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Op-Ed on “Documentary Proof of Kissinger’s Complicity in Turkey’s Aggression Against Cyprus”
September 28, 2007—No. 59 (202) 785-8430

Op-Ed on “Documentary Proof of Kissinger’s Complicity in Turkey’s Aggression Against Cyprus”

Washington, DC—The following Op-Ed appeared in the National Herald, 9-1-07, the Hellenic Voice, 9-19-07, the Greek News and the Hellenic News of America.

Documentary Proof of Kissinger’s Complicity in Turkey’s Aggression Against Cyprus

By Gene Rossides

August 28, 2007

The evidence is mounting as to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s involvement in, and complicity with, Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus and the resultant war crimes against the 80 percent Greek Cypriot majority.

A shocking August 14, 1974, “SECRET/EYES ONLY MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY” from Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Counselor of the U.S. State Department, to Secretary Henry Kissinger became public a few weeks ago. It was published in the Cyprus Weekly of August 10, 2007.

The text of this important document follows:

August 14, 1974 
FROM: Helmut Sonnenfeldt 
SUBJECT: Cyprus Actions

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 ultimata. 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 length. They cannot become the arbiter between US allies. Their interests differ 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 disaffected from NATO.

Thus, 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 influence on Karamanlis;
  • assuming the Turks quickly take Famagusta, privately assure Turks we will get them a solution involving one third of the 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 fighting 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. The 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.”

The Sonnenfeldt memorandum must be read in the context of developments on the island of Cyprus at that time. Turkey invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974 with the illegal use of American-supplied arms and equipment in violation of U.S. laws, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Foreign Military Sales Act, and the United Nations Charter (Article 2, paragraph 4).

On the same day, July 20, 1974, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution, S.C. 353, calling upon “all states to respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Cyprus.” The resolution called for a ceasefire and demanded “an immediate end to foreign intervention” in Cyprus.

On July 22, 1974, a ceasefire was declared and subsequently violated by Turkish armed forces (NY Times, July 23, 1974, A1, col. 8). The next day, July 23, 1974, both the Greek junta and the Sampson regime fell (Wash. Post, July 24, 1974, A1, col. 4). Pursuant to the 1960 constitution, Glafkos Clerides, President of the Cyprus House of Representatives, was installed as acting President of Cyprus. Former Greek Prime Minister, Constantinos Karamanlis, was called home from his self-imposed exile in Paris and sworn in on July 24, 1974 to head a unity government.

Meanwhile, Britain, Greece and Turkey, the guarantor powers under the 1959-1960 London-Zurich agreements, entered into negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland. On July 30, 1974, the three nations ended the first phase of their talks and signed the Declaration of Geneva, which called for a second ceasefire and for a halt to the expansion of occupied territory (NY Times, July 31, 1974, A1, col. 1).

Once again, Turkey’s armed forces violated the ceasefire (NY Times, Aug. 1, 1974, A1, col. 5). At this point, Turkey held less than five percent of Cyprus and the legitimate Cypriot government had been reinstated on July 23, 1974, which reestablished the constitutional state of affairs prior to the July 15, 1974 coup.

On August 8, 1974, Britain, Greece and Turkey began the second round of talks in Geneva. On August 13, 1974, Turkey issued a thirty-six hour ultimatum to Greece and Britain to accept Turkey’s proposal, which was tantamount to partition, for six separate Turkish Cypriot “cantons” consisting of thirty-four percent of the island nation for the eighteen percent minority community. That same day, the State Department spokesman, Ambassador Robert Anderson, issued the following statement, cleared by Kissinger, saying that the Turkish Cypriots needed more security (although there was no evidence of any danger to the Turkish Cypriot community):

“The United States position is as follows: we recognize the position of the Turkish community on Cyprus requires considerable improvement and protection. We have supported a greater degree of autonomy for them. The parties are negotiating on one or more Turkish autonomous areas. The avenues of diplomacy have not been exhausted and therefore the United States would consider a resort to military action unjustified. We have made this clear to all parties.”

On August 14, 1974, three weeks after the legitimate government of Cyprus had been restored, Turkey unilaterally broke off the negotiations and violated the ceasefire, launched a second more massive aggression without a pretext, occupied over thirty-seven percent of Cyprus—up from the less than five percent occupied as a result of the first attack of July 20, 1974—and forcibly expelled 180,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes and properties. On that day and ensuing days, the UN Security Council passed resolutions demanding a ceasefire, and recorded “its formal disapproval of the unilateral military actions undertaken” by Turkey against Cyprus and urged compliance with its previous resolutions.

On August 14, 1974 there was a meeting in Kissinger’s office about what the State Department was going to do. In his oral history on May 8, 1989, Robert McCloskey, Ambassador-at-Large and media and policy adviser on Kissinger’s immediate staff, stated that Kissinger “went around the room, and I said, ‘I think that we should announce that from today we will suspend any further deliveries of U.S. military equipment to Turkey.’ Well, he exploded.” (Emphasis added.)

The Sonnenfeldt memorandum indicts Kissinger as an accomplice to Turkey’s aggression, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes against the Greek Cypriots and exposes his incompetence.

What did Kissinger do when Turkey issued its 36 hour ultimatum on August 13, 1974, three weeks after the legitimate government of Cyprus had been restored? He gave full support to Turkey’s renewed aggression by the official State Department statement saying “the Turkish community on Cyprus requires considerable improvement and protection” which was a false and misleading statement.

Kissinger made no public statement that renewed Turkish aggression would violate U.S. law. 
Kissinger made no public statement that renewed Turkish aggression would violate the UN Charter. 
Kissinger made no public statement that renewed Turkish aggression would violate the NATO treaty. 
Kissinger made no public statement that U.S. military aid would be cut off as required by U.S. law. 
Kissinger made no public statement that the U.S. would take the matter to the UN Security Council.

Instead, Kissinger had Sonnenfeldt send to him a memorandum which is self-serving and erroneous by stating “Nothing I can think of will stop the Turks now from trying to secure by force what they demanded in their ultimata…and that the only conceivable modus vivendi will have to rest on a de facto division of the island.” Then Sonnenfeldt tells Kissinger to “privately assure the Turks we will get them solution involving one third of the island, within some kind of federal arrangement.”

Clearly Kissinger told Sonnenfeldt what he wanted in the memorandum.

The Sonennfeldt memorandum and McCloskey’s oral history should give the Greek American community renewed determination in the interests of the United States to redouble its efforts with our government to remove the illegal Turkish troops and illegal Turkish settlers/colonists from Cyprus and to give full public support for a settlement based on the policy of former President George H.W. Bush, namely “a constitutional democracy based on majority rule, the rule of law, and protection of minority rights.”


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