Turkey: Issues for U.S. Policy

Order Code RL31429 Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Turkey: Issues for U.S. Policy May 22, 2002 Carol Migdalovitz Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress Turkey: Issues for U.S. Policy Summary Turkey has long been considered a strategic U.S. and NATO ally. That it combines a predominantly Muslim identity with a secular democratic government has added to Turkey’s significance to the United States since September 11, 2001. Turkish domestic and foreign policy issues concern U.S. policymakers, who would like a stable, competent, friendly government in Ankara. Since 1999, a coalition of three parties of mismatched ideological preferences has presided over unprecedented financial crises and the deepest recession in half a century. On the other hand, the coalition has produced an impressive legislative record of economic and political reforms. Some economic indicators, such as inflation and interest rates, are showing improvement, but Turkey has yet to experience economic recovery. As an election nears, cleavages in the government may become more severe as coalition partners jockey for position. Other contenders are in opposition inside and outside parliament. Islamists may emerge from an election with strong support. Two parties have Islamist roots, but one of these is striving to be known as centrist rather than Islamist, and it leads opinion polls. A number of foreign policy issues join U.S. and Turkish interests. In the war on terrorism, Turkey is playing a major role in Afghanistan, where it will assume command of the international peacekeeping force. Yet, Turkey is reluctant to see the war expand to Iraq. Turkey is a candidate for European Union membership, but has not met the criteria for membership. U.S. policymakers had maintained that membership would anchor Turkey in the West. Currently, the Administration wants the EU, particularly Greece, and Turkey to resolve differences over a planned EU rapid reaction force and its relationship to NATO. For its part, the EU wants Turkey to help resolve the Cyprus issue. Talks are underway, but no progress has been reported. Unless there is a resolution, Cyprus, as represented by the Greek-Cypriot led government, is likely to be approved for EU membership and a crisis between the EU and Turkey is possible, affecting Turkey’s EU prospects. Lack of a resolution on Cyprus also will complicate Greek-Turkish relations, which have seen a rapprochement since 1999. Cyprus and issues of Aegean sovereignty impede the full normalization of relations between the two neighboring NATO allies. Turkey’s relations with countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia are important because of their energy resources and U.S. interests in pipelines to transport them independently of Iran and Russia. The United States has encouraged the development of Turkey’s ties to Israel since 1996. Turkey and Israel have concluded major arms and water deals, and their relationship has withstood differences over Palestine. The United States has been Turkey’s main arms source and, after a three-year hiatus, the United States resumed providing assistance to Turkey after September 11. The amount of aid is expected to increase sharply in view of U.S. support for Turkey’s command of peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan. For its part, Turkey would like U.S.-Turkish trade to get more attention. Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Domestic Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Government Effectiveness and Political Stability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Role of Islamists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Human Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Economic Situation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Foreign Policy Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 War Against Terrorism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Iraq . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 European Union Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 European Security and Defense Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Cyprus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Greece . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Caucasus and Central Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Other Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 U.S. Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Executive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Congress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 List of Tables Table 1. Parties, Leaders, Positions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Table 2. U.S. Aid to Turkey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 List of Figures Figure 1. Map of Turkey and Immediate Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Turkey: Issues for U.S. Policy Introduction Turkey is a country of strategic and symbolic value to U.S. policy. It has been a NATO ally since 1952 and, during the Cold War, it was the only NATO member which bordered the Soviet Union. After the demise of the Soviet Union, Turkey remained strategically important because of crises in the nearby Balkans, Caucasus, and Middle East. And, since the September 11, 2001 radical Islamist terrorist attacks on the United States, Turkey’s significance has grown. U.S. policymakers use Turkey’s example to refute predictions of an imminent “clash of civilizations” between the Muslim and Western worlds because Turkey’s Muslim identity has been compatible with its secular, democratic government, role in NATO, and European Union (EU) membership ambitions. Many issues concerning Turkey are related to U.S. policies. First, in order to advance an array of U.S. interests, the United States seeks a stable, friendly government in Ankara that maintains its democratic character. In part, this means advocacy of political stability despite chronic chaotic, multiparty politics in Ankara. And it also means caution regarding Islamist forces in Turkey -- both moderate ones, which work within the political system, and radical ones, which perpetrate domestic terrorist crimes. Finally, it means attention to Turkey’s chronic economic crises which have the potential to undermine its political stability. Many U.S. foreign policy interests concern Turkey. They are led by the war on terrorism, particularly on two fronts -- Afghanistan and Iraq. Turkey, which has participated with coalition forces in the war in Afghanistan, will assume command of international peacekeeping forces there in June, and its support is viewed as essential for any operation to unseat Saddam Hussein. The United States also has an abiding interest in Turkey’s European Union (EU) prospects because membership could ensure Turkey’s stability and democracy and anchor it in the West. Turkey’s EU ambitions depend partly on its fulfillment of a rigorous reform agenda. They also may depend on Turkey’s relations with Greece and Cyprus, which are of concern to an active Greek-American constituency. An equally active Armenian-American constituency is mindful of Turkey’s role in the Caucasus. The U.S. government is interested in the region’s bountiful energy resources as well as in those in neighboring Central Asia, and in pipelines that could transport that energy wealth westward through Turkey. Central Asia, many of whose people are ethnic kin of the Turks, also is on the front line of