761.67/6–1746: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Smith) to the Secretary of State


1907. Embassy’s 1899, June 17;46 pouched to London. Political offensives by USSR against Turkey having made little or no progress [Page 825] on Armenian and Georgian issues, a new offensive appears to be opening on another front—Turkish Kurds. Initial salvo was fired by Trud.

If, as seems indicated, USSR follows up Trud article with propaganda campaign for autonomous Kurdistan, Kremlin can scarcely expect to make much more progress towards inducing creation of autonomous Kurdistan than it has in bringing about “return” of Turkish Armenia and Georgia to their Soviet motherlands.

Firstly, according to our understanding, Turkish Kurds have been removed from frontier to interior. USSR will therefore find it difficult, if not impossible, to make contact with and arm Turkish Kurds. Secondly, even were USSR able to do this, Soviet experience with Iranian Kurds would seem to indicate that these individualistic feuding nomads are not wholly dependable instruments of Soviet policy. Kremlin doubtless realizes that, if it is out to establish genuine Kurdistan, incitement of Turkish Kurds should practically follow rounded development of Kurdistan movement in Iran and Iraq.

If foregoing is so, then Turkish Kurdistan campaign will not be designed to achieve its pretended aims. Its objectives will be:

Renewing war of nerves against Turkey on new front; and
Raising smoke screen over issues at CFM which may embarrass USSR.

With regard to second point, timing of Trud article to coincide with opening of CFM repeats now familiar pattern. It will be remembered that USSR launched propaganda offensives regarding Armenian, Georgian, Greek, Egyptian, Indonesian and other “grievances” to coincide with previous FM and UN meetings. These propaganda offensives, like present one, were at least in part aimed at defending Soviet position by tactics of confusion, irrelevancy and obscurantism.

Department please repeat to Paris as Moscow’s 189 and to Ankara as No. 34.

Passed to London as 286.

  1. Not printed.