American Hellenic Institute


Facebook Image
AHI sends letter to Secretary Colin L. Powell
June 12, 2004—No.41 (202) 785-8430

AHI sends letter to Secretary Colin L. Powell

AHI sends letter to Secretary Colin L. Powell on

    1. Setting the record straight on the Annan Plan; and
    2. Cover-up of the State Department’s role in Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus

WASHINGTON, DC—On June 18, 2004, AHI President Gene Rossides sent a letter to Secretary Colin L. Powell on (1) setting the record straight on the Annan Plan and (2) the cover-up of the State Department’s role in Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The text of the letter follows:

June 18, 2004

The Honorable Colin L. Powell
Secretary of State
State Department
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520
Re:   Setting the record straight on the Annan Plan;
Cover-up of the State Department’s role in Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974

Dear Mr. Secretary:

In view of the unseemly and undiplomatic attacks by U.S. officials on the Greek Cypriots for their "no" vote of 76 percent on the Annan Plan for Cyprus and statements to reward the Turkish Cypriots for their "yes" vote of 65 percent, I believe it is important to set the record straight on the Annan Plan.

We have stated that the Annan Plan was unfair, unbalanced, unworkable and not financially viable. The State Department said it was fair and balanced. Let’s look at the facts to determine who is correct.

The Greek Cypriot "no" vote of 76 percent and the Turkish Cypriot "yes" vote of 65 percent is statistical evidence of the unfairness and unbalanced nature of the Annan Plan. If the yes and no votes had been close to a 50-50 mark, it could be argued that the plan was fair and balanced. It should also be pointed out that the illegal settlers were allowed to vote in disregard of established international law.

In examining various provisions of the plan it is clear on its face that the plan is unfair, unbalanced and sharply biased in Turkey’s and the Turkish Cypriots’ favor. It actually wipes out, believe it or not, Turkey’s aggression against Cyprus.

The undemocratic veto for the 18 percent Turkish Cypriot minority

The Annan Plan proposal was on its face undemocratic in that it provided a veto on all legislative and executive branch matters for the 18 percent Turkish Cypriot minority. A Greek Cypriot proposal for a deadlock breaking mechanism was rejected by the Turkish Cypriots and Mr. Annan.

The parliamentary system under the Annan Plan creates a minority veto for the 18 percent Turkish Cypriot minority. The following key legislative matters among others would be subject to the Turkish Cypriot veto:

    1. Adoption of laws concerning taxation, citizenship and immigration;
    2. Approval of the budget; and
    3. Election of the Presidential Council.

This arrangement is clearly undemocratic, a recipe for stalemate and harmful to all Cypriots.

The minority veto is also present in the Presidential Council which exercises the executive power of the component state. Political paralysis in the exercise of executive power will be the result of this arrangement.

The Annan Plan vetoes exceed the minority vetoes of the London-Zurich 1959-1960 agreements, which vetoes led to the breakdown of the Cyprus constitution. A minority veto is undemocratic and repugnant to core U.S. values.

Is the U.S. prepared to propose the Annan Plan’s minority veto provisions for the 20 percent Kurdish minority of 15 million in Turkey? Is Turkey prepared to give its Kurdish minority the same rights it seeks for the Turkish Cypriots? What about the Arab minority in Israel, Turks in Bulgaria, Albanians in FYROM, Greeks in Albania and minorities in Africa, Asia and North and South America?

The U.S. active assistance and support of the British maneuvered Annan Plan is, frankly, an embarrassment to our foreign policy. Rather than supporting undemocratic norms, the U.S. should promote with consistency and vigor the democratic policy espoused for Cyprus by Vice President George H.W. Bush on July 6, 1988:

"We seek for Cyprus a constitutional democracy based on majority rule, the rule of law, and the protection of minority rights."

Majority rule with protection of minority rights is a unifying force. Minority vetoes are inherently a divisive force.

In Afghanistan, a multi-ethnic country, the U.S. ambassador, Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, has successfully promoted a constitution providing for majority rule, the rule of law and protection for minority rights. Why has the U.S. not proposed a similar constitution for Cyprus? The Annan Plan is a direct contradiction to the Bush administration’s Middle East Initiative for Democracy.

The proposal is unworkable

It is useful to recall that the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research called the 1959-1960 London-Zurich agreements dysfunctional. It accurately predicted the problem areas. The Annan Plan is even more complicated and creates conditions for continuous squabbling, disagreements and deadlock.