the war on terrorism. CRS-2 Domestic Issues Government Effectiveness and Political Stability In Turkey, the president is head of state and the prime minister is head of government. The current president is Ahmet Necdet Sezer, a former chief judge with a reputation for integrity and belief in the rule of law. Although very popular, Sezer’s use of his position and constitutionally limited power has been controversial with the political elite. His strict, legalistic interpretations and vetoes of legislation have alienated political leaders, who appear intent on changing the Constitution to reduce a president’s term in office from seven to five years.1 Since spring 1999, the Turkish government has been a three-party coalition of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit’s Democratic Left Party (DSP), Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli’s Nationalist Action Party (MHP), and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz’s Motherland Party (ANAP). They control a comfortable majority in the 550-seat parliament, known as the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and form the longest serving government after a decade of instability. The government’s agenda has been unusually crowded and historic. Parliament has passed major macroeconomic reforms in order for the government to obtain loans from international financial institutions and thereby rescue the country from severe economic crises. (See Economic Situation, below.) It also has passed many constitutional amendments and several legislative packages of political reforms to enable the country to enter negotiations for membership in the EU. (See European Union, below.) The government’s ambitious and arduous workload has revealed sharp differences among the coalition members, who are ideologically mismatched. DSP is traditionally, but perhaps no longer, statist and strongly nationalist. MHP is right wing and zealously nationalist. ANAP is centrist, market-oriented, and worldly, with a reputation for corruption. Bahceli and Yilmaz differ sharply over changes required for EU accession. Yilmaz is pushing for rapid changes and compromises, while Bahceli questions their compatibility with national sovereignty and argues for a slower pace. Although Bahceli and other MHP officials publicly claim that they favor EU membership, their supporters regularly lambaste Yilmaz and the EU and reports of arguments at cabinet meetings are common.2 As time passes and another election nears, the strains are likely to worsen. However, because most Turks blame them for the economic crises and the pain inflicted by reforms, the coalition partners are likely to do poorly in a premature election. Thus, they probably will hold together until the economic situation 1 The President’s powers, including his veto power, are limited. For example, if the president vetoes legislation and the parliament passes it again unchanged, then the president cannot veto it a second time. He can, however, appeal to the Constitutional Court to overturn the law. Parliament has overridden several of Sezer’s vetoes. 2 See articles in Ortadogu, a newspaper that support the MHP, translations carried by Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) on line. CRS-3 improves and the voting public feels the improvement. An election need not be held until 2004, but Turkish governments generally do not serve out their full terms and one is likely in 2003 if not before. Table 1. Parties, Leaders, Positions Party Leader Position Democratic Left Party (DSP)*3 Bulent Ecevit Center-Left Nationalist Action Party (MHP)* Devlet Bahceli Right Motherland Party (ANAP)* Mesut Yilmaz Center-Right True Path Party (DYP) Tansu Ciller Center-Right Felicity Party (SP) Recai Kutan Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP ) Tayyip Recep Erdogan Islamist Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deniz Baykal Center-Left Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) Mehmet Ali Bayar Center-Right People’s Democracy Party (HADEP) Murat Bozlak Kurdish Waiting in the wings are several opposition parties. The True Path Party (DYP) led by former Prime Minister Tansu Ciller favors EU membership and joined forces with other parties, including DSP and ANAP, to pass some EU-conforming legislation over MHP’s objections. On other issues, Ciller adopts populist positions and opportunistically attacks the government. For example, she joined forces with the MHP to oppose abolition of the death penalty. There also are two Islamist parties in parliament. (See also Role of Islamists, below.) The Saadet or Felicity Party (SP) is the current incarnation of several banned Islamist parties of followers of former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. Because Erbakan is banned from politics, SP is led by his ally Recai Kutan. In August 2001, members of a younger generation who disagree with Erbakan’s authoritarian approach, led by former Mayor of Istanbul Recep Tayyip Erdogan, split from SP to form the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Most preliminary public opinion polls gauging the prospects of parties for the next election show AKP and Erdogan in the lead. In general, polls indicate that parties not in the government and not viewed as responsible for the economic crises fare far better than the coalition members; the latter may not reach the 10% of the vote threshold to enter parliament. Two parties not now represented in parliament have political potential. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) is the party of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, and champion of secularism. The 1999 national election marked the first time that the CHP was unable to gain sufficient votes to enter parliament. CHP is led by Deniz Baykal, a divisive figure, who has alienated many 3 Asterisk (*) denotes coalition member. CRS-4 prominent leftist personalities. The Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) was founded by allies of former President Suleyman Demirel who were disenchanted with Ciller’s leadership of DYP. Mehmet Ali Bayar, an energetic former counselor at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, returned home recently to become DTP leader. Bayar’s family is closely associated with the now 80-year-old Demirel, which may be both an advantage and a handicap for Bayar. Demirel’s allies and family members have been implicated in corruption scandals. It remains to be seen if Bayar will redefine the party or bring in new people. Finally, the People’s Democracy Party (HADEP) is the current incarnation of several banned parties based in the largely Kurdish populated southeast of Turkey. In the last regional elections, HADEP won control of 36 municipalities, including the regional capital of Diyarbakir. With only about 4.5% of votes in the 1999 national election, however, it was unable to pass the threshold to enter parliament. HADEP’s leaders have been targeted for prosecution repeatedly because of their statements, which the authorities consider “separatist” and their alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or its jailed leader, Abdullah Ocalan. The PKK is a guerrilla/terrorist group that waged an insurgency, initially for Kurdish independence, primarily in the southeast from 1984-1999.4 HADEP currently faces the threat of banning, but remains popular.5 Role of Islamists Turkey has had a series of Islamist parties, although their Islamism is not claimed outright because the Constitution mandates the country’s secular character. From June 1996 until June 1997, the Islamist Refah or Welfare Party (RP), under Necmettin Erbakan, led a coalition government. Some of Prime Minister Erbakan’s actions6 troubled the military and secular elite, and they mobilized a public campaign that brought about Erbakan’s resignation without an explicit coup.7 Refah was banned in February 1998 for exploiting religion for political purposes.8 Erbakan was banned from politics for five years, although he has been the power behind two 4 On April 4, 2002, the PKK renamed itself the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK). PKK leader Ocalan was elected KADEK general chairman. A spokesman said that the group would focus on resolving the Kurdish issue by means of democratic transformation, without changing borders of the countries in the region. He declared, “the armed struggle has ended.” A. Kocgiri, et.al., KADEK’s Goal is Democratic Liberation, Ozgur Politika, April 17, 2002, translation entered into FBIS on line, April 17, 2002. 