184. Editorial Note

On July 4, Vice President Nixon, on a trip to the Far East visited the Philippines to participate in the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Filipino independence. Returning to the United States, Nixon stopped overnight in Ankara on July 9 and 10. On July 10, the Embassy in Turkey informed the Department that the question of Cyprus was among the subjects discussed in an informal exchange of views among Nixon, President Celal Bayar, Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, Acting Foreign Minister Etem Menderes, Foreign Office Secretary Nuri Birgi, and Ambassador Warren. According to the Ambassador, both Bayar and Prime Minister Menderes stressed the importance of Cyprus from a political, strategic, and national point of view and expressed Turkey’s determination to prevent the island from passing to the Greeks. Both leaders emphasized that Turkey was satisfied with the status quo under the British and would not accept the transfer of Cyprus to Greece. Ambassador Warren reported that he had the impression that the Turkish Government would not yield on this matter and would act decisively “with possible serious consequences” before it would permit the island to be transferred to Greece. (Telegram 80 from Ankara, July 10; Department of State, Central Files, 782.5–MSP/7–1056)

On July 12, at the 290th meeting of the National Security Council, Nixon briefed the Council on his trip to the Far East. During the discussion he referred to his visit to Turkey:

“Apropos of his visit to Turkey, the Vice President said that he was amazed to find that the Turks had a positively pathological attitude on the Cyprus problem. The Prime Minister had even gone so far as to suggest that if Cyprus was joined to Greece, the Turks would go to war to prevent it. He had subsequently modified this statement. The reason for Turkish alarm over Cyprus, said the Vice President, was rather the closeness of the island to the Turkish [Page 379] mainland than concern for the Turkish minority living on Cyprus.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Memoranda of Discussion)