The proposal subverts property rights

One of the most pernicious effects of the illegal Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus is that the rightful owners of real property there continue to be excluded from their property by the Turkish military. These rightful owners include many U.S. citizens. The Annan Plan proposes a highly complicated and uncertain regime for resolving property issues and will compel many of the rightful owners to accept an illusory form of compensation in the form of "bonds" issued by the "federal Cypriot government" which is not obligated to guaranty the obligation evidenced by the "bonds." A legal effect of the proposed regime is that rightful property owners can be forced against their will to relinquish their property rights without adequate compensation. The property regime in the Annan Plan violates the European Convention on Human Rights and international law.

Compounding the illegality of the property regime, the Annan Plan proposes that applications filed in the European Court of Human Rights be nullified and deemed settled by virtue of the property regime under the Annan Plan. This proposal means that the "federal Cypriot government" would unilaterally deprive any person claiming rightful title to property of rights guaranteed under the European Convention of Human Rights. While it is inconceivable that the European Court of Human Rights would enforce such a proposal, the fact that it is in the Annan Plan at all undermines the credibility and good faith basis of the Annan Plan.

The property regime makes no provision to reimburse the rightful property owners for the loss of use of their property for the past 30 years. Instead, the property regime requires the rightful property owners to seek such reimbursement from the "Greek Cypriot constituent state" rather than from the actual tortfeasor which is Turkey. This means that the rightful property owners can only be reimbursed from the revenues of the "Greek Cypriot constituent state" which are composed of the taxes paid by these very same rightful property owners.

The proposal is not financially viable

The cost of resettlement including the infrastructure and related costs in Famagusta/Varosha are huge—several billions of dollars. No adequate estimate has been made. These costs should be the responsibility of the Turkish government and the Turkish military, which has billions of dollars in a reserve fund.

The Security issue—the proposal fails to fully demilitarize Cyprus and gives Turkey "intervention" rights

There is no need for Turkish or Greek soldiers to remain in Cyprus. The U.S. should insist on full demilitarization now. The final Annan Plan actually provides for the permanent presence of 650 Turkish troops on Cyprus with the right of "intervention" by Turkey, a guarantor power under the 1959-1960 London Zurich agreements. With Cyprus now a full member of the EU, there is no need for Britain, Turkey or Greece to remain as guarantor powers.

The Annan Plan does not provide for the immediate demilitarization of Cyprus. It provides for the gradual withdrawal of Turkey’s 35,000/40,000 troops over 14 years with 650 remaining permanently. Earlier versions of the Plan did not authorize any Turkish troops to remain.

How could the UN Secretary-General propose or agree to any troops remaining—and incredibly, with intervention rights? How could he propose a 14 year period instead of immediate demilitarization?

There is no security problem for the Turkish Cypriots. The opening of the Green Line for crossings in Nicosia since April 2003 has proven that there is no security problem for the Turkish Cypriots.

As long ago as July 25, 1978, former Republican Senator Bob Dole proposed demilitarization on the Senate floor during the Senate debate on the amendment, which passed, to remove the remaining arms embargo on Turkey. Dole voted against lifting the embargo and noted that "[n]egotiations between the two communities have remained stalemated over the presence of the Turkish occupation force." He stated:

"The great need for demilitarization of Cyprus, involving withdrawal of both Greek and Turkish forces, must be stressed. . . . Once demilitarization of Cyprus is achieved, then the intercommunal talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities over the territorial and political settlement will proceed much more smoothly. This must be the goal of all parties: to achieve demilitarization of Cyprus as soon as possible. . . . The President should also encourage the strengthening of the U.N. security force on the island to assist the demilitarization and provide the protection necessary throughout this process. . . . We do not seek to dilute the role of the UN in bringing peace to Cyprus—we seek to strengthen it. That role would be much more difficult . . . if we were to resume arms sales and shipments to Turkey before her tens of thousands of forces are removed from the island. By upholding the rule of law, we encourage its application and effectiveness in the future." 124 Cong. Rec. 22533-5 (1978).

