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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Kissinger ad Cyprus

Kissinger and the Business of Government:
e Invasion of Cyprus, 15 July-20 August 1974

William mallinson and Vassilis Fouskas
An extrapolation, analysis and evaluation of papers released by the British government, when juxtaposed with some of Henry Kissinger’s writings, and those of his apologists, betray considerable inconsistencies between fact and presentation of fact, underpinned by Kissinger’s procrastination and evasion tactics at the time of Turkey’s invasion and occupation of over one-third of Cyprus.
Keywords: Kissinger, Britain, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, invasion Introduction
If success is measured by ‘solving’ every problem, America’s Cyprus policy failed in restoring a unitary Cypriot state. But not every problem has a de nitive solution [...].1
In summer 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus twice, making two advances on the island (20 July and 14 August) while facing almost no organised military resistance from guarantor powers Britain and Greece.
e causes of Turkey’s invasions and the complexities surrounding the Cyprus issue as a whole have been the subject of a myriad of accounts and we have no intention of discussing them here. Our agenda is quite di erent. We will be looking at the controversy surrounding Henry Kissinger’s rôle in the invasions, and the occupation – continuing to this day – of over one-third of Cyprus’s territory, a controversy that rages on as more sources become available. It has to be said that that there is, at least as yet, no ‘smoking gun’ to prove that Kissinger secretly colluded with Turkey and expressly and cynically misled Britain at the time, while misleading Greece’s junta o cers to ensure the partition of Cyprus through a Turkish invasion. However, when and if Kissinger’s ‘private’ papers and all the telephone transcripts are released, unexpurgated, it would not be surprising if his private agenda is proven. Until then, it is quite right, indeed vital, to speculate on the basis of the evidence available to date and which this article discusses in detail. Research on the causes and the complexities of the Turkish
1 Kissinger, Henry, Years of Renewal, Simon and Schuster, London, 1999, p. 239. 111
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invasions has to move beyond the theories of political scientists and historians with an agenda, and look instead into the archival evidence, in order to understand the role of key protagonists of the crisis, especially that of Henry Kissinger.
Various authors have countered the idea that Kissinger played the rôle of a subtle facilitator in Turkey’s invasion plans. One even writes, apparently oblivious to the archival evidence, that ‘there had been no communication between him [Kissinger] and [James] Callaghan, [Britain’s Foreign Secretary at the time] that day [20 July 1974]’.2 Yet the Secretary to the Cabinet wrote that ‘between 1445 and 0700 [on 20 July] the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth A airs spoke twice to Dr Kissinger’.3 en we have Kissinger’s written response (see below for evidence) to Callaghan’s written message, on the day of the invasion.
Two other writers claim that Kissinger did not see Cyprus as a priority. ey appear to be unaware that on 21 July 1974, Kissinger spoke to Callaghan alone seven times.4 Lindley and Wenzke make the occasional omission, as does Kissinger; for example, although they emphasize Makarios’ announcement of thirteen amendments to the constitution in 1963,5 they do not say that the Foreign O ce itself encouraged Makarios, even helping with the drafting. As regards the outbreak of inter-communal hostilities in 1967, they do not mention that the Turkish Cypriots had started the shooting.6 Like Kissinger, they revel in stressing that Kissinger did not regard Cyprus as a priority. Indeed, their paper generally mirrors Kissinger’s account in Years of Renewal.
Other authors, for example Christopher Hitchens,7 Eugene Rossides,8 and Michalis Ignatiou with Kostas Venizelos,9 who have written interesting books about Kissinger’s
  1. 2  Asmussen, Jan, Cyprus at War: Diplomacy and Con ict during the 1974 Crisis, London: I. B. Tauris, 2008, p. 9. It is also worth mentioning that Asmussen was teaching in northern Cyprus, at ‘Eastern Mediterranean University’ in Famagusta.
  2. 3  BNA-CAB/129/178..
  3. 4  Record of Conversation in Chronological Order, between the Prime Minister (in his former Capacity
    as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth A airs) and Dr. Henry Kissinger, during the
    period March 1974 to April 1976, BNA-PREM 16/727.
  4. 5   e 1963 troubles, and the rush of many Turkish Cypriots into enclaves, broke out when Makarios
    announced thirteen amendments to the constitution, amendments which he had been encouraged
    to make by the FCO. See op. cit. Mallinson, Cyprus, A Modern History, p. 35.
  5. 6  United Nations Security Council Document 5/8248 of 16 November 1967, BNA-FCO 9/165/
  6. 7  Hitchens, Christopher, Hostage to History, London: Verso, 1997, and e Trial of Henry Kissinger,
    London: Atlantic Books, 2014.
  7. 8  Rossides, Eugene, Kissinger and Cyprus: A Study in Lawlessness, Washington D.C.: American Hellenic
    Institute Foundation, 2014.
  8. 9  Venizelos, Kostas and Ignatiou, Michalis, Kissinger’s Secret Archives (in Greek), Athens: Livanis, 2002.
    A particularly incisive book from two serious investigative journalists. ey managed to excavate some documents that must have embarrassed Kissinger.
Kissinger and the Business of Government
behaviour over Cyprus, while hard-hitting and critical, do not rely su ciently on archival documents. In a sense, this article enhances their books’ credibility, given the documents that we have excavated.10
As we shall see below, Kissinger quite clearly did see Cyprus as a priority. e authors (political scientists) also claim, without original documentary evidence, that the communications and the Sovereign Base Areas did not merit the importance attached to them by the ‘conspiracy theorists’.11 is, to say the least, is an oversight. From as early as 1957, Kissinger had seen Cyprus as a staging area for the Middle East. In the words of Kissinger:
For the foreseeable future, we should be able to count on Okinawa or perhaps the Philippines as a staging area for the Far East, on Cyprus or Libya as staging areas for the Middle East and on Great Britain as a staging area for Europe. And if our policy is at all far sighted, we should be able to create other friendly areas close to likely dangerous zones.12
Using the label ‘conspiracy theorist’ for those with whom they disagree (despite the evidence that the latter is present), they state that Kissinger and the State Department were caught unprepared for the crisis, and therefore adopted a ‘wait and see’ strategy in the hope that the path most bene cial to the US would become clear. is is wrong, since Kissinger, as we shall see, was very much on the ball. If any criticism can be levelled, it is that Kissinger was keeping his cards close to his chest, thus bedeviling the work of his regular diplomats in Athens, and expressly delaying clear policy formulation and, above all, incisive action.
Our article, using recently released papers, sets out to demonstrate how Kissinger was prone to procrastination and obfuscation, almost developing them into an art, to a ord the Turkish government the breathing and planning space it needed to invade Cyprus; to remain there; and then to advance further to consolidate militarily its territorial operation in order to e ect partition politically. And this all happened in ‘thirty hot days’, as a prominent Turkish journalist put it.13
  1. 10  For an in-depth analysis and evaluation of Kissinger’s role in the Cyprus crisis, see Mallinson, William, Kissinger and the Invasion of Cyprus: Diplomacy in the Eastern Mediterranean, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016.
  2. 11  Lindley, Dan and Wenzke, Caroline, ‘Dismantling the Cyprus Conspiracy: the US Role in the Cyprus Crises of 1963, 1967 and 1974.’ Paper presented to a workshop, University of Notre Dame, 20 May 2008.
