125. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Turkey1

447. I. You are requested make representations Prime Minister along following lines:

U.S. Government has taken note Turkish Government’s statement regarding recent events Istanbul and Izmir and welcomes intention offer full reparations.2 At same time we wish Turk authorities to know, in all friendliness and frankness, that U.S. Government shocked over these events, especially over apparent lack effective police intervention in what appears to have been result coordinated planning. Concern felt over detrimental effect of quarrel between two members of NATO as well as of Balkan Alliance, with obvious advantage only to USSR. Moreover we are disappointed over apparent failure Turkish Government to recall realistic example of Ataturk3 in submerging historic animosities in favor of Greek-Turkish friendship and to counter irresponsible and inflammatory press statements.

II. Following views should also be brought attention Turkish Government:

It is our understanding London Conference suspended while UK Government awaiting definitive reply from Greeks and therefore still possible for Turks make further considered reply. In circumstances we wish Turkish Government to know U.S. Government considers three countries most concerned with Cyprus question will best serve their own interests, as well as those of all free world, by maintaining flexible positions and evidencing willingness consider proposals put forward in good faith to ameliorate problem which is becoming dangerous to stability in Eastern Mediterranean. Proposals put forward by U.K. are in accordance principles UN Charter and in our view do not compromise basic Turkish position. We understand British proposed institution tri-partite committee to discuss possible forms self-government for Cyprus. This considered reasonable and fruitful suggestion. Re international status Cyprus, British proposal that three parties agree to disagree records Turkish objection to any [Page 282] change in status and in no way infringes Turkish position on this issue.

US Government asks Turkish Government weigh most seriously advantages of continuing negotiations re self-government in tripartite committee against disadvantages providing opportunity for exploitation of issue in UN where countries inimical to West in general and to colonialism in particular would undoubtedly exacerbate problem. In these circumstances UN action may well go beyond moderate modus vivendi possible under U.K. proposals. Such UN action would seem more than likely in view recent events Turkey which have caused world sympathy to redound to Greek benefit. Early, moderate and responsible action by Turkish Government would seem timely when world opinion focused on Turkey.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 782.00/9–955. Confidential. Drafted by Crain and Snyder. Repeated to Athens, London, and Paris Topol and pouched to Nicosia.
  2. On September 7, the Turkish Government expressed regret for the damage done to Greek property and promised quick compensation to those individuals who had suffered.
  3. Mustafa Kemal, popularly known as Ataturk, founder and President of the first Turkish Republic.
  4. In telegram 381, September 12, Warren informed the Department that, in Menderes’ absence, he had communicated to Zorlu the substance of paragraph 1 of telegram 447 and an aide-mémoire incorporating the substance of paragraph 2. According to the Ambassador, Zorlu’s reaction was “strong and unfavorable.” Turkey could not be asked, Zorlu noted, to make all the sacrifices. However deplorable the rioting in Istanbul and Izmir, Turkey “had already been principal sufferer” and these incidents should not be used to compel Turkey to make substantive concessions contrary to its interests and to the stability of the Eastern Mediterranean. (Department of State, Central Files, 782.00/9–1255)