Dr. Ted Galen Carpenter, Vice President for defense and foreign policy studies at CATO Institute in Washington, D.C., stated on May 19, 2004 at the American Hellenic Institute conference on "Cyprus—The Road Ahead and U.S. Interests," that any new proposal for reunification of Cyprus must, at a bare minimum, "set a date certain for withdrawal of all foreign troops from Cyprus," and "provide for the right of return for displaced persons."

It should be noted that the Treaty of Guarantee under the London-Zurich Agreements did not authorize the use of "force" when it authorized "action." There is no mention of the word "force" in the Treaty. When Cyprus became a member of the UN in 1960, all provisions of the London-Zurich Agreements in conflict with or inconsistent with the UN Charter became null and void pursuant to article 103 of the Charter. Sir David Hunt, former British High Commissioner in Cyprus, has written:

"There is therefore no escape from the two-pronged argument: first that Article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee did not authorize the use of force; secondly that if force was sanctioned under that article, then the Treaty was void ab initio as inconsistent with the Charter." (Hunt, "Cyprus: A Study in International Relations," the 1980 Montagne Burton Lecture on International Relations in the University of Edinburgh, at page 11.)

Further, the terms of the Treaty of Guarantee specifically state that any action taken must be for the sole purpose of restoring the status quo ante.

The proposal does not provide for the return to Turkey of the 119,000 illegal Turkish settlers in the occupied area.

Central to a proper solution is the return of the 119,000 illegal Turkish settlers to Turkey except for those who would be authorized to remain for humanitarian purposes.

The drafters of the Annan Plan, primarily the British under Lord Hanney with the assistance of the U.S. by Ambassador Thomas Weston, the U.S. Cyprus Coordinator, simply ignored the Geneva Convention of 1949 which prohibits the colonization of occupied territories by the occupying power. The U.S. and the U.K. as signatories of the Geneva Convention are obligated to respect and carry out its provisions.

The proposed territorial adjustment is clearly unfair

The two proposed maps—A 28.6 percent and B 28.5 percent reward Turkey, the aggressor and penalize the Greek Cypriots, the victims. The Turkish Cypriots comprise 18 percent of the population and have title to about 14 percent of the land. A map proposal should provide for no more than 18 percent under Turkish Cypriot administration.

The Annan Plan and economic isolation/embargoes

One of the more egregious aspects of the Annan Plan Report is the references in the Summary and paragraphs 89 and 90 to "pressuring and isolating" the Turkish Cypriots as if this was the fault of the Greek Cypriots. Nothing could be further from the truth.

How could this Report fail to state that the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots was caused and continues to be caused by the 35,000/40,000 Turkish occupation troops and the establishment by Turkey of the Green Line barbed wire fence across the face of Cyprus. Remove the Turkish troops now and the Green Line and economic conditions in the north will improve dramatically.

There is no embargo. There is the rule of law. The European Court held that trade goods from the occupied area could not be exported directly but had to go through the legitimate government of Cyprus and its Customs Service. Also, the relatively poor economic conditions in the occupied area have been caused in substantial part by Turkey’s introduction of the Turkish lira as the official currency and the Turkish bureaucrats who were sent to the occupied area to run the economy.

The late President Ronald Reagan in his historic statement standing before the Berlin Wall said: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." When are the UN and the U.S. going to state to the Turkish military and Prime Minister Erdogan: "Remove your troops from Cyprus now and tear down this Green Line barbed wire fence."

The opening of parts of the Green Line in Nicosia and the over one million crossings by Greek and Turkish Cypriots has demonstrated beyond a doubt that the Greek and Turkish Cypriots can live and work together and that there is no security problem for Turkish Cypriots. The security problem that remains is for Greek Cypriots because of the illegal presence of 35,000/40,000 Turkish occupation troops.

The Annan Plan and the Rule of Law

The Annan Plan violates the rule of law in a number of instances:

    • UN Charter 

    The Annan Plan violates the UN Charter, article 2, paragraph 4 by not taking into account Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 which violated UN Charter 2(4) which prohibits the threat of and the use of force in international disputes. This is a most serious violation because it weakens, if not destroys, this fundamental provision of the UN Charter.

    It also violates the unanimous UN General Assembly Resolution 3212 of November 1, 1974 which calls for the removal of all foreign troops. Further, that resolution was unanimously endorsed by Security Council Resolution 365 on December 13, 1974.

    It also violates numerous UN SC resolutions calling for respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus.