  3. 12  Kissinger, Henry, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, New York: W.W. Norton, 1969, p.138.
  4. 13  Birand, Mehmet Ali, irty Hot Days, Nicosia: K. Rustem and Bros, 1985. See also: Fouskas, Vassilis K., ‘Uncomfortable questions: Cyprus, October 1973-August 1974’, Contemporary European History,
    14 (1), 2005, pp.45–63.
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Before the Coup
Given Kissinger’s three senior positions,14 which placed him rmly at the heart of the US intelligence network, it is stretching the limits of credibility beyond normality to suggest that he was not on top of, or at least fully informed about, developments regarding the Greek junta and Cypriot EOKA B plans to depose Makarios on 15 July 1974.
It is tempting to think that Kissinger simply had his own agenda, which he was loth to share with anyone who might try to upset his own ideas, notwithstanding some of the sensible-sounding but often platitudinous statements he makes in Years of Renewal.15 Kissinger was well in the know on the Cyprus/Greek Junta problem that led to the invasion, as the ‘Boyatt story’ shows, Boyatt being the Desk O cer in the State Department responsible for Cyprus, who had written forcefully in May 1974 about the danger of a Ioannides16-planned anti-Makarios coup, and the likelihood of a Turkish invasion. Kissinger, as head of the Forty Committee as well as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, must have known very well of the anti- Makarios plans, and was therefore obliged to act. e ambassador in Athens, Tasca, was therefore authorised to make representations to Ioannides. e problem, however, was that only the CIA dealt with Ioannides, through their CIA asset.17 Tasca did not therefore warn Ioannides, but only the Foreign Minister, President and Archbishop Seraphim of Greece. But Kissinger was aware of Boyatt’s prediction. e following month, the National Intelligence Daily wrote about Ioannides’ claim that Greece was capable of removing Makarios.18
How does Kissinger deal with this in Years of Renewal? First, he avoids mention of the National Intelligence Daily article. He also avoids mention of what occurred at a meeting he called on 20 March 1974, at which Tasca raised concerns about the Ioannides-controlled government and pushed for a US-statement calling for the restoration of democracy in Greece. e meeting did not come to a rm conclusion.19 e way in which he handled Boyatt’s concerns was disingenuous. At the Pike
  1. 14  Secretary of State, National Security Advisor and Chairman of the ‘Forty Committee, the latter being responsible for covert operations.
  2. 15  Op. cit., Years of Renewal.
  3. 16  Head of the Military Police who took over backstage following the 17 November riots, and who
    cancelled the elections.
  4. 17   ere would of course also have been some lower level contacts.
  5. 18  Mallinson, William, Cyprus, A Modern History, London: I.B. Tauris, 2005, p. 80.
  6. 19  National Herald, 17 February 2002.
Kissinger and the Business of Government
Committee20 investigation into the activities of the CIA, FBI and NSA, Kissinger used all his mental faculties to avoid the danger of being pinned down (at the height of the Cyprus crisis, he had already removed Tasca and Boyatt from their positions). One of Kissinger’s obfuscation methods was to subsume speci c memoranda into general summaries, without even necessarily mentioning the speci c authors, such as Boyatt. e committee chairman, Pike, who distrusted Kissinger’s unprecedented power in US foreign policy, saw a ‘relationship between Kissinger’s foreign policy power and his power to control and contain the writing of his subordinates in the State Department.’21 Kissinger devotes a fair amount of space to denigrating the committee, and tries to justify his behaviour with a considerable degree of sophistry:
If every recommendation by every junior o cer came to be written with an eye to having to be defended before a congressional committee, perhaps years after the event, those committees would, in e ect, turn the day-to-day tactics of the State Department into a political football.22
If one considers the implications of these words, we can see that Kissinger actually appears to be arguing for total state secrecy in matters of national security, whereas, in a democratic system, every single state employee should always be aware of the implications of what he writes. In this, Kissinger betrays his impatience with transparency, something he may have feared – and fears. As it is, Kissinger lost the rst part of his battle, and Boyatt, at rst forbidden by Kissinger to appear before the committee, was later able to appear, but only in ‘executive’ session,23 in other words without sta , media and the public.24 President Ford actually invoked executive privilege to counter various subpoenas. e story still reeks, but until all Kissinger’s papers and telephone conversations are released, unexpurgated, the jury has to remain handicapped.
  1. 20  United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. See US Intelligence Agencies and Activities: e Performance of the Intelligence Community; Hearings before the Select Committee on Intelligence, US House of Representatives, Washington D.C., US Government Printing O ce, 1975-1976, 95th Congress, First and Second Sessions, July 1975-February 1976, part 2, page 843, in Constandinos, Andreas, ‘US-British Policy on Cyprus, 1964-1974’, e Cyprus Review, Vol. 23, No. 1, Nicosia, Spring 2011, p. 43.
  2. 21  Gurman, Hannah, e Dissent Papers: the Voices of Diplomats in the Cold War and Beyond, New York: Columbia University Press, 2012, p. 183.
  3. 22  Op. cit., Years of Renewal, p. 333.
  4. 23  Hitchens, Christopher, e Trial of Henry Kissinger, London: Atlantic Books 2014, p. 129.
  5. 24  O’Malley, Brendan and and Craig, Ian, e Cyprus Conspiracy, London: I. B. Tauris, 1999, p.158.
The Cyprus Review (Vol. 29, 2017)
Before the Invasion
On 15 July 1974, the anti-Makarios fanatics struck, in line with Boyatt’s prediction.25 Kissinger states that the United States, ‘preoccupied with Watergate’, did not believe that the situation was approaching a critical point, and that ‘no one, not even Makarios, expected it’.26 Whether Kissinger, as opposed to the United States, did believe that the situation was approaching a critical point is a moot point. Given that only two weeks before the coup, Makarios had sent a letter to the Junta, highly critical of their conduct over Cyprus, demanding that Athens recall its o cers from Cyprus, stating that he was an elected leader of a great section of Hellenism, and asking that he be treated appropriately ‘by the mother country’,27 and given that this letter was widely publicised, Makarios may well have hoped that the letter would forestall any rash behaviour by the adventurists in the Junta, Ioannides in particular. But a combination of studied inaction by the wary Soviets (who were happy to watch an intra-NATO crisis unfolding, as long as their red lines were not crossed)28 and Kissinger’s apparent ignorance of the precise coup plan meant that Makarios may well have been able to e ect surprise at the coup.29 us, on this point, Kissinger may be technically correct, even writing that a week before the coup, neither he nor Callaghan considered Cyprus ‘su ciently threatening’ to discuss.30 Perhaps rather protestingly, he even claims that his watching the World Cup soccer nal on 9 July was a ‘certain indication’ that he did not believe that a crisis was imminent. One hopes however that all the Kissinger papers and transcripts will be released, to prove whether or not he had precise foreknowledge of the coup. Some foreknowledge he must have had.
