158. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1 2


  • Opium Production in Turkey

Ambassador Handley’s visit with you on December 22 will undoubtedly assist him in his efforts to convince the Turkish Government to destroy the 1970 poppy crop prior to harvest in the spring. If this effort is not successful, as may be likely, our fallback position is to arrange for an increased legal purchase of the 1970 crop and thereby reduce by 75% the amount of opium finding its way into the illegal traffic. This pre-emptive purchase scheme would be coupled with an effort to get the Turkish Government to make poppy planting illegal following the 1970 crop.

Under Secretary Johnson has recommended that you call in the Turkish Ambassador directly to express your concern over the harmful effects of the Turkish opium production. He suggests that this would be dramatic and forceful support to our other efforts.

While such an action would add a dramatic touch, it seems to me that it might engage your prestige too much, particularly since there is little likelihood of the Turks agreeing to destroy the present crop. It might be better for you to consider calling in the Turkish Ambassador after we have received the Prime Minister’s response to Ambassador Handley’s next approach. At that time the impact of receiving the Turkish Ambassador would increase the chances of the Turks accepting our fallback position.


That you call in the Turkish Ambassador after we have received the Prime Minister’s response.

Approve __________
Disapprove ___________
Prefer to see the Turkish Ambassador now ________.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics I. Confidential. Sent for action. According to a notation Kissinger made on the memorandum, the President approved the recommendation.
  2. Kissinger recommended that Nixon receive the Turkish Ambassador after receiving the Turkish Government’s response to Ambassador Handley’s next approach.