747C.00/9–154: Telegram

No. 379
The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Turkey1


293. Menderes’ personal letter to Secretary on Cyprus Embtel 244,2 rptd London 45, Athens 29, Nicosia 3 handed to Secretary just before his departure Manila. Deliver following to Prime Minister as personal message from Acting Secretary:3

“I wish express my sincere thanks to you for the clear and frank views of the Turkish Government on the Cyprus question contained in your recent personal message to Secretary Dulles.

“This Government regrets the action of the Greek Government in proposing that Cyprus be included on the agenda of the forthcoming General Assembly. Its discussion there can, in our opinion, lead to no early solution and will on the other hand jeopardize the close relationships existing among the NATO members concerned and particularly between Greece and Turkey and Greece and the UK.

“This Government is giving most urgent and serious consideration to this problem but has not yet reached a final decision as to its position when the Greek item is presented in the General Committee. I trust you will treat this information as confidential.

“You may be assured that this Government will weigh with fullest sympathy the views of the Turkish Government in formulating its policy.”

According to Department’s information Greek Government still underestimates strength of Turkish reaction. At time of presenting foregoing message you should suggest orally our belief that Turkish Government should again make its views known to Greece in order assure against any possible misunderstanding when question raised in UN. Although we appreciate strong Turkish feeling on this question, Turks should understand US view that Western unity is of paramount importance. We therefore hope Turkish Government will seek to discuss question in frank and friendly manner with Greek Government and that Turks while making their position [Page 704] clear should also show desire to work for mutually satisfactory solution of problem so that it will not poison NATO relationships or jeopardize future Balkan alliance.

  1. Drafted by Baxter and cleared by Jernegan, Hamilton, Barbour, Smith, and Kitchen. Repeated to Athens, London, and Nicosia.
  2. Telegram 244, Sept. 1, reported that Adnan Menderes, Prime Minister of Turkey, had sent a letter to Dulles urging the United States to take a firm position against inclusion of the Cyprus question on the U.N. General Assembly’s agenda and against U.N. action if the item was placed on the agenda. (747C.00/9–154) Menderes’ message to Dulles, Aug. 31, is in file 747C.00/8–3154.
  3. No information as to the delivery of Smith’s message to Menderes has been found in Department of State files. It apparently was an interim reply, since Dulles also replied to Menderes in Document 386.