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

1133. Tuomioja told me yesterday evening UN mediation effort is at “impasse” following his discussions at Ankara April 18–19 and his first working meeting with Makarios April 20.

Both Turkish Cypriots and GOT have told Tuomioja federation is only acceptable solution. Federation they have now defined as division of island into Turkish area in north and Greek area in south with compulsory population exchange. Tuomioja lent me in confidence copy of memorandum from Kutchuk setting forth “Principles of Federal Constitution of Republic of Cyprus.” Text in next following telegram.2 Tuomioja said he received very similar communication from GOT. GOT adamant that Turkish Cypriots are “separate community” and not “minority.”

Tuomioja sounded out GOT views on enosis as lesser evil than independent Cyprus ruled by Greek majority. GOT refused contemplate enosis under any circumstances. GOT argued continued presence of Turkish troops on Cyprus essential for security of Turkey although there no objection to presence of Greek troops also.

Visit to Ankara gave Tuomioja more vivid realization of Turkey’s interest in Cyprus. He seems to have been very much impressed by Turkish military strength and readiness to intervene and twice commented that Greek Cypriots did not know what great risks they were taking and that Turkish forces could sweep island in two days. He also commented favorably on Inonu’s political wisdom and restraint.

Re possible “summit” meeting of Inonu and Papandreou, Tuomioja said Inonu was not opposed in principle but thought way would have to be prepared by meetings at lower level. Tuomioja himself thought such [Page 74] meeting might eventually be useful or even necessary, but felt he should first have more time to explore possibilities of mediation.

Tuomioja discussed Turkish federation proposal with Makarios showing latter copy of Kutchuk’s memorandum. Makarios rejected Turkish proposal out of hand, evidently arguing federation identical with partition and insisting Turkish Cypriots had to be satisfied with normal minority rights.

Present situation Tuomioja described as “total impasse,” with “no light at end of tunnel.” While he admitted all concerned might be starting at beginning positions from which they might retreat as mediation progressed, he appeared seriously concerned about rigidity of Turks and Greek Cypriots and by their apparent willingness to run risk of war not only on island but also between Turkey and Greece. Tuomioja professed to be at loss to understand how there could be such bitter animosity between nationalities who had every interest in maintaining friendship and who have no basic ideological differences. He added that pessimism would not, however, be consistent with his role as Mediator. Citing as his motto for present situation Finnish saying that “the pigs will come home with the frost,” he expressed hope that decline of island’s economy and increased difficulties of living would gradually make Cypriots on either side more tractable. He thought there might be moderate elements in both communities whose voices are yet to be heard. He furthermore took note of value of UNFICYP political staff’s efforts to restore some normality to intercommunal relations.

Tuomioja confirmed that he will go to Athens for talks with GOG next weekend. He thought he might find more divergence between Greek and Greek Cypriot views than between Turk and Turkish Cypriot. He will also go on to London and to Paris, where he will report to U Thant April 29.

He was expecting his political advisor Robin Miller (New Zealand) to arrive last night.

At end of our conversation I asked Mediator whether there was anything we could do to help. He replied “no, not yet” and then added wryly “except to have your government keep persuading Greece and Turkey not to go to war.”

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 23–8 CYP. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Ankara, Athens, London, Paris for USRO, and USUN.
  2. Telegram 1134 from Nicosia, April 22. (Ibid.)