149. Letter From Turkish Prime Minister Demirel to President Carter1

Dear Mr. President,

I would like to avail myself of the important occasion of vital talks between Your Excellency and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington to express my firm belief that the outcome of these high level contacts will be positive and fruitful for the whole NATO Alliance as well as for the individual members of it.2

I would like to express also on this occasion my satisfaction to see the strains placed on our bilateral ties eliminated in late September 1978, thanks to Your Excellency’s considerate attention and relentless efforts. This development was welcomed by the Turkish public opinion [Page 452] in view of the importance that Turkey has always attached to the maintenance of a harmonious relationship with the United States.

As you are aware, Mr. President, both our Governments have acted with a sense of great responsibility to start the process of revitalizing and widening our relations within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty to the lofty goals of which our two countries are dedicated. It gives me particular pleasure to see the Agreement for Cooperation on Defence and Economy is now ready for signing.3 Your Excellency’s personal contribution in achieving this positive result and the understanding shown as well as the efforts made by Your Administration will constitute a new and valuable evidence of the will of the United States Government and people to strengthen the Turkish-American friendship which is fully appreciated and reciprocated in Turkey.

I look forward to seeing Turkish-American relations and cooperation gain further momentum following the signing of the new Agreement. Let me express, Mr. President, my hope that in this new era of revitalization of our mutual ties, the circumstances prevailing in the world and in this region will be the determining factor in rendering support and assistance to Turkey with a view to enabling my country to carry out properly her NATO obligations. The level of the assistance must, I believe, take also care of the necessity of offsetting the negative effects of the arms embargo. Turkey looks now more than ever to her allies and friends to get their assistance in support of her own efforts to overcome the acute problems of economic and social development.

I feel confident that Your Excellency would share my conviction that a militarily and economically strong Turkey has vital importance in the maintenance of peace and stability and that the U.S. support and assistance will materialize taking into account this basic fact, which has come to the fore in the face of the recent international developments.

With kind regards,
Sincerely Yours,
Süleyman Demirel4
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders File, Box 19, Turkey: Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel, 2/77–4/80. No classification marking.
  2. Following the Schmidt-Carter talks, West German officials pledged up to $295 million in economic assistance to Turkey on the condition that the United States would match that amount. See Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. XXVII, Western Europe.
  3. The Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement was signed on March 29. The agreement, which supplemented the Defense Cooperation Agreement initialed on January 10, committed the United States to the military and economic support of Turkey, but did not specify levels of aid for either the economic or military spheres. The agreement also established a joint U.S.-Turkey military commission to foster military cooperation, and contained pledges that both countries would work together in commercial, scientific, and technological pursuits. An outline of the agreement is in the Department of State Bulletin, July 1980, pp. 30–31. For the full text of the agreement and its three supplementary agreements, which entered into force on December 18, see U.S. Treaties and Other International Agreements, vol. 32, part 3, 1979–1980, pp. 3323–3388.
  4. Demirel signed “S. Demirel” above this typed signature.