    • Geneva Convention of 1949

    As mentioned, the Geneva Convention of 1949, section III, article 49, prohibits colonization by an occupying power. Article 49 states in its last paragraph: "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." Today there are estimates of 119,000 illegal Turkish colonists/settlers in Cyprus.

    The failure of the Annan Plan to call for the return to Turkey of the 119,000 illegal settlers to Turkey is a violation of the Geneva Convention.

    Mr. Secretary, you stated on June 13, 2004 on the ABC Sunday morning "This Week" program with George Stephanopoulos that President Bush has stated regarding Iraq that he will follow all legal obligations and has stated that he is bound by legal obligations under international treaties. We call on you and the President to do the same regarding Cyprus.

    The guiding principle for all the parties to the Annan Plan negotiations for a Cyprus settlement should be the rule of law.

    The interested parties are not only the immediate ones, the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, the guarantor powers, Britain, Greece and Turkey, and the UN, but also the U.S. which caused the Cyprus tragedy of 1974 by the illegal actions of the State Department under Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

What does it mean to stand by the rule of law?

It means what President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated during the 1956 Suez Crisis when Britain, France and Israel committed aggression in late October by invading Egypt to gain control of the Suez Canal. In his memorable October 31, 1956 television and radio report to the nation on the Middle East crisis he condemned that invasion. President Eisenhower said:

"We believe these actions to have been taken in error, for we do not accept the use of force as a wise or proper instrument for the settlement of international disputes.

· · · ·

The present fact nonetheless seems clear. The action taken can scarcely be reconciled with the principles and purposes of the UN to which we have all subscribed. And beyond this we are forced to doubt that resort to force and war will for long serve the permanent interests of the attacking nations.

· · · ·

My fellow citizens, as I review the march of world events in recent years I am ever more deeply convinced that the UN represents the soundest hope for peace in the world. For this very reason I believe that the processes of the UN need further to be developed and strengthened.

I speak particularly of increasing its ability to secure justice under international law.

In all the recent troubles in the Middle East there have, indeed, been injustices suffered by all nations involved. But I do not believe that another instrument of injustice—war—is a remedy for these wrongs.

There can be no peace without law. And there can be no law if we were to invoke one code of international conduct for those who oppose us and another for our friends. (Emphasis added)

· · · ·

The peace we seek and need means much more than mere absence of war. It means the acceptance of law and the fostering of justice in all the world.

To our principles guiding us in this quest we must stand fast. In so doing we can honor the hopes of all men for a world in which peace will truly and justly reign."

Eisenhower succeeded in reversing the aggression without firing a shot. He used diplomatic and economic pressure and the force of his own stature. Eisenhower would not have tolerated Turkey's aggression one minute.

The rule of law also means "that aggression cannot and will not pay" as set forth by President George H.W. Bush and President Mikhail Gorbachev in Helsinki on September 9, 1990 regarding Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Their historic joint statement read in part:

"We are united in the belief that Iraq's aggression must not be tolerated. No peaceful international order is possible if larger states can devour their smaller neighbors.

· · · ·

We are determined to see this aggression end, and if the current steps fail to end it, we are prepared to consider additional ones consistent with the U.N. Charter. We must demonstrate beyond any doubt that aggression cannot and will not pay."

When are we going to apply the Eisenhower Doctrine to Turkey?

When are we going to apply the Bush/Gorbachev Doctrine to Turkey?

The failure to apply the rule of law to Turkey has seriously damaged U.S. interests and cost the U.S. taxpayer over 50 billion dollars these past decades.

The Annan Plan needs to be changed to reflect the Eisenhower and Bush/ Gorbachev Doctrines in the interests of all the parties.

Turkey must be treated as any other aggressor nation would be treated. Applying the rule of law to the Annan Plan to make it democratic, workable, financially viable and just will serve the cause of peace and security in the region.

The Annan Plan as presently written reduces the UN to simply following the views of Britain, the prime drafter of the Annan Plan, and the U.S., in support of the aggressor Turkey. Britain, which caused the original Cyprus problem in the 1950's by its divide and rule policy, has substantial economic interests in Turkey and many Englishmen have illegal title to Greek Cypriot properties in northern occupied Cyprus.

The U.S. active support of Britain's actions makes a mockery of our efforts to build democratic institutions in Iraq, the rest of the Middle East and elsewhere.

