156. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State1

485. During past few days, Turkish political developments appear headed toward two brinks simultaneously: severe attack against Inonu and pressure for national coalition; and resurfacing xenophobia expressed in desire reorient Turkish foreign policy, including Turkish withdrawal from NATO.

To dump Inonu at this time is serious and could even be dangerous, but to go toward neutralism has even more serious implications. This double trend was almost inevitable outcome internal pressures and general mounting dissatisfaction as Cyprus situation continued degenerate and efforts promote solution failed materialize. Dissatisfaction appears fanning out two directions mentioned above. Interesting note dissatisfaction with Inonu almost stronger in RPP than in opposition. Latent world-wide dissatisfaction which chafes against foreign presence everywhere important factor second development. While xenophobia centering on U.S. presence and alliance, it is also being focused on NATO.

While these developments approaching respective brinks, maneuverability Inonu govt on both foreign and domestic issues is close to zero. Striking example is present strong Turkish opposition to enosis in any form expressed by PriMin’s statement, “Declaration of enosis means war,”2 banner headlined in Sept 7 Cumhurieyt (Ind) with notation battleground would not be confined to Cyprus. Few weeks ago there was cautious acceptance enosis if accompanied by suitable guarantees for GOT, by press, Parliamentary and academic contacts (Embtel 478).3 At that time, enosis regarded as preferable alternative to independent Cyprus which, in Turkish eyes, tantamount establishment Mediterranean Cuba. Together with stiffening against any type of enosis is softening toward Soviet foreign policy initiated by Inonu speech to house Sept 3. Responsible pro-govt but left of center Cumhuriyet and Milliyet have played incorrectly Inonu’s speech as emphasizing criticism of U.S. and support of [Page 311] Soviet Union. Cumhuriyet sub-headlined Sept 4, “PriMin, who states U.S. has placed wrong diagnosis on Cyprus problem, announced Soviet Union, itself a federal republic, would accept as suitable, federal administration for Cyprus.”

Many extravagant statements being made concerning readiness, almost eagerness, to go to war over Cyprus. PriMin on Sept 6 declared “any decision outside our wishes renders war a necessity.” This has been taken up by spokesmen smaller parties during Sept 7 Parliamentary debate (being reported separately), and by many Turk Cypriots, especially Denktash. Turk character, while not always quickly aroused, if once brought to state of combat readiness and eagerness, does not easily recede from this fever pitch. Many thoughtful Turks wondering why Inonu playing this game, feel it fraught with danger and could set Turkey back many years if armed conflict results.

In addition above, readjustment existing alliances also being advocated. JP source indicated to Embassy officer Aug 26 that group within RPP planning submit resolution to GNA request Turkish withdrawal from NATO. According this source, group within RPP sponsoring resolution headed by Deputies Feyzioglu and Kirca. In private conversation, Kirca has stated Turkey is approaching policy of neutralism, which is considered by some Turkish leaders as one most in Turkey’s national interest. This view also supported by CNU group (Embtel 353).4

During RPP group meeting Sept 5 Inonu was subject to heavy attack for lack of decisive policy over Cyprus. Chief aim among rebel group within RPP headed by Feyzioglu appeared to be replacement present government with RPP/JP coalition which Feyzioglu would head. In past, Feyzioglu has made contacts with JP re such a coalition but reports from JP sources indicate JP leadership cool to latest Feyzioglu overture. During Sept 7 House debate, the RPNP, NP and NTP all spoke in favor of formation national coalition.

However, JP, while criticizing the government, did not reiterate its willingness, expressed as recently as a week ago, to take over the reins of government, and did not seem prepared to do so. Erim speech at House on behalf RPP appeared discredit opposition attacks and save day for RPP (being reported separately) but not clear whether sufficiently strong deterrent to exert definitive check on emotional impulsion toward internal political change and reorientation of foreign alignment.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Confidential. Repeated to Athens, Nicosia, London, Paris for USRO, and USUN.
  2. In a September 3 statement to the Grand National Assembly.
  3. Telegram 478, September 5, reported on the Turkish Parliament’s special session on Cyprus. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP)
  4. Dated August 20. (Ibid.)