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Posted at 10:45 PM ET, 08/13/2010

Iranians flooding an overwhelmed U.S. Embassy in Turkey

By Jeff Stein

Apart from maybe nuclear-armed Pakistan and India, it’s hard to imagine an American diplomatic mission more important to the United States than Turkey, a Near East tinderbox and “a frontline state in countering narcotics, human trafficking, organized crime, money laundering, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation,” in the words of the State Department.

Yet the American embassy in Ankara and its consulate in Istanbul are so small and creaky -- and dangerous -- that other U.S. agencies housed in them (including the CIA, the FBI and the Agency for International Development) are ready to flee, according to an inspection report released Friday.

Iranian visa applicants alone are overwhelming the facilities, the report said. That and a recent fire in an Ankara annex’s boiler room should have sent a strong message, but it evidently didn’t, said the State Department’s inspector general, who audited the facilities in January.

Turkey borders Iran, and more than 8,300 Iranians are expected to apply for U.S. visas by year’s end. “If such trends continue, the consular section in Ankara will be unable to handle the workload,” the IG said.

“The physical capacity of the section is finite. There is no cost-effective way to expand the capacity of the waiting room, which seats approximately 80 people. There is no space outside to add waiting room capacity as the waiting room is situated almost directly on a street.”

Everybody working there is fed up with the situation, the report suggested.

“Pressure is surfacing among some agencies to take their operations elsewhere in Turkey or even out of Turkey entirely because of their inability to meet their needs in the space allocated to them,” the report said.

“None of the buildings provides adequate or appropriate work space. Embassy sections and agencies are sometimes spread throughout the facilities in coun­terproductive ways. Annex II, a converted house, is particularly egregious and was described as ‘beyond Pluto’ by one of its denizens,” the report said.

“A recent fire in the Annex II boiler room could have had disastrous consequences and should be taken as a signal to push forward, with increased urgency, the issue of a new embassy compound.”

Considering that Turkey also borders Syria, the auditors said, one would think that the nearby U.S. consulate at Adana, which “provides strategically important reporting on issues such as the political implications of the opening of the Turkish-Syrian border and Kurdish activities with transnational terrorism linkages,” would get special security attention.

Not so.

“U.S. classified communications … are available to staff only at Incirlik Air Base, where entry is controlled by the Turkish military,” the report said. The consulate’s diplomatic, intelligence and military personnel have to travel to the air base and pass through Turkish guards to send a classified report to Washington.

A bright spot: The American ambassador to Turkey, veteran diplomat Francis J. Ricciardone, James Franklin Jeffrey, and the deputy chief of mission at the time of the audit, Douglas A. Silliman. (Silliman was appointed chargé d'affaires last month.)

Jeffrey was deputy national security advisor to President George W. Bush before his appointment to Ankara. He had been deputy chief of mission there from 1999 to 2002.

“Leadership at Embassy Ankara is strong,” the inspector general said. "Both the ambassador and the deputy chief of mission (DCM) are fully committed to the substantive agenda of bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States, and are perceived as such universally throughout the embassy.

"Their commitment comes with encyclopedic knowledge of the Turkey account, a clear vision for the future, and a realistic understanding of the difficulties of getting things done in Turkey," the report said.

By Jeff Stein  | August 13, 2010; 10:45 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Military  
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More important to America and Israel is Turkey being a conduit for Caspian Sea oil and gas, though I think any chances of such a pipeline actually being useful in the future are slim; such a pipeline over such distances will make too a easy target for those who would prefer to see Israel and America go without.

Without settling the Palestinian issue Turkey will remain hostile to deals with Israel, even moreso after the recent Israeli killing of Turkish nationals in international waters, on a charity mission to Gaza - a more self-destructive decision by Israel I can't imagine. Maybe this is why the American embassy is getting little attention, diplomatically there's no point.

Posted by: icurhuman2 | August 14, 2010 4:34 AM | Report abuse

Why would anyone give a visa to an Iranian? They can go find another country to terrorize and bother.

Posted by: RobertCurleyJacobs | August 14, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

I have been inside the US Consulate in Istanbul, and "small" and "creaky" it is NOT. It is very secure and well-appointed.