Yet despite Kissinger’s claim above that the situation was not approaching a critical point, he telephoned Callaghan the day after the coup:
He [Kissinger] was concerned to avoid legitimising the new regime in Cyprus for as long as possible. He was also concerned to keep other powers from becoming involved [obviously the USSR, and possibly France]. e United States Government would under no circumstances support proposals for enosis [he may well have let Moscow know this, to keep it sweet]. [...] Mr Callaghan asked Dr Kissinger to give careful
  1. 25  Boyatt had not given an exact date, however.
  2. 26  Op. cit., Years of Renewal, p. 206.
  3. 27  Op. cit., Mallinson, Cyprus, A Modern History, p. 80.
  4. 28   eir main red line was enosis, since it would strengthen NATO.
  5. 29  On 17 July, Makarios, having been own by the British to Malta (and then delayed expressly, being
    obliged to spend the night of the 16th in Malta), arrived in Britain. A senior FCO o cial wrote that it appeared from his (Makarios’) account, that he had been taken by surprise. Yet the o cial than added that Makarios had been expecting trouble. Odd. See Note for the Record, 17 July 1974, BNA- FCO 9/1982, le WSC 1/10, part C.
  6. 30  Op. cit., Years of Renewal, p. 204.
Kissinger and the Business of Government
thought to the problem in general and to what might be done with President Makarios in particular. ey agreed to keep in touch.31
Neither Kissinger nor Callaghan discussed any actual action. More tellingly, for the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom to need to ask his American counterpart ‘what to do with Makarios’ is farcical, particularly since the US had no legal locus standi regarding Cyprus, whereas Britain did.
To add to the intrigue, the Turkish delegation to a meeting at the FCO refused on 17 July to agree to a tripartite meeting of the Guarantor Powers, and the meeting broke up in the early hours of the 18th without even a joint communiqué.32
is section would not be complete without the story of how Kissinger refused a request from Senator Fulbright, at the suggestion of the Greek journalist Elias Demetracopoulos, to send the American Sixth Fleet on a goodwill mission to Cyprus. Kissinger claimed that this would be interfering in Greek a airs.33 And this from the man who had sent various instructions to his embassy (see above), albeit belated, to tell the Greeks not to interfere in Cyprus.
A lack of clear action by the US and UK undoubtedly contributed to Turkey’s decision to invade. Unlike in 1964, when the US had rmly warned Turkey not to invade, the expressly dilatory half-hearted way in which Kissinger dealt with a clear threat was more than enough to convince Turkey that while it did not have a blank cheque to invade, it certainly knew that it could do so with impunity.
e Art of Stalling
As regards the major invasion (of 20 July), Kissinger admits that he received ‘ominous warnings’ of Turkish preparations to invade Cyprus (his reaction being to send Sisco34 to Athens and Ankara via London to negotiate). His account is studiedly vague, promiscuous, unconsecutive and obtuse in places, particularly on the question of the withdrawal of the Greek o cers in the Cypriot National Guard. Kissinger simply writes that Makarios’ demand that Athens withdraw the Greek o cers controlling the Cypriot National Guard would ‘greatly reduce, if not eliminate, Athens’ in uence in Cyprus and enable Makarios to rely even more on the local Communist Party and on
  1. 31  Private Secretary to British Embassy, Washington, 16 July 1974, telegram, BNA-FCO 9/1891, part B.
  2. 32  Mallinson, William, Cyprus, Diplomatic History and the Clash of eory in International Relations, London: I.B. Tauris, 2010, p. 80.
  3. 33  Op. cit., Mallinson, Cyprus, A Modern History, p. 82. Mallinson interviewed Elias Demetracopoulos in Athens on 30 November 2002.
  4. 34  Op. cit., Years of Renewal, pp. 216 and 217. Sisco was Kissinger’s envoy.
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the Nonaligned Movement internationally.35 Yet the only immediate way of forestalling a Turkish invasion, whether just before or even just after the coup, was to immediately withdraw those Greek o cers. is is what Britain, for all its dithering and refusal to act with Turkey militarily in defence of the Treaty of Guarantee, tried to insist on. But Kissinger did not wish to put insurmountable obstacles in the way of Turkish plans. e following telegram from Ramsbotham,36 two days after the coup in Cyprus, shows how Kissinger used his ‘fear of communism’ as an argument to counter his theoretical and alleged wish to prevent Turkey from invading:
Kissinger seemed puzzled as to why we were wanting to move so quickly and in such absolute support of Makarios. Was there not risk here of doing Makarios’ work for him, without tying his hands in any way? It was surely a mistake to commit ourselves now to Makarios and thus narrow our options when it was far from certain that Makarios could return to power. Kissinger was also concerned at the line we were taking about the withdrawal of Greek o cers in the National Guard. Whatever other role they had been playing, they had at least acted as a force against communist in ltration in Cyprus. Kissinger was clearly suspicious that Makarios, returned to power in those circumstances, would not hesitate to regard the Russians as his saviours and allow an already strong communist party to gain further strength.37
e above is the reality, so disingenuously and misleadingly re-interpreted by Kissinger. Apart from again betraying his obvious e orts to undermine Makarios, he refers to Makarios’ ‘work’ in a pejorative fashion, without specifying what this work was, then bringing in the hackneyed ‘red’ threat. is reveals Kissinger’s inconsistency of argument, given his later words:
We never for a moment thought that he was the “Castro of the Mediterranean”, and in fact, if we had had our preferences, there would not have been the coup, and we would have coexisted with him very well. It wasn’t a question of coexistence; we didn’t consider him anti-American particularly. His major drawback, if he has any, is that his talents are too large for his island and therefore, he could be subject to the temptation to play on a scale which is disquieting – not to us, but to the other parties interested in the Cyprus question.38
us we see here Kissinger’s inconsistency, backpedalling and even changing the script a posteriori. He was to continue (albeit unsuccessfully) to try and undermine Makarios’ legitimacy, short of daring to question in public his credentials as president. e question of the withdrawal of the National Guard O cers, which Britain at least
36 37 38
Ibid., p. 205. e Non-Aligned Movement was an independent grouping of countries, in which President Tito of Yugoslavia and Egypt’s Nasser played a leading rôle.
British Ambassador to the US.
Ramsbotham to FCO, 17 July 1974, telegram, BNA-FCO 9/1982, le WSC 1/10, part C. Op. cit.,
Years of Renewal, p. 199.
Kissinger and the Business of Government
did, but too belatedly to have any e ect, set out to achieve, is crucial. Although the Greek Junta did agree to withdraw them, it was at the last minute, and just before the invasion. And even though Britain had been prepared to intervene militarily, the reason given by the Foreign and Commonwealth O ce to its High Commissioner in Nicosia for not doing so is revealing of the US stance:
I would not risk British troops in such a situation unless it was clear that we would have the wholehearted backing of the United States.39
Had Britain and America acted quickly and decisively by making public representations to Athens calling for the immediate withdrawal of the o cers, and emphasizing Makarios’ legitimacy, Turkey would have had to think twice, even thrice, about the wisdom of an invasion. But Kissinger was more interested in keeping Makarios out of the picture, and did not wish to have an immediate withdrawal of the o cers. e week of 15 to 20 July was crucial to Turkish preparations, just as the delays of the subsequent Geneva negotiations were going to be used by Turkey to complete its conquest, with Kissinger in the background, claiming to be distracted by Watergate.