5 For more, see Barry Rubin and Metin Heper, editors, Political Parties in Turkey, London, Frank Cass, 2002. 6 These actions included welcoming leaders of outlawed religious sects at his official residence, allegedly staffing ministries and public agencies with Islamists, and attempting to define Turkey more as part of the Islamic world than as part of the West. He was alleged to be supported by Iran, and made a notorious visit to Libya, during which he sat mute while Libyan leader Mu’ammar Qadhafi lauded the Kurdish cause. 7 For more detail, see CRS Report 97-462, Turkey’s Unfolding Political Crisis, April 11, 1997. 8 The European Court of Human Rights upheld the ban in July 2001. CRS-5 subsequent Islamist parties, the Fazilet or Virtue Party (FP), banned in June 2001, and the current Saadet or Felicity Party (SP). Erbakan’s dominating style, however, produced a split in Islamist ranks. Saadet is challenged by the breakaway Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by the charismatic, former Istanbul Mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan claims that he and the AKP are centrist, but he is a graduate of religious schools, his wife wears a head scarf (a symbol of religious piety that, in Turkey, can also be a political statement), and he has spoken against contraception and alcohol. AKP rhetoric supports Western ideals of democracy and human rights and backs Turkey’s EU candidacy. A January 2002 Constitutional Court decision ruled that Erdogan could not found a party or run for parliament because of his 1999 conviction for inciting hatred based on religion. He had recited a poem deemed seditious in public, and served four months in jail for this conviction. While Erdogan maintains that the court decision does not affect his party leadership, it clearly prevents him from becoming Prime Minister and clouds his political prospects. Erdogan has been ordered to stand trial anew on charges of insulting the military and inciting hatred based on religion in a 1992 speech.9 He also is being investigated for embezzlement and corruption during his tenure as mayor. Deputy AKP leader Abdullah Gul now heads the party’s parliamentary group. Turkey has been plagued by radical Islamist terrorism. Turkey’s Hizbullah, unrelated to the identically named Lebanese group, is believed to be a Kurdish Sunni organization that targets other Kurds whom it deems to be religiously lax. Turkish authorities believe that Hizbullah has received some training from Iran and they have taken strong measures to suppress the movement.10 Human Rights In recent decades, Turkey has had a poor human rights record. Abuses related to the war against Kurdish insurgents have declined sharply since 1999, when PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was captured. Only a low level of violence has persisted for the past three years and, with the decline in violence, the human rights situation has improved. Nonetheless, the U.S. State Department’s most recent human rights report describes several remaining problem areas.11 For example, four provinces, where many abuses occur, remain under state of emergency decrees which give authoritarian powers to governors. (At the height of the insurgency, 11 provinces were governed in that way.) The State Department report describes extrajudicial killings, such as deaths due to excessive use of force and torture, widespread use of torture, and beatings and other abuses by security forces, especially during incommunicado detention and interrogation. Yet the situation apparently is 9 In the speech, he congratulated Afghanistan for forming an Islamic republic. 10 U.S. Department of State, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000, April 30, 2001. 11 U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2001, Turkey, March 4, 2002. CRS-6 improving. In April 2002, a Council of Europe delegation reported that torture appeared “to be far less frequent than in the past.”12 Prison conditions overall are poor. There are limitations on freedoms of expression and association, and some restrictions on religious minorities. Violence against women persists as does abuse of children. Many of the constitutional amendments passed in October 2001 and two packages of “harmonization” laws passed in February and March 2002 to make Turkey more compatible with the European Union are intended to improve human rights. A new civil code will greatly improve the rights of women. Other laws limit the practice of banning political parties, reduce some restrictions on the press, and require measures be taken against torture. More legislation is needed, and it is not yet clear how the array of new laws will be implemented. Economic Situation13 The decline in the economy in 2001 was the worst in over half a century. Turkey’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 7.4%, while inflation rose to 68.5%, and the Turkish currency, the lira, lost 60% of its value. GDP per capita dropped from about $2,900 to $2,100.14 The government forecasts 3% real growth in GNP and an annual inflation rate of 35% for 2002. The government is unpopular mainly because it has sparked economic crises and presided over harsh remedies.15 In December 1999, the government launched an ambitious economic program to conquer chronically high inflation with the help of a $4 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) standby credit. The government’s implementation of reforms, however, was uneven and slow. When combined with banking scandals, this produced a lack of investor and public confidence and a severe liquidity crisis in November 2000. The IMF stepped in with another $7.5 billion in loans, but the government retained a pegged exchange rate regime too long and, in spite of the adverse financial situation, still delayed critical economic decisions. In February 2001, a publicized tiff between Prime Minister Ecevit and President Sezer provoked another drop in investor confidence, a massive capital flight, and another, worse financial crisis. 12 Claudia Parsons, Council of Europe says Torture declining in Turkey, Reuters, April 24, 2002. 13 See also, CRS Report RS20842, Turkey: Financial Crises in Context, March 13, 2001. 14 Turkish State Statistics Institute. 