Posted by: ccqueen | August 14, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

The article is not factual about the American Consulate in Istanbul: consulate workers could be overwhelmed but it certainly is not a small building. Google it for pictures and see it for yourself.

Posted by: Emice | August 14, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

A former ambassador to Egypt and a fluent Turkish speaker, Ricciardone famously earned the enmity of then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when he told her during a visit to Cairo that the Egyptian government was using the USA Patriot Act to justify its harsh treatment of suspected terrorists.

Ah yes-

Those Christians in the White House

I'll never forget when Rice came back from Israel - which she had suspiciously avoided - claiming "I can't believe I was touching the same ground as my lord and savior Jesus Christ".

Only fundamentalists talk like that.

And looking back ?

The US had a farce Christian Theocracy coup in 2000.

I don't see Turkey favoring the US too well anyway based on US sentiment to their genocide issues.

Turkey takes that REAL serious - about as serious as China takes the Dali Lama.

I'm surprised the BTC hasn't broken again all in all.

I guess BP is succeeding in Turkey more than US foreign policy, FBI OR CIA.

Guess it come down to having enough money eh ?

Tim Miltz

Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Makes me ILL to see the US miss opportunity two fold in Pakistan flooding right now...

One to turn sentiment of the people - okay that SHOULD be #2

and two - because it's the right thing to do.

We need to add TWO mores zero's to our 35 million aid - and implement it in 24 hours.

Paulson got 700 Billion in 48 hours - and didn't even have to declare explicitly WHY.

What's even 2 billion - my god.

What kind of nation IS this -

United States in MY view is REALLY or should be renamed the Uniting States- it's a process- and it can expand globally - for the benefit of humanity- but because somehow this isolationist modality in foreign policy has set in ?

It's terrorist attacks here on out forever until End Days - or Jesus shows up - which I'm sure would make Israel happy too- except Israel isn't calling it a sequel !

OR it could be- US reaches out to Pakistan people- helps them - turns sentiment- stabilizes the region not by force- but TRUE leadership.

Oh well-

Frustrating to sit by and watch incompetence or insolence when it comes to matters of human compassion.

US CIA can go F themselves for screwing up the region.

Tim Miltz

Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

While Turkey sells out to BP

Iran seeks commercial nuclear FUSION

Sure - yesterday they announced their first fission plant - but FUSION is what they are after -

I commend Iran for seeking THE path to restore peace in the Middle East

If Israel is nice - maybe Iran will share their surplus never ending energy supply from fusion - or better...
MAYBE the two could work on it TOGETHER.

THAT would be something.

And isn't it peculiar ? Fission breaks apart? and Fusion integrates?

That an energy model- UNLIKE Cheney's DEAD OIL AND GAS projects ? that spills blood ?

That an energy model such AS Fusion ?

Really will 'tear down that wall Mr. hmm Not Gorbachev - but Mr. Nation state" As I word it !


Brighter days ahead people

Still the US CIA can go F themselves- they have everything coming to them at the Hague COURTESY OF WIKILEAKS.

Tim Miltz

Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Looks like BP will be at the Hague along with CIA and DOJ courtesy of wikileaks.

DAMN US CIA - try some REAL INTEL for a change regarding middle east policy.

You should do some pro bono work for wikileaks CIA - you might gain access to a WEALTH of information from ALL over the world - that you didn't have to TURN anyone for - but that was DROPPED ON YOUR LAP - by those concerned about injustices.

Worst case scenario for the US is it loses it's sovereignty from Abu Ghraib.

Wow- Imagine that

US goes into Iraq on jacked up intel from CIA and ends up having the UN come INTO the US - to seize a nation state on it's way to an extremist Christian theocracy with WMD's - aka the US nuclear arsenal- and who in their RIGHT MIND would let someone who BELIEVES IT IS END DAYS - have access to the launch codes- you can BET the UN won't allow for it - and I'm there to make sure of that.

Tim Miltz

Enjoy the agency while it still exists FOOLS - don't COUNT ON A PENSION

And you can take THAT




Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Want to know why the timing on Gates breaking off from so many third party cave dwellers?

US Pentagon was given a preview of some of the next wikileaks dump.

Just lucky at throwing darts I guess.

Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

In case I wasn't clear

They are breaking off due to legal advice to DISTANCE THEMSELVES - from being ACCOUNTABLE.