On 19 July, Callaghan made a number of points to Kissinger, including asserting the legitimacy of President Makarios (without becoming committed to him for all time); working for the disappearance of the Sampson regime; and exerting very great pressure on the Greeks.40
Kissinger replied on the day on which the invasion took place. Remaining true to his studied delaying tactics, he wrote:
As I promised you by phone, here is the message you and I discussed. It is for your scrap book. I was about to send it to you when our Ottoman friends cut loose.
Dear Jim,
I appreciate your full message sent through Peter Ramsbotham. [...] We regard Archbishop Makarios as the de jure head of state, but we feel we should avoid any particular emphasis on this point as we search for a solution.[...] I agree with this point [working for the disappearance of the Sampson regime], but feel that we should not precipitate the downfall of the de facto situation in Cyprus until there is a viable alternative.[...] I am quite prepared that pressure may eventually have to be exerted on the Greeks. But I think that this can only be usefully be done when we have a better idea of what the Turks will accept. Any premature action on our part might well lessen our ability to be e ective with the Greeks later. Moreover, if pressure from the outside
39 ‘British Policy on Cyprus: July to September 1974’, paper prepared by Southern European Department, in Callaghan’s name, 14 January 1976, BNA-FCO 9/2379, le WSC 020/548/1.
40 Tomkins to British Embassy, Washington, 19 July 1974, telegram, BNA- 9/1985, le WSC1/10,

part F.
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be brought to bear to restore Makarios, this will only solidify the regime in Athens.41
Stalling tactics apart, Kissinger’s contention that Makarios’ return would solidify the regime in Athens is both specious and contradictory, since it was far more likely that an immediate statement of support by Britain and the US would have provoked the Junta’s downfall. e regime was in any case collapsing, even as Kissinger wrote, and within three days, Karamanlis would be interim Prime Minister of Greece. Two days after the invasion, Kissinger was continuing to stall, telling Callaghan that the Americans did not ‘want Sampson as the nal outcome’, but before they ‘turned on him’, wanted to see ‘what the general package looked like’.42 Yet more blatantly, Kissinger told Ramsbotham the following day that he would ‘like to procrastinate’ until he could ‘see clearly how the forces were balanced.’43
It is logical to think that Kissinger in any case knew how the forces were balanced, especially since he himself seems to have been doing the balancing: for example, on 20 July, he had instructed Tasca to tell the Greek government that if they attacked Turkey and announced enosis, the US would immediately cut o military aid.44 In fact, despite the Turkish invasion, he fought tooth and nail against Congress to keep Turkey supplied with American arms. is was simply double-track diplomacy at best, or two-faced, at worst.
As Kissinger’s pressure brought Britain fully into his plans, the French were indignant, suspecting that the Anglo-American special relationship was moving into top gear. e French Foreign Minister, Sauvagnargues, told Callaghan on the eve of the Turkish invasion that the Americans had told them that their main objective was to avoid unilateral Turkish action and the possibility of giving the Russians a pretext to attack Turkey. Yet despite this, Sauvagnargues said that the Americans were against having a resolution in the Security Council speci cally asking for the withdrawal of the Greek o cers. Revealingly of Kissinger’s approach, the Frenchman said that while the Americans ought to exert strong pressure on the Greeks, they were not sure that they were in fact doing so. Worse, and particularly revealingly, Sauvagnargues said that the French embassy in London had had some di culty in obtaining information from the FCO in the previous two days.45
e above reveals Kissinger at his most typical in the Cyprus a air: procrastinate,
  1. 41  Ibid., Ramsbotham to FCO, 20 July 1974, telegram.
  2. 42  Acland, 22 July 1974, Note for the Record, BNA-FCO 9/1897, le WSC 1/10. Part F.
  3. 43  British Embassy, Washington to FCO, 23 July 1974, telegram, BNA-FCO 9/1898, le WSC 1/11,
    part I.
  4. 44  FCO to British Embassy, Washington, 20 July 1974, telegram, BNA-FCO 9/1895, le WSC 1/10,
    part F.
  5. 45  Callaghan and Sauvagnargues, 19 July 1974, record of conversation, BNA-FCO 9/1984, le WSC
    1/10, part E.
Kissinger and the Business of Government
while engaging in double-track diplomacy, thus maintaining an image of exibility disguising a hard-nosed agenda, which he tended to keep to himself. He therefore paid lip-service to the French and others, claiming that Turkish military action should be avoided, while doing nothing serious about it.
e UN Secretary General certainly had a very di erent view to Kissinger’s, calling a meeting with the British Representative to the UN, Ivor Richard, three days before the invasion:
  1. e Secretary-General asked to see me a deux today about the possibility of the Security Council deciding on enforcement action to restore Makarios’ government.
  2. Waldheim said that he thought it likely that the Council would, within the next 48 hours adopt unanimously a resolution calling for the restoration of the legal government. It might not deal with the means to be used to enforce this action. But at some stage, the Council might go on to decide on such action. It was clear that, with only some 2,000 troops on the island, UNFICYP was in no position to take e ective action on its own.46 e obvious place to look for reinforcement was the British government, which already had troops in the Sovereign Base Area and could presumably reinforce them discreetly over the next few days. Following Security Council authorisation, British troops could move from the SBAs to reinforce UNFICYP in action to reverse the coup. ey would be under UN command and probably under a non-British force commander.
  3. It was however probable that the very threat of such action involving the promise of British military power being deployed would lead to a swift Greek withdrawal and probably the collapse of the Nicosia regime. [author’s italics]
  4. In response to my enquiry, Waldheim said he thought that, with the possible exception of the United States, all members of the Council would agree to this sort of action. And he thought that, in the event, the Americans would be prepared to acquiesce. He asked me to acquaint you with his contingency thinking and to seek your reactions.
  5. I have not discussed this with any other delegation. In the course of a general conversation with Scali47 I got the impression that they would be distinctly sceptical of direct UN intervention. Waldheim was speaking personally without prior reference to his sta or any of his experts.
  6. It seemed clear to me that he had not thought out the details beyond the general feeling that in the event of the Security Council’s demanding action it would require the use of British troops. As seen from here there are many di culties in the British proposals, not the least being the lack of any clear political aim. Nor, from what we hear of views in the corridors, is Waldheim being realistic in
  1. 46  Having been a Wehrmacht o cer in the war, Waldheim would have understood the military aspect.
  2. 47  US representative to the UN. He was echoing Kissinger’s wishes.
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thinking that there is much unanimity about restoring the legal government. is evening there is a disposition on the part of some of the non-permanent members of the Council to go for a meeting of the Council tomorrow (before Makarios gets to New York) and to try to get agreement on a resolution which would fall well short of what Makarios would like. We hope to get later this evening the draft of a resolution being oated by the President.48
Kissinger had got there rst. He had already spoken to the British ambassador, who had sent Kissinger’s ‘stalling’ views to Britain’s UN representative (Richard), as well as to the FCO, received just before Richard’s telegram. On top of that, the British ambassador had also discussed with Kissinger non-aligned pressure for a condemnatory resolution and the chances of pre-empting or avoiding it. Clearly, Kissinger convinced the British that Makarios must be kept at bay, and not arrive in New York early enough to in uence UN proceedings. He was indeed delayed in Malta, when the British invented a technical problem with the aeroplane that had own him to Malta.49 Although he was able to speak at the UN on 19 July, he had had no time to establish his presence at the UN and counter the US-British strategy to allow Turkey the space it needed to invade. e somewhat anodyne draft resolution had already been agreed. Surrealistically, it was passed on 20 July, as some Greek battalions and dispersed Greek Cypriot forces were trying to ght o the advancing Turkish troops.
