Monday, April 28, 2008

"The brutality of Turkey’s descent on Cyprus, stark enough, was no surprise. On previous occasions, as well as this one, Ankara had repeatedly given advance warning of its intentions. Political responsibility for the disaster lay with those who allowed or encouraged it. The chief blame is often put on the United States. There, by the summer of 1974, Nixon was so paralysed by Watergate – he was driven from office between the first and second Turkish assaults – that American policy was determined by Kissinger alone. Much ink has been spilled over the question of whether the CIA colluded with the junta’s impending coup in Nicosia, and if so whether its advance knowledge of the putsch was shared with the State Department. What is not in doubt is Kissinger’s view of Makarios, who had paid a lengthy state visit to Moscow in 1971, had imported Czech arms for use against EOKA-B, and under whom Cyprus was one of only four non-Communist countries trading with North Vietnam. He wanted Makarios out of the way, and with Sampson in place in Nicosia, blocked any condemnation of the coup in the Security Council. Once Ankara had delivered its ultimatum in London, he then connived at the Turkish invasion, co-ordinating its advance directly with Ankara." (thanks Talal)