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Summer 2009 Foreword

By AHIF Staff | July 23, 2009

Dear AHI Members and Supporters,

I am proud to announce the first issue of the American Hellenic Institute Foundation Policy Journal which is our new On-Line Journal.

The purpose of the On-Line Journal is to offer a forum for our readers, including members of Congress and other government officials, by which they can examine issues concerning the United States, Cyprus and Turkey in a format that is more comprehensive and detailed than many of our traditional press releases and letters. Moreover, the On-Line Journal, published periodically, seeks to provide insights into developing issues and situations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeastern Europe that can or will have implications for United States foreign policy decisions and security interests in this vital region of the world.

Toward this end, I encourage you to read the article on Turkey by Gregory Copley, a noted author historian, security analyst, and the president of the Alexandria-based International Strategic Studies Institute. According to Mr. Copley, Turkey is on the verge of a major transition in its security orientation as it drifts further and further away from the West and closer to a regional orientation whereby it will become more and more connected to Moscow than to Washington and Brussels in future years.

For many, including the Turkish government, the Cyprus issue was settled once and for all in 1974 as a result of the Turkish invasion of that island and its subsequent illegal military occupation of northern Cyprus that continues today. Nevertheless, even as time goes on, things have not worked out for Turkey’s scheme to turn occupied Cyprus into a de facto and eventually de jure part of Turkey-proper. Simply stated, the world refuses to acknowledge either the so called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or its claims on the properties, historical and otherwise, illegally taken from their rightful owners.

In this issue we include a Report for Congress that was recently completed by Theresa Papademetriou, a Senior Foreign Law Specialist of the Law Library of Congress. It highlights the illegal and long-term actions of the Turkish government aimed at destroying all vestiges of Hellenic civilization in occupied Cyprus. The Report underscores Turkish efforts that, in addition to destroying the Hellenic heritage of occupied Cyprus, aim to make a profit in the process through the illegal sale of ancient artifacts and Christian Orthodox religious treasures to third-party collectors that wittingly or unwittingly  buy the smuggled items through auctions and other venues. That which is too large to be removed or sold abroad has been desecrated, destroyed or converted to other purposes, for instance the turning of churches, monasteries and other structures into mosques, military/government buildings, hotels, clinics or, in some cases, stables. The Report demonstrates that these activities, though they continue unabated, are and remain illegal as a matter of international law.

Finally, we include an article on the issue of real property in occupied Cyprus illegally taken by Turkish authorities from the rightful owners after they were compelled to flee to the south in the wake of the Turkish invasion in 1974. The article presents an analysis of the case concerning the sale of property in occupied Cyprus written by Nicholas G. Karambelas, Esq.  The legal owner of the property under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus is Meletis Apostolides.  Although the laws of the legitimate government of Cyprus cannot be applied in occupied northern Cyprus, a region under the illegal control of Turkey, they nevertheless remain recognized in European Union law. Mr. and Mrs. Orams, who are citizens of the United Kingdom, came to possess Mr. Apostolides’ property via the means of an illegal sale by a third party in northern Cyprus not recognized in European Union law as the rightful owner. The judgment in the case demonstrates that persons who buy property in occupied northern Cyprus do so at their own peril. The only rightful owner is the person who holds title to any such property under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus. The rightful owner can sue the possessing party in a court of the Republic of Cyprus, win a judgment against the party or parties who illegally bought property in northern Cyprus so long as the buyer(s) of the property maintain citizenship in an EU country and be legally compelled to satisfy any judgment thus rendered. The principle “caveat emptor” very much applies to any person who seeks to buy vacation villas or commercial property in occupied Cyprus at the expense of the rightful owner.

On behalf of the AHIF staff and the editors of the American Hellenic Institute Foundation Policy Journal, I present this first issue. We look forward to providing our readership with new and compelling articles and information in the future. Please submit an article for future issues. Our editorial staff will review and consider all submissions for publication.


Gene Rossides

July, 2009
Washington, D.C.

Topics: Summer 2009 | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Summer 2009 Foreword”

  1. max Says:
    November 13th, 2014 at 11:45 am


    thanks for information.