U.S. and Turkish officials negotiating a new five-year defense cooperation agreement say that for the continued U.S. military presence in Turkey to be acceptable to the Turkish people, the new agreement should be as broad as possible.
The idea is that the Turks should not feel treated as purely a military object to blunt a Soviet attack or serve as a place for U.S. intelligence-gathering operations against the Soviets. but should be treated as fullfledged partners of the West.
Thus, aside from the fundamental agreement, four supplementary parts are being worked on that emphasize economic cooperation as well as U.S. aid in developing the Turkish defense industry, help in modernizing Turkey's large but ill-equipped army, and the status of U.S. installations in the country.
In October, after the Congress lifted an almost four-year arms embargo against Turkey -- imposed when the Turks invaded Cyprus -- Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit allowed the 26 U.S. installations here to resume operation on a one-year interim basis.
Negotiators hope to reach accord by spring but the talks could be difficult because Turkey is in serious economic trouble and in political disarray.
Thus far, senior U.S. sources say Ankara has made no specific demands on Washington, although it is clear that such things as coproduction of new arms is a high priority to help the Turks build up their own industry.
Officials also point out that even if defense coproduction arrangements are worked out, it may be hard to induce U.S. firms to set up here, since the Turkish attitude toward foreign companies, has been cool in the past.
The question of Turkish army modernization is touchy in a country where the army is a major potential force internally as well. Some feel Turkey has an army bigger than it can afford, that it should buy small patrol boats rather than destroyers, and seek antitank weapons rather than tanks.
These are sensitive subjects here, easily interpreted by some Turks as Western efforts to make them more dependent on the West and less able to handle their own security.
The Carter administration has proposed $300 million in military and economic aid for Turkey next year, an increase of about $75 million over the current year. The Turks wanted at least $400 million, some of it in grants. The United States has moved away from grant aid in the military field, however.
U.S. Officials have stressed that aside from the aid package, which must be approved by Congress, the U.S. military payroll in Turkey for about 6,000 personnel adds several million dollars to the economy each year.