15 It has been credibly posited, however, that long-term, neglected structural problems, and not the government’s actions, were the true cause of the economic crises in 2000 and 2001. CRS-7 To restore confidence and thereby secure additional international financing, Ecevit recruited former World Bank Vice President Kemal Dervis, a Turkish national, to be Minister of State in charge of the economy to handle reforms. Dervis Basic Facts shepherded many major initiatives through parliament, Population 67 million including the restructuring of Ethnic Groups Turkish 80% Kurdish 20% state banks; formation of an independent central bank and Gross Domestic Product bank supervisory board; Real Growth Rate -7.4% (2001) creation of independent Inflation 68.1% (2001) regulators for energy, Unemployment 8.4% (2001) telecommunications, and External Debt $106 billion (2000) agriculture; and contract transparency. The central Exports apparel, foodstuffs, bank is tasked with combating textiles, metal manufactures inflation above all else. Imports machinery, chemicals, semiReassured, the IMF and World finished products, fuels Bank together agreed in May Major Trading Partners 2001 to provide another $15.7 Exports Germany, United States, billion in support. United Kingdom, Italy, France Germany, Italy, US. Russia, France, UK Improvement in the Imports economy was slowed by the detrimental effects of post September 11, 2001 Sources: World Factbook 2001, Organization for developments on tourism and Economic Cooperation and Development, November 2001 and April 2002, Turkish State Statistics Institute exports -- sectors that the regular reporting. government had counted on to spur growth. Turkey needed more money to repay loans due in 2002 and concluded another three-year standby agreement with the IMF for 2002-2004 for $16.2 billion (including $12 billion in new funds plus $4.2 billion in carry-over loans) contingent on more reforms. Turkey thus became the IMF’s largest debtor. A new Letter of Intent to the IMF has presented a program that includes increasing the primary budget surplus to 6.5% of Gross National Product (GNP), exercising greater control over budgets and hiring at State Economic Enterprises (SEEs), ensuring the independence of the Central Bank, moving to inflation targeting, reducing the number of state banks and their staffs, developing a recapitalization scheme for state banks, and other reforms.16 As of April 2002, interest rates and inflation were decreasing. Dervis continues to predict optimistically that a resumption of growth is imminent.17 16 Turkish Treasury Web Site Posts Turkey’s New Letter of Intent, entered on FBIS online, April 16, 2002. 17 Talk at Washington Institute for Near East Policy, April 22,2002. CRS-8 Many other economic reforms are still needed, experts believe, and some of those passed still await implementation. Perhaps most important, Turkey needs to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) to obtain capital to spur growth. To do this, its bureaucratic investment process has to be streamlined and the fight against corruption has to continue, analysts argue.18 The government also must convince investors of its consistency and commitment to the economic reform program. Investors want assurance that the government will be able to hold the line especially as an election nears. They doubt the government’s commitment, despite a year of substantial reforms, and many maintain that 17 prior IMF programs failed primarily due to politicians’ populist propensities. Skeptics point out that some officials seem to question the reforms or speak as if they do not understand them or the economy, and worry that reforms lack a constituency even among those who had approved them, let alone among the wider population.19 Finally, although this government has been relatively long-lasting, its stability continues to be of concern to investors weighing political risks. At times, the physical health of the frail prime minister acts as a barometer for the markets.20 The IMF is attempting to help generate confidence by frequent reviews of government performance and monitoring of reforms before releasing funds in increments. Restoration of confidence is the sine qua non for economic growth. Foreign Policy Issues War Against Terrorism Afghanistan.21 After September 11, 2001, Turkey voted in NATO to invoke Article 5 of the defense treaty and joined the coalition to fight Al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime. Within 24 hours, Turkey provided U.S. forces access to its air space. It also provided intelligence based on its long relationship with the Uzbek-TajikHazera Afghan Northern Alliance. Turkey sent a general to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) headquarters in Tampa, Florida, another liaison team to the European Command (EUCOM) in Germany, and 90 special forces troops to Afghanistan to train Northern Alliance forces. Turkish ships in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas shadowed, interdicted, and boarded suspect vessels. All U.S. humanitarian flights destined for Afghanistan to drop the meals-ready-to-eat (MREs) flew from air bases in Turkey. After the ouster of the Taliban, Turkey sent 267 troops to join the 5,000-man International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) peacekeeping operation under British command. Turkey also blocked funding for Al-Qaeda by freezing the assets 18 Foreign direct investment in Turkey is the lowest in Europe and lower than in some developing countries. 19 Turkey has never defaulted on its debts, even as it failed to fulfill the requirements of economic reform programs. 20 21 The 77-year-old Ecevit was hospitalized twice in May 2002. For background see CRS Report RL30588, Afghanistan: Current Issues and U.S. Policy Concerns, updated March 26, 2002. CRS-9 of people and companies linked to Osama bin Laden and associated groups in Egypt, Libya, Uzbekistan, and Somalia. Turkish border authorities arrested Al-Qaeda operatives allegedly en route from Iran to perpetrate terrorist attacks in Israel.22 They also arrested Turkish Al-Qaeda suspects attempting to return from Afghanistan. Turkey allowed U.S. flights transporting Al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to transit its territory. Turkey has undertaken to train a 600-man National Guard battalion of Afghans and provide them with uniforms and equipment and has trained 20 new Afghan diplomats. It hopes to play a major part in the reconstruction of the country. The United States and Britain, seeking to have a Muslim country take on a prominent role in the war against terrorism and disabuse Muslims of the notion that the war is against them, have urged Turkey to assume the ISAF command. Turkey posed several conditions. It wanted ISAF’s mission to continue to be limited to Kabul and not to expand to all of Afghanistan. It wanted ISAF to continue to be made up primarily of familiar NATO forces, and not forces from varied Muslim countries unused to working together. It wanted assurances of continued intelligence, logistical, and communications support. And most critically, Turkey needed adequate funding because it could not afford to undertake the mission out of its own limited resources. Turkey’s conditions reportedly were met, and it will assume command for six months in June 2002. With command, Turkey will increase the size of its contingent up to an estimated 1,500 men. Some critics question the appropriateness of Turkey’s assumption of the ISAF command, noting its close ties to ethnic kin in Afghanistan, especially Uzbeks led by warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum, whose family still lives in Turkey. They wonder if other ethnic groups will