New CIA Documents Link Kissinger to Two 1970s Coups

This post, written by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane, originally appeared on Raw Story

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger pushed for the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and allowed arms to be moved to Ankara for an attack on that island in reaction to a coup sponsored by the Greek junta, according to documents and intelligence officers with close knowledge of the event.

Nearly 700 pages of highly classified Central Intelligence Agency reports from the 1970's, known collectively as the "Family Jewels," are slated for public release today.

However, the National Security Archive had previously obtained four related documents through the Freedom of Information Act and made them public Friday.

"In all the world the things that hurt us the most are the CIA business and Turkey aid," Kissinger declares in one of those documents, a White House memorandum of a conversation from Feb. 20, 1975. On the surface, the comment seems innocuous, but the context as well as the time period suggests Kissinger had abetted illegal financial aid and arms support to Turkey for its 1974 Cyprus invasion.

In July and August of 1974, Turkey staged a believed then, and still believe, 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.

According to columnist Christopher Hitchens, author of the book The Trial of Henry Kissinger, "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 wished to remain anonymous to maintain the security of their identity, confirmed to RAW STORY that Kissinger both pushed for the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and allowed arms to be moved to Ankara.

However, a former CIA officer who was working in Turkey at the time, suggests that Kissinger's statement in the memorandum about Turkish aid likely means the Ford administration, following Kissinger's advice, conducted business under the table with right-wing ultra-nationalist General Kenan Evren, who later dissolved Parliament and became the dictator of Turkey in a 1980 coup.

"The implication is that the US government was dealing directly with General Evren and circumventing the [democratically elected] Turkish government," the former CIA officer said. "This was authorized by Kissinger, because they were nervous about Ecevit, who was a Social Democrat."

"We technically cut off military aid for them," the officer added, referring to an arms embargo passed by Congress after the invasion. "Technically... technically, but this would imply that the military and/or probably CIA aid continued even after the aid was cut off by Congress. This may substantively be what led to the overthrow eventually of Ecevit."
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