The U.S. should follow the historic precedent set by Eisenhower in the Suez Crisis of 1956 by applying the rule of law to Turkey and using diplomatic and economic pressure on Turkey to end Turkey's aggression and occupation in Cyprus.

What the U.S. needs is leadership with the political will to act.

The failure to hold Turkey accountable for its aggression against Cyprus

How could the Annan Plan fail to take into account Turkey’s aggression against Cyprus and all the killings, rapes and destruction caused by Turkey?

On the transnational level, the regional European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights) is, by the terms of its preamble, an extension of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The government of Cyprus filed three applications to the European Commission on Human Rights. The Commission issued its report on the charges made in the first two applications on July 10, 1976. In it, the Commission found Turkey guilty of violating the following articles of the European Convention on Human Rights:

    1. Article 2—by the killing of innocent civilians committed on a substantial scale;

    2. Article 3—by the rape of women of all ages from 12 to 71;

    3. Article 3—by inhuman treatment of prisoners and persons detained;

    4. Article 5—by deprivation of liberty with regard to detainees and missing persons—a continuing violation;

    5. Article 8—by displacement of persons creating more than 170,000 Greek Cypriot refugees, and by refusing to allow the refugees to return to their homes—a continuing violation;

    6. Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention—by deprivation of possessions, looting and robbery on an extensive scale.

On January 23, 1977, the London Sunday Times published excerpts of the report and stated: "It amounts to a massive indictment of the Ankara government for the murder, rape and looting by its army in Cyprus during and after the Turkish invasion of summer 1974."

At a dinner in honor of Cyprus President George Vassiliou at the Kennedy Library on September 21, 1990, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) in his remarks stated:

"We are all familiar with the unconscionable invasion by Turkish troops in 1974 and the Turkish occupation of the northern part of Cyprus, which continues to this day. The Bush Administration must give higher priority to Cyprus in America’s foreign policy. Aggression is aggression is aggression. President Bush has made it clear that Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait is unacceptable. And it is time he made clear to Turkey that their invasion and occupation of Cyprus is just as unacceptable. . . . We know the speed with which productive change can come, and we hope that it will come to Cyprus soon. In less than two weeks, East will meet West when Germany unites. It is also time for North to meet South on Cyprus. The Wall has disappeared in Berlin, and the Green Line must disappear in Cyprus."

Why haven’t the Turkish military leaders and political leaders of 1974 been brought before a War Tribunal for their aggression and war crimes?

Compensation from Turkey for the victims of Turkey’s aggression?

There is talk of compensating the Iraqi victims of torture at the hands of a small number of U.S. servicepersons at the Al Ghraid jail. Why hasn’t the Annan Plan provided compensation from Turkey for the Greek Cypriot victims of Turkey’s aggression?

We cite the compensation paid by the government of Germany to holocaust victims and to the state of Israel and the government of Japan to the victims of its actions in Asia before and during World War II. We call on the U.S. government to press Turkey to pay compensation:

    • to the victims of Turkey's illegal invasion of Cyprus of 1974;

    • to the owners of property in Cyprus illegally taken, occupied and used by the Turkish authorities and individuals since 1974;

    • to the victims of the September 1955 Turkish pogrom against its Greek citizens in Istanbul;

    • to the victims of the Turkish genocide against the Pontian ( Black Sea) Greeks in the 1920's and

    • to the victims of the Turkish massacre of the Greek and Armenian populations of Smyrna (now Izmir) in 1922 under Kemal Ataturk's orders.

Turkey, under threat of expulsion from the Council of Europe, finally complied with the ruling of the European Court and paid the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights which awarded $1.3 million in damages to Titina Loizidou for the violation of her property rights in the occupied area in connection with Turkey’s illegal invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and its continuing illegal occupation. It demonstrates that forceful action regarding Turkey will bring results. We call for payments to all similarly situated Greek Cypriots and other owners of property in the occupied area, including American owners.

The pro-Turkish bias in the Annan Plan

One does not have to read Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s 22 page Report of May 28, 2004, on his mission of good offices in Cyprus or Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos’ 7 page reply on June 7, 2004, to understand the pro-Turkish bias in the Annan Plan. In reading the Annan Plan it is clear that it was written to satisfy Turkey. The Reuter’s news agency reported that a Turkish diplomat told reporters: "We cannot imagine a solution more marvelous than this, we got everything we wanted. [The Greeks] lost, it’s that simple."

