761.67/7–1345: Telegram

No. 707
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Acting Secretary of State


7088. Turkish Foreign Minister Saka called on me yesterday with Turkish Ambassador.1 After expressing satisfaction with results of San Francisco Conference and speaking in complimentary terms of Under Secretary Grew and Ambassador Wilson he said he desired to [Page 1051] acquaint me with recent developments in Turco-Soviet relations. Following is summary of his remarks:

Despite assurances in respect of Turkey supposed to have been given by Stalin at Yalta recent developments had been such as to cause the Turks to entertain grave apprehensions regarding Soviet intentions. Turkey had been quite willing to admit that a revision of its treaty of friendship with Russia was in order and had asked the Russians what they had to suggest as a basis for a new treaty. No reply had been received until Molotov’s return from San Francisco when to the surprise of Turks he had stipulated that as a preliminary to considering revised treaty Russia would expect (1) the cessation [cession] to Russia of the eastern Turkish provinces of Kars and Ardahan (2) Soviet bases on the Straits and (3) an understanding regarding the revision of the Montreux Convention covering navigation of the Straits. Certain suggestions had also been made indicating that a political reorientation in Turkey would be expected.

Saka said that the Turkish Govt could not discuss giving up part of its territory nor accept Russian demands for bases. Regarding latter Russians had said they could not be placed in position of leaving their defence to a weak country like Turkey. Reply of Turks was that it was precisely to meet such situations that a world security organization was being set up. Regarding revision of Montreux Convention Turkish position was that it was an international agreement and could only be changed by negotiation on an international basis. In speaking of Molotov’s suggestion regarding Turkey’s political reorientation Saka first described Molotov’s approach as “vague” but in subsequent development of this point he said it was obvious that it was intended to bring Turkey into the sphere of immediate Soviet influence and that Molotov had actually used the position of Poland as an example of what was expected of Turkey. Becoming even more animated Saka concluded that what the Russians apparently had in mind was Turkey’s virtual “annexation”.

Turkish Ambassador entered conversation at this point and with Saka indicating approval said that matter resolved itself into a question of the political, economic and social integrity of Turkey. With its very existence thus at stake Turkey would have no recourse but to resist to the utmost of its ability.

That however was only one aspect of the matter because with Turkey’s integrity lost the sphere of difficulty would widen still further and world peace would once again become in danger.

Such being the case Turkey looked to its ally Britain and to its friend the US to support her and was convinced that with such support the ominous character of the situation might be attenuated. Saka expressed the hope however that this matter would not be made a subject of discussion by the Big Three without affording Turkey an opportunity to be heard.

I thanked the Foreign Minister for his call.

  1. Rusen Esref Unaydin.