accept Turks as impartial arbiters or if Turks will be able to act impartially in an ethnically charged setting. Other critics argue that Turkish armed forces have not respected human rights at home and would be inappropriate examples for the Afghans. As noted above, however, the human rights situation in Turkey may be improving and, of the Turkish security forces, the military has attempted to address its deficiencies in this area more than others, such as the police. Still others believe that Turks lack experience in leading a peacekeeping operation. However, as will be noted below, the Turkish armed forces have served in many international peacekeeping operations and assumed command of peacekeepers in Somalia from U.S. forces without incident. Iraq. Turkey opposes expansion of the war against terrorism to Iraq. This opposition is motivated by concern for Iraq’s territorial integrity, not for Saddam Hussein. Turkey believes that the post Gulf War power vacuum in northern Iraq created an environment that enabled the PKK to find safe havens and escalate its war in Turkey. Turkey fears that a new war could lead to a power vacuum, the partition of Iraq and the birth of a Kurdish state in the north that could serve as a model for Turkish Kurdish separatists seeking their own state in southeast Turkey. 22 Douglas Frantz and James Risen, A Secret Iran-Arafat Connection is seen Fueling the Mideast Fire, The New York Times, March 24, 2002. CRS-10 Turkey’s opposition is also motivated by economic concerns. Before the Gulf War, Turkey closed its border with Iraq, then one of its major trading partners, and abided by international sanctions on Baghdad. Turkish officials estimate the cost of the closure at $30 to $60 billion, depending on their audience, and argue that the international community never compensated Turkey for its losses. As a result of the U.N.’s humanitarian “oil-for-food” program begun in December 1996 and of a semiillicit trade in Iraqi diesel and crude oil, bilateral Iraqi-Turkish trade now totals about $1 billion annually. (The United States waives sanctions on Turkey for the illicit energy traffic.) The two neighbors hope to reach pre-Gulf War trade levels of about $2.5 billion annually, and Turkey does not want to see this positive trend reversed. It has not addressed the idea that economic relations with a post-Saddam Iraq might be even better. Turkey has had an ambassador in Baghdad since 1997. Since the Gulf War, Turkey has allowed U.S. and British planes to enforce a nofly zone over northern Iraq (Operation Northern Watch) to protect Iraq’s Kurds from Saddam Hussein and monitor the movement of his armed forces. Turkey has developed a modus vivendi with the two major Iraqi Kurdish groups -- the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) -- but it does not trust their assurances that they do not want independence. Some Turkish observers, however, acknowledge that the Iraqi Kurds already have established a de facto state in northern Iraq, with institutions and infrastructure. Finally, Turkey does not find U.S. scenarios for Saddam Hussein’s replacement credible and is particularly skeptical about the prospects of the U.S.-backed opposition Iraqi National Congress.23 Attempting to pre-empt U.S. action, Prime Minister Ecevit urged Saddam to allow the return of U.N. inspectors, but Saddam reportedly responded rudely.24 Despite all of these doubts, some believe that Turkey, because it is a faithful U.S. ally, and also because it is indebted to the United States for its help at the IMF, will, in the end, support U.S. efforts to overthrow Saddam. Some maintain that if the Administration fulfills promises of consultation with Turkish leaders ahead of any action and chooses a time that mitigates effects on the Turkish economy, such as avoiding tourism season, support would be more likely than not to materialize. European Union Membership At its December 1999 summit in Helsinki, the EU formally recognized Turkey’s candidacy for membership, but put Turkey in a category separate from 12 other candidate countries. The EU began accession negotiations with the others, but not with Turkey, which has not met the so-called Copenhagen criteria for membership. The criteria require that a candidate achieve: ! stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities; 23 24 See CRS Report RL31339, Iraq: U.S. Efforts to Change the Regime, March 22, 2002. Amberin Zaman, Turkey Fails to Influence Saddam, The Daily Telegraph, February 9, 2002. CRS-11 ! the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union; ! the ability to take on the obligations of membership, including adherence to the aims of political, economic, and monetary union. If Turkey manages to complete the wide range of economic reforms it has undertaken since 2000 to fulfill agreements with the International Monetary Fund, it will be on the way to meeting the economic criteria for membership.25 However, the EU also demands many political reforms of Turkey -- from ensuring the independence of the judiciary, to ending torture, reforming the prison system, and allowing greater freedom of expression, the press, association, and assembly.26 European officials seem to emphasize three reforms: abolition of the death penalty, cultural rights for Kurds, and limitation of the role of the military in politics. According to its March 2001, National Program, or policy agenda for achieving membership, Turkey promised to abolish the death penalty in the medium term or within three years. It knows that it cannot be admitted to the EU while retaining the death penalty. Parliament has amended the Constitution to abolish the death penalty, except for terrorism and crimes against the state. Additional legislation to implement this change is needed, but that still will not fulfill the EU requirement. Debate on the issue continues, but it is not a debate about the death penalty per se, which has not been carried out since 1984. It is a debate about the fate of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, the most notorious Turk on death row. Turks blame Ocalan for waging a war from 1984-1999 and causing more than 30,000 deaths. He was captured in February 1999, tried for treason, and sentenced to death in June 1999. However, with the EU looking over its shoulder, the government delayed requesting parliament to approve his execution pending his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which still has not ruled. A member of the governing coalition, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), and the opposition True Path Party (DYP) seem to be insisting that Ocalan be executed before the death penalty is abolished. They sometimes voice their demand in terms of “terrorists,” not Ocalan, but Turks know to whom they are referring. In the cultural field, the EU requires that citizens be afforded access to education and media in their mother tongues. Many Turks view this demand, which has been voiced by the PKK and its sympathizers, as encouraging Kurdish separatism. A compromise on media broadcasts may authorize government networks to broadcast in Kurdish in regions with large Kurdish populations. State institutions might also play a role in Kurdish education, although this compromise has not advanced as far as that on broadcasts and there is a Constitutional impediment to overcome. There 25 Conclusions of the European Council, Copenhagen, June 1993, cited in CRS Report RS20879, European Union Enlargement, by Karen Donfried, Updated July 25, 2001. 