05ANKARA3953 / 2005-07-07 12:58:00
Embassy Ankara
                S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 003953 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/25/2025 
TAGS: PREL, MARR, MASS, TU, RO, BU, GG, UP, RS, IZ 
SUBJECT: USNAVEUR ADM ULRICH DISCUSSES BLACK SEA, IRAQ AND 
BILATERAL ISSUES IN ANKARA 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Nancy McEldowney for reasons 1.4 (b) a 
nd (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary:  During introductory calls as USNAVEUR and 
Joint Forces Command Naples commander, ADM Ulrich won Turkish 
Navy's agreement to hold consultations on information sharing 
between the Turks' Black Sea Harmony (BSH) operation and 
Allied Maritime Component Command Naples sometime before 
August.  The Admiral also alerted Turkish military leaders 
that the US Navy would be sending ships into the Black Sea 
several times a year, and that they would welcome the 
opportunity to work with the Turks while there.  The Turks 
requested that ADM Ulrich encourage the Bulgarians and 
Romanians to cooperate in tracking suspicious ships that 
enter their territorial waters after being shadowed by the 
Turkish Navy.  ADM Ornek announced that Turkey would begin a 
BSH-like operation in the eastern Mediterranean given the 
steady reduction of OAE coverage of the area over the last 
year and the requirement to protect increased ship traffic 
after the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan oil reaches the terminal in 
Ceyhan.  DCHOD General Basbug informed the Admiral that 
Turkey was considering contributing trainers in addition to 
the five staff personnel already committed to the NATO 
Training Mission - Iraq.  GEN Ozkok asked for US assistance 
with the identification and safe destruction of IEDs.  End 
Summary. 
 
2. (U) Admiral H.G. Ulrich made initial calls as Commander, 
US Naval Forces Europe and Commander, Joint Forces Command 
Naples on Chief of the Turkish General Staff (TGS) General 
Hilmi Ozkok, Deputy Chief General Ilker Basbug and Turkish 
Naval Forces Commander Admiral Ozlem Ornek on June 29.  The 
Turks congratulated ADM Ulrich on his recent appointment to 
his commands during the three cordial meetings. 
 
--------- 
Black Sea 
--------- 
 
3. (C) ADM Ulrich explained to GEN Ozkok and ADM Ornek that 
Operation Active Endeavor needed better information on what 
is happening in the Black Sea.  He proposed that a team led 
by a flag officer from TNFC visit CCMAR Naples to discuss 
what information OAE collects, how this data is processed, 
disseminated and used.  This would permit Turkey to then 
provide better, more timely information collected by Turkey's 
OAE-like Operation Black Sea Harmony.  With ADM Ornek, he 
expressed the hope this could be done before Ornek's 
retirement (in August).  GEN Ozkok noted Russian 
sensitivities regarding the Black Sea, but did not see a 
problem in talking.  Ornek was less guarded, saying "we will 
do it." 
 
4. (C) As the USNAVEUR commander, ADM Ulrich explained, the 
US Navy would continue its practice of sending vessels to 
work in the Black Sea, probably two or three times per year. 
With Ornek, he recalled that C6F Commander VADM Stufflebeem 
had proposed to Ornek that the two USN vessels going to the 
Black Sea in July exercise with the Turkish Navy both before 
and during their Black Sea deployment.  In more general 
terms, whenever USN vessels are in the Black Sea, ADM Ulrich 
wanted them to work with Turkey in ways that assist Turkey's 
ongoing operations there.  Ornek lamented the lead time was 
too short to plan as ambitious an exercise as proposed by 
VADM Stufflebeem, but his staff was working on an 
alternative, a large PASSEX in the Aegean involving two 
frigates, two fast patrol boats, a submarine and two aircraft 
sorties.  NAVATT expressed appreciation for the enthusiasm 
TNFC staff have demonstrated for working with the US Navy. 
 
5. (C) Both Bulgaria and Romania have requested naval 
training from the US, and USNAVEUR would welcome Turkey's 
advice on what training would be most useful.  Ornek 
initially replied, "all kinds."  ADM Ulrich said he wanted to 
have bilateral consultations in advance on what would be most 
useful to provide to the two new NATO members.  Ornek agreed 
that the Turkish Navy understood their neighbors' 
deficiencies given that the Turkish Navy has two or three 
exercises per year with each of the two countries, plus the 
experience of semiannual BLACKSEAFOR activations. 
 
6. (C) In addition to training, RADM Gurdeniz hoped that ADM 
Ulrich would encourage the Romanians and Bulgarians to 
utilize the information provided by Turkey to shadow 
suspicious vessels and report on their activities when these 
ships enter territorial waters.  Turkey, through BSH, follows 
these vessels, but cannot do so in other countries' 
territorial waters.  Despite excellent cooperation among 
littoral countries' coast guards, Bulgaria and Romania do not 
take any action regarding vessels reported to them by Turkey. 
 ADM Ulrich thought developing better information through the 
talks between TNFC and CCMAR Naples would help, and he agreed 
to raise the matter when he visited Bucharest and Sofia. 
 