Before we look at the second invasion, and Kissinger’s reasoning about it, let us quote from a telegram of 17 July 1974 about the American (Kissinger’s) attitude towards Makarios:
He [Stabler]50 thought that the Americans might have some di culty with the reference [in a draft UN resolution] to the President of Cyprus. ey had been careful in public not to commit themselves on the status of Makarios: for example, he has been invited to Washington by the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and the administration will be keeping out of it [...] In an attempt to draw him on the American position on Makarios, we asked Stabler what was in the Americans’ mind in avoiding a public statement about this; Stabler said that on the assumption that Makarios could be restored only by force outside Cyprus, the Americans were tempted to wonder whether it might not be possible to build on the rst of the three Turkish objectives and to bring about the replacement of Samson by a third party who “emerged from the original constitutional arrangements”, e.g., Clerides. If such a solution were to be worked out, Makarios’s retirement would be the price, and the
  1. 48  Richard to FCO, 17 July 1974, telegram, BNA- FCO 9/1982, le WSC1/10, part C.
  2. 49  Op. cit., Cyprus, A Modern History, pp. 80-81. A retired British ambassador con rmed the story to me. He had been a member of the British High Commission in Malta, and even told me that when Makarios stepped o the aeroplane to stay in Malta, he (Makarios) said sarcastically: ‘Another
    triumph for British diplomacy!’
  3. 50  Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European A airs.
Kissinger and the Business of Government
problem would be how to achieve that.51
Understandably, given his tendency to escape from moral cages, Kissinger mentions none of these details in Years of Renewal, writing only that he met Makarios twice, on 22 and 29 July 1974. Let us now turn to the further machinations of the Geneva conferences that led to the dramatic consolidation of Turkey’s invasion plan, reminding ourselves that Kissinger was keen to maintain Turkish goodwill.
Maintaining Turkish Goodwill
Negotiations between Greece, Turkey and Britain took place in Geneva from 25 to 30 July and from 8 August until Turkey attacked again. Various books have given a blow-by-blow account of how Turkey stonewalled at the negotiations, even though constitutional order in Cyprus had been restored on 23 July, with the appointment of Clerides as acting president of Cyprus. We do not need to repeat all that here. Rather, we shall compare Kissinger’s account and explanation to those of the FCO. In the face of Turkey’s blatant ignoring of the rst ‘cease re’ of 22 July, and her continuing violations even during the Geneva conferences, Kissinger was loth to alienate her. He blandly writes:
I had rejected a policy of isolating and humiliating Greece – whatever my reservations about its government – because I considered it to be an essential pillar of our NATO strategy. From the geopolitical point of view, Turkey was, if anything, even more important. Bordering the Middle East, Central Asia, the Soviet Union, and Europe, Turkey was indispensable to American policy in each of these areas. Turkey had been a staunch and loyal ally in the entire Cold War period. Turkish troops had fought with distinction at our side in Korea. Twenty-six electronic stations were monitoring Soviet missile and space activities from Turkish territory. All this made me extremely reluctant to impose sanctions.
A provision of the Foreign Assistance Act prohibited the use of American weapons for purposes other than national self-defense, the aim being to preclude domestic repression or civil war being carried out with American assistance.52
All fairly obvious so far, but then Kissinger adds:
But to Turkey, Cyprus involved key issues of international security. I believed that Congress and the executive branch would, given the stakes involved, nd some means of dealing with the legal ambiguities.53
  1. 51  Ramsbotham to FCO, 17 July 1974, telegram, BNA-FCO 1914, le WSC 1/10, part Z.
  2. 52  Op. cit., Years of Renewal, p. 227.
  3. 53  Ibid.., p. 225.
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is shows Kissinger’s somewhat sceptical attitude to international law, as well as a contrived subtlety disguised with a semantic veneer of common sense. He does not choose to specify what the legal ambiguities were. He also admits to rejecting Callaghan’s request to support the threat of a British air strike against Turkish cease- re violations. He does not actually write that he condoned the Turkish invasion to keep Turkey US- and NATO-friendly. But the documents do suggest that he did.
e negotiations at Geneva between 25 and 30 July ended with a joint declaration agreeing to a cease- re, the phased withdrawal of outside forces and a bu er zone. Kissinger writes little about the bad behaviour of the Turkish delegation, nor does he dwell on their breaking the agreement almost immediately. He writes:
[...] Callaghan achieved a cease- re agreement on July 30 [...] On July 31, the State Department’s Cyprus Task Force was dissolved. For a eeting moment, we all wallowed in the illusion that the crisis was on its way to being di used.54
Given the obvious fact that the crisis was clearly not in the process of being di used, particularly given the continuing Turkish advance, Kissinger’s statement appears bizarre. He also forgets to mention who dissolved the Task Force, which was achieved with indecent haste. In fact, it seems that he does not wish to claim responsibility for having dissolved it, when it is obvious that such a serious and sudden step would undoubtedly have required his authority, at the very least. Oxymoronically, he writes that a postponement of the second round of negotiations would have represented the best chance to develop a compromise proposal to prevent a second round of ghting,55 whereas any clear-thinking person could see that the longer the postponement, the more territory Turkey would grab, which it did. For a reasonable degree of veracity, we have to turn to the British archives, rather than to Kissinger.
e Americans were now well ensconced behind the scenes; Britain was not prepared to take any initiative that the Americans would not like, and appeared ready to hide behind American coat-tails where possible. On 3 August, Kissinger sent a personal message to Callaghan:
Dear Jim,
For some time now we have not had a really good picture of the political forces at work in Greece (quite frankly, a part of the problem lies in our embassy in Athens). I am, of course, encouraged by the return of Karamanlis and the new situation in Athens. However, if we are to be in a position to encourage this favorable evolution, it is essential that I have a much more accurate perception of the basic political elements
  1. 54  Ibid., p. 226.
  2. 55  Ibid., p. 227-228.
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in Greece and of the e ect on Greece of area developments.56
is was stretching credibility beyond normality, since along with the US embassy, the CIA had an enormous contingent in Athens. As CIA escapee Philip Agee wrote ‘the Agency’s hands were into everything in that country [Greece].57 Kissinger was in fact possibly the only member of the Administration in America who had the most comprehensive picture of what was happening in Greece and Cyprus, the Watergate crisis notwithstanding. Clearly, he did not agree with his ambassador in Athens, Tasca, who was reported by the British embassy in Athens to be highly incensed at Turkish duplicity, describing Turkish conduct as ‘outrageous’, particularly since the Turkish government had inordinately delayed clearance for Sisco’s ight to Ankara.58 Some months later, the new US ambassador to Cyprus, Crawford, was to tell a British diplomat that the only way he could discover US policy on Cyprus was to go home every few months and talk with Dr Kissinger personally.59
e above message from Kissinger continued:
I have, therefore, asked Arthur Hartman, who is, as you know, the Assistant Secretary in charge of this area, to visit Athens early next week, to talk with Karamanlis, Mavros, Averov, and others so that he can give me the reading we so badly need. I have also asked Art while he is in the area to visit both Nicosia and Ankara. It would be useful for him to have a rsthand look at the situation in Cyprus.
