White House 1974 Cyprus Meeting: Kissinger Backed Turkey Over Greece

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

A day before a second invasion wave of Turkish forces on Cyprus in 1974, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told President Gerald Ford – in office only four days after Richard Nixon resigned, facing impeachment over Watergate – that if Greece went to war with Turkey that America should back the Turks and that they were entitled to seize part of the island.

A file exempt from declassification, from the National Security Adviser’s Memoranda of Conversation Collection at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, shown on the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) blog revealed Kissinger’s bias and favoritism toward Turkey, backing up long-held assertions he had implicitly supported Turkey’s invasion although the US was supporting a Greek military dictatorship that collapsed over Cyprus.
Minutes of the meeting showed that Kissinger was becoming anxious during a brief period of internationally-brokered peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland and that the Greeks were playing for time as Turkey was getting antsy.
Ford asked Kissinger, “What we do if the Turks moved?” and was told the US would have to vote against them in the United Nations Security Council.

“We would have our hands full to keep the Greeks from going to war. The Turks right now are extremely nationalistic. For a few years ago, the Turkish tactics are right – grab what they want and then negotiate on the basis of possession,” he said.

Then, he added ominously: “But if the Turks run loose on Cyprus, the Greeks could come unglued. We certainly do not want a war between the two, but if it came to that, Turkey is more important to us and they have a political structure which could produce a Qadhafi,” referring to Libya’s military dictator.

BRITISH BREAKDOWN
Kissinger said as the Cyprus issue was set to spin out of control that, “We have been trying to bail the Cyprus situation out after it got out of control. The British have made a mess of it,” referring to the island’s former Colonial ruler.

“If the Turks move to take what they want, they will be condemned in the Security Council and the Soviet Union will beat them over the head with it. Some of my colleagues want to cut off assistance to Turkey’ – that would be a disaster,” he said.

Despite Greece having been an ally of the United States in every war, Kissinger said that, “There is no American reason why the Turks ‘should not have one-third of Cyprus. We will make a statement today that will get the New York Times off our back, but we should not twist their arm,” the record showed.

Also present for much the meeting, which also discussed other foreign policy issues including Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Sinai, West Bank and Soviet Union was Major General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

Kissinger also raised what he called the “poppy issue,” with the US wanting to eradicate planting of poppies used to make opium, drawing anger from Turkish growers, with the Secretary of State apparently trying to curry more favor with Turkey.

“The whole poppy situation is a loser. Do you want to have a brawl with the Turks, or should I? Kissinger asked Ford.

The US seemed unprepared for what happened the next day on Aug. 14 after Turkey had taken 3 percent of the northern third of the island before a ceasefire was declared and talks began.

Turkey had invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974 in response to a Cypriot coup five days earlier. Under Operation Attila, heavily-armed troops landed shortly before dawn at Kyrenia on the northern coast meeting resistance from Greek and Greek-Cypriot forces. Turkey said it was it was invoking its right a a guarantor of security on the island to protect Turkish-Cypriots.

When the Greek junta fell apart on July 23, Greek political leaders in exile started returning and on July 24, Constantine Karamanlis returned from Paris and was sworn in as Prime Minister. He kept Greece from entering the war.

KISSINGER CATALYST

As a second Geneva conference was meeting on Aug. 14, international sympathy that had seemed to be on the side of Turkey swung back to Greece as it was trying to restore democracy.

Turkey demanded the Cypriot government accept its plan for a Federal state, and population transfer but when Acting President Glafcos Clerides asked for 36 to 48 hours to consult with Athens and Greek-Cypriot leaders, the Turkish Foreign Minister rejected it.

Only 90 minutes after the Geneva talks broke up, Turkey launched its second invasion.

Britain’s then Foreign Secretary James Callaghan, who took part in the talks with the United Kingdom and Greece also guarantors of security – and who later became Prime Minister – reportedly said that Kissinger vetoed at least one British military action to pre-empt the Turkish landing and was favoring Turkey over Greece although the ruling junta that had wanted to annex the island was gone.

Kissinger’s bias in favor of Turkey was apparently even stronger, according to RAW STORY, which in 2007 wrote that Kissinger had abetted illegal financial aid and arms support to Turkey for its 1974 Cyprus invasion.

