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

141. Nicholas Farmakis (protect source), former Greek ERE Deputy, here conducting survey for Greek opposition group (composed ERE political elements and Greek military) has given Embassy his views. Farmakis has talked with Greek Cypriot leaders and has traveled extensively throughout island inspecting defense sites.

Farmakis has deep misgivings re Cyprus situation which follow:

Makarios intends use military force obtain political solution. He intends increase pressures on Turks and then attack Turk strongholds. He will act within forty-five days. Makarios will by-pass UN mediation and introduce resolution UNGA obtain recognition de facto state.
Makarios increasingly dependent upon Nasser. GOC has received UAR material and obtained Nasser’s permission use UAR airfields by Greek Air Force defend Cyprus. Claims Papandreou “50 percent” in agreement. Added GOC endeavoring obtain support Syria Air Force and promise of Syrian attack Iskenderun event GOT attack.
Cypriots under direction regular Greek officers installing ground-to-air missiles near Nicosia. Farmakis has visited site and witnessed construction, but has not seen any missiles. He assumed they were shipped from Greece and were US origin. (This may reflect rumors we have heard other sources.)

In order prevent escalation problem, Farmakis intends recommend his colleagues that Makarios be deposed. Claims GOG being out-maneuvered. If Makarios able submit resolution UNGA Greece will face dilemma. In this event Papandreou cannot resist clamor support Makarios. Result will be further weakening Greek ties with West. He claimed Greece drifting toward neutralism and shifting its focus away from Communist threat. On July 27, for example, he informed Papandreou transferred 150 key army officers to provinces; and he afraid GOG will transfer Greek army officers sympathetic ouster Makarios from Cyprus unless action quickly initiated.

With regard Papandreou’s position, Farmakis acknowledged Premier cannot be challenged at polls; and he does not wish participate any plan aimed removal Papandreou. Opposition group believes Papandreou will sanction Makarios removal if faced with threat of force by military elements. Farmakis indicated they would not, however, let Papandreou stand their way. Otherwise if situation continues civil war will occur Greece within year. Once Makarios removed enosis would be proclaimed. Farmakis said Turks would be given small part island to administer and he seemed unconcerned re Turk attitude.

Farmakis made low key pitch for US support. He emphasized Greece and United States had same interest in problem. Personally he would rather be “dead than red.” Therefore, he favored action now. Added United States would be kept apprised, because United States would be expected offer its blessings.

Comment: We cannot judge extent plans described by Farmakis have progressed in Greece. We were impressed with deadly serious fashion which Farmakis revealed his views. If Farmakis’ worries are based on fact, as he assured us, then Makarios with GOG being dragged along, has gone even further than we thought in playing brinkmanship game.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 23–8 CYP. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, Cairo, Damascus, Geneva for Acheson, and London.
  2. In telegram 169 from Athens, August 4, the Embassy reported on further contacts with Farmakis and noted that his fellow conspirators included Nicos Sampson and Cypriot Minister of Labor Tassos Papadopoulos. (Ibid.)