I am con dent that these visits will improve our thinking and analyses, enabling us to provide you with still better support in the next phase of the Cyprus negotiations. If you think it would be useful, he could stop in London on the way back to see you just prior to your departure for Geneva.
I also thought it would be useful to have somebody in Geneva when the negotiations resume on August 8. I have instructed Wells Stabler, who is Art’s principle deputy, to be in Geneva on ursday – though in a very low-key way. He will, of course, be in immediate touch with your delegation.60
Hartman did indeed stop in London on his way back, meeting Callaghan on 8 August, before the latter ew to Geneva. But at Callaghan’s request, Hartman also ew to Geneva with him. Here we see that the US was beginning to act as Callaghan’s minder, the essential aim being to ensure that Callaghan did not do anything to
  1. 56  British Embassy, Washington to FCO, 3 August 1974, telegram, BNA-82/471, le AMU 18/6.
  2. 57  Agee, Philip, On the Run, London: Bloomsbury, 1987, pp. 130-131.
  3. 58  Athens to FCO, 20 July 1974, telegram, BNA-FCO 9/1895, le WSC 1/10, part F.
  4. 59  Weston to Morgan, 28 April 1975, minute, BNA-FCO 9/2152, le WSC 1/5, part C.
  5. 60  Op.cit., British Embassy, Washington to FCO, 3 August 1974, telegram, BNA-82/471, le AMU 18/6.
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seriously annoy Turkey and to upset its plans of conquest, such as threatening military action. Extracts from the record of the meeting show this clearly:
Mr Callaghan said that what worried him was that despite the agreement which had been signed in Geneva the Turks were not just mopping up. ey were clearly pushing west. Mr Hartman agreed that the Turks were pushing west.[...] e key issue was to keep Mr. Mavros61 at the table and prevent him from going to the Security Council. [author’s italics] [...] Mr Callaghan wondered if he should take part in the talks at all if the ghting was continuing. Mr. Hartman said that the important thing was to keep the process going. [author’s italics]. [...] e fact was that there were “new realities” in Cyprus. It was now generally recognised that there were now two communities. It was also clear that no-one wanted Archbishop Makarios back. [author’s italics]62
Apart from the fantastic statement that no-one wanted Makarios back, the above shows that it was now increasingly clear that Callaghan was unable to operate without the US holding his hand; he was nevertheless su ciently indignant at Turkish behaviour to have written to the Turkish Prime Minister, Eçevit, on 4 August, as follows:
I am increasingly disturbed by reports from several sources reaching me from Cyprus that villagers [Greek Cypriot] are being evicted from their houses in the Kyrenia area controlled by you and your armed forces and that their men are being held as hostages [...] I can assure you that Her Majesty’s Government will continue to exercise their in uence to ensure that both communities are treated with humanity. Otherwise I fear that we shall get nowhere at the next round in Geneva.63
To establish some clarity to counter Kissinger’s very brief anodyne account of the second round of negotiations, which he ends with the words ‘on August 14, Turkey cut the Gordian Knot by seizing the territory it had been demanding’,64 we turn to the British archives and the FCO, which make it abundantly clear that Kissinger did not seriously wish to stop Turkey. Callaghan himself was fully aware of the Turkish plans to, as Kissinger puts it, cut the Gordian Knot: on 10 August, the Assistant Chief of Defence Sta , Mellersh, sent Callaghan a Top Secret message:
e Turkish army is looking for an excuse to continue operations. eir next likely objective is to increase the size of their area to take in the entire North-East of Cyprus, bounded by a line ve miles east of Morphou, through the southern suburbs of Nicosia and along the old Famagusta road to Famagusta. [...] e army units at present in the SBAs would be required to guarantee the security of the SBAs and any extra contribution HMG wished to make to UNFICYP would have to come from
  1. 61  Greek Foreign Minister.
  2. 62  Record of Conversation, 8 August 1974, BNA-FCO9/1947, le 3/304/2, part A.
  3. 63  FCO to Ankara, 4 August 1974, telegram, BNA-FCO 9/1907, le WSC1/10, part R.
  4. 64  Op. cit., Years of Renewal, p. 231.
Kissinger and the Business of Government
outside the Island.65
Mellersh then sent a Top Secret telegram to the Vice Chief of Defence Sta for Operations:
  1. Foreign Secretary is most concerned at hard line attitude being adopted by Turkish delegation at Geneva and the strong indications that they may soon attempt a major breakout from the area at present under their control. MOD reps have been asked to o er advice in general terms on the likely form a break out would take and what UNFICYP suitably reinforced could do by interposing itself and making it quite clear to the Turks that they would have to take on a UN force in achieving their objectives. e force would have to be large enough and so armed as to give good account of itself, but I have emphasised that deterrence is all we could hope for and that any question of holding the Turks is out of the question with the estimated Turkish force levels and in the face of Turkish air [sic].66
  2. Foreign Secretary has also asked for advice on options open to us with British dependents. I have already explained the many dilemmas and the possible reactions of National Guard and Greek Cypriot population.
  3. I will draw on earlier Chiefs of Sta advice in presenting a personal opinion of questions posed but would be grateful if I could be given preliminary guide lines for future use. Clearly we are in a new dimension and I will emphasise the problems of the availability and movement of any British reinforcement of UNFICYP and the threats which might develop to SBAs even though action would be under UN auspices.
  4. Foreign Secretary has asked that Phantoms be held at Akrotiri and that withdrawal of ABLAUT67 forces be halted immediately. I would be grateful if I could be sent details of present force levels in SBAs and of naval deployment in Eastern Mediterranean. It would also be most useful if I could have an idea of what reinforcements could be made available and in what time scale.68
us we can see that Britain was at least considering military action, although worry about the security of the SBAs appeared to take priority over stopping Turkey
  1. 65  Mellersh to Secretary of State, 10 August 1974, memorandum, BNA-FCO 9/1915, le WSC 1/10, part Z.
  2. 66   e missing word is presumably ‘power’.
  3. 67  Britain’s operation to reinforce the Sovereign Base Areas. See also Constandinos, Andreas, ‘Britain and
    the Cyprus Crisis of 1974: “Responsibility without Power”, paper for the 3rd Hellenic Observatory Ph. D. Symposium at the London School of Economics and Political Science on Contemporary Greece: Structures, Context and Challenges, 14 and 15 June 2007. Constandinos also writes (p. 22) that Callaghan admired Kissinger and that some British o cials were virtually in awe of him, quoting from BNA-FCO 49/548.
  4. 68  Warburton (on behalf of Mellersh) to FCO, 10 August 1974, telegram, BNA-FCO 9/1915, le WSC 1/10, part Z.
