322. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State 1

1173. Re Embtel 1170, April 1.2 There is so much sleight-of-hand going on in Mid-East at present, it is hard to keep the eye on the ball. Frankly, I feel our Turkish friends have demonstrated they have rather clearer eye-sight than some of the rest of us. I cannot avoid feeling we are letting them down badly—and against our own interest. “Northern Tier” is our concept, and in my mind, a sound one—not likely to add great material strength to free world military [Page 630] capabilities in the near future, but contributing (as one can judge by Moscow’s violent opposition) an immediately powerful deterrent. I fear that such assurances as were given the Egyptian Ambassador in Washington (Embtel [ Deptel ] 1230, March 303) seriously undercuts the position we have encouraged the Turks to take by our support of the Turco-Pakistani and Turco-Iraqi pacts;4 and that it may prolong the life of a Syrian Government hostile to us, encourage the Egyptians in a neutralist, if not actively anti-western course, and long delay the construction of a Middle East barricade deterring Soviet designs. I hope the desk will give prompt consideration to the Prime Minister’s observations reported in reference telegram and give me a positive reply for him.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 682.87/4–155. Secret; Priority.
  2. In telegram 1170, the Embassy in Ankara reported the substance of a meeting with Nuri Birgi to discuss developments in the Middle East. Birgi, who had called on Menderes’ instructions, indicated that the Prime Minister believed that the “weight of maneuvers and attacks” against the Northern Tier defense concept was coming not only from the Arabs, but from the French and the Israelis. The attacks, Birgi continued, “are really getting to be too much for Turco-Iraqis shoulders alone.” (Ibid.)
  3. In telegram 1230, March 29, the Department informed the Egyptian Ambassador that the United States was not trying to prevent an Egyptian pact with the Syrians and the Saudis, although it indicated that the American people would favor a Turco-Iraqi pact directed against a “communist menace”, rather than a Syrian-Saudi-Egyptian pact, which might have “other objectives”. The Department also suggested that Nasser might wish to consider a defense arrangement that might include Turkey and Iraq. Warren was also informed that the United States favored the preservation of the status quo regarding the adherence of additional Arab States to the Turco-Iraqi pact. (Ibid., 682.87/3–3055)
  4. On April 2, 1954, Pakistan and Turkey concluded an Agreement for Friendly Cooperation; for text, see AFP: Basic Documents, 1950–1955, p. 1253. On February 24, 1955, Turkey, Iraq, and Pakistan concluded a Pact of Mutual Cooperation. For text of the accord, see ibid., p. 1257.
  5. In telegram 1252, April 2, the Department asked Warren to assure the Turkish Government that the United States “strongly supports” the Turco-Iraqi Pact, but that it continued to doubt the desirability of applying pressure on Iran to join the pact. Nor did the Department feel that the time was right for US adherence to the pact. (Department of State, Central Files, 682.87/4–155)