207. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State1

5630. Subject: Future of Greek-Turkish Cooperation in NATO.

In course of Prime Minister’s July 17 appraisal of current Cyprus situation and statement of Turkish requirements with respect to it (septel),2 he raised question of future of Turkish-Greek cooperation in NATO. He said that this was a subject that they had been hoping for some weeks to find time to talk directly with Secretary Kissinger about.
Sometime before the current Cyprus situation developed, GOT had reached conclusion that Turk-Greek cooperation in NATO had lost its meaning. He said we sincerely want NATO to remain strong and effective in this area but GOT has to face facts. GOT relations with all its neighbors are good today, except with the one neighbor which is a NATO ally. We must, therefore, he said, think about new shape that has to be given to NATO in this region. It totally unacceptable for Greek officers in Izmir to be free to observe Turkish activities and this must end. PriMin said he recognized that if NATO were not to be badly damaged, something had to be developed in lieu of Greek-Turkish cooperation. He said he did not understand military matters as well as Dr. Kissinger and he did not specifically understand what Turkish military had in mind as compensatory measures but he believed these involved giving additional common defense installations to the US “along the coast.”
I said that just the thought of a formal break-off of cooperation between these two key southeastern NATO countries was “chilling” and that I hoped very much he would not overreact as a result of the performance of most recent Greek Government. I said I thought it would be the height of folly to move precipitously in this direction and that it important to keep overall area-security interests in mind, despite [Page 678] anger over current Greek-Turkish problems. PriMin repeated that serious consideration being given to this problem but agreed that precipitous action would be unwise. He said an alternative solution, which would go in exactly the opposite direction, would be to find ways to restore Greek-Turkish cooperation and carry it to further degrees. For example, if increased Greek military activity on Dodecanese were intended to strengthen NATO, there should be Turkish cooperative presence on islands. He said he would prefer a solution which involved greater, not lesser, Greek-Turkish cooperation but that as of now, GOT would probably opt for formal break-off of cooperation.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 634, Country Files, Middle East, Turkey, Vol. IV. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Athens and USNATO.
  2. See Document 90. On July 15 the Cypriot National Guard led by Greek officers overthrew Makarios and Nicos Sampson assumed the Presidency.