Ankara Post Files: Lot 57F72: 400 Defense-Turkey-Airfields 1950

The Embassy in Turkey to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1

top secret
No. 2449

The Embassy of the United States of America presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has the honor to refer to the Ministry’s note of April 18, 19502 and to previous correspondence3 with reference to the request of the Turkish Government that the United States extend financial and technical assistance in connection with certain projects of the Turkish Government at certain Turkish airfields.

The Embassy is authorized to advise that, in accordance with and subject to the agreement between the United States of America and Turkey, signed at Ankara July 12, 1947,4 and subject to the pertinent United States legislation controlling aid to Turkey, the Government of the United States of America will be able to assist the Government of Turkey in these matters as set forth herein.

It is understood that the airstrips at Diyarbekir, Kayseri, and Eskisehir have deteriorated to the point where the safety of aircraft operation is imperiled, and necessary training operations cannot be conducted. It is understood that it is the view of the Turkish Government that the Turkish plans for the defense of Turkey require that these airstrips be operational. It is further understood that there is a lack of housing and utilities at the airfields at Bandirma, Erzincan, Afyon, and Balikesir, so that complements of the Turkish Air Force required to be stationed at these airfields in accordance with the defense plans of Turkey cannot in fact be stationed there. It is understood that the Turkish Government, although it strongly desires to [Page 1257] accomplish the rehabilitation of the airstrips and the construction of the housing and utilities mentioned, cannot, by reason of budgetary and fiscal limitations, assume all of the expenses involved in these projects.

However, it is understood that the Government of Turkey will assume the cost of and attend to the acquisition of the land necessary for these projects, the cost of transporting within Turkey any and all matériel necessary for these projects, the furnishing of the services of Turkish aviation engineer units to the extent required by these projects and the employment on these projects of some, or, if necessary, of all equipment received by Turkey through American aid.

It is further understood that any matériel imported into Turkey in pursuit of these projects shall enter without being subject to any tax or duty whatsoever.

On the foregoing understandings, the Government of the United States of America will provide, within the funds available to it for such purposes, the remaining costs of these projects, the necessary construction materials, and the necessary supervisory, technical, and construction personnel services.

  1. Department of State telegram 190, April 25, to Ankara, not printed, transmitted the text of this note to the Embassy in Turkey for delivery to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (782.5 MAP/4–2550).
  2. The Turkish note of April 18, not printed, the substance of which was suggested by the Embassy in Turkey on instructions from the Department (not printed), inquired whether the United States military aid program could provide for the expenditures which the Turkish Government could not assume for reconstruction and improvement of certain Turkish military airfields (enclosure 2 to despatch 320, April 20, from Ankara, 782.563/4–2050).
  3. Not printed. Department’s telegram 98, Tomap, March 6, not printed, read in part as follows: “State and Defense now prepared to proceed overtly with airfield rehabilitation project on basis outlined CHAMAT Oct 21, 1949 Aide-Mémoire to Defense Min. Suggest McBride inform Min accordingly and ask him to address ltr to CHAMAT, omitting specific reference to Aide-Mémoire (or to his oral acceptance thereof) as it refers to ‘proposed Turkish-American plan’, but incorporating reference to previous exploratory conversations held at Turks instance and requesting Amer assistance on this Turk Air Force requirement incl use of Aid funds and Amer contractor(s).… Ltr shld list airdromes involved and Turk contribution as outlined Aide-Mémoire.” (782.5 MAP/3–650)
  4. For text, see TIAS No. 1629, or 61 Stat. (pt. 3) 2953.