–Gibraltar.
In August 1941 USSR gave assurances to Turkey of fidelity to Montreux Convention and respect for Turkish territorial integrity. Less than four years later USSR denounced treaty of friendship with Turkey and informed latter that new treaty would require as previous condition agreement on revision Montreux Convention and cession of Turkish territory. This is procedure with which world became only too familiar in years after March 1936. It would seem to be in interest of peace and cooperation for US to leave Soviet Delegation at Big Three meeting in no doubt as to our conviction that such procedure is contrary to spirit and principles of world organization which both Govts are pledged to support.

Sent to Dept rptd to Moscow as 53.