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

1201. Embtel 1136.2 Tuomioja called on me yesterday evening and gave quite discouraging account of mediation efforts to date.

In Ankara Tuomioja had found GOT adamant on “federation” which would separate Greek and Turkish communities. In Athens GOG had said it would accept any solution acceptable to other parties and had talked “nonsense” about “majority rule” and “self-determination” while professing to reject enosis. In London HMG had “no policy”, and this seemed to be position of USA as well. Turkish Cypriots repeatedly refused discuss, even on hypothetical basis, anything but their “federation” proposal. Makarios had not yet furnished promised written proposals re guarantees of Turkish Cypriot rights, but would probably do so within week.

Since mediation getting nowhere, Tuomioja said he plans proceed wrap up activities here, at least for present. He intends, without waiting for Makarios’ proposals, to put to both Makarios and Kutchuk certain written questions re measures to guarantee Turkish Cypriot rights. He believes Turkish Cypriots may well not reply. He will give them two weeks and then will submit his report to UNSYG. He is determined return to his post in Stockholm, where he can “meditate in comfort”, in mid-June. There he will remain available if developments warrant further intervention by Mediator.

Tuomioja had little to say about contents of his report, probably because he has not yet finished putting his thoughts in order. He did say that as international lawyer he condemned repudiation of international agreements “whether by Russians, Hitler, or Makarios” and would so state in report. He also seemed be pondering idea of recommending proposal for solution which would proceed from Constitution of 1960 but would give Greek Cypriots more in way of majority rule while assuring greater protection of Turkish Cypriot rights and security by providing for (1) quasi-federal system under which “five or six” areas with predominantly Turkish population would have certain measure of autonomy in communal matters, (2) long-term UN observer role, and international participation in or supervision of court system.

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Since he had not yet decided whether he should do so, I urged Tuomioja make concrete recommendation for solution in his report, as this would at least provide impetus for further discussion of negotiated solution. Tuomioja said he saw advantages of specific recommendation.

Asked for his views on possibility of progress on “UN Program for Cyprus” annexed to UNSYG’s April 29 report to UNSC,3 Tuomioja again expressed pessimism and said he would like to be able give UNFICYP Commander Gyani at least some moral support but could not.

Comment: I believe Tuomioja would give considerable weight to any proposal for solution to which USG was prepared lend its support, but I recognize complexity of our interests in this area make it very difficult commit ourselves to such proposal in time to influence mediation. Failing this, we can best assist Tuomioja by redoubling our efforts to make clear to GOT that one cannot in Cyprus, any more than in other former colonial areas, successfully impose any solution—especially an undemocratic one—on population which is prepared to fight, is assured of assistance from outside, and believes it can mobilize world opinion on own behalf in UN. Turkish position on island is being steadily weakened, in comparison to growing Greek Cypriot resources, as present situation continues, and Turkish community’s best hope is to cut its losses by reasonable compromise. Continued smuggling of arms to Turkish Cypriot forces would seem at best futile effort and one which can only lead to bloodier clashes as time wears on with no solution.

I urgently recommend Secretary make these points in meeting with Erkin May 11 and attempt persuade Erkin be more responsive to Mediator’s honest efforts find some middle way. If Tuomioja fails, next round of discussion of Cyprus question will undoubtedly take place in atmosphere even less conducive to reaching political settlement and will probably find Turkish position further eroded while that of Greeks strengthened through inevitable appeal to UNGA where Afro-Asian and Communist support probably assured.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 23–8 CYP. Confidential. Repeated to Ankara, Athens, London, Paris for USRO, and USUN.
  2. Telegram 1136, February 2, reported on Cypriot student demonstrations against “NATO intervention” in Cyprus. (Ibid.)
  3. See footnote 4, Document 38.
  4. In telegram 837 to Nicosia, May 8, the Department of State expressed concern regarding Tuomioja’s plans for the mediation and instructed Belcher to discourage any public statement by the Mediator of his findings. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 23–8 CYP)