Some Greek Cypriots believed that the invasion was a deliberate plot on the part of Britain and the US to maintain their influence on the island, which was particularly important as a listening post in the Eastern Mediterranean in the wake of the October 1973 War between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, the news site said.

The late noted columnist Christopher Hitchens, author of the book The Trial of Henry Kissinger, wrote that, “At the time, many Greeks believed that the significant thing was that (Prime Minister Bulent) Ecevit had been a pupil of Kissinger’s at Harvard.”

Several intelligence sources who were not named, told RAW STORY that Kissinger both pushed for the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and allowed arms to be moved to Ankara.

The transition between the two Presidencies was nearly simultaneous with the Cyprus invasion and aftermath.
In his 2004 book on NATO, Lawrence S. Kaplan, who was a professor at State and Georgetown, wrote that, “Kissinger personified in Greek eyes a conspiracy that had been behind the coup on Cyprus and behind the bellicose Turkish response. An articulate and influential Greek lobby in Washington worked to focus American attention on the betrayal of its ally.”

Despite Greece having been a long-time ally, the United States “placed a higher value on the military strength and the seemingly consistent anti-Soviet cast of Turkey,” he said, suggesting other reasons why the US would go against Greece in case of war.

“It was Turkey’s military potential and the strategic location straddling the Dardanelles that made the Turkish partnership more valuable than its Greek rival,” Kaplan wrote.

6 Comments

  1. To thank that he is still around advising presidents is a travesty. I became upset when I saw him speak at Senator McCain’s funeral. Hitchens was the only one who spoke and wrote the truth. May he rest in peace

  2. “There is no American reason why the Turks would not have a third of Cyprus” Kissinger is quoted as having said in the White House meeting . He evidently was referring to his realpolitik view, which is itself debatable. What is not debatable is that the United States, as a nation of laws, bound by the United Nations Charter and international law as well as American law, had every reason and indeed the legal obligation to oppose the Turkish aggression carried out with American arms supplied for defense against the Republic of Cyprus.

  3. OH! My God! what a revelation…. that the United States…so called liberator of the oppressed, the policemen of the world….the White Supremacist degenerates who killed and murdered 3 1/2 million Vietnamese citizens to save them, the murder of thousands of Yugoslavian and the dismembership of the country of Yugoslavia, because they were victims of genocide in a civil war they formented, the destruction of libya and its people …again based on lies of genocide, and what we now know the murder of their idol Mr. Qadafi! Oh My god…the murder of 600000 Iraqis, by these Evangelical white Supremacist ,who are entitled to dictate wars, dictate the enemies of the world , and its allies!
    However, nothing has changed….. today, the government of Cyprus is still owned by the British and the Turks….and remain with bases despite U.N resolutions to remove all foreign troops in Cyprus! They still dictate and demand compliance to Nato ,even though they are not members of Nato!

    How can the people of Cyprus live with themselves knowing that the United States green lighted the slaughter of Greek Cypriots in Northern Cyprus for Turkey, because it was in the interest of the United states, and that the British , also complied with this …and betrayed the people of Cyprus by defaulting on their obligation to protect the sovereignty of Cyprus.

    There should only be one response by the Cypriot Government to this already known revelation….. THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN HAVE EXACTLY SEVEN DAYS TO ADVISE THE TURKISH AUTHORITIES IN NORTHERN CYPRUS TO LEAVE WITH THIER MILITARY, AND BE REUNITED WITH ALL OF CYPRUS!
    IF THIS IS NOT SATISFIED….THEN ALL BRITISH, NATO AND AMERICAN BASES AND AUTHORITIES ARE TO LEAVE ALL OF CYPRUS!

    FURTHERMORE , ALL U.S AND NATO BASES ARE TO BE REMOVED FROM GREECE IMMEDIATELY, AND THE REMOVAL OF GREECE FROM NATO!

