Two NATO Allies at the Threshold of War

Two NATO Allies at the Threshold of War

Duke Press Policy Studies

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Book Pages: 248 Illustrations: Published: January 1990

Author: Parker T. Hart

Contributor: Lucius D. Battle

Middle East Studies, Politics > International Relations

As ambassador to Turkey during the Cyprus crisis (1965–1968), Parker T. Hart provides an insider’s view of the management of that crisis in NATO and Greek-Turkish relations. Greece and most Greek Cypriots favored enosis (union with Greece), but Turkey and the Turk Cypriots were prepared to go to war to prevent such an annexation. A massacre of Turk Cypriot villagers in November 1967 focused the anger of Turkey, which was prepared to send troops to Cyprus to equalize the preponderance of forces led by General George Grivas. The determined mediation of special presidential envoy Cyrus R. Vance prevented the initiation of all-out hostilities. Vance engineered a withdrawal of mainland Greek forces in excess of existing treaty levels in exchange for a standdown of Turkish forces. The Vance mission diffused the crisis and salvaged the integrity of NATO, and a Greek-Turkish agreement to sponsor and encourage intercommunal negotiations followed.
Hart has relied on his own papers from the period, as well as on United Nations sources from the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, and on the papers of the other key participants in the Crisis, Ambassador to Greece Phillips Talbot, Ambassador to Cyprus Taylor G. Belcher, and Cyrus Vance, to provide a rare play-by-play analysis of the crisis and its resolution.


“Hart has written an engrossing account of one of the fascinating chapters in Cyprus’ stormy history. Not only does Ambassador Hart tell us a lively and fast-moving story, but also one that demonstrates that the international community can harmonize its efforts in preserving the peace—recommended reading.” — Cyrus Vance


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