Memorandum by George H. Emery to the Director of International Security Affairs (Cabot)1

top secret

Subject: Proposed Increase in Turkish Forces.

The Turkish Government has offered to increase its armed forces by 40,000 men if the U.S. will finance the cost and provide improved support by furnishing certain items of equipment. The amount involved is estimated to be 88,000,000 Turkish lira, or approximately $31,500,000.

At the ISAC meeting on March 9, 1951, the Department of Defense expressed the view that the proposed increase would be highly desirable in that it would make the Turkish armed forces combat effective. After discussion ISAC agreed that the technical problems relating to the financing of the proposed increase should be referred to the Foreign Aid Committee for study and that ISAC would give further consideration to the problem based on the FAC’s findings.

An endeavor has been made to obtain from Ankara a detailed import program which could be financed by ECA so that the Turkish lira thereby generated could be used to meet the internal costs of the program. To date we have been unsuccessful. However, a report from our Ambassador in Ankara, concurred in by JAMMAT2 and the ECA Mission, included information which may provide a basis for judgment as to whether ISAC can proceed without waiting for further details.3

This report indicates that the approved Turkish military budget for the current Turkish fiscal year provides for an expenditure of 470,000,000 Turkish lira including 62,100,000 TL ($22,200,000) of imported items which are not included in American aid programs. There is also a proposed larger budget totalling 558,000,000 TL which will be adopted if the U.S. agrees to finance the increase. This larger budget includes [Page 1136] proposed additional imports totalling some 38,900,000 TL ($13,800,000) but financing of this amount will have to be undertaken by the U.S. Therefore, if the proposed increase in forces is approved the Turkish military budget will amount to 558,000,000 TL including imports totalling 101,000,000 TL or $36,000,000. In no sense is this a forced import program because the items involved are required to meet what we are told are serious deficiencies. It has been necessary to take certain liberties with the figures because of vagueness in parts of the report, but in terms of broad categories the imports are as follows:

(Column A includes the amounts in each category which will be imported with Turkish foreign exchange whether or not the increase in forces is approved, Column B indicates the increased amounts in the respective categories that will be imported if the increase in forces is approved and financing is provided by the U.S., and Column C indicates the totals in each category.)

Col. A Col. B Col. C
(Millions of Turkish Lira)
POL 19.9 4.7 24.6
Pre-fab buildings 2.5 2.5
British Aircraft spares 2.7 2.7
Medical Supplies 1.2 1.0 2.2
Tools, etc. 1.8 3.1 4.9
Boots, Shoes, etc. 13.0 7.5 20.5
Cloth, tents and blankets 12.5 12.5 25.0
Cement, asphalt, etc. 1.0 1.6 2.6
Animals and equipment 3.0 8.0 11.0
Materials for ship repair 2.5 0.5 3.0
Rope, paint, etc.  2.0      2.0
62.1 38.9 101.0
($22.2) ($13.8) ($36.0)

The above import program, if financed by the U.S., will enable the Turks to generate 101,000,000 TL, or enough to take care of the proposed army expansion and to meet a portion of the second year’s increment of the NCO program. The Turkish foreign exchange position would be affected in that it would not decrease by the amount of imports listed under Column A above. However, it would not increase. On the other hand, if the U.S. financed the total imports, the use of the Turkish foreign exchange so released should be the subject of a question, the answer to which we do not have.

Proposals for American Economic aid in support of the Turkish military total some $51½ million including $31%½ million for the proposed increase in forces, $13 million for the NCO program and $7 million for raw materials to increase production in Turkish arsenals. If all three measures are to be undertaken, imports totalling some $15½ million over and above those listed in Column C above will have to be found.

  1. Emery was also a member of the International Security Affairs staff.
  2. Maj. Gen. W. H. Arnold, USA.
  3. Presumably the documents referred to are telegram 571 from Ankara, March 21 (782.5 MAP/3–2151), and despatch 454 from Ankara, February 16 (782.5 MAP/2-1651), both not printed.