34. Telegram From the Military Attaché in Turkey to the Department of the Army1
C–92. No foreign dissem except Canada and UK. DA for ACSI. Pass to State. On occasion Turkish party for US National War College students, ARMA had following conversation with General Sunalp, TGS Operations Chief. Resuming where he left off in conversation reported [Page 72] my C–84 airgram,2 Sunalp stated Turks not concerned about Cypriot real estate and although they abhorred continued killing Turk Cypriots, their major preoccupation danger from highly effective Cypriot Communist organization. GOT policy now to be that this essentially a Turk-Greek matter and that GOT approach will be put all possible pressure on GOG. When I protested that this likely drive the two nations farther apart rather than facilitate mutually acceptable solution Cyprus, he replied that to contrary due centuries of experience with Greeks, Turks regard this as only method force Greeks collaborate. He likened Greece to house cat which would defy man until forced in corner from which no escape where man could pin it down and if necessary kill it. Current series of GOT anti-Greek actions designed force Greece into this corner. He protested that from the outset Turks had tried to get the Greeks to solve the problem jointly with Turkey without avail and present measures seem only solution. I remarked that Turkey’s much publicized preparations for amphibious operations had seemed to me to have exactly the opposite effect and that in fact, the Greeks had shown no indication of willingness cooperate but rather favor a withdrawal even when they expressed greatest concern over reported exchange of Turkish troops for border guards in Thrace. He replied that Turkey would not move into northern Greece in any case as such an operation would have no value for them. He said he felt that should the Turks undertake a military operation, it might very possibly be against one of the Greek islands. In further development of the theme that Turks must have some sort of a face saving solution before too long and that if the US does not take steps to assist in the realization of such a solution, Turkey will do so herself, he said somewhat ominously “I tell you that there will be action—maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe next month, but there will be action”.
- General response Turkish senior officers (notably Admiral Eyiceoglu, J–2) (General Atalay, J–3) to queries War College students on Cyprus situation was one of continuation Turk military feeling close affinity US military, nor was there any indication this feeling would diminish despite political developments. One gets the impression that all briefed and reiterating same party line and that in fact, Turks desperately seeking any measures reach solution to the problem without too much loss of face and still hoping against hope US will be able assist. Sunalp’s remarks probably part of larger design scare us into doing something to keep Turks from taking action inimical to NATO interests. We assessed earlier threats to conduct amphibious operation on Cyprus as same technique and they may be trying it once again.
- Both Atalay and Sunalp depart Ankara 19 April for CENTO conference Washington. Both speak excellent English and this might provide good opportunity further exploitation these sources.