169. Telegram 68968 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Turkey 1 2

Personal for Ambassador Handley from Elliot Richardson

The telegraphic instruction being sent you concurrently concerning an international forum for the Turkish opium problem was discussed today at length and very seriously in the White House with Attorney General, Moynihan and others. It was pointed out by Moynihan that we had not as yet carried out Presidential orders to eliminate Turkish opium. Based on our conversation with Demirel, I urged that Demirel’s political situation requires an international formula if the Turks are to avoid giving in publicly to U.S. pressure alone.

This position was unanimously accepted. It is now perfectly clear, as a result, that the Department, the [Page 2] Embassy, the Foreign Service and you and I are definitely on the spot to produce results. This is one we have to win. I wanted you to understand this as I do. This is why I must ask you to alter your travel arrangements so that you can present our plan to Eralp and discuss it thoroughly with him before you leave. It seems to me most important that he understand what we are proposing and that he can consult Demirel and brief Caglayangil who I gather is in Izmir and will not return to Ankara before he leaves for the United States. Only in this way can I pursue the matter with the FonMin here in Washington on a business-like basis when he comes for the CENTO Ministerial meeting.

We are running out of time and cannot afford to waste a day. Good luck.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, INCO-DRUGS TUR. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted by Schwartz, cleared by Eliot, and approved by Richardson.
  2. Under Secretary of State Richardson told Ambassador Handley that the Department of State was “on the spot” to produce results on suppression of the Turkish opium crop.