Turkey warns 'inadequate' aid might peril ties to US...
Istanbul — Turkey was disappointed with the amount of military and economic aid the Reagan administration proposed for it last week. And if Congress cuts this aid further - as is expected - the Turkish government fears that a crisis in United States-Turkish relations might erupt.
The administration has requested a total of $934 million ($759 million in military and $175 million in economic aid) for Turkey for the 1985 fiscal year. Last month Turkey informed Washington that it needed $1.3 billion in military and $300 million in economic aid.
Last year the administration proposed $934 million of aid. But as a result of congressional pressure to secure the traditional 7:10 ratio in aid to Greece and Turkey, this amount was reduced to $857 million. Thus, in the current fiscal year, Turkey is receiving $715 million in military aid vs. $501 million for Greece.
A Turkish government spokesman stated that the aid proposed for this year is ''inadequate'' and ''well below the expectations.'' He said that the proposed sum ''cannot meet our defense requirements.''
Turkish officials say the Pentagon is quite aware that a minimum of $1 billion was required to meet the needs of Turkey's armed forces for the coming fiscal year. They say that the modernization program of the Turkish forces - the second largest in NATO - might be affected by any reduction of this sum, and that the Turkish government might be obliged to review its commitments within the alliance.
Turkey has undertaken a costly modernization program of its 560,000-man armed forces. This includes the replacement of some obsolete weapons, the purchase of F-16 jet-fighters, and the construction of military bases, particularly in eastern Turkey.
The fear here is that Congress may attempt (and succeed) to cut the proposed aid to Turkey further. The Greek lobby reportedly is preparing a campaign to reduce this aid because of Turkey's support for the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. A congressional delegation that recently visited Ankara, the Turkish capital, drew the government's attention to the need to make some gestures of goodwill on Cyprus - or face the consequences of the present policy with a probable action by Congress to impose sanctions on aid to Turkey.
US diplomats are trying to tell the Turks that the administration could not, in this election year, ask for more aid for Turkey - which is the third largest recipient of US assistance after Israel and Egypt - and that Turkey should be happy with what has been proposed. They also point out that the trend in Congress to ''link'' aid to the Cyprus problem is inevitable, and that the only way to stop it is for Ankara to show flexibility and help reach a settlement.
The Turks are quite sensitive about this kind of linkage. They have bad memories of the arms embargo imposed by Congress in the mid-1970s, which provoked a serious deterioration of ties between the two nations.
Although Turkey's reaction to the failure of the US administration to propose more aid to this country has been relatively moderate, observers say that congressional action to reduce aid to Turkey as a ''punishment'' for its Cyprus policy is likely to provoke anger and perhaps counteraction - including the revision of the US-Turkish base agreement.
Turkish officials note that Turkey has time and again proved its support of US policy and its allegiance to the Western alliance. In fact, Turkey recently backed the US policy on Lebanon and granted facilities to the US peacekeeping force. Turkey has also endorsed the US position on the deployment of medium-range missiles in Europe.
Officials say that in view of all this, Turkey deserves ''something better than a punishment'' by Congress.