INTRODUCTION: United States Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger, has assured Turkey of continued American military and economic assistance during a three-day visit to the country.Turkey's military government is increasingly dependent on Washington's support at a time strained relations with its West European allies.
ANKARA, TURKEY 4 DECEMBER, 1981 (REUTERS - GUNAR SARIOLGOU)
GV U.S. Defence Secretary Weinberger arriving at Turkish Defence Ministry in Ankara, greeted by Turkish Defence Minister Haluk Bayulken.
SV Weinberger greeted by high ranking military officials.
SV Weinberger inspects guard of honour band plays. (2 SHOTS)
Background: INTRODUCTION: United States Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger, has assured Turkey of continued American military and economic assistance during a three-day visit to the country.Turkey's military government is increasingly dependent on Washington's support at a time strained relations with its West European allies.
SYNOPSIS: Mr.Weinbergers itinerary included talks with Turkish Defence Minister Haluk Bayulken on Friday (4 December) at the Defence Military in Anakar.The Turkish armed forces are eager to modernise their military hardware.For their part,the Americans what to bolster the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) southern flank, where Turkey's position is strategically vital.
Secretary Weinberger is also thought to have requested Turkish bases for the American Rapid Deployment Force, possibly in exchange for increased military aid.This currently stands at 250 million dollars a year but will rise to about 400 million dollars in 1982.That figure still represents only two-thirds of the sum Turkey says it needs to update its military equipment.
Discussions at the talks centred on the possible threat from the Soviet Union in the eastern Mediterranean.The American Defence Secretary also handed Mr.Bayulken a letter from President Reagan praising, what he called the successful performance of the military government.This support will be most welcome to Ankara whose relations with several west European states have been soured by Turkey's slow progress in restoring civilian rule, and the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.
Mr.Bayulken and Secretary Weinberger agreed to establish a joint defence committee of senior officials.This will monitor the strategic situation on Turkey's eastern border with the Soviet Union and speed the delivery of American military aid to the country.