The United States, Turkey and the Cyprus issue from 1949 to 1964 Johnson letter

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2019
Özkan, Ali.
This thesis purports to examine the positions of the United States and Turkey towards the Cyprus issue between 1949 and 1964. The study questions whether there was harmony or discord in bilateral relations due to their policy decisions concerning the issue. Accordingly, the thesis analyzes the nature of the American-Turkish alliance established in the 1940s, and examines how the Cyprus issue shaped, and how it was shaped by the positions of these two countries until 1964 Johnson letter. The thesis concludes that the alliance between the US and Turkey did not witness a major conflict until 1964. Throughout the Cyprus issue, American objectives were in line with its Cold War strategies. These were to preserve and increase the American and NATO power in the region. To that end, the US considered Turkey as a legal party that should be taken into account concerning the island. In addition, for Turkey, the US involvement to the issue was of vital significance for a sustainable solution. However, in 1964, the study reveals that the dynamics on the island, particularly Makarios, the US policy shift towards enosis, and the increasing calls for military intervention by Turkey transformed harmony in the alliance to disharmony within the context of the Cyprus issue. The process ended with the Johnson letter. The letter was the most direct involvement of the US in the Cyprus issue towards which the US mostly sustained its Cold War strategies through ‘precautious’ and ‘indirect’ involvement.