264. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State 0

307. JODEL. Following is summary record of conversation between Vice President and leaders Turk Cypriot community August 31 at office Vice President Kutchuk. Summary prepared by Bowling and cleared by Vice President. Also present were Denktash, President Turkish Communal Chamber, Min Defense Orek, Min Health Meyera, Min Agriculture Plumar, Ambassador Wilkins and Komer.

The Vice President expressed his pleasure at being in Cyprus and his appreciation over welcome given him by Cypriot people.

Kutchuk presented VP memorandum on position Turkish Cypriot minority (will be forwarded by pouch)1 stating he felt VP was a real friend and that he would do what he could for Turk Cypriot minority if he understood facts. He turned to other Turk leaders to present Turk Cypriot views orally.

Min Defense went over recent historical background Cyprus, pointing out Turk Cypriots had given up their goal of partition and wanted make concept bi-communal Cypriot nation work, while Greek Cypriots had apparently not given up their goal of union with Greece. He said Turk and Greek communities had made agreement to work together, and rules of their cooperation in Cypriot nation, agreed to by both, were embodied in provisions Constitution. Turk Cypriots wanted apply those rules, he claimed, but Greeks unfortunately refused implement vital elements Constitution to which they had agreed; this puts the Turkish community in very serious position. Min Defense said Constitution obviously gave Vice President important role in determining foreign policy, but Makarios proceeded make public declarations basic foreign policy of neutrality and non-alignment without consulting Vice President. He complained of interminable delays in formation Cypriot Army. Min Defense ended by saying Turk Cypriots wanted US to understand their position and assist them.

Denktash said Turk Cypriots agreed 100 percent with VP’s remarks and speeches on importance of independence and integrity of Cyprus. He stated solution communal problem necessary prevent further spread Communism in Cyprus. He added that to his surprise and horror, [Page 536] he had just discovered that even Turk Cypriot community had been penetrated by Communists. A vital Turk Cypriot community is an essential obstacle to the spread of Communism in Cyprus, he said. The Greek majority, he claimed, keeps pushing constantly on rights of Turk Cypriots, who feel selves being gradually maneuvered into a corner. Denktash warned that if Turk Cypriots should find themselves hopelessly cornered and deprived their rights, they might react in blind desperation with unpredictable consequences. As years go by, said Denktash, the two communities will under good conditions slowly draw together in one Cypriot community. Until that time, he warned, basis of government in Cyprus must be bi-communal, not centralized in a Greek-dominated central regime. He complained of failure central government implement separate municipalities, 70–30 ratio in civil service, and alleged reduction central revenues to Turkish education, alleging Greek Cypriots wanted communal chambers to be forced levy heavier taxes in order reduce their standing and support. Denktash said Greek Cypriots refused entertain plan for national university. Wilkins said GOC had not yet made a decision on this subject.

Denktash also asked for US aid to be channeled through communal chambers rather than through central government. He claimed only such aid now was school food programs.

Vice President asked Ambassador Wilkins about this and Wilkins said it was true because education alone was officially in hands communal chambers instead of central regime.

VP said US cannot act like Russians and attempt impose our solutions on problems independent nation no matter how much we might sympathize or not sympathize with one side of a problem.

VP promised read Turk Cypriot memorandum and have responsible US officials study it carefully. VP promised that the US would continue to see that all US aid to Cyprus was utilized fairly and without communal discrimination. VP ended by saying “your kind of people are our friends”.

Denktash returned this sentiment on behalf Turk Cypriot community and affirmed VP visit had given Turk Cypriots new heart and determination to make the Republic work and progress.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100–JO/9–362. Secret. Repeated to Nicosia.
  2. Transmitted to the Embassy in Rome for the Johnson delegation as unnumbered telegram from Nicosia, September 13. (Ibid., Conference Files: Lot 65 D 533, CF 2149)