339. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State1

1732. Eyes only for George Allen. Learn through military channels plans for massive deployment US air and ground forces and special weapons in Turkey, mainly Adana area. Also that parallel instructions coming my way to get Turk consent.

This would be tough one to give Turks cold. They have been trying for two years now to get US to consult them on the Arab-Israeli conflict and related aspects our Middle East policy, with relatively little to show for their pains. They will probably cooperate in these plans as partners, but are likely to be sticky if we simply put it to them unilaterally. In view of Moscow’s warning against interference some time ago, Turkish cooperation in a military venture of this magnitude involves some major risks for them, from the other side of their northern borders. Finally, would be well remember our military and economic relationships are not presently in ideal state of repair.

In any event, gentlemen who would make decision—Menderes, Koprulu, Birgi and Chief Staff Tunaboglu—are all now in Tehran [Page 678] and will not be back here until April 23–24. These are same gents who have been seeking to be brought into our confidence and into consultation on Arab-Israeli conflict. Consequently, I think important, as minimum preparation for hitting them with this impending request, that Loy Henderson be authorized to discuss policy and plans with them privately and frankly in Tehran in way calculated to develop their receptivity.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 782.54/4–1756. Top Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution.
  2. In telegram 1728, April 18, the Department replied:

    “Request for ‘preparatory planning’ re possible movement US forces to ME stems from purely contingent military planning by Defense and involves no repeat no use or movement of forces in area.

    “Fact this Defense planning exercise being carried out should be restricted fullest possible extent in order avoid misunderstandings or leaks. Please discuss this aspect with any US military authorities who know of secret order to which you refer, and assure that matter is not discussed with Turks.

    “Understand Defense issuing urgent clarifying instructions.” (Ibid.,782.5411/ 4–1856)