225. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State 0

3079. Embtel 3077 (A).1 Tonight after handing me referenced GOT reply to Secretary Dulles message re Cyprus of June 12 (Embtel 3054)2 Foreign Minister Zorlu began long rambling almost incoherent recital. I shall try to reproduce his thoughts but my presentation will be in different and more logical order than his talk. his rehash Cypriot history last two years recited in way to back up his assertion that Turks have been correct in their attitudes during period and that they are still comporting themselves like self-respecting sovereign member of NATO and supporter of free world and that governments of Greece and UK are to blame for present impasse. Salient points in talk were as follows:

Zorlu said that GOG had been stirring up trouble for years. During period EOKA terrorism 30 Cypriot Turks killed but world opinion is now excited because four Cypriot Greeks killed. Why the change?

GOT has consistently avoided creating excitement through radio broadcasts such as done by Athens. When I reminded him of Turk broadcasts of speeches at recent demonstration containing cries of “partition or death” and report that 6,000 Turks have been inscribed for [Page 647] service in Cyprus, he was evasive and unconvincing. When I mentioned the activities of Kuchuk, Denktash and Turk Consulate General Cyprus, he said Consulate General has been entirely and consistently correct in what he had said or done (Zorlu said Greek Consulate General in Cyprus had not been correct). He mentioned Turk Consulate General returning Nicosia tomorrow and would continue follow his long-standing instructions try calm Cypriot Turks.

I mentioned that NATO is involved in the problem and noted that the Greek Government had seen fit this day to evacuate to Greece its elements in MD3 to [from] Izmir. Zorlu characterized Greek move as “childish”. When I expressed doubt world opinion would see Greek act in same light, he then asserted Greeks attempting apply pressure. Zorlu continued by stating that if Greeks wanted to get out of NATO, “let Greece go, we would be better without her.” “If necessary GOT could get out.” Zorlu then alleged that HMG believes it can do anything it likes because of aid and can place pressure on GOT. Turkey can get along without aid: “We can eat only bread and fight with our fingers; we admit no foreign pressure.” “But GOT is under pressure of Turk public opinion. 120,000 Cypriot Turks know how protect themselves and can take care of 400,000 Cypriot Greeks.” Replying I said that that was exactly the kind of strife USA wanted to avoid in Cyprus. We do not want to see Turks and Greeks killing each other. I stressed US aid to Turkey was not granted so that we could bring pressure on Turkey. Our aid was not meant to place Turkey under that kind of obligation. I further stated that Dulles’ message was not effort at pressure but the attempt of a friend and ally to confer with Turkey about a matter that threatens NATO, an organization which USA holds vital to Turkey, USA, and entire West. I added that in all these relations we deal with Turkey solely as an equal.

Closing my remarks I reiterated importance we attach to NATO, our desire to have both Turks and Greeks as members that organization, expressed the hope that bloodshed be avoided in Cyprus and trusted that the next time he and I met our talk would be more encouraging. On this point I said “Good night”.

Comment: I sensed Zorlu’s extreme attitude prompted in part by: (1) Extreme irritation that GOT must accept foreign aid, (2) annoyance that Cyprus problem is being discussed in NATO and (3) resentment that NATO may try to bring pressure on GOT.

Ambassador Bowker told me GOT rejection new British proposals was communicated to Turkish Ambassador Birgi late Friday night and that Birgi had informed HMG Foreign Office Saturday morning that for [Page 648] “several reasons” he would like to delay delivery GOT reply until Sunday morning. Zorlu told me that President Eisenhower letter to Prime Minister which I delivered Saturday 11:20 hours (Embtel 3070)4 was to be discussed Saturday evening cabinet meeting to be attended by Prime Minister and President Bayar. It is clear that GOT decision reject British proposal was taken before receipt of Eisenhower message and that the receipt has not caused GOT change its instruction to Birgi.

It was an unpleasant conversation.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6–1558. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Received at 6:46 a.m. Repeated to Athens, London, Paris, and Nicosia.
  2. Telegram 3077 from Ankara, June 14, transmitted a Turkish aide-memoire that denied involvement in events on Cyprus and blamed the Greek and British Governments for creating and fostering a climate of violence. (Ibid., 747C.00/6–1458)
  3. Document 218.
  4. This reference is unclear.
  5. In telegram 3070 from Ankara, June 14, Warren reported on his brief conversation with Menderes and Zorlu at the time he delivered Eisenhower’s June 14 message to Menderes. (Department of State, Central Files, 711.11–EI/6–1458)