132. Minutes of Meeting of the Washington Special Actions Group1


  • Cyprus


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
  • Robert S. Ingersoll
  • Joseph Sisco
  • Wells Stabler
  • Robert McCloskey
  • Defense
  • William Clements
  • Robert Ellsworth
  • Gen. Denis McAuliffe
  • JCS
  • Gen. George S. Brown
  • Lt. Gen. John Pauly
  • CIA
  • William Colby
  • George Lauder
  • NSC Staff
  • Maj. Gen. Brent Scowcroft
  • Richard T. Kennedy
  • A. Denis Clift
  • James G. Barnum


It was agreed that:

  • JCS and Defense will determine, by this afternoon, what is involved if it is decided to offload the MAP and FMS equipment to Turkey first; and
  • —a determination on the forward movement of the F–4s located at Torrejon, Spain and in the U.S. would be made tomorrow.

Secretary Kissinger: Bill

[Page 439]

Mr. Colby began to brief from the attached text.2

Secretary Kissinger: We’ve called somebody—who was it—about that, and have a direct report from Famagusta that they are not being fired upon. (in reference to an unconfirmed report that Turkish forces were invading the British Sovereign Base Area at Famagusta)

Mr. Colby: We’re checking on that now.

Secretary Kissinger: We have a direct report, by telephone that they (the Turks) are not firing on Famagusta. I think we can trust the British enough to know whether they are being fired upon or not.

Mr. Colby finished his briefing.

Mr. Sisco: When is Papadopoulos due back?3

Mr. Stabler: On the 19th (of August).

Secretary Kissinger: We ought to offer him a ten-year position at Harvard!

Mr. Sisco: Yes, with tenure!

Mr. Ingersoll: Bill, do you have anything on reinforcements from Turkey?

Mr. Colby: We have nothing so far. They have the capability to move reinforcements any time they wish, but we have seen no reflections as yet.

Secretary Kissinger: We have received reassurances from Ecevit that the Turks will not move south of that line they have established.4 I think that their military operation will run its course by tomorrow.

Mr. Colby: Well, one potential problem is the area to the northwest. They may try to take that too.

Mr. Sisco: They said they were going to keep their military operation going until they get what they want.

Secretary Kissinger: Yes, but they also said that it would end tomorrow.

Mr. Colby: That area to the northwest is not very far. It’s only about 40 miles from the controlled area.

[Page 440]

Mr. Clements: Joe, (Mr. Sisco) when we first met at this table—when this Cyprus thing first got started—we talked a lot about that southwest area and what might happen there. As I recall, we were worried about that area and thought they might try to take that also. What is your judgement of what might happen?

Mr. Sisco: That is of some concern.

Mr. Colby: There is quite a concentration of Turks in that southwest area. There could be some further attempts to take it.

Secretary Kissinger: Well, I think that once this Turkish operation runs its course, they won’t go any further. We won’t stand for it. We just can’t stand for any more Turk operations. They have already stretched us to the limit.

Mr. Colby: The Greek Government could be in for a hard time if the Turks move on those Turkish communities in the southwest.

Secretary Kissinger: Why?

Mr. Colby: The shock effect in Athens. This would be looked on as further aggression—could topple the government.

Mr. Ingersoll: That would fill out the line they said earlier that they wanted.

Mr. Colby: Yes, that’s right.

Secretary Kissinger: Well, we haven’t heard from the Greeks yet. What has happened? Has Embassy Athens broken diplomatic relations with me? We should have heard two hours ago, and we haven’t heard anything yet?5

Mr. McCloskey: We haven’t heard yet.

Secretary Kissinger: Let them know that we want to know when they are sending the reply.

Mr. Ellsworth: Is there any authenticity to that press report that (Greek Foreign Minister) Mavros says that they are going to throw the U.S. military out of Greece?

Secretary Kissinger: We have no official report of that.

Mr. Ellsworth: There was also some press report that Mobil Oil personnel were going to be expelled.

Mr. Sisco: We have nothing on that.

Secretary Kissinger: We were told that that cable from Karamanlis would be here at 8:00 this morning and we don’t have it yet?

Mr. Sisco: When we get back, we’ll put a call into Athens and find out when it is coming.

[Page 441]

Mr. Ellsworth: On the F–4s and the ships…

Secretary Kissinger: On the ships, we were going to wait until tomorrow to tell them whether to go in or not.

Mr. Clements: Yes. We’re going to have to await word from you then.

Secretary Kissinger: Yes, we should know tomorrow morning. Can they go to Turkey first?

Mr. Ellsworth: Certainly.

Gen. Brown: It would be awkward though, and expensive. The equipment is containerized. It’s loaded according to which part is offloaded first.

Mr. Clements: The stuff that is last on, is first off, making it difficult. But, we can do it if you want to.

Secretary Kissinger: If we decided to offload in Turkey first, we’ll have to tell them by late tonight.

Gen. Brown: I have the list of equipment here. (reads from the list)

Mr. Ellsworth: Are any small arms included?

Gen. Brown: I don’t have anything on small arms. Let’s see, there are some recoilless rifles, torpedoes…

Secretary Kissinger: Then it would be possible to unload at Turkey first.

Mr. Clements: Oh, yes, it’s possible. It screws up the handling. But in answer to your question, yes it is possible to offload at Turkey first.

Gen. Brown: We can get an estimate from the ships company about what would be involved in offloading at Turkey.

Secretary Kissinger: Good. Can you get it to me by this afternoon?

Gen. Brown: Sure.

Mr. Clements: Henry, I still have this gut feeling that we could still have some trouble in the southwest corner. I think the Greeks might well retaliate against those Turks in the communities down there, and a real fight could develop.

Mr. Colby: I think the chances of a backstage fight are good.

Secretary Kissinger: Well, you know, if this situation leads to double enosis, Makarios will become a Greek politician. There’s no joy in that. Okay, thank you.

  1. Source: Ford Library, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files), Box H–18, WSAG Meeting Minutes, 1974. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the Situation Room of the White House.
  2. Attached but not printed. Colby briefed on indications that Clerides might be ready to hand over the northern part of Cyprus to the Turks. The Turkish offensive continued on the island, but there were no further reports of a Greek build-up on the mainland. The Cyprus fighting also had domestic political ramifications in Greece and Turkey. In Greece, anti-American sentiment was on the rise, but Karamanlis seemed at least briefly enhanced by the fact that he did not cause the Cyprus coup. In Turkey, Ecevit faced hard-liners on Cyprus, which decreased his ability to negotiate a settlement.
  3. Apparently a reference to Andreas Papandreou.
  4. See footnote 6, Document 131.
  5. Telegram 5713 from Athens, August 15, reported that Karamanlis hoped to respond on August 16. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1974)