128. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Cyprus


  • Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State
  • Robert S. Ingersoll, Deputy Secretary of State
  • Joseph J. Sisco, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
  • Wells Stabler, Deputy Assistant Secretary, EUR
  • Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Executive Assistant to the Secretary
  • William Eagleton, EUR/SE
  • Edward P. Djerejian, Special Assistant to Mr. Sisco

Stabler: Callaghan called Hartman. Callaghan had just talked to Denktash who said that his Turkish protectors have gone crazy and that they are ready to shoot their way [out]. He said there was nothing he could do with them. Art said that Callaghan will call you to see where we go from here. There is a Turkish Cabinet meeting on now.

Eagleburger: McCloskey thinks if Denktash says what he has, this is a serious situation.

(The Secretary called British Ambassador Ramsbotham into the office.)

Kissinger: Apparently Gunes has made a proposition to take it or leave it. Denktash said the Turks on his island have gone crazy. Should I issue a proclamation against the Turks?

(The Secretary placed a call to Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit).2

Ramsbotham: I thought both Denktash and Clerides were looking at the draft we had proposed. What happened?

Stabler: The Turks instructed Gunes to call a meeting tonight.

Kissinger: Have the Turks put forward their cantonal proposal?

Stabler: Their position is that the Geneva participants meet at once to establish agreement, in principle, on the one autonomous zone concept and then further discussions continue.

[Page 422]

Ramsbotham: Acceptance of what?

Kissinger: One northern Turkish zone.

(Stabler showed the area on a map.)

Kissinger: Have they put this proposal forward?

Stabler: Yes, to Callaghan. They want acceptance of this larger area in the north and then to start substantive discussions on other arrangements.

Ramsbotham: The larger zone means almost doubling the triangle they presently hold.

Kissinger: There is nothing we can do until we hear from Callaghan.3 I will talk to Ecevit and tell him to put the proposal forward.4

Ramsbotham: The Turks’ excuse is Greece is sending in troops and that the British are doing something.

Stabler: This meeting has gone on for five days without any formal sessions. Basically they have been concentrating on the nuts and bolts of the Turkish enclave but have had no formal meetings to discuss the bigger issues. We should try to find out from Ecevit if he is indeed issuing an ultimatum. We have tried to resist this in the past.

Kissinger: What exactly have the Turks done? Assuming it is an ultimatum, what do we do? Use the 12 F–4s? After my call to Ecevit has failed, what do we do?

Stabler: If he is determined to go, there is not much we can do.

Kissinger: We would not support him in the UN Security Council and we would probably have to support a resolution against the Government of Turkey. Then what do we do?

Ramsbotham: What would the Soviet attitude be?

Kissinger: They would probably be against the Turks.

Sisco: The Soviets are in an awkward position as well.

McCloskey: If Ecevit confirms it is an ultimatum, we vote against them in the UN Security Council and then consider cutting off military assistance.

Kissinger: We will not do that. It will not be done, at least not right away. We are throwing the threat of military assistance around like it is charity. What is the long-range advantage to the U.S.?

[Page 423]

McCloskey: They cannot continue to enjoy U.S. military assistance if they are running loose in an area the U.S. is interested in.

Kissinger: Let’s see what the situation is.

Ramsbotham: The Germans have begun to do something about assistance to Turkey.

Kissinger: We did that after the Suez crisis in ‘56—a grandstand play and look where it got us.

(Turning to Mr. Sisco) Joe, prepare by 6:00 this evening a paper on exactly what we can do in this situation.5

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, Entry 5403, Box 9, Nodis Memoranda of Conversations, August 1974, Folder 8. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Djerejian. The meeting was held in Kissinger’s office and followed an earlier meeting at 11:30 a.m. (Ibid.)
  2. Ecevit was apparently not available because he was in a meeting, but the two talked at 4:15 p.m. (Transcript of telephone conversation; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 385, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)
  3. Kissinger and Callaghan spoke at 5:05 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. They spoke about how to put the proposal forward and balance the Turkish demand for a quick response on the size of a Turkish enclave, the sense of an impending second Turkish invasion, and the need to get the Greeks to consider a Turkish enclave. (Transcripts of telephone conversations; ibid.)
  4. Kissinger did so in the 4:15 p.m. telephone call. (Transcript of telephone conversation; ibid.)
  5. Printed as Document 130.