I did read the Secretary-General’s Report and President Papadopoulos’ effective reply, and concluded that the pro-Turkish bias is even worse than I had thought. I urge you to read Mr. Papadopoulos’ reply.

Why did Britain and the U.S. press for the pro-Turkish provisions at the expense of the 80 percent Greek Cypriot majority?

The British have economic interests in Turkey they want to protect and there are a number of British property owners with illegal title to Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied north. The British would also like to erase the Turkish invasion because of Britain’s failure, as a guarantor power, to deter Turkey’s invasion as required under the Treaty of Guarantee.

The U.S. pro-Turkish position is generally considered to be linked to Israel. The Turkey-Israel military cooperation arrangement was entered into according to the late Professor Amos Perlmutter to provide jobs and profits for the Israeli defense industry and was not aimed at Greece. (Remarks at an American Hellenic Institute forum on June 21, 1999.) In a joint letter to President Bush on May 17, 2004, we set forth the reasons why the Turkey-Israel military cooperation understanding is not in the best interests of the U.S. or Israel. Please see the AHI Web site at www.ahiworld.orgfor the text. A second reason was to wipe out the Turkish invasion of 1974 and cover-up the U.S. role in that invasion. A third reason was to help Turkey get a date for EU accession negotiations.

Mr. Secretary, you have been misled

Frankly, Mr. Secretary you have been and are being misled as to the alleged fairness and balance in the Annan Plan. The official in the State Department responsible for characterizing the Annan Plan as fair and balanced is the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Marc Grossman, the highest ranking career official in the Department.

Mr. Grossman has been the point man on U.S. policy towards Cyprus, as well as Greece and Turkey, for years, going back to August 1997 when he was appointed Assistant Secretary for European Affairs. When he was Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources from June 2000 to February 2001, he took it upon himself to testify before Congress on Greece, Turkey and Cyprus matters. In March 2001 he was sworn in as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. The State Department website states that the:

"The Under Secretary is the Department's day-to-day manager of overall regional and bilateral policy issues, and is responsible for integrating political, economic, global, and security issues into the U.S.’ bilateral relationships. There are six geographically defined bureaus and one functional bureau that report to the Under Secretary—bureaus for Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, the Near East, South Asia, the Western Hemisphere, and International Organizations."

Mr. Grossman has initiated or approved every memorandum to you on the Cyprus issue. That is, of course, standard operating procedure and is well-known in the bureaucracy but not well-known to the general public. On third level issues, such as the Cyprus issue, the memoranda and oral comments from the Under Secretary are usually the basis for the Secretary’s final policy position.

Mr. Grossman is also responsible for the comments of Department officials attacking President Papadopoulos and the Greek Cypriots for their no vote and praising the Turkish Cypriots for their yes vote and the Department’s position of punishing the Greek Cypriots and rewarding the Turkish Cypriots.

Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has stated:

"The criticism expressed by some EU leaders and some elements within our own government is both unwarranted and counterproductive. The vote reflected widespread and deep concern in the Greek Cypriot community over the deficiencies in the plan’s provisions. It is a setback but not a defeat where a settlement is concerned."

As I understand negotiations and diplomacy, the normal and usual reaction should have been to set out the areas of agreement and disagreement and to stress the need to continue efforts to reach agreement.

Yet Mr. Grossman, instead of respecting the democratic process and the overwhelming majority "no" vote of 76 percent, pounced on the vote result to initiate attacks on the Greek Cypriots and President Papadopoulos and praise Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. This reaction was not only unseemly and undiplomatic but can be characterized as negligent and incompetent diplomacy in view of the facts and past history.

It is all the more regrettable when one considers that the Greek Cypriots have given substantial support to U.S. efforts in the region over the years while Turkey has not and has actually harmed U.S. efforts.

President George W. Bush stated to a Greek American audience on April 1, 2004, regarding the Cyprus referenda on April 24, 2004, that "We will not tell them how to vote."

Yet Mr. Grossman authorized Ambassador Thomas Weston, the Department’s Cyprus Coordinator, to state before the April 24, 2004 vote, that the Annan Plan was the final chance for a settlement, that this was it with no changes. What kind of diplomacy is this—threats and direct interference in the voting process of another nation? The Cyprus issue will not go away as long as Turkey continues its illegal occupation of Cyprus with 40,000 troops. Do we interfere in French or German votes? Only in little Cyprus do we intervene.

