298. Telegram from the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State0

705. Embtel 700—Cyprus.1 Foreign Minister Erkin telephoned just before dinner last night to say that Cabinet discussion on Cyprus had resulted in decision reject Makarios proposals definitively and publicly at this time. In fact, he was in process preparing public statement that effect.

I observed this news very disappointing because, irrespective of nature proposals, Foreign Minister’s previous decision to study carefully and reply specifically had seemed wisest course. Erkin replied this [Page 588] had been considered by Cabinet but rejected because it would be considered evidence of weakness.

Unclear at this point as to position in which this reversal leaves Erkin since he has had ground cut from under him on issue on which he had not only made decision but committed himself to both British and ourselves.

Also interesting note that strong personal feeling of Inonu was probably a, if not the, deciding factor in action taken since Erkin told me previous day in connection conversation reported reference telegram that Inonu had been quite wrought up in discussing Cyprus question and had felt situation possibly developing to point where partition could again become active issue.

Finally, this regretfully goes to prove warning which has repeatedly been given of danger of putting pressure on GOT in time of political strain. Perhaps this merely coincidence in present case but result same.

Text Erkin statement reported separately.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15–5 Cyp. Confidential; Priority. Also sent to Nicosia and repeated to Athens, London, and Istanbul.
  2. Telegram 700, December 6, reported that the Turkish attitude regarding the Cyprus question was stiffening. (Ibid.)
  3. In telegram 707 from Ankara, December 7. Its operative portion reads: “Since it is impossible accept such a proposal for opening of discussions on these documents which guarantee vital rights and interests of Turk Cypriots, Council of Ministers has decided to reject it.” (Ibid., POL Cyp) 2