154. Telegram 7825 From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State 1 2

Subject:

  • Opium Production

Ref:

  • State 188129
1.
In light of my conversation with Prime Minister (Ankara 7775), BNDD Director Ingersoll’s talks with Under Secretary Ministry Interior (Ankara 7791), and Assistant Under Secretary in Prime Ministry (Ankara 7823), I am setting forth below my suggestions on how to proceed in immediate future in order to secure Turkish cooperation in eliminating opium production. This course of action was worked out with assistance of BNDD Director Ingersoll who concurs therein.
2.
GOT policy decision to end poppy production immediately. In order to keep pressure on GOT to achieve this objective I propose following approaches:
(A)
Assuming Department agrees to my request for consultation Washington in December as requested septel, I would call on Prime Minister immediately prior to departure. I would ask Prime Minister if he had reached policy decision, saying that I knew President Nixon would want to know upon my return to Washington.
(B)
I would make third call on Prime Minister immediately after my [Page 2] return from Washington I would say that President Nixon had instructed me to see Prime Minister again and would use even stronger language than in first two calls if this should prove necessary.
(C)
Secretary Rogers would raise subject with Foreign Minister Caglayangil during bi-lateral meeting at NATO Ministerial in early December using approach given reftel.
(D)
As targets of opportunity appear, similar approaches would be made by appropriate opposite numbers to any high ranking GOT officials who might visit U.S. in coming weeks or who might be encountered at international meetings.
(E)
representation on same lines to turkish delegation to UN Narcotics Commission meeting January in Geneva.

Hopefully above concerted approaches will produce acceptable GOT policy decision by early January. The scenario is based on assumption Demirel visit to U.S. will not take place in next few months.

3.
Formation of joint committee. Committee would have two principle tasks:
(A)
Drawing up specific program for immediate eradication poppy production in Turkey on basis of decision in principle by GOT to do so.
(B)
Devising program for tighter enforcement measures to insure compliance and suppress illicit traffic.

Committee would consist of Turkish and U.S. officials. DCM would coordinate local U.S. efforts.

Depending on developments we might wish to press for formation of committee prior to formal governmental decision on eradication. in this case U.S. side would [Page 3] table concrete proposal intended to have sufficient appeal to Prime Minister to serve as inducement to favorable decision.

4.
Public relations. U.S. part in entire operation should be kept “invisible.” Public knowledge of U.S. pressure or involvement would set up political currents making favorable decision by Prime Minister infinitely more difficult. On positive side, we would with assistance of BNDD, USIS, and other agencies, start effort to place articles in Turkish media discussing narcotics problem. We would hope to include professional medical studies on effects of heroin and agricultural studies on crop substitution.
5.
Enforcement operations. Immediate requirement is fastest possible delivery of vehicles and other equipment we have undertaken to supply under existing program. Failure of this material to arrive on schedule gives Turks easy way to pass buck to US. Once joint committee is established, U.S. and Turkish officials could consider other equipment needs and further steps to make enforcement more effective.
Handley
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, INCO-DRUGS 17 US. Confidential; Priority; Limdis.
  2. Ambassador Handley proposed a strategy for the United States to secure Turkish cooperation in the elimination of opium production.