Laurence Stern, a distinguished foreign news editor of the Washington Post, wrote in his book The Wrong Horse (1977 at page 7):

"One of the most important keys to an understanding of the Cyprus muddle is the realization that the United States, far from being a disinterested broker to the disputes of the past, was a deeply involved participant."

Lord Hanney, the former British envoy to Cyprus, said that not reaching a resolution by May 1 was "not the end of the world" and that negotiations are available after May 1, 2004, the date Cyprus became a full member of the EU.

President Papadopoulos has stated repeatedly that the Greek Cypriots and he personally are committed to the solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation. Their rejection of the Annan Plan was not a rejection of a proper solution. Yet Mr. Grossman has tried to stigmatize the Greek Cypriots as obstructionists.

It is to be noted that the UN Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro de Soto, recently said: "We will need time to evaluate what happened and we would especially like to know why the Greek Cypriots voted the way they did and what they want in the future."

These recent actions of the State Department have brought into bold relief the policy for years of a double standard on the rule of law and appeasement of Turkey without regard to U.S. values and principles and without regard as to the impact of these actions on other bilateral relations and U.S. worldwide interests.

These actions of the State Department also reveal and bring into sharp focus the efforts of State to cover-up the U.S. role in Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and to wipe out Turkey’s aggression.

Cover-up of the State Department’s role in Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974

Turkey’s use of American-supplied arms and equipment in its aggression against Cyprus was not in accordance with the purposes of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Section 502 of that Act limits the use of assistance to internal security, legitimate self-defense and regional and collective defensive arrangements. Furthermore, Turkey did not seek or obtain the requisite formal consent from the U.S. to use our arms for purposes not provided for in the Foreign Assistance Act and Foreign Military Sales Act. As a result, Turkey was acting in violation of section 505(d) of the Act and section 3(c) of the Foreign Military Sales Act and became "immediately ineligible" for further military assistance and sales.

Kissinger, as Secretary of State, was the primary official responsible for implementation of section 505(d) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and section 3(c) of the Foreign Military Sales Act of the U.S. Except for the President, Kissinger had final authority regarding these particular laws.

Kissinger continued to authorize arms shipments to Turkey following Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus. He failed to declare Turkey "immediately ineligible" for further assistance and sales as required under the plain language of section 505(d) of the Foreign Assistance Act and section 3(c) of the Foreign Military Sales Act. This was a violation of section 505(d) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and section 3(c) of the Foreign Military Sales Act. This clear and deliberate violation of U.S. laws led Congress to pass the embargo legislation against Turkey. Kissinger also violated his constitutional oath of office to faithfully uphold and execute the laws of the U.S.

Kissinger not only acted illegally, but he also failed to deter the Greek junta from its planned coup against President Makarios. Kissinger’s actions prior to the invasion encouraged Turkey to invade Cyprus in July 1974, and his actions thereafter further encouraged Turkey to renew its aggression on August 14, 1974. The Los Angeles Times reported that Kissinger knew in advance that the Turks planned to invade Cyprus in July 1974. Nevertheless, Kissinger rejected an appeal from the U.S. Ambassador to Greece, Henry Tasca, to use the U.S. Sixth Fleet to stop the invasion.

In an editorial, the New York Times put the responsibility for the tragic events in Cyprus on Kissinger’s shoulders. The editorial stated in part:

"A Library of Congress analysis of pertinent legislation, inserted in the Congressional Record by Representative John Brademas of Indiana, supports the contention of Mr. Brademas and three colleagues in a letter to Mr. Kissinger that the cut off in aid to Turkey "is not discretionary as a matter of policy, but is mandatory under the terms of the Foreign Assistance Act. . . .

"Senator Thomas F. Eagleton of Missouri charges that President Ford is being deliberately kept "uninformed" of the mandatory cutoff for Turkey "in order to protect erroneous policy judgments made by the foreign affairs bureaucracy." But it has been not so much the State Department bureaucracy that has so bungled American policy in the Cyprus crisis as Mr. Kissinger himself.

