129. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State1

653. Foreign Ministry official who is aware of US representation in Ankara2 told us today that Greek Government, and most particularly Foreign Minister Stephanopoulos, are deeply concerned over heightening pitch of opposition and press attacks (A) on US for failure make public expression of shock over recent events in Turkey and (B) intensity of campaign to smear Stephanopoulos as US stooge responsible for failure and humiliation at London and subsequent Turkish riots. Official pointed out that Stephanopoulos is carrying all the blame from every quarter and risks having to resign for being too pro-American, an ironical situation which would have been inconceivable a few months ago.

Official made strong plea that US find a way to let Greek people know true feelings of US. He also suggested that it was in US interest to support Stephanopoulos since if he were to go result could only be less moderate Greek position and serious diminution US influence.

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Comment: There is no doubt US prestige and influence has taken sharp downward turn in Greece. Greece pride has been hurt that leader “civilized” world has not voiced expected humanitarian sense of shock at Turkish actions. Behind this is a real feeling of abandonment and isolation due failure US to speak out which would have encouraged others step up and be counted. We would hope that Department will find way quickly to meet and reverse this mounting tide of feeling.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.81/9–1355. Secret; Priority. Repeated to London and Ankara and pouched to Salonika.
  2. Presumably the reference is to the instructions in telegram 447, Document 125.
  3. On September 17, in telegram 823 to Athens, the Department instructed the Embassy to deliver a personal message from Secretary Dulles to Prime Minister Papagos. In the message, Dulles indicated that he had followed the “deterioration” of Greek-Turkish relations over the Cyprus issue with “concern” and noted that regardless of the causes of the dispute the unity of NATO must be restored without delay. The Secretary added that over the past decade Greece and Turkey had cooperated to deter “Communist ambitions” in the eastern Mediterranean and noted that he found it difficult to believe that both countries would allow this cooperation to end over the events of the past several weeks. Dulles reminded the Greek Government of the consequences of weakening that strong bulwark and urged the Prime Minister to make sure that the “effectiveness” of the Greek-Turkish partnership was not ruined by present conflicts. An identical message was also sent to the Turkish Prime Minister. Telegram 823 also transmitted the text of a statement that the Department planned to release to the press on September 18. It indicated that the Department had expressed “deep concern” over the violence in Istanbul and Izmir and noted that the Secretary sent personal messages to the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey. (Department of State, Central Files, 681.82/9–1755)