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AHI Letter to the Editor Published in the Washington Times
November 24, 2003 No. 58 (202) 785-8430

AHI Letter to the Editor Published in the Washington Times

WASHINGTON, DC—On November 22, 2003, the Washington Times published a letter to the editor written by American Hellenic Institute (AHI) Executive Director, Nick Larigakis, in response to a November 16, 2003 Op-Ed article by Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the so-called "Minister of Foreign Affairs" of the illegal entity in Northern Cyprus. Mr. Larigakis' letter follows:


November 20, 2003

The Washington Times
News and Editorial
3600 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Re: The Cyprus Problem

Dear Editor:

Once again, Mr. Tashin Ertugruloglu, the so-called "Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," in his Sunday Forum article "Greek Cypriot Arrogance Stymies Talks" set forth his false and inaccurate positions, in a time that seems critical for positive movement on a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem. Mr. Ertugruloglu represents an illegal entity not recognized by the U.S. and the international community. Mr. Ertugruloglu’s articles constantly misinform the readers of the Washington Times and we need to be clear about that. The "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" is not a recognized entity and any opinions conveyed on its behalf have neither political legitimacy nor credibility.

The issue is that Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and since then has been illegally occupying 37% of the island, despite the condemnation by the international community and numerous United Nations resolutions. The United Nations, the United States and the European Union strongly support the unification of the island but it is Turkey’s and Mr. Denktash’s intransigence that impedes the communities to find a solution to the problem.

Despite its flaws, the Greek Cypriots have accepted to negotiate on the basis of the Annan Plan. Mr. Denktash and Turkey still deny to negotiate on the basis of the internationally accepted framework of the rule of law and they try to find half-measures to impede the solution, such as the partial lift of the illegal restrictions on movement by the Turkish side. Ambassador Thomas Weston, the State Department’s Cyprus Coordinator, stated on May 8 that the limited opening of the Green Line, and the moves associated with it "are not a settlement. These moves do not and will not solve some very basic issues…The only path to settlement is a settlement." On September 3 he also stated in Brussels: "Turkey should be doing more on the Cyprus issue."

Any responsibility for the situation in Cyprus and the stalemate concerning the peace talks belongs exclusively to the Turkish side and Mr. Denktash. Mr. Ertugruloglu’s claims are simply false and they misinform your readers.

Nick Larigakis
Executive Director
American Hellenic Institute


Mr. Larigakis’ letter is also available on the Washington Times’ website at under the "Letters to the Editor" section.

For additional information, please contact Angeliki Vassiliou at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information on AHI, see our website at

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The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) and its affiliate organizations, the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee (AHIPAC), the American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF), and the AHI Business Network, a division of the AHI, are working together under one roof, to provide a joint program for strengthening United States relations with Greece and Cyprus and within the American Hellenic community.