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Erkin, Feridun Cemal 1899- 1980

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January 30, 1963

Airgram from the American Embassy Ankara to the Department of State, 'Milliyet Quotes Foreign Minister on Nuclear Missiles'

A report by the newspaper Milliyet cited Foreign Minister Erkin on the Jupiter missiles. According to the Embassy’s translation, Erkin said that the Jupiter missile bases would be “dismantled,” and that Turkey and the United States were discussing their replacement with Polaris missile launching submarines. When Erkin was asked whether Polaris submarines would be provided, he replied that, “These are details. Talks are continuing.” Negotiations were indeed continuing, but it would take six weeks to reach an agreement.

January 17, 1963

American Embassy Ankara Telegram 780 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

In light of the Fanfani visit to the U.S., and the likelihood that the Jupiter-Polaris arrangement would be publicized, the State Department asked Hare for his estimate of Turkish reactions. Hare reported that Erkin was “perturbed” that an “impression” was being created that Turkey was “trailing behind Italians” on the Jupiter replacement issue. With a  Senate debate forthcoming on the matter, Erkin did not want it to look like he was “sleeping at [the] switch” but also did not “want [to] get out in front.” Not knowing what would be said in Washington, he was not sure what “line” to take. Erkin and Hare agreed that Erkin could say in Parliament that the government was “fully informed” and would take a position that was consistent with “Turkish best interests.” Turkish officials would continue to be concerned by the appearance that they had “been outdistanced by the Italians.”

January 12, 1963

American Embassy Ankara Telegram 765 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

Ambassador Hare met with Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Erkin about moving ahead on substituting Jupiter missiles with Polaris, emphasizing the “importance in Turkey’s getting in on ground floor of this significant move toward a stronger NATO.” Erkin implied that he was “impressed by the reasonableness of our proposals,” but believed that the public would have to be persuaded “that Polaris would be as effective as Jupiters in assuring security of Turkey.” Hare observed that visits to Turkish ports by Polaris submarines armed with ballistic missiles could help maintain Turkey’s “confidence” in the U.S. deterrent and in NATO.

April 5, 1963

American Embassy Ankara Telegram 1208 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

The Embassy informs the Department of last-minute developments concerning the exchange of notes on the Jupiter/Polaris arrangement. Hare confirmed with Foreign Minister Erkin that the dismantling would begin on April 15, and that was “reconfirmed … at working level.”

February 18, 1963

American Embassy Ankara Telegram 970 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

A number of issues raised by Defense Minister Sancar about the Jupiter agreement were unresolved. While some in the Turkish government wanted to withdraw Sancar’s letter to McNamara, President İnönü was reluctant to do that, wanting it understood that what Sancar had written “were not conditions but rather expression of Turkish needs and desires.” During a meeting, Foreign Minister Erkin told Hare that he was trying to clear the proposed memorandum to the NAC in time for its meeting on February 20. On the sentence about Polaris submarines operating in the Mediterranean, Erkin suggested this wording: Polaris was being “especially assigned” to Italy and Turkey. That would speak to the “Turkish feeling” that “Polaris has remoteness which lessens its appeal.”

Later that day, Hare wrote that the Turkish government was apparently willing to sign on to the statement to NATO. That Turkey had already made the “political decision” to dismantle the Jupiters made it necessary for the U.S. to address Sancar’s concerns, such as the nuclear weapons for the F-100s, the delivery of a third F-104 squadron, access to the facilities at Cigli, and Turkey’s role in the Polaris submarines. Hare also favored a positive response to Sancar’s proposal for negotiations between U.S. and Turkish representatives.