345. Letter From the Ambassador in Turkey (Warren) to the Under Secretary of State (Hoover)1

Dear Mr. Hoover : May I refer to Embassy telegram No. 124 of July 16.2 It is one of several which we have sent on the subject of the IMF–Turkey efforts to work out proposals to meet Turkey’s urgent foreign exchange and financial problem. Both IMF and the Department are behind the proposals. So is the Embassy. In fact, we in the Embassy are doing and will continue to do all we know how to get Turkey to go through with, to accept, and to implement the [Page 690] proposals. I am still hopeful that the joint efforts of the IMF, the Department, and the Embassy will bring about Turkey’s acceptance and implementation. We will trust that it will be an acceptance and implementation which she believes in and will support. If so, the economic experts consider that Turkey will be headed for an ultimate escape from her economic and financial difficulties. If not, I am afraid that the Departmental, the Washington attitude may be that we will “let her stew in her own juice”. This fear brings me to my major concern today and the purpose of this letter:

Having studied the situation carefully since my arrival here, having assessed what Turkey already has done for the U.S.A. and what she is prepared to do for us, having been briefed in key spots in Washington, London, Paris, Weisbaden and Naples on the importance to U.S.A. of Turkey and on what her loss would mean to us and to the Free World, having tried to guess what her failure loyally to cooperate with us would mean in men and dollars, and having taken note of our entire Near East scene in the light of Nasser’s latest maneuver,3 I want to say I am convinced we cannot turn the cold shoulder if Turkey fails to accept the IMF proposals. It is true and, perhaps, proper that IMF should, in that eventuality, drop the matter. But Turkey’s importance to the United States and the West is such that her failure to accept the IMF proposals only augments our danger and increases our responsibility to find some way to keep her a valuable ally. She cannot be such if her economic situation “goes to pot”. It is lacking foresight to say she must go along with us whether or not we do anything. In this world in which we live today all the rules are being broken. I am sure Turkey would be forced to break a few before she collapsed economically. We must not let her go down.4

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Pardon me for burdening you with even this tremendous possibility.

With warmest regards,

Cordially and sincerely yours,

Fletcher Warren
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 782.5–MSP/7–2856. Secret; Personal.
  2. See footnote 2, supra .
  3. On July 26, Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal Company.
  4. Hoover replied on August 24:

    “There seems to be general agreement among the economists as to the things to be done. We hope the Turkish Government will do them. However, if it does not, and if its difficulties are intensified, we will not turn a cold shoulder. We still count Turkey a friend and ally. While in recent years Congress has reduced appropriations for foreign aid the amounts of economic aid extended to Turkey have been increased. Although Turkey has not received the large loan which the Turkish Government requested, the aid extended has been and is substantial and can be expected to dull the edge of Turkish economic difficulties. It is doing this at the present time, witness ICA financing of Turkish petroleum and other current requirements. I hope that the provision of this aid by the United States does not foster in the Turkish Government an unwillingness to take corrective measures. This coming week may see decisions taken that may mean much in setting up conditions under which Turkey can overcome some of her baffling difficulties. Whether this happens or not, you can rest assured of our friendly attitude toward Turkey and of our sympathetic understanding of the difficulties with which you are surrounded.” (Department of State, Central Files, 782.5–MSP/7–2856)