177. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State0

1973. Tehran for Secretary delegation. Re Nicosia telegram 198 to Department.1 Embassy continues be sincerely concerned at reported drift on Cyprus toward new period violence. Renewal EOKA terrorism would be most unfortunate. Embassy sympathetic to Nicosia efforts encourage sufficient progress toward solution in order that Greek “moderates” be enabled control extremists.

While recognizing seriousness situation Cyprus, Embassy strongly of opinion joint or separate Anglo-American appeal to Turks might provoke most positive unfavorable reaction by GOT. Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Zorlu under various forms heavy pressures and are neither in mood change GOT position nor is it evident they feel politically strong enough to do so. Considering importance of reaching successful conclusion current BP meeting Ankara, Embassy strongly recommends Secretary State consider seriously probable unfavorable reaction to discussion Cyprus problem while in Ankara.2

As indication intensity Turkish feeling, British Embassy represent-ative has quoted senior RPP leader Ismail Rustu Aksal as stating few days ago that Cyprus question now is entirely question Turkish prestige vis-a-vis Greeks. Aksal indicated he not particularly favorably inclined toward solution partition but national Turkish feeling against Greeks has revived spirit of 1920 war of independence.3 Therefore, he strongly backs GOT determination not retreat one inch from insistence on partition.

Embassy believes Cyprus impasse has reached stage when, notwithstanding possibility renewed violence Cyprus, only safe course of US action (as we have indicated previous Embassy telegrams) is along line encourage parties directly concerned, i.e., UK, Greeks and Turks, use secret diplomacy to find means leading to solution. US has tremendous stakes at issue in ME today and our relations with Turkey vital and, so far as Embassy Ankara can see, non-involvement in Cyprus issue is vital to protection of US relationships with Turkey.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/1–2258. Secret. Repeated to Athens, London, Paris, Nicosia, and Tehran.
  2. Telegram 198 from Nicosia, January 21, reported on Belcher’s discussions with Foot on the possible resumption of EOKA terrorism and the prospects for Greek, Turkish, and Cypriot acceptance of the British Government’s proposals. (Ibid., 747C.00/1–2158)
  3. Dulles was scheduled to visit Ankara January 27–30 for the meeting of the Baghdad Pact.
  4. Reference is to the revolution led by Kemal Ataturk which overthrew the Ottoman state. The revolution was ignited by the Treaty of Sevres, which included in its provisions Greek occupation of large portions of Asia Minor. The Turkish Army subsequently drove the Greeks out of the areas they occupied.