President Truman to the President of Turkey (Inönü)1

Excellency: I have received with deep appreciation the cordial letter which Your Excellency was kind enough to send me through the intermediary of your distinguished Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Necmeddin Sadak.

Your Excellency’s gracious reference to the friendship and admiration which the Turkish people feel for the people of the United States gave me particular pleasure. As you are no doubt aware, these sentiments are fully reciprocated by me and by my fellow Americans.

It was likewise a source of satisfaction to learn from Your Excellency of the Turkish nation’s gratitude for the military assistance rendered by the United States during this critical period in history. The enactment of the Turkish Aid Program in 1947 marked a new departure in Turco-American relations. No longer physically remote from each other, thanks to the advances of modern science, and animated by the common ideals of the United Nations Charter, the two republics then and there showed their determination to stand together, to the end that the forces which have exterminated human rights and liberties in such large sections of the globe might be halted, and their further aggressive expansion checked. In my address to Congress on March twelfth of that year, I said:

“I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.

“I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.”2

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I repeat these words because they reflect my feelings and the policy of my government today as accurately as they did then.

Mr. Sadak’s intelligence, broad experience and constructive approach to world problems have been greatly appreciated by the Secretary of State and myself, as well as by other American officials with whom he came in contact during his recent visit. I am sure, Mr. President, that he is leaving this country with a true understanding of the policies and problems of the United States Government in this troubled time.

I am confident too that Mr. Sadak leaves with the realization that the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in no wise diminishes the concern felt in the United States for the maintenance of the independence and integrity of Turkey and other free nations outside the Atlantic area; but rather, by strengthening the collective security of the Atlantic Treaty countries, the creation of this pact serves to enhance Turkey’s security as well. Through it, the principles first enunciated with respect to Greece and Turkey are further implemented with respect to other freedom-loving peoples of the community of nations.

With assurances of my warmest wishes for your personal health and happiness, as well as for the continued welfare of the Turkish people,

I remain, with great respect,

Very sincerely yours,

Harry S. Truman
  1. This letter was a reply to President Inönü’s letter of March 31, p. 1646. At the time he delivered President Inönü’s letter to President Truman, Turkish Foreign Minister Sadak indicated that he would be happy to take back with him to Turkey any reply which President Truman might wish to make. Sadak also indicated that the exchange of letters might be released to the press in Turkey. This letter was delivered to Sadak on April 26, the day before his departure for Turkey. Airgram A–120, April 29, to Ankara, not printed, which informed the Embassy of the texts of letters exchanged, stated that the Department of State had no objection to the release of the letters for publication (711.67/4–2949). Foreign Minister Sadak subsequently released the texts of the letters to the Turkish press on May 11. In his telegram 220, May 14, from Ankara, not printed, Ambassador Wadsworth reported having been asked by Foreign Minister Sadak to inform Secretary Acheson that President Inonu was very pleased with the letter from President Truman. Wadsworth further reported that the Turkish Grand National Assembly and a caucus of the Turkish Republican People’s Party had enthusiastically received news of the letter. Wadsworth observed further that he noticed a strongly developing spirit of optimism on U.S.-Turkish relations in his talks with Turkish political leaders and in his reading of the Turkish press. (867.00/5–1449)
  2. Regarding the address quoted here, see footnote 9 to the Secretary of State’s memorandum of conversation of April 12, p. 1650.