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from taking over the North of the island. However, as we have seen, Britain was loth to risk a military confrontation with Turkey without American support. On 12 August the British ambassador in Washington lunched with Kissinger and wrote to Callaghan:
[...] It was, he [Kissinger] said, most important to him to maintain the complete frankness and trust he enjoyed with you. e fact was that he had, I could imagine, been totally preoccupied this past week with the change of presidency and had not been able at all to focus on current work. Between 6 and 10 August he had been virtually out of touch with the Cyprus problem and it was only on the Saturday afternoon that, in response to your request to stop a possible Turkish military expansion, he had intervened with a letter to Ecevit. He had not then been su ciently familiar with the background, but had thought it right, beside warning Ecevit against a military move, also to o er him a way out by encouraging him to put forward his own proposal in Geneva. [...] He was determined to avoid the United States incurring the hostility of both Greek and Turkish governments, as this could only weaken NATO. He would be frank in saying that he perhaps cared less about events in Cyrus itself. [author’s italics] [...] Our discussion was then interrupted by a phalanx of advisors bearing a message from the US ambassador in Ankara that the Turks had delivered an ultimatum that, unless they were at once accorded the widely expanded zone across the North of Cyprus, they would leave Geneva. Kissinger asked what he should do. His advisors urged a message to Ecevit threatening to cut o military assistance. Kissinger said that on no account should he ever do this. [author’s italics] He was not prepared to jeopardise the American position with Turkey. [...]69
A follow-up telegram stated:
During the conversation, Kissinger mentioned that Mavros asked some time ago whether he could come to Washington to see him. Having your own problems at the negotiation table very much in mind, Kissinger suggested that he delayed until this round of talks at Geneva was over, but came soon afterwards. I said that I thought that there would be no objection to that on our part.70
Clearly, while Turkey was continuing to break the cease re, and planning to seize much more, Mavros’ appearance in Washington to meet Kissinger might have embarrassed Turkey and Kissinger, and highlighted Turkey’s breaking the cease re. Kissinger did not seem keen to exercise serious pressure on Turkey to stop advancing.
Hartman also gave the answer to the question I [Callaghan] put to him yesterday about the attitude the US Government would adopt in the event of a major Turkish infringement of the cease re line. According to Hartman:
69 Ramsbotham to Callaghan, 12 August 1974, telegram, BNA-FCO 9/1947, le WSC 3/304/2, part A.
70 Ibid.
Kissinger and the Business of Government
  1. (A)  Kissinger continues to support my e orts to solve the Cyprus problem diplomatically;
  2. (B)  Kissinger has made it clear to the Turks that they will not support the Turks in the Security Council if the Turks take military action;
  3. (C)  If the Turks do take military action, there will be a major US diplomatic e ort in NATO and bilaterally to stop them (it is not clear in what terms this has been put to the Turks though Hartman said they could be under no illusions as to what would be involved);
  4. (D)   e United States could not consider military action at a time when a new US administration was taking o ce;
  5. (E)  Kissinger does not consider threats of military action are helpful in present circumstances. Such gestures tend to create problems for Ecevit and with the extremists in Turkey.
It has been made clear to Hartman that I am not contemplating any further military action at the moment and that all new action on reinforcements has been suspended since yesterday. [...]71
e die was now cast for Turkey to act with virtual impunity, as it did. As the Turks began their massive second attack on 14 August, Ramsbotham wrapped up American (i.e. Kissinger’s) ‘intentions and moves’:
At the forefront of Kissinger’s mind is the need to avoid giving the Soviet Union an opportunity to expand their in uence and presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. He is therefore determined not to jeopardise the American position in Turkey, whose contribution to NATO he regards as more important than Greece’s. Also important in his mind, but of lesser priority, is the goal of reaching a settlement of the Cyprus problem. (As the State Department said yesterday, the United States supports Turkey’s desire for a greater degree of autonomy for the Turkish community in Cyprus). Kissinger would much rather this goal should be achieved by negotiation, and he is prepared to put pressure on the Turks to try to stop them ghting. But, in view of the long-term interests of the Alliance as he sees them, he has not been willing to threaten to cut o military assistance (nor, perhaps, could he be sure that this threat would be e ective).
3. It follows that, while the Turks could not justi ably claim to have American approval for their position, particularly now that they have started ghting again, they could reasonably gamble that American disapproval would not be so forceful as to compel them to stop. [author’s italics]. 72
  1. 71  Ibid., Warburton to FCO, 12 August 1974, telegram.
  2. 72  Ramsbotham to FCO, 14 August 1974, telegram, BNA-FCO9/1947, le WSC 3/304/2.
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e Turks indeed knew that they could act, as another FCO record shows:
e Turks seem to have concluded early on that American pressure would not be backed by anything stronger [e.g. military action]; this was no doubt a factor in their tactics at the second Geneva conference. It is certainly the case that Dr. Kissinger was concerned with the maintenance of Turkish goodwill as a bulwark between the Soviet Union and the Arab States as well as the continued use of the US bases in Turkey.73
Although he does not admit it, it is clear that Kissinger was happy for Turkey to take over at least one-third of Cyprus. e most obvious proof of his continued stalling to give Turkey what it wanted is that he did not want a NATO meeting on 19 August. After all, Turkey could hardly have continued taking territory at the same time as attending a NATO meeting in Brussels. Unsurprisingly, Kissinger does not even touch on the following in his account:
Diary: 14 August, 1974
2330: e Secretary of State spoke to Dr Kissinger on the telephone and asked whether he had received a request from the Greek Government to support their plans for a counter-attack in Cyprus. Dr Kissinger said that he was unaware of these plans. He also said that they intended to invite Karamanlis to the United States for talks. At the Secretary of State’s suggestion, Dr Kissinger agreed to telephone Mr Ecevit to ask how far south the Turks were planning to advance. e Secretary of State asked Dr Kissinger whether he would be prepared to attend a NATO Ministerial Meeting if the Secretary of State called for one. Dr Kissinger agreed as long as it was not held before Monday (19 August).74
All that remained to ensure that Turkey achieved its fait accompli with relative impunity was for Kissinger to ensure that Greece did not counter-attack. On 20 July, the Americans had already threatened to cut o military aid to Greece, if Greece carried out its threat to declare war on Turkey.75 And in a curious message to Karamanlis on 16 August, as the Turks were grinding slowly to a halt, Callaghan wrote:
e arrival of the Greek forces [in Cyprus], whatever their purpose, would increase the risk of further Turkish forces being sent to the island and of those already there moving yet further forward. It would almost certainly lead to murderous assaults on Greek Cypriots in the area now held by the Turkish armed forces. It would also raise the spectre of a disastrous extension of the ghting outside Cyprus, with little prospect
  1. 73  See FCO Secret and Eclipse paper ‘British Policy on Cyprus: July to September 1974’, 14 January 1976, BNA- FCO 9/2379, le WSC 020/548/1. ‘Eclipse’ means ‘don’t show to the Americans’.
  2. 74  Diary, 14 August 1974, BNA-FCO 9/1909, le WSC 1/10, part T.
  3. 75  FCO to British Embassy, Washington, 20 July 1974, telegram, BNA-FCO 9/1895, le WSC 1/10,
    part F.
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of outside intervention to protect the interests of Greece.76
Needless to say, Greece did not declare war on Turkey, standing by as Turkey completed its conquest, with Kissinger’s full knowledge. A memorandum of 14 August to Kissinger, from Hal (Helmut) Sonnenfeldt, who had also left Germany in 1938, and known as ‘Kissinger’s Kissinger’, stated:
You wanted some brief ideas on what we do next.