They know what's coming down the chute.

And they want to be distanced beforehand.

Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Watch out this week folks- going to be a SCORCHER.

Easily record temperatures in Texas for the next 9 days.

I derive MY calculations from SOLAR activity.

The Weather Channel ? is owned by General Electric and would rather have you just being happy- everything is fine - must be the high pressure zone !

US is in such bad shape- COME ON IRAN hurry up with that commercial fusion !

End this nightmare.

Good luck on the new SATCOM CIA -

Should have waited- serious mass ejection risk until August next year.

Might want to keep a few backups - you KNOW there will be another blowout coming.


All the good people left for corporate anyhoo

Enjoy the HAGUE Goss

Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

It just occurred to me

If Flooding is to be used here ?

Shouldn't it be

Pakistani's FLOOding INTO Iran ?

Seeking not visa- but simply VITA !


Hell, if Terror is the real threat to the US ?

Seems global financial corporations have the terrorists beat - for Paulson argued he needed 700 billion in 48 hours or there is no nation state.

Gee- Al Qaeda plans for years to manage to get a few airplanes flown into some buildings- US markets recover in DAYS - we pick up the pieces and continue onward.

Yet - Paulson says in 48 hours he needs 700 billion or it's all over- for the ENTIRE nation.

Gee- you tell me where the REAL threat is.

And now ? A global financial corporation such as say- Bank of America ? can take down this nation in less than 24 hours.

Gee- you could multiply Al Qaeda by 100,000 and give them 10 billion in cash - and STILL they couldn't take down the US in 24 hours...

Yet Bank of America can.

And again CIA ? DOJ ? DoD? DHS ? What is the REAL threat again ?

Which one is it you think you can stop ?

And which one are you ignoring ?

800,000 useless Homeland goons and they can't prevent it gee- why are they even on the payroll- and providing what aspects of their pensions are managed by disintermediated arms of Bank of America Merrill Lynch ? What pensions.

Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: icurhuman2

More important to America and Israel is Turkey being a conduit for Caspian Sea oil and gas, though I think any chances of such a pipeline actually being useful in the future are slim; such a pipeline over such distances will make too a easy target for those who would prefer to see Israel and America go without.
end paste:

Hey- the BTC was built in record time.

Thanks to consult from Senator Stevens ?

Time saving steps were accomplished.

BP owns 28% of the BTC

BP certainly considers it OF USE - my god.

It's their cash cow

Why do you think the US military was RENTED BY BP ?

Multi-faceted bonus - tops was squelching the Kurds

BTC went online May 25 2005-

IT pumps over 1 million barrels a day-

BP LOVES the BTC- 'of what use' are you kidding me ?

The BTC brings serious profit to BP

In a way ? US military stabilizing the region ? guarantees the profits for BP from the BTC to pay for the Gulf spill 50 times over long term - so long as mean ole global warming doesn't show up - but seems the JAXTA IBUKI satellite has proven co2 from humans IS affecting temperature.

Oil futures are about to fly off a cliff- along with coal.

Want to see REAL global economic collapse ?

Come on Iran - hurry up with the fusion - and US LLL.

Going to need it sooner than later.

Cheney is going to have a heart attack when he sees what wikileaks is sitting on.

Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

What are the odds as I look above- it's a Bank of America ad.


Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh god- after posting that- regarding the top horizontal Bank of America banner ad ?

Page reloads and a new one is on the right now !

Well- least it's not BP.

It bothers me the Washington Post takes BP money - they ONLY WANTED 25% of the world's oil output - I mean - that's not any serious power there is it ?

It bothers me because I observe for example- WaPo's Planet watch section ?

JUst STOPPED - in June -

AND you can't comment any more- the entire interest in co2 and global warming on the WaPo ? Just ended- and I notice BP wasn't showing up for a good while on WaPo.

And now ? BP banner ads show up ? and Washington Post stops focus on - gee- only the biggest threat to humanity since nuclear weapons- which CLEARLY would jeopardize BP's profits for as LONG as they can keep the lie alive- or block out IBUKI PROOF - which IS out -

I like Japan - their parliament actually had up picture of the Pentagon and then the Jet size- and they were ALL saying - "no, no way a jet did this".

