158. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State1
535. Saw Erkin late yesterday to give him reading on Washington talks as directed by Under Secretary, i.e. that situation had been given long, hard look; that time not ripe for new American initiative but necessary improve situation on island; that important Turk Cypriot leaders acting in such way as seem to be exploiting their compatriots. In so doing emphasized this not indicative any lessening interest in finding solution but concentration on immediate essentials which could smooth road to longer term objectives.
Erkin was not in particularly happy frame of mind, saying he had hoped we would be able come up with something new and definite. Failure [Page 315] do so will make it necessary for GOT take strong measures itself and also leave field open to Soviets who are at this moment actively engaged in negotiations with Makarios. How is it they find it possible be so active and we unable do so? I said for simple reason that acting irresponsibly to cause mischief is always easy whereas acting responsibly for constructive purpose much more difficult. Repeated we not slackening effort; merely focusing attention on immediate objectives.
On other aspects of problem Erkin commented as follows:
- He was not enthusiastic re initiative of Brosio but only specific criticism made was with reference to use of PermReps in role of “three wise men” rather than approaching at ministerial level.
- Said he had just dictated reply to Costopoulos who had made plea through Turk Amb in Athens for holding up deportation of Istanbul Greeks and used as argument efforts GOG had made to resolve rotation problem. Erkin had said in reply that he had been able arrange postponement of four weeks but that he at loss understand use of rotation as argument since there had been no result.
- Elaborating on foregoing, Erkin said GOG still seemed be operating on assumption that things going their way and unnecessary to do anything except let matters take their course. I demurred, saying that, although this might have been true sometime back, I was convinced that responsible officials in Athens now quite aware of danger of allowing Greek policy to be determined by Makarios and that this had been brought out with especial clarity in connection GOC flirtation with Soviets. It true that this changed attitude has not as yet produced strikingly obvious results but it is in right direction and should be understood. Erkin seemed interested but dubious.
- GOT had consented somewhat reluctantly to appointment of Galo Plaza as Mediator but had immediately had reason regret decision when it had been learned that he had submitted report misrepresenting situation of Cypriot Turks which had been shown up in true light by subsequent report of General Thimayya.
There seems to be uncertainty as to when Cyprus question will come up in UNGA. If it goes into Political Committee later discussion likely but could be as soon as late November if it taken up in UNGA itself as question arising out of general debate.
Position of GOT will be that it still seeks federation but if there is question of enosis GOT will insist on double enosis. By same token, if proposal is for self-determination, GOT will insist on double-self-determination. GOT will definitely not accept UNGA resolution which would result in Greek-style enosis.[Page 316]
In this connection, Erkin observed only tangible result of Geneva talks was that U.S. and U.K. had promoted cause of enosis without being able obtain recognition of Turkish interests.
- Concluding in same critical vein, Erkin revived complaint that, whereas USG not hesitant in initiating discussion with GOT in matters of interest to us, process often seems be one-way street because of our failure respond to requests for our views on matters of interest to GOT. As example, he referred to fact no reply received to his request for our reaction to Inonu speech (Embtel 470 and Deptel 386).2
Although sauce with which foregoing served up unduly vinegarish (please don’t mention this to Turk Emb reps since difficulty caused when reported back here), substance believed be quite accurate reflection of Erkin’s thoughts and attitude.3
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Secret; Priority. Repeated to London, Athens, Nicosia, Moscow, Paris for USRO, and USUN.↩
- Telegram 470 from Ankara, September 4, and telegram 386 to Ankara, September 6. (Both ibid.)↩
- In telegram 440 to Ankara, September 18, the Department of State stressed the need for the Turkish Government to take steps, such as a pause in deportation of Greeks from Istanbul, to lowering tensions and prepare the Turkish public for a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus issue. (Ibid.)↩