867.00/11–2648: Telegram

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


839. 1. Acting Foreign Minister Balta invited me call yesterday to receive “important communication from Turkish Government”. Recalling he had earlier mentioned informally his Government’s satisfaction on learning of Foreign Minister’s conversation with General Marshall in Paris,1 when projected Atlantic Pact was “touched on in general fashion”; recalling also press telegrams of preceding week indicating “serious progress of negotiations and possibility that Scandinavian countries, Portugal and Italy might be invited to participate”, he read me in French formal memo substance of which follows (full translation by air pouch):2

Information indicates exchanges of views are entering concrete phase to establish organism designed primarily arrest Soviet expansionism. As Turkey firmly opposes this expansion in Middle East and Mediterranean basin, it should participate.

As Turkey is resolved defend itself against aggression, it logically seeks reinforce its position. Its non-participation in such organism would disillusion Turkish people and might well encourage aggressive aims.

American military aid and President Truman’s declarations constitute important reinforcement. None the less Turkey feels its position should be consolidated by formal act such as its inclusion in any such grouping.

Earlier démarche in this sense has been met with suggestion Turkey should await result American elections. These leave no doubts to continuity and direction American policy.

Thus Turkish Government believes time has come pose question. It would be happy learn opinion American Government.

2. Then, handing me memo, Balta emphasized three points: appreciation of American aid; determination resist [aggression; in event of?] any mutual defense undertakings to Western European countries, especially if involving Mediterranean, Turkey too should be embraced thereby. He commented “one cannot cut Mediterranean in two”. He added that he had already handed British Ambassador copy of memo omitting reference to American aid and that, while copies would be sent Turkish Ambassadors Washington, London and Paris, [Page 295]this would be only for their information. He hoped US and British Governments might consult and give favorable answer:

3. British Ambassador tells me substantially similar remarks were made to him and that in telegraphing his government he pointed out importance of enquiry by saying that rarely if ever before had Turkish Govt when discussing such matters given him written communication.

Sent Department 839, repeated London 22.

  1. Reference here is to Marshall’s conversation with Necmettin Sadak on November 9, reported to the Department in Marshall’s telegram Delga 684 of November 10, not printed (840.20/11–1048).
  2. Not found in Department of State files.