26 Commission of the European Communities, 2001 Regular Report on Turkey’s Progress Towards Accession, Brussels, 13.11.2001, SEC (2001) 1756. CRS-12 is no national consensus on the issues. Ecevit agrees with state broadcasting, but opposes Kurdish education. Some ANAP leaders propose allowing private schools to offer Kurdish courses. MHP opposes Kurdish broadcasts and education. Even more difficult is limiting the role of the military, whose influence has been great since the founding of the republic. Chief of Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu has lowered his profile by declining to meet visiting civilian officials and making fewer public comments.27 One of the new constitutional amendments changed the composition of the National Security Council so that civilians outnumber military members five to four. The NSC immediately implemented the change. But numbers are not the same as influence, and the NSC decides by consensus not by vote. The commanders view fundamentalism (called reactionism in Turkey) and separatism, broadly defined, as the two main threats to the state. They make pronouncements on these dangers and criticize politicians for their laxity in combating them. They routinely voice opinions on matters that, in EU countries, would be beyond their purview. History and tradition still lead civilian officials to defer to military commanders. It remains to be seen if both civilians and the military wish to or can change their conduct. Finally, although not a Copenhagen criterion, the issue of Cyprus has complicated Turkeys’ prospects for EU membership. (See below.) Turkey is seeking to have the EU set a date for starting accession negotiations by the end of 2002, arguing that it would encourage and accelerate reforms. EU officials unanimously insist that the Copenhagen criteria be met first. Many Turks are skeptical about the changes required by the EU, believing that they threaten the country’s character and territorial integrity. The EU, in turn, has spoken and unspoken doubts about granting membership to Turkey. If admitted, Turkey would soon be the largest country in the EU, with a young and growing population. It would have a right to proportionate representation on the EU Commission and in the EU Parliament. And, although a decline in emigration from new members accompanied previous EU enlargements, European countries are fearful of being inundated by Turkish migrants or workers who would have free movement as citizens of an EU country. In addition, Turkey has a large agricultural sector, which might threaten some in Europe with comparable strengths. And, Turkey is 98% Muslim, while EU countries are predominantly Christian in background. This has led some Europeans to be uneasy about what Turkey’s accession would mean to their sense of identity and to EU cohesion.28 Finally, if Turkey were admitted, then the EU would border Iraq, Iran, and Syria, causing some unease in European circles. 27 Vice President Cheney’s reported insistence on meeting Kivrikoglu, despite the latter’s reluctance, generated much commentary in the Turkish press in March 2002. 28 For example, see remarks by German opposition leader Edmund Stoiber in Quentin Peel and Anton Notz, Stoiber warns against continual EU Enlargement, Financial Times, May 16, 2002. CRS-13 Despite these concerns, many observers believe that the EU is committed politically to Turkish membership, but view it as at least a decade away. However, Turkey obtained candidacy when the major EU member states were governed by social democrats. If the political pendulum in Europe swings rightward, as seems to be occurring, opposition to Turkey’s membership might become stronger and more outspoken.29 European Security and Defense Policy. The EU plans to create a 60,000man rapid reaction force for use in humanitarian missions and peacekeeping, and seeks access to NATO planning, intelligence, and other assets. Turkey, a member of NATO, but not of the EU,30 threatened to veto the EU’s use of NATO resources unless it was allowed to participate in the EU’s defense decision-making. The EU would not permit a non-EU member to take part in its decisions. The stalemate continued until the United States and Britain mediated a compromise in November 2001. The resulting as yet unpublished “Ankara agreement” reportedly provides that the European force would not be used in a conflict between EU and NATO members. This assuaged Turkey’s concern that the EU might intervene in possible GreekTurkish disputes over Cyprus and the Aegean. In addition, representation of non-EU NATO members to EU defense decision-making bodies would be upgraded and consultation would be “flexible,” meaning that Turkey could request talks concerning and participation in EU missions that could affect its security interests. In return, the EU will have assured access to NATO planning capabilities and presumed access to NATO (mostly U.S.) assets, such as strategic lift and satellite intelligence.31 Greece refuses to accept the “Ankara agreement,” charging that Britain was not authorized to negotiate with Turkey and the United States, two non-EU members, on behalf of the EU, and that the agreement contravenes previous EU arrangements. Athens insists that the Ankara document be modified to provide for autonomous EU decision-making. It rejects procedural bypasses. In the near term, the Greek government is unlikely to relent because it and the domestic opposition are using the issue politically and the opposition is ascendant in the polls. Underlying this is the long-term belief of many Greeks that EU autonomy in its implementation of ESDP would mean that Europe would side with Greece in a confrontation with Turkey. Turkey maintains the issue is now one for NATO and the EU to resolve with Greece, and will not accept changes to the Ankara accord. The lack of a resolution may prevent the EU’s assumption of its first peacekeeping operation in the neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), scheduled for September 2002. Currently NATO commands the FYROM force. 29 Ibid. 30 Other NATO, non-EU members are Norway, Iceland, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. 31 The “Ankara agreement” has not been published, but there have been many reports detailing its alleged provisions. See, Positive Aspects of European Defense Deal Outweigh Negative, Anatolia News Agency, in English, BBC Monitoring Europe, December 3, 2001, Lale Sariibrahimoglu, Turkish Military Compromise comes when NATO is at Stake, Turkish Daily News, December 4, 2001, and Ilter Turkmen, An Auspicious Week, Hurriyet, December 8, 2001, translation entered in FBIS on line, December 8, 2001. CRS-14 Cyprus.32 Although not a Copenhagen criterion, the EU wants a settlement on the island of Cyprus. Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided between Greek Cypriots who reside in the southern two-thirds of the island and constitute the internationally recognized government and Turkish Cypriots who control the northern part of the island and have their own government, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), recognized only by Turkey. The EU has said that while it would prefer to admit a united Cyprus, it will admit Cyprus regardless of a settlement. The Cyprus that accedes to the EU in that eventuality would be the Greek-Cypriot government, without Turkish-Cypriot participation. If that happens, Turkey has threatened to annex the north and warned of a crisis; but what Ankara would, in fact, do is uncertain because a crisis could scuttle Turkey’s own EU prospects. The EU is expected to approve Cyprus’s accession in December 2002. The United States, European Union, United Nations, and Turkey seek to avert a crisis on this issue. All have pressured the parties to return to the negotiating table after over a three-year pause. Direct talks between Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash began in January 2002. The parties and outside observers believe that they will soon know if a breakthrough is possible. Greece. Turkey and Greece have had troubled relations almost since Greece gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830. In more recent times, the two NATO allies have differed over Cyprus and over the sovereignty of Aegean Sea territorial seas, continental shelf, airspace, and islands. In 1987 and 1996, they came to the brink of war over Aegean issues.33 Only U.S. diplomatic intervention avoided war in 1996.34 Changes in Greek-Turkish bilateral relations are underway. In spring 1999, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem reached out to each other and began a rapprochement. Their initiatives were assisted by an outpouring of popular goodwill and sympathy after devastating earthquakes hit both countries in August and September 1999. Greece’s decision to allow the EU to affirm Turkey’s membership candidacy that December confirmed a change in relations. Since then, positive developments have continued. The two governments have signed numerous agreements for cooperation on so-called “lesser” issues: maritime trade, economy, science and technology, customs and culture, organized crime and terrorism, environmental protection, education, illegal immigration, and agriculture. They have agreed to jointly conduct seismic research in the Aegean, combat Mediterranean anemia, and become parties to the Ottawa Convention to prohibit antipersonnel land mines, and to eliminate land mines in their border regions in Thrace. Greece and Turkey submitted a joint bid to co-host the 2008 European soccer championship. The two foreign ministries have established 32 See also CRS Issue Brief IB89140, Cyprus: Status of U.N. Negotiations, updated regularly. 33 See CRS Report 97-799, Greece and Turkey: Aegean Issues – Background and Recent Developments, August 21, 1997. 34 See CRS Report 96-140, Greece and Turkey: The Rocky Islet Crisis, updated March 7, 1996. CRS-15 a telephone “hot line.” In talks with NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson, the two allies agreed to a confidence-building measure to notify each other of their schedules for military exercises. Bilateral trade topped $700 million in 2001. Rail service will be opened from Izmir and Istanbul in Turkey to Thessaloniki and Athens in Greece. Finally, Turkey and Greece have agreed to construct a natural gas pipeline from Bursa in Turkey to Komotini in Greece that will be used to ship gas from Iran to Europe. The above accords may help to create a foundation for a more lasting resolution of major issues. On March 12, 2002, the two neighbors began exploratory talks, i.e., talks to decide on the parameters of talks, on Aegean issues. Turkey’s “roadmap” to EU membership requires it to resolve border disputes with its neighbors or take them to the International Court of Justice by 2004. This requirement undoubtedly is the catalyst for the talks. Although three years old, the Greek-Turkish rapprochement remains a fragile infant. Skeptics abound and, at times, the new relationship appears to be one of two foreign ministers and not of two peoples. Polls indicate that Greeks and Turks continue to view each other as their foremost threat. Members of the foreign ministers’ own parties and governments have criticized their efforts. Especially in Greece, the opposition party and the media seem not to believe that progress has been made or in Turkey’s good will. Some Turkish nationalists also do not believe in the rapprochement, or they share the view of Greece’s encouragement of Turkey’s EU path as a Greek/European conspiracy to weaken Turkey. Caucasus and Central Asia. Turkey has good relations with Georgia and with the ethnically related Turkic republics of the former Soviet Union, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Turkey has trade and military ties with Georgia and welcomes the recent U.S. initiative to train and equip the Georgian armed forces to fight terrorists in the Pankisi Gorge. Turkey’s determination to become an energy and transit bridge from Central Asia and the Caucasus to Europe is its main policy motivation in the region.35 Turkey and Azerbaijan have joined with international partners to construct the Baku-TbilisiCeyhan (BTC) oil pipeline from Azerbaijan via Georgia to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast beginning in summer 2002 and a natural gas pipeline from the Azerbaijani field at Shah Deniz via Georgia to Turkey beginning about the same time. Turkey and the United States hope that Kazakhstan will eventually choose to use the BTC instead of an Iranian route to ship its oil westward. Turkey’s relations with Armenia are troubled. Turkey recognized Armenia’s independence in 1991, but never established diplomatic ties because Yerevan failed to meet its conditions. Ankara insists that Armenia drop an international campaign for recognition of what Armenians refer to as their national genocide at the hands of the Turks from 1915 to 1923 and repudiate claims to Turkish territory. Further, Ankara demands that Armenians withdraw from the 20% of Azerbaijani territory that they conquered in a war to gain independence for the predominantly Armenian- 35 For background on regional energy resources and pipeline plans, see CRS Report RS21190, Caspian Oil and Gas: Production and Prospects, April 9, 2002. CRS-16 inhabited Azeri region of Nagorno-Karabakh.36 For its part, Yerevan wants Turkey to end a blockade of Armenia and Karabakh that it imposed out of sympathy with Azerbaijan, and to drop all conditions for diplomatic relations. Although the genocide issue is the major problem dividing the neighbors, Ankara would probably not break ranks with Azerbaijan for the sake of Armenia because of ethnic ties and the valuable energy connection. Israel.37 Agreements reached in the Arab-Israeli peace process from 1993 to 1995 made relations between Israel and Muslim Turkey more acceptable in Turkey and the region. Those relations have blossomed since a February 1996 military cooperation agreement. Since then, high ranking civilian and military officials have exchanged visits; regular, semiannual strategic talks have been held; and Turkey chose Israel firms to upgrade its F-4 and F-5 fighter planes and M-60A1 tanks and well as for other arms purchases. With U.S. permission, the two countries are discussing joint production of Arrow-2 anti-ballistic missiles. They also are discussing co-production of Popeye-2 air to surface missiles. The United States, Turkey, and Israel hold periodic trilateral air and naval exercises. On the civilian side, bilateral trade totaled $1.3 billion in 2001, and tourism and cultural and academic exchanges have increased. Most recently, Israel agreed to purchase water from Turkey. Turkish public opinion sympathizes with the Palestinians, and Turks protested Israel’s actions against the Palestinians in its “war on the terrorism infrastructure,” launched on March 29, 2002. Turkish-Israeli relations were rocked on April 4, 2002, when Prime Minister Ecevit referred to Israel’s actions as a ‘genocide’ and harshly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The next day, Ecevit claimed that his use of the word had led to interpretations he did not intend and said, “We attach great importance to our relations with Israel.”38 He later regretted the “misunderstanding.” Foreign Minister Cem declared that Turkey’s relations with Israel were separate from the Middle East problem. Some members of the Turkish military defended Israel’s actions. Nonetheless, Israel protested, as did American-Jewish organizations, who had joined with Turkey in 2000 in opposition to a Congressional resolution to commemorate the Armenian genocide.39 The U.S.