Gotta hand it to Japan - they recovered after Hiroshima and Nagasaki- real champs- only after the Steel embargo that taunted them- and go figure - Bushes were involved in that too ! WHAT ARE THE ODDS!

But if WaPo takes BP money ?

PErhaps they will not be a true service to their readers- by seeking the truth - or objective dialog and conversation at least on co2 -

whole Planet section at WaPo just STOPPED- oddly about when BP ads showed up again.

So it bothers me Washington POst takes BP banner money- SURE you had to sell off NewsWeek to keep the paper alive- but still- selling out to BP money ? An OWNED and CONTROLLED paper is useless to the community.

We need people who are willing to risk it all for the truth - and I do say- I admire that in wikileaks.

Even if it does cost the US it's sovereignty at the Hague - thank GOD Cheney and Bloton - a typo I'll keep - BOlton didn't dismantle the UN - for it is the UN with NATO forces that can move into the US if it attempts to interfere with procedures of justice at the Hague, and that WOULD INCLUDE the US DOJ- or certain former and some current members being required to testify AT the Hague.

Tim Miltz

Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The world will NOT tolerate a radical Christian theocracy that possesses Weapons of Mass Destruction.

See my point ?

Bush brought this onto the US - starting with the approval of Monica Goodling's job.

Who would have thought the US going into Iraq could cost the US IT'S sovereignty - all the while selling threat of terrorism ? US engaged in practices- well- we'll leave those details to the Hague- besides- no human being should have to SEE, HEAR or HEAR OF IN DETAIL what happened at Abu Ghraib - and of ALL venues- it came out of ? the US Department of ? ??? JUSTICE?

Are you kidding me ?

Jesus - Who gave Steven King the acid- this isn't TERRORISM - this is HORRORISM.

Thank GOD for The Hague- The UN and NATO forces to stop dangerous theocracies with nuclear weapons who support END DAYS AS A REALITY.


What have we allowed to happen - MY GOD.

Now to find a job - anyone know of a pizza shop in need of delivery drivers ?

I'm probably qualified for some other roles - but that seems to be a good fit.

Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I'm sorry Jeff

I didn't see the header

Jeff Stein's intelligence for THINKING PEOPLE.

Whoops - wrong forum !

I've been TRYING to stop thinking- but damn it Jim - it's as fast as she'll go !

I'd LOVE to stop thinking -

Heck - I don't even know what I'll be thinking next- if I knew that ? I'd probably be in some paradoxical subjective but deterministic double bind. On the flip side- if I don't know what I'll be thinking next ? Gee- what the hell DO I know !

SOMEWHERE in that not knowing is the thin margin - perhaps infinitesimal margin of free will and volition in thought.



DAMN - some lady on CNN through Craig's list is making $150 an hour...

Guess the recession is over, or I'm in the wrong business... I wonder, I could do the sex change for $25,000 - and then ? work off the medical bill at $150 an hour ? hmm - that's hmm - damn, I could build up a 401k in 3 years and retire and pay for the change back !

I just need to get creative here- maybe pizza delivery isn't all I'm capable of.

Then again it was Arlo Guthrie I recall who said maybe the US senators should all get together so they could do to each other what they've been doing to us behind closed doors.

In fact, these Craig's list prostitutes- should just run for congress- you'd make $800 an hour to start- and probably have a whole lot more fun!

Posted by: MrSun | August 14, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"I can't believe I was touching the same ground as my lord and savior Jesus Christ".

Only fundamentalists talk like that.

All Christian's should talk like that junior??? Geeezz

Posted by: hoosierdonk | August 14, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: shoestrade00 | August 14, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

"There is no space outside to add waiting room capacity as the waiting room is situated almost directly on a street.”
Since I've not been there I can only say check out these pictures,? Some of this questionable based on the pictures from this site, it looks like the Embassy fronts to a parking lot? Odd, but again I've not been there.

Posted by: darma2u | August 14, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

[Why would anyone give a visa to an Iranian? They can go find another country to terrorize and bother]

Please, the majority of Iranians born since the 1979 Islamic revolution are very pro western and love America. The vast majority of those under the age of 35 are very well educated and thirst for freedom.

Please save your ignorant comments. I have a very dear friend in Iran and he is more American in spirit than many Americans I know!

Posted by: littleleers | August 15, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

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