162. Telegram From the Embassy in Cyprus to the Department of State1

585. As we have reported and as has been observed by USUN (USUN’s 962 and 963 to Dept)2 Makarios has apparently adopted policy [Page 321] of “killing Turks with kindness” at least for period before UNGA. This Greek Cypriot policy combined with GOT’s apparent willingness make major concessions on Kyrenia Road which in effect would mark beginning of disintegration entire Turkish Cypriot position on island (Embtel 578)3 give us some reason to believe that our present policy is by and large proving successful on surface. However, it seems to us that any US policy which is confined merely to keeping lid on situation in Cyprus must be based on using time gained to obtain two results:

To bring GOT and Turkish Cypriots to accept concept of enosis with guarantees of rights for Turkish minority plus some face-saving gesture;
To bring GOC and other pro-Western elements on island into strong enough position vis-à-vis Makarios to enforce guarantees to Turkish minority and provide face-saving gesture to GOT.

Ankara, of course, is in best position to judge whether there has been any real give in GOT’s attitude toward Cyprus recently. Although we still awaiting outcome current negotiations on Kyrenia Road this initial step in reducing GOT support of Turkish Cypriots appears to us as possible straw in wind and in line US overall policy and interests.

However, it is on GOG and pro-enosis Greek Cypriot side where there have been great slippages. While we are marking time there has been a noticeable decline in strength and influence of GOG and increasing momentum in the drift to the left. We have seen in past two weeks press campaigns which were inconceivable even on part of Communist papers three months ago. These have now reached point of Makarios inspired attacks on hitherto sacrosanct Grivas himself. Such attacks, of course, have as their real targets Greece and concept of enosis. There are reports of increasing conflicts between Greek officers and National Guard conscripts and good evidence that Makarios is working actively against Greek officers behind the scenes attempting to weaken their ability to influence developments here.

Makarios himself is becoming ever stronger with a popular base spread throughout all sectors on the island. To Cypriots of all types (and to many foreign observers) Archbishop seems incapable of making political errors, e.g. by skillful maneuvering over past two months he has eroded limits of what could be given GOT for prestige purposes from Turkish sovereign base on island, to Turkish share in NATO base separate from British sovereign bases, to Turkish participation in NATO base carved out of British bases, to present rapidly retreating possibility that Greek Cypriots would tacitly agree to undercover deal by GOG with GOT for NATO base in British area with modest Turkish presence after enosis.

[Page 322]

Makarios, himself, of course is now talking in terms of no foreign bases on island at all and there is rapidly developing groundswell which, if unchecked, will produce almost united Greek Cypriot opposition to continued existence British bases to say nothing of any variety NATO base. Andreas Papandreou’s remarks to Le Monde4 might indicate Makarios has support for anti-base position in some GOG quarters as well. Greek Cypriots regard Makarios’ negotiations with Moscow as complete success and now expect him to continue his victorious march through Cairo to General Assembly.

Meanwhile pro-enosis and anti-Communist elements who have usually been found around Grivas are falling apart. Their newspapers are unable to compete with pro-Makarios media. Their organization is weak and they have no significant political following aside perhaps from still remaining personal popularity of Grivas.

GOG recently made what in retrospect looks like ill-conceived and desperate gesture in sending Papandreou’s personal emissary Delipetros to Cyprus.5 Latter’s heavy handed approach assured failure and served mainly to tarnish pro-enosis nationalists and deepen the gap between Makarios and GOG. As usual in contests of this sort Makarios has emerged even stronger than before.

What we are saying is the time for pro-Western solution of Cyprus problem seems definitely to be running out. Since viewed from here possibility of GOG-GOT accord on Cyprus looks dim, we do not see much hope of checking Makarios except by use of regular Greek troops on island and National Guard units which they control. Moreover because Makarios is having notable success in isolating Greek military further and further from mass of Greek Cypriots we cannot much longer count on successful action by them. Unless dramatic and decisive steps are taken very soon to reverse the trend, Cyprus will certainly become, after UNGA, an independent neutralist anti-Western island with a growing Communist element which could thereafter easily turn the island into Mediterranean Cuba.

In other channels we are making certain recommendations for actions US could take. However, nothing will work or should even be started until Turks are brought to recognize real danger they are running if they delay acceptance painful fact that only way out is enosis. If they move fast enough to withdraw their opposition to enosis, it is possible they can obtain some firm guarantees of rights for Turkish minority on [Page 323] island and some face-saver for GOT. If not, Cyprus will certainly become serious and immediate threat to Turkey’s security.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CYP. Secret; Priority; Limdis. Repeated to Ankara, Athens, London, and USUN.
  2. Both dated October 2. (Ibid.)
  3. Dated October 3. (Ibid.)
  4. Printed in the October 4–5 edition. The Embassy in Athens reported public reaction in telegram 665 from Athens, October 7. (Ibid.)
  5. A memorandum outlining Delipetros’ activities in Cyprus is in the Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Robert W. Komer, Cyprus.