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

1793. Paris for USRO. Joint Embassy–ICA message. Reference: Deptel 1762,2 Embtel 1781.3

Prime Minister Menderes received General Riley and me alone for one and one-quarter hours thorough discussion pertinent [Page 679] contents reference telegram. Following discussion aide-mémoire left with him text of which in following telegram.4
Prime Minister expressed great appreciation US understanding his economic difficulties represented by decision finance $13 million POL through August. Said he fully appreciated this reduced pipeline aid would bring serious problems later in year. However, indicated degree of seriousness would depend on outcome harvests.
IMF consultations, Prime Minister said he was prepared to receive our suggestion as made with intention being helpful. However, he indicated that degree of seriousness with which he was prepared to talk over external aspects Turk stabilization problems with IMF representatives still required further study and consultation with his colleagues. In this connection he expressed some displeasure previous IMF consultations which he implied dealt only with limited strictly statistical aspects Turk problem and approached problem from completely detached point of view. He hoped IMF would this time show more “understanding” and willingness to be of positive assistance. He made clear that prompt reassurances to him as to IMF approach would help him reach favorable decision.
Prime Minister said that he would reflect on our conversation and study aide-mémoire left with him and get in touch with us again within a few days.
Discussion was friendly throughout. Prime Minister went to great lengths express appreciation for past aid, particularly military. Reaffirmed in strongest terms devotion and loyalty to mutual political, military and economic interests. Said that whatever differences of view might arise with respect to economic interests, confident these would be surmounted and overall relationship unaffected. Prime Minister talked of recent Soviet approaches, including recent specific offer of five tankers POL without foreign exchange which he had given instructions should not be accepted. While reiterating responses of allies to Soviet moves was making situation increasingly difficult for Turkish Government, he repeated that he would never yield to Soviet blandishments nor engage in deals with Moscow.

During conversation we reassured Prime Minister US goals for Turkey not different from his own; our differences related to methods and pace of economic program. Indeed morale and determination of Turkish people which he so anxious maintain in our view would be weakened by economic distress. Consequently we trust that he would appreciate our advice and suggestions offered in spirit of sincere interest in welfare and progress Turkey. Prime Minister [Page 680] seemed cordially accept this approach and repeated he would consider in that spirit.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 882.10/4–2856. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Paris.
  2. Telegram 1762, April 20, informed the Embassy that the Department shared the Embassy’s desire for an early devaluation of the Turkish lira and expressed concern that the Turks might refuse to discuss the matter with the IMF mission. The Department also instructed the Embassy to inform Menderes that in view of the “dire effect” on the Turkish economy of a shortage of POL products, the United States was prepared as an emergency measure to finance up to $13 million of POL imports. (Ibid., 882.10/4–456)
  3. Telegram 1781, April 27, informed the Department that the Embassy planned to make its approach to Menderes on April 18. The Embassy added that it seemed “essential” to see the Prime Minister personally. (Ibid., 882.10/4–1756)
  4. Transmitted in telegram 1797, April 30, the aide-mémoire summarized the instructions contained in telegram 1762. (Ibid., 882.10/4–3056)