747C.00/3–3054: Telegram

No. 364
The Ambassador in Turkey (Warren) to the Department of State


1016. Deptel 1031, March 18.1 It is our view that if we agree with first two points of British aide-mémoire of January 29 [28]2 consistency would require that we also support third point. In light of existing strategic and political considerations, discussions this issue in UN can only serve weaken existing friendly relations and close cooperation between Greece, UK and Turkey, and thus further Soviet efforts disrupt western unity.

Following comments refer to Turkish aspect question:

Turks feel Enosis campaign carefully built with Archbishop Makarios as front man with secret encouragement Greek Govt. Turkish concern precisely with latter development now approaching critical stage. As noted Embtel 897,3 Turks appear believe Secretary General Greek Foreign Office Kyrou personally involved.
Union of Cyprus with Greece would place sizeable new Turkish minority under Greek control, upsetting balance effected by exchange of populations in 1920s.
Turkish interest based not only on Turkish minority but also to important extent on strategic (security) and historical factors. So long as Cyprus is under British control Turks feel it constitutes security support for them. In Greek hands feel opposite would be case, given long distance separating island from Greece and Communist strength in Cyprus. On historical grounds Turks point out Cyprus has never belonged to Greece whereas it was held by Turks for four centuries and then voluntarily turned over to British protection as precaution against Russian attack in 1878.
Re remarks of Greek Ambassador Kalergis4 to Embassy counselor on March 5 (copy memo conversation sent GTI)5 to effect [Page 684] Turks would not object on official level to union Cyprus with Greece, Embassy considers this opinion incorrect. It is already disproved by fact Turks have now made formal representation to Greek Government for first time. Latter has apparently sought encourage view expressed by Kalergis and perhaps itself misled by continuing passivity Turkish Government in face mounting agitation recent months. We believe Turkish position essentially as stated to us by Birgi (Embtels 897 and 9286), i.e., Turks are seriously concerned and will demand voice in any decision alter present status of Cyprus.

  1. Telegram 1031 called for an early reply to a previous telegram which requested recommendations to assist the Department of State in replying to the British aide-mémoire of Jan. 28. (747C.00/3–1854)
  2. Outlined in Document 361.
  3. Document 362.
  4. John D. Kalergis, Greek Minister in Turkey.
  5. The memorandum of conversation by Foy D. Kohler, Counselor of Embassy in Turkey, has not been found in Department of State files.
  6. Dated Mar. 5, not printed. (747C.00/3–554)