137. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State1

3486. Subj: (S) Deputy Secretary’s Visit to Ankara—Oral Message From President Carter to Prime Minister Ecevit.

1. (S) Entire text.

2. Prior to plenary meeting evening May 7 Deputy Secretary Christopher met privately with Prime Minister Ecevit and conveyed following oral message to him from President Carter:

“I am very much aware of the difficulties Turkey is now experiencing. We want to be helpful to you in dealing with these problems. We attach enormous importance to the Turkish-American relationship and see it as having both long-term and fundamental importance in the entire political, economic and security system we support.

“Turkey is a country dedicated to democracy, to broadly based economic development, and to social justice. It has already made great strides toward creating a full and modern life for its people. We want to see Turkey continue to serve as an example for the developing world to emulate. This was Ataturk’s vision and one which you have brought closer to realization.

“Turkish participation in NATO and its involvement in other European-American common undertakings is a vital element in our own political and security calculations. We are eager, too, to see Turkey develop its role as a link between Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. We welcome and value your help and advice in dealing with problems in these areas.

“I admire the political courage you have displayed in making difficult economic and internal security decisions during the past few months. And I sympathize with you in dealing with the political strains these courageous decisions have caused.

“I am heartened that progress is being made in working out an economic stabilization program that will enable you to reach agreement with the International Monetary Fund. I look forward to working closely with you to help Turkey return to a condition of economic good health so that your country can build on the economic base that has been developed in the past two decades. I foresee increasing opportu[Page 421]nities for cooperation between our two countries, and I assure you we will pursue them vigorously.

Warren Christopher will talk to you frankly about my concerns relating to SALT and the verification problem, which is very important to us and, I believe, to you too. I hope he can work out with you a basis for understanding and cooperation which will serve both our interests.”

3. Ecevit said that it was a sympathetic and understanding message and asked that this be conveyed to the President.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Secretariat Staff, Mr. Leslie H. Gelb, Director, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, Lot 81D101, Box 4, Turkey. Secret; Immediate; Nodis.