American Hellenic Institute


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AHI and AHEPA Joint Letter to President Clinton on 25th Anniversary of Turkey's Invasion of Cyprus Calls for Realistic and Moral Approach
July 20, 1999 No. 26/99 (202) 785-8430

AHI and AHEPA Joint Letter to President Clinton on 25th Anniversary of Turkey's Invasion of Cyprus Calls for Realistic and Moral Approach

July 20, 1999 marks the 25th anniversary of Turkey's 1974 invasion of Cyprus. The American Hellenic Institute and the Order of AHEPA sent a joint letter to President Clinton today commemorating the sad occasion and calling for a new policy approach by the United States to the Cyprus problem. A copy of the letter is attached. It was signed by George J Dariotis, Supreme President, AHEPA and Eugene T. Rossides, General Counsel, AHI.

Turkey's continuing illegal occupation of 37.3 percent of the island is now entering its 26th year. It is a scandal that the international community has tolerated this act of aggression for so long.

The United States and the Clinton administration also share responsibility for this. In 1974 the Administration did nothing to stop the illegal Turkish invasion. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger not only failed to do so, but actually aided the Turkish invasion and then violated U.S. laws which mandated the "immediate" halt of arms to Turkey.

For its part, the Clinton administration has failed to honor its 1992 and 1996 campaign pledges to give high priority to settling the Cyprus problem in accordance with "the fundamental principles of human rights and democratic norms and practices."

This has not happened. Instead, under the direction of career officials in the State and Defense Departments and the NSC, the Clinton Administration has pursued an appeasement policy toward Turkey.

The letter states that it is time to recognize that the approach adopted by the U.S since 1974 of treating Cyprus as a traditional diplomatic problem where 'meet-in-the-middle' negotiations involving compromises by each side has failed. Cyprus has made compromises to which Turkey has failed to respond. Today, this pattern is being repeated in Turkey's rejection of the current G-8 and UN initiative on Cyprus announced in June 1999.

The letter calls for a realistic approach to the Cyprus problem that recognizes that Turkey is the aggressor and Cyprus the victim. The U.S. should cease dealing with the puppet Turkish Cypriot authorities and concentrate on the military controlled government of Turkey. It should demand that Turkey immediately withdraws all its forces from Cyprus and adheres to the demands of the international community in respect of a Cyprus settlement based on normal democratic principles. Failing this, the U.S. should use coercive means, including removal of trade benefits and economic sanctions against Turkey.