185. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State0

2191. I had long conversation with Karamanlis yesterday during which I concentrated on trying to convince him of necessity of facing Turkish problem directly and realistically. He at first seemed to get point but later relapsed into line of thought epitomized by excerpt from his letter to President quoted Embassy telegram 2016.1 He repeated at some length his offer to agree to any kind of independence buttressed by any and all guarantees and sanctions considered by any disinterested body or individual as reasonably necessary to protect legitimate Turkish interests. his emphatic insistence on fairness and reasonableness of this position increases difficulty of persuading him to take more realistic and less purely moral view of Turkish problem.

He said he feels faced with choice of accepting partition and being traitor to Greek people or refusing and wrecking Western alliance. Both courses equally repugnant and impossible to him and if decision unavoidable he must resign. [3 lines of source text not declassified]

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Karamanlis seems perfectly willing to talk amicably with Selwyn Lloyd but his mood and reasoning do not augur well for constructive results.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/2–958. Secret; Presidential Handling.
  2. Telegram 2016 from Athens, January 22, quoted the second half of the seventh paragraph of Karamanlis’ January 17 letter to Eisenhower, beginning with “Greece is not to blame” and commented that the quoted paragraph indicated Karamanlis’ “present frustration over Cyprus question.” (Ibid., 747C.00/1–2258) Karamanlis’ letter is printed as Document 174.