ISTANBUL (Mar. 13)
Turkish Foreign Minister Fuat Koprulu has made a move to win back Arab friendship at the expense of Israel. In a message to the Beirut, Lebanon, newspaper “El Belagh,” released here today, Mr. Koprulu declared that Turkey had always sided with the Arab states in the United Nations when the Palestine issue was under consideration and that Turkish-Israeli trade relations had very little to do with Turkey’s pro-Arab orientation.
The Foreign Minister reviewed for Arab newspaper readers the record of Turkey at the UN; it had voted against the partition of Palestine; favored internationalization of Jerusalem and repatriation of the Arab refugees, and in the Bagdad Pact had agreed to cooperate with the Arab program of forcing implementation of “United Nations decisions” on Palestine.
Turkish recognition of Israel was no more than was accorded other states by Ankara, Mr. Koprulu said, and should not be viewed as an anti-Arab act. Trade was merely a matter of finding markets for Turkish goods, he continued, and the extent of that trade had been grossly over estimated; it amounted to about $24,000,000 annually. He made the point that Turkish exports to Israel included no war materiel.
In line with this policy of courting the Arab states more vigorously, Turkay has in quick succession turned down an offer for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to give a concert in this city, has turned down an Israel philatelic exhibit also offered for Istanbul and has cancelled a soccer game between an Israeli and a Turkish team scheduled to be played in Istanbul April 23.