Nothing I can think of will stop the Turks now from trying to secure by force what they demanded in their ultimatum. In fact, as has always been true, the only conceivable modus vivendi will have to rest on a de facto division of the island, whatever the form.
If the Turks move fast and can then be gotten to stand down, it may pre-empt Greek counteraction and then give us a chance to try for a deal. (It may also save Karamanlis.)
While the Soviets can serve as a bogey, we must keep them at arms [sic] length. ey cannot become the arbiter between US allies. eir interests di er drastically from ours: we want a modus vivendi between Greece and Turkey, they want a non-aligned Cyprus, preferably with Greece or Turkey or both disa ected from NATO.
us, we should
urgently try to contain Greek reaction; 24 hours at a time;
bluntly tell the Turks they must stop, today, tomorrow at the latest;
warn the Turks that Greece is rapidly moving leftward;
send high-level US man to Athens to exert continuing direct in uence on Karamanlis;
assuming the Turks quickly take Famagusta, privately assure Turks we will get them solution involving one third of island, within some kind of federal arrangement;
- assure Greeks we will contain Turk demands and allow no additional enclaves etc.
You should not get involved directly till the ghting stops; then you must, since there is no alternative and only we have the clout.
I do not think Brussels/NATO is the place to use when the time comes. e Greeks are probably too sore at NATO and the vehicle of a ministerial meeting is awkward. Anyway, you need Ecevit and Karamanlis.
London may be unacceptable to the Turks because of Callaghan’s blast at them. You should not shuttle.
76 FCO to Athens, 16 August 1974, telegram, BNA-9/1911, le WSC 1/10, part V.
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is may mean Geneva. Washington, at the President’s initiative, would be all right but hard to get the parties to come to. Also provocative of the Russians. New York would make it di cult to keep the Russians away.
You could also try Rome.77
Callaghan himself was not even prepared to meet Karamanlis ‘before he (Karamanlis) had talked to the Americans.’78 Britain was now clearly playing second ddle to the US as regards Cyprus. To illustrate this more clearly, the following report of (yet another) telephone conversation, on 15 August, near midnight in London, between Kissinger and Callaghan, reveals Kissinger’s studiously and expediently dilatory approach:
[...] I [Callaghan] expressed my concern about Turkey’s intentions in the rest of the Aegean [...] Had the Americans thought what they would do in the event of Turkey trying to capitalise outside Cyprus [...] Kissinger said he would crack down on the Turks in those circumstances. I told him that I was not sure that we could wait until the Turks acted. If for instance they created a situation where the de facto position of the island resulted in enosis, whether double or otherwise, the consequences could only be unfortunate. An alliance between Makarios and Papandreou would result in a neutralist government in Greece. Kissinger said that he would ask his sta to do a study of the issues I had raised [my italics].79
We have not been able to locate this study and actually have some doubts that Kissinger asked his sta to undertake it. At any rate, it shows that Kissinger now considered the problem solved. His criticism of Turkey’s actions are most muted, unlike that of the FCO, which wrote that ‘the Turks regarded the conference as little more than an opportunity to secure more time and diplomatic cover to prepare for a second attack.’80
Concluding Remarks
In this article, we have pinpointed, inter alia, the following: Kissinger’s wish to ‘avoid legitimizing the new regime in Cyprus’ for as long as possible, while not denouncing
  1. 77  Venizelos, Kostas and Ignatiou, Michalis, Τα Μυστικά Αρχηείατου Κίσιντσερ [ e Secret Archives of Kissinger], Athens: Livanis, 2002, pp. 434-435. On 14 August, Kissinger had also an extraordinary conversation with Callaghan in which they agreed to o er discreet support to Turkey because ‘the Turks have got a good case’, as Callaghan put it (Record of a telephone conversation between Callaghan and Kissinger and the President of the USA at 2.45pm on Wednesday, 14 August 1974, BNA-PREM 16/20).
  2. 78  FCO to British Embassy, Washington, 15 August 1974, telegram, NA-FCO 9/1910, le WSC 1/10, pat U.
  3. 79  Ibid., FCO to British Embassy, Washington.
  4. 80  Op. cit., ‘British Policy on Cyprus: July to September 1974.’
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it immediately; not wishing ‘to precipitate the downfall of the de facto situation [sic] in Cyprus’ (i.e. the Sampson regime); questioning Britain’s moving quickly to support Makarios; questioning Britain’s wish to apply pressure on the Greek Junta to withdraw their o cers from Cyprus; speciously using communism as an excuse to delay supporting international law; Kissinger’s refusal to support Britain militarily over Cyprus; illogically stating that pressure to restore Makarios would strengthen the Athens Junta; not wishing to have a NATO ministerial meeting while Turkey was attacking; and suggesting to Callaghan on 20 July, just after Turkey was ‘cutting loose’, that one sit on ‘the thing’81 (the invasion) for a day.
e overall impression gained from juxtaposing Kissinger’s account with various documents is one betraying a lack of speci city on Kissinger’s part, tactical omission, tactical and strategic procrastination, contradictoriness of argumentation, studied vagueness, occasional contrived humour, semantic sliding, and a personal attitude towards those who disagree with him, such as Makarios. Although one cannot yet say with utter certainty that the US speci cally condoned the invasion, the following extract from a letter by a British Embassy o cial in Athens makes interesting reading:
1. I called on Elias Gounaris82, the Desk O cer in the Cyprus and Turkey Department of the Ministry of Foreign A airs, on 23 September, principally as a courtesy on my return to Greece after leave. [...] He had “indications” which did not amount to proof, but which satis ed him that the Americans had allowed the Greek military to believe that the Sampson coup would be acceptable to them. ey had made no protest after the fact and the Greek military had thought themselves safe from Turkish retaliation because of some implicit or explicit American assurances. [...]
  1. is view of American complicity is, of course, widespread. I was shocked to hear that he himself was so convinced.
  2. What Gounaris said does, nevertheless, t in with other impressions we have formed here. In particular, John Denson recalls the calm way in which the Greek military and some Americans in Athens played down the risk of any Turkish response to the Sampson coup (and it does seem to me that any Greeks who saw Sisco between 15 and 20 July might well have concluded that he also did not expect the Turks to go in.) [...]
7. We do not suggest that this is the whole story, but I have set it out because it is of rather more than historical signi cance here.83
  1. 81  Record of a telephone conversation between the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Dr. Henry Kissinger and the President of the United States, at 2.45 pm on Wednesday 14 August 1974, BNA- PREM 16/20.
  2. 82  Later posted to London as ambassador.
  3. 83  Tomkys to Cornish, 25 September 1974, letter, BNA-FCO 9/1947, le WSG/304/2.
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Reading between the diplomatic lines, particularly the last two, this is both perceptive and signi cant. It suggests that there was considerably more than met the eye, when it came to Kissinger’s role in the Cyprus crisis.
e National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom
FCO 9 Foreign O ce and Foreign Commonweath O ce.
PREM 16 Records of the Prime Minister’s O ce: Correspondence and Papers.

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irty Hot Days, Nicosia: K. Rustem and Bros.
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Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, New York: W.W. Norton.
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