U.S. officials said today that Secretary of State George P. Shultz, who met renewed Turkish pressure today for increased economic assistance, is not expected to reach a new agreement on American bases here during his visit ending Tuesday.
Turkey seeks economic concessions in parallel with talks on the U.S. basing agreement, which technically expired last year. Both sides emphasized that the expired accord effectively remains in force.
Although U.S. officials traveling with Shultz on his 10-day trip through Europe said no real linkage exists, Shultz has been surprised by Turkish insistence on freer access to U.S. markets, particularly in textiles and steel pipe. Business leaders pressed those demands yesterday.
The officials said Shultz got the message repeatedly in his meetings today with Prime Minister Turgut Ozal, Defense Minister Zeki Yavuzturk and Foreign Minister Vahit Halefoglu: if the U.S. Congress cannot be relied upon to provide stable levels of foreign aid, then Turkey deserves trade commitments to support its developing economy.
Congress cut last year's administration aid request for Turkey by $202 million from $939 million. Some members of Congress have said that this year's request of $970 million will be lucky to survive at all.
The Turks also asked for U.S. backing against congressional action tying Greek aid levels to Turkish levels, and against resolutions condemning alleged Turkish massacres of Armenians in 1915.
Those demands "are all outside our ability to do anything more than say, 'We understand, and we'll do what we can,' " said a U.S. official who was present at the talks.
"Everybody will go back to work" on the problems but "we certainly aren't . . . expecting the textile agreement to be signed or the military bases relationship to be extended while we are here," the official said.
"It would have been nice," another official said, to have a renewed basing pact to take on Tuesday to Athens, where Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou is threatening to oust four U.S. military bases. But no one pretends that Turkey is angry enough to refuse to take those facilities, should they be moved.
Nor is there any threat to the continued presence of the 15 U.S. bases on Turkish soil. Centuries of Turkish hostility toward their Russian neighbors makes any turn in that direction unlikely.
"Nobody would believe us if we even brought it up," said a senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official. "You know that, we know that. The Greeks and the Soviets know that."
But, he said, the Turks feel taken for granted in the United States. In a luncheon toast, Halefoglu reminded Shultz what "a great shock" it was here when Congress, prodded by Greek Americans, cut off transfers of military equipment to Turkey from 1975 to 1978 because of the Turkish occupation of Cyprus.