176. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Ford 1


  • Declaration of Independent Turkish Cypriot State

Establishment of Turkish Cypriot state pending agreement on Federated Republic of Cyprus2 will have little practical effect on the ground since there is already almost complete separation of populations and administrations. However, the impact on the negotiations and the prospects for progress on a Cyprus settlement will be far-reaching and serious. There will be an impact on five major areas.

CleridesDenktash talks: The Greeks will be under pressure to break off the talks. Once broken off, the talks will be difficult to reactivate. The Turks may insist, as a condition for continuing the talks, on Greek recognition of the full legal and political equality of the Turkish community. Prospects for negotiations at the CleridesDenktash level in the next several months are poor.

Military Aid to Turkey: Proponents of the aid cutoff will argue that this step is another indication of Turkish bad faith, and another reason why the aid cutoff is necessary to bring the Turks around. While we will take the opposite tack and suggest the Turkish action is a natural consequence of Congressional action, the Turkish move could tend to freeze the situation in Congress.

Internationalization: Makarios will seek to internationalize the Cyprus question, by involving the Soviet Union more directly and appealing to the Security Council to condemn this Turkish action. (We have received word that Greece and Cyprus have jointly called for special Security Council session to consider recent developments on Cyprus.)

US Embassy Security: The US could again become a target of inflamed Greek-Cypriot opinion. This could lead to renewed demonstrations and violence directed against embassy property and personnel in Nicosia.

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Embassy Operations: Our ability to carry out normal diplomatic and consular responsibilities in the Turkish zone of Cyprus could be substantially reduced. The Greeks may seal off the border and deny access to the Turkish area from the Greek side. The Turk Cypriots may also insist on foreign missions dealing with them directly and not through the legal facade of the Office of the Vice President or Minister of Defense (positions recognized in the 1960 Constitution).

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, President Country Files for Middle East and South Asia, Box 2, Cyprus 4. Secret. Sent for information. Scowcroft initialed for Kissinger. Ford initialed the memorandum.
  2. Turkish Cypriot officials made this announcement on February 13, as reported in telegram 606 from Nicosia. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1975)