    FURTHERMORE, IF NATO AND THE UNITED STATES FAIL TO SATISFY THE DEMANDS OF THE PEOPLE OF CYPRUS TO LEAVE CYPRUS…. THEN A REFERENDUM IS TO BE INITIATED FOR THE GREEK CYPRIOTS OF CYPRUS TO VOTE ON UNITING WITH GREECE….AND BE COVERED UNDER THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GREECE….WHICH MEANS NO NATO COUNTRY IS ALLOWED IN CYPRUS UNLESS APPROVED BY THE COUNTRY OF GREECE!

    Today Donald Trump is under attack by …the same secret society of white supremacist , like Henry Kissinger, who consider everyone inferior , and do not respect the ethnic cultures of the people of the world! Of course Henry Kissinger spoke at the funeral of one of his fellow warmonger and degenerate fellow fascist…..John McCain! Who was one of the greatest leaders of these secret society of Nazi;s and fascist…who picked up where ….Adolph Hitler left off!

    Today, nothing has changed, the U.S. will always back the interests of Turkey, as long as it does not conflict with their interests, not Greeces!

    1. I could not have phrased it any better. I was in Greece at the time. We were set up by the US and our own Military Junta.

      Kissinger in Sept 1974 made the statement that the Greeks are difficult to control and the only way to achieve this is to attack at their roots , their religion, their history and value systems . this he said needs to be done in order to achieve US strategic goals in the Balkans and the Middle East.

      it appears that they are achieving this if you look at what is happening in Greece right now.

      See how they destroyed Serbia , an Orthodox Nation. If Greece was not part of NATO we would have faced the same fate as Serbia.

      Greece should exit NATO , Allow Russia to have a military base in Greece.

      We do not owe any alliance to the West, and as I am aware Russia has never had any negative sentiments or devious schemes to harm Greece.

      1. Anthony….it is a documented fact….that the C.I.A and U.S. Intelligence service ….consider the Orthodox church a threat to the United States plan to turn the entire Eastern Europe into vassal states by the white supremacist Government of ideological sadist….who most people cannot recognize capable of constructing wars and enemies…who could oppose their sick agenda of economic, political and military power over the countries of the World
        Why is the Orthodox church and culture an enemies o the United States and Nato vassal state….because of their connection to Russia …another country dominated by Orthodox Christians!

        As you said their is no need for Greece…to not have a relationship with Russia….they are simply a boogeman…for the demented leaders of our country …to continue selling theie garbage fo saving the world ….to justify attrocities against the world!

        Why do you think … the Traitor …and now governor of Nato… was provided another C.I.A written script suggesting not only Russia meddling in the Fryrom scandal by Tsipras, but even colluding with the orthodox church in Greece! Only a Atheist and traitor would fulfill this order to destroy relationships with Russia, representing the interests of the fascist element of our country!
        Unfortunately, if we remain silent …it is going to get much, much worst…because they are losing their grip economically and politically around the world …as their game is being exposed!
        Today…. they have failed in Syria…because Russia demonstrated that they will not stand by and watch another country be obliterated by these degenerates… and that is why …they are our enemies….but try to make countries like Greece….their enemies!

  4. Michael can see the smoke from your fingers typing on your keyboard. Yes everything you said is true, of course the thinking in Washington was Makarios was the Castro of the Mediterranean. So any way to stop him, and of course any nation wanting to be free will be stopped at all cost, the joke now of how fake upset all these politicians are about Russian trolls messing with our election, when the United States has and continues to interfere with elections of countries all over the world even today, so its hypocritical of any politician to feel attacked or hacked….Yes Kypros needs to be free of Turkey, Britian, U.N., etc…And Enosis is the only option, But for Greece to then be free it has to leave the Euro, the EU, and NATO… Freedom is not free, but being controlled by others is not freedom. Peace is not freedom if your not truly free, is it war or is it freedom? Whenever a country tries to be free, war, economic warfare, sanctions etc happen…Kypros has been invaded, occupied, controlled, sanctioned, occupied by 3 armies, Turkey, Britian, U.N…..enough already. A turkish military base in the north, will be met by greek base in the south, then turkey will annex the north, as greece will have to annex the south, but after annexation of the south, greece must attack the north kick all turkish troops and settlers off, then true enosis….blood is the offering for true freedom. Peace is through strength, Not weakness…

Comments are closed.