-based groups sent Ecevit letters of complaint.40 Turkey’s ambassador to Washington convened a meeting with representatives of American-Jewish groups, which they characterized as positive. Nonetheless, there has been some residual resentment in America. Israel and Turkey 36 See CRS Issue Brief IB92019, Armenian-Azerbaijani Conflict, updated regularly. 37 For more background, see CRS Report 98-633, Israeli-Turkish Relations, July 17, 1998. 38 Turkish Premier Downplays “Genocide” Accusation Vs Israel, Associated Press, April 5, 2002. 39 In October 2000, the House leadership withdrew H.Res. 596 from floor consideration in response to a letter that President Clinton wrote to Speaker Hastert, explaining the potential harm that passage might do to U.S.-Turkish relations and, thereby, to wider U.S. interests. 40 The American Jewish Committee spearheaded one letter, saying “We want you to understand the disappointment we have felt because of your remarks.” Another signed by eight American Jewish organizations compared Israel’s counterterrorist operations with Turkey’s own. Hurriyet, excerpted by Turkish-American Association, April 9, 2002. CRS-17 want the incident to pass rapidly because Israeli-Turkish relations have become so important that neither wants them to be detrimentally affected. Thus, Israel has welcomed the idea of holding a Middle East peace conference in Turkey and Turkish officials have said that they would be happy to host it. Other Issues. Turkey has supported many recent U.S. policies through deployments of its armed forces. It has a 705-man battalion serving in SFOR, the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a 1,065-man battalion in KFOR in Kosovo, and a military police squad and an infantry unit, totaling 79 men, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Turkey has sent military observers to Kuwait and East Timor. Turkey participates in the Temporary International Peacekeeping Force in the West Bank city of Hebron (TIPH) and suffered a casualty there in March 2002. Turkey participates in the U.S-initiated Southeastern Europe Multinational Peacekeeping Brigade (SEEBRIG) along with six other Balkan countries, which have conducted joint military training. A Turkish brigadier general served as the first commander of SEEBRIG, which was created in September 1998. Turkey supports the candidacies of Romania and Bulgaria to join NATO. U.S. Policy Executive. Administrations generally have followed policies that appreciate Turkey’s strategic importance; encourage its democratic, secular character; seek improvements in human rights practices; and support its economic reforms. Given Turkey’s strategic importance and its role in peacekeeping operations of significance to U.S. policy, security relations are a high priority. There are regular Defense Department consultations with Turkey, and the United States is Turkey’s main arms supplier. Between 1993 and 2000, the United States signed agreements to sell Turkey $5.17 billion in arms, making Turkey the first- or second-ranking European purchaser in each year of that period.41 Although the economic crises have led to a lengthening of the Turkish armed forces’ procurement schedule, purchases are proceeding. In May 2002, Turkey agreed to buy six Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACs) planes from Boeing. A contract with Bell-Textron for the first installment of attack helicopters, inordinately long in negotiations, is expected to be concluded soon and may be submitted for congressional approval in late 2002.42 Economic ties are of increasing importance. The United States contributes about 32% of IMF finances and has used its influence to support IMF loans for Turkey since 1999 as well as tighter monitoring of Turkey’s performance. Turkey would like more attention paid to bilateral trade. A U.S.-Turkey Economic Partnership Commission was created to address this desire. During Prime Minister Ecevit’s January 2002 visit to Washington, the Administration offered to include Turkey in the Israel-Jordan qualified industrial zones (QIZ’s) agreement and work on this is progressing. Goods produced in QIZ’s enter the United States duty free. 41 CRS Report RL31113, U.S. Arms Sales: Agreements with and Deliveries to Major Clients, 1993-2000, September 5, 2001. 42 See CRS Report RS20660, Turkey: U.S. Sale of Helicopters, Updated November 28, 2001. CRS-18 The Administration exempted Turkey from increased tariffs imposed on imported steel in March 2002. The Administration is unlikely, however, to lower textile quotas as Turkey wants (textiles are Turkey’s number one export) because of concern about political opposition from textile-producing states. Congress. Congress has long been interested in Turkey. Much interest has been critical, with resolutions often addressing concerns of Greek-Americans about Cyprus or Aegean Sea sovereignty issues or Turkey’s treatment of its Kurdish population. Because of concerns for regional stability and possible use of U.S. arms in abusing human rights, Congress sometimes has scrutinized or impeded U.S. arms sales to Turkey. More recently, some Members have introduced resolutions to express appreciation of Turkey’s role in the war on terrorism or its relations with Israel. Assistance. Turkey was a long-term, major recipient of U.S. foreign aid through FY1998. The Clinton Administration did not request Foreign Military Financing (FMF) or Economic Support Funds (ESF) for FY1999, Table 2. U.S. Aid to Turkey however, arguing that Economic Counter Military TOTAL Turkey had graduated Narcotics from an assistance relationship to be more 1990 $60.0 $0.4 $503.4 $563.8 like other NATO 1991 $14.3 $0.4 $501.2 $515.9 members. U.S. officials 1992 $250.0 $0.4 $553.7 $804.1 noted the size and growth of Turkey’s economy and 1993 $200.0 $0.4 $453.1 $653.5 its ability to do without 1994 $0.0 $0.4 $406.0 $406.4 assistance. International 1995 $165.7 $0.4 $329.2 $495.3 Military Education and Training (IMET) funds 1996 $33.5 $0.4 $321.1 $355.0 continued. 1997 $22.3 $0.5 $176.5 $199.3 1998 $8.1 $0.5 $0.0 $8.6 After the September 11, 2001 attacks, how1999 $3.3 $0.5 $1.5 $5.3 ever, Turkey received 2000 $0.0 $0.0 $1.6 $1.6 $20 million in FMF from 2001 $0.0 $0.0 $1.7 $1.7 the Emergency Response Fund. For FY2003, the 2002 $0.0 $0.0 $2.7 $2.7 Administration requested 2002 $200.0 $0.0 $28.0 $228.0 $17.5 million in FMF and $2.8 million in 2003 $0.0 $0.0 $20.3 $20.3 IMET. Also, on March * Compiled by Larry Nowels, Specialist in Foreign Affairs, 19, 2002, Vice President April 18, 2002. Cheney said that the Administration would provide Turkey with $200 million in ESF and $28 million in FMF to help defray the costs to Turkey of assuming leadership of the ISAF in Afghanistan. These funds are part of the Administration’s request for FY2002 supplemental appropriations.