72. Intelligence Note Prepared in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research1
CYPRUS: WILL MAKARIOS’ NEW MANDATE SPUR INTERCOMMUNAL TALKS?
Archbishop Makarios has been proclaimed President for a third 5year term. The February 18 election was cancelled in the absence of a candidate in opposition to Makarios.
A rally arranged for February 8 to climax Makarios’ campaign and to mark his “reelection” came off without incident. The crowd, however, was somewhat smaller than expected by Makarios supporters, thanks in large measure to the campaign of violence launched last month by the pro-enosis zealot, General Grivas. This campaign, apparently designed to embarrass the Archbishop and intimidate his followers, reached a climax when some 20 police stations were raided the night of February 6–7 and emptied of arms and ammunition.
Heretofore careful to keep his criticism of Grivas within prudent limits, Makarios has met the General’s most recent challenge with scathing verbal attacks. Without naming him, he has taunted Grivas, in effect, for being so afraid of defeat that he did not put forth a candidate in opposition to Makarios.
Overtures Toward the Right. Secure in his new mandate, Makarios has recently indicated his intention to start a dialogue with the right. He also plans to call on the two Greek Cypriot center parties to unite. These efforts at fence-mending should serve to enhance Makarios’ position as national leader. They also point to the possibility that Makarios is becoming embarrassed by his reliance on a base of support that includes a large leftist contingent. It is doubtful, however, that he would go so far as to risk alienating the left, since the center and right could not be expected to fill the gap created by a defection of the well-organized Communist Party (AKEL) and independent leftists.
Turks on Edge. In the meantime, the Turkish Cypriots are concerned that violence within the Greek community may spill over into attacks [Page 252] on them. Providing he does not adopt the pro-enosis slogans of the Grivasites, any success Makarios may achieve in unifying the Greek Cypriot community behind him should calm Turkish nerves by reducing violence and improving the atmosphere for the intercommunal talks. On the other hand, accommodation toward Grivas’ views would seriously jeopardize the talks.
The Intercommunal Talks. The expanded talks, which began last summer, have been generally marking time in recent months as it became clear that Makarios would call a presidential election. Prior to that time, however, some significant progress had occurred, and it was assumed that reelection would enable Makarios to make the concessions required for success. His investiture speech, scheduled for February 28, may provide a hint of further flexibility in Makarios’ position on key issues. His brief references to the talks in his February 8 address, however, were far from conciliatory.
An Old/New Complication. Another issue complicating the intercommunal negotiations reemerged last fall when Makarios, in a press interview, raised the question of “second-stage” talks. Such talks, involving Greece, Turkey, the UK, and Cyprus, would be necessary to revise the 1960 Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance2 that ushered in Cypriot independence. These treaties provided for the stationing of mainland Greek and Turkish troop contingents on Cyprus and the right of intervention by the UK, Greece, and Turkey—either in concert or unilaterally. The two accords are intimately related to the delicate balance between the two communities on Cyprus, and it has long been clear that changes in the Cyprus constitution affecting that balance would require convening the interested powers for a fresh look at the treaties. Nonetheless, Makarios’ surfacing of the problem of second-stage talks has caused reverberations of concern in Athens and Ankara. The Turks are particularly jealous of their right of intervention, considering it indispensable to the safety of the Turkish Cypriot minority. Even if the intercommunal talks succeed, the Turks may view any attempt by Makarios to tamper with this right as evidence of bad faith. By raising the issue of second-stage talks, Makarios has reminded all concerned of the long road yet to travel before the Cyprus problem can be solved.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 CYP. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. Drafted by Bernard Rotklein and cleared by George Denney, Jr., and Curtis Jones, Director, INR/Near East and South Asia.↩
- For documentation on the negotiations leading up to these treaties, see Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, volume X, Part 1 and Part 2. They were known as the London–Zurich Accords or Agreements.↩