----------------------- 
Black Sea Harmony South 
----------------------- 
 
7. (C) Ornek informed ADM Ulrich that Turkey was planning a 
national operation in the eastern Mediterranean similar to 
Black Sea Harmony.  He was unhappy that over the past six to 
twelve months the force devoted to Operation Active Endeavor 
had diminished, leaving holes in the area.  In September, oil 
would begin reaching the port of Ceyhan from the Caspian (via 
BTC pipeline), and the resulting increase in traffic must be 
protected.  He recalled in the past working with DEA to 
intercept drug shipments in the region that would have been 
used to finance terrorism.  When OAE operated there, this 
threat was deterred, but with its departure he feared 
criminal activity would return.  Therefore, Turkey would 
conduct its own OAE-like operation beginning in July, 
continuing indefinitely, and would coordinate with OAE.  As 
with BSH, Turkey would pass information collected on 
suspicious vessels to NATO.  ADM Ulrich noted this made the 
need for talks on information requirements more pressing. 
 
------------------- 
Iraq/NTM-I Trainers 
------------------- 
 
8. (C) Deputy TGS Chief GEN Basbug discussed other regional 
issues with ADM Ulrich.  Basbug noted the Turkey had 
increased its personnel on the NATO Training Mission Iraq 
(NTM-I) staff from three to five recently.  He said TGS also 
"may consider sending trainers" to Baghdad.  He recalled how 
for the past two years Turkey had made numerous proposals to 
train Iraqis in Turkey.  Two months earlier, at NTM-I's 
request, Turkey developed a proposal to receive two groups of 
15 officers for training and submitted it to SHAPE.  There 
has been no response, he said.  Recently, however, two Iraqi 
officers arrived for training at Ankara's PfP Training 
Center.  ADM Ulrich responded that it was understandable that 
Iraq would be reluctant to take personnel out of the fight to 
send them abroad for training.  He and Basbug agreed that 
training was nonetheless essential for success, with Basbug 
adding a second requirement -- "efficient government." 
 
---------------- 
Bilateral Issues 
---------------- 
 
9. (S/NF) On bilateral issues: 
 
--  ADM Ulrich proposed increasing the number of medium-term 
(2-3 month) exchanges, putting officers and senior enlisted 
personnel on each others' ships.  Besides affording the 
opportunity to share skills and experience, this would 
strengthen Navy-Navy relations as personnel on both sides 
came to understand the other side better. 
 
--  NAVATT expressed appreciation for Turkish support on 
force protection for ship visits.  Ornek approved of what he 
perceived as an increased frequency of visits.  Basbug 
thought there were not enough ship visits.  ADM Ulrich said 
his intention was for USN ships to call at Turkish ports more 
often. 
 
--  ADM Ulrich thanked GEN Ozkok for cooperation on examining 
the Syrian SCUD that landed in Turkey earlier in the month. 
 
--  CDA noted that the cargo hub at Incirlik was working well 
and expressed gratitude for Turkey's support of that 
operation. 
 
--  GEN Ozkok thought much of the intelligence the US was 
sharing on the PKK was "too general."  What Turkey truly 
appreciated was "timely, practical" (read: actionable) 
intelligence. 
 
--  GEN Ozkok noted that, with plenty of explosives in Iraq 
in "unauthorized hands," IEDs were showing up more in Turkey. 
 Most have been radio detonated, but there have also been 
wire and pressure triggered devices found.  He asked for US 
assistance in detecting and disposing of these devices. 
ODC-T Chief MajGen Sutton recalled that this subject was 
discussed during GEN Basbug's meeting with VCJCS Gen Pace. 
ADM Ulrich and GEN Ozkok thought a team from Joint Staff 
should visit Ankara ASAP to continue the discussion. 
 
--------------------------- 
Comment: Removing Irritants 
--------------------------- 
 
10. (C) ADM Ulrich's proposals to improve Turkey's 
cooperation with NATO and the US in the Black Sea could go a 
long way in removing this irritant from our bilateral 
relations.  The test will be whether the Turks follow 
through.  We believe there is a good chance that they will. 
Turkey's new national operation in the eastern Med makes 
sense given the increased tanker traffic that will come as 
BTC comes on line and as more Iraqi crude is pumped through 
the northern pipeline (which also terminates in Ceyhan). 
However, this operation could increase Turkish naval activity 
near Cyprus, potentially causing a reaction there.  Finally, 
Ozkok's reiteration of the request Basbug made in Washington 
in early June underscores the seriousness with which the 
Turks view the threat from IEDs.  We encourage the Joint 
Staff to respond to the Turkish request for information as 
soon as possible.  End comment. 
 
------------ 
Participants 
------------ 
 
11. (U) The Admiral was accompanied by the CDA, JFC-N POLAD 
Amb Dean Curran, ODC-T Chief MajGen Peter Sutton, NAVATT CAPT 
Devon Goldsmith, USNAVEUR Deputy EA CDR John Rinko, Flag Aide 
LCDR Craig Mattingly, and PolMilCouns. JFC Naples Deputy 
Chief of Staff for Operations MG Emin Alpman participated in 
all three meetings; TGS/J5 LTG Aydogan Babaoglu sat in the 
TGS meetings; and RADM(UH) Nusret Guner (TNFC/N3) and 
RADM(LH) Cem Gurdeniz (TNFC/N5 Strategy and Agreements 
Director) participated in the meeting with ADM Ornek. 
 
12. (U) USNAVEUR cleared this cable. 
MCELDOWNEY 

            
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