"The stalling on the aid cutoff, in violation of the laws, is of a piece with Washington’s earlier unwillingness to condemn Greece’s disintegrating junta for the coup against the legal Government of Cyprus—a reluctance that encouraged Turkey to intervene on the island. It is also consistent with Washington’s refusal to condemn Turkey’s subsequent massive occupation of a third of Cyprus in flagrant breach of solemn cease-fire pledges.

"Senator Eagleton, Representative Brademas and their colleagues are to be applauded for persisting in their demand for an end to Mr. Kissinger’s illegal appeasement of Turkish aggression." (N.Y. Times, Sept. 14, 1974, at A28, col. 1).

A review of the sequence of events leading up to the crisis is instructive. After the foiled assassination attempt against Cypriot President Makarios on July 15, 1974, and the coup against his government, the British flew Makarios to London to meet with Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, stated that they were "following the situation closely with the Turkish authorities," that it was a Greek Cypriot affair and that the Turkish Cypriots should "not . . . interfere in any way."

Meanwhile, Nicos Sampson, an ultra-rightist and discredited former member of the Greek Cypriot national liberation movement EOKA, was installed as President of Cyprus. The coup and Sampson’s appointment were condemned by Britain and other nations throughout the world, except the U.S.

While Britain was meeting with Makarios and condemning Sampson and the coup, Kissinger gave Turkey both time and the purported reason to invade Cyprus. Kissinger did not criticize the coup and the assassination attempt against President Makarios. In fact, Kissinger sought and obtained a postponement of the UN Security Council meeting from Monday, July 15, 1974, the day of the coup, to Friday, July 19, 1974. (Christian Science Monitor, July 19, 1974, at 1, col.2.) On Wednesday, July 17, 1974 Kissinger instructed the U.S. Ambassador in Nicosia to meet with the foreign minister of the renegade Sampson government, and had a "high American official" leak to the New York Times that the U.S. was leaning towards Sampson. That leak was the lead story on page 1, column 8 of the New York Times on July 18, 1974. Turkey invaded in the early hours of July 20, 1974.

Subsequently, the UN accorded Makarios head of state status when he addressed the General Assembly on July 19, 1974, but Kissinger failed to do the same when Makarios met with him three days later at the State Department.

Kissinger undermined the UN-sponsored negotiations and cease-fire by approving a statement on August 13, 1974 issued by State Department spokesman Robert Anderson. The statement said that the "Turkish community on Cyprus requires considerable improvement and protection" even though there was no evidence of any threat to the Turkish Cypriot community. The statement appeared to offer U.S. support for the Turkish government ultimatum of August 13, 1974 which was tantamount to partition and was followed the next day, August 14, 1974, by renewed Turkish aggression when Turkish forces broke out of the four percent of Cyprus they controlled and occupied an additional thirty-three percent of Cyprus. That action occurred three weeks after the legitimate government of Cyprus had been restored on July 23, 1974 with acting President Glafkos Clerides.

Because U.S. arms assistance was continuing and Kissinger was telling the world that the position of the Turkish Cypriots needed "considerable improvement and protection," the Turkish government had no incentive to negotiate a reasonable and fair solution.

If the U.S. had joined Britain and the other members of the Security Council in immediate condemnation of the coup and in supporting Makarios as the elected leader of Cyprus, the Sampson government would have fallen before the end of the week. This would have removed any possible excuse for Turkey to invade Cyprus. Coincidentally, it would have finished the Greek junta government as well. In any event, had the U.S. actively opposed Sampson, Turkey’s aggression would have been prevented.

Kissinger never informed Turkey that the Foreign Assistance Act would be invoked and aid to Turkey would cease if Turkey invaded Cyprus. Instead, Kissinger’s actions kept the Sampson government afloat long enough for Turkey to prepare and invade Cyprus. Former Under Secretary of State Ball testified before Congress that the U.S. should have publicly denounced the Greek junta-initiated coup against Makarios and told Greece: "You have got to unscramble this coup and restore constitutional government," while at the same time saying to Turkey, "You’ve got to hold off while we work this situation out." (Cyprus Hearings 1974, House Committee on Foreign Affairs at pages 40-41.)

In congressional testimony approximately one year later, Mr. Cyrus Vance, who was later to become Secretary of State in the Carter administration, stated:

"I would have acted differently than the Government did under these circumstances. It seemed to me that once the legitimate constitutional government of Cyprus was overthrown by a coup that the first and clear step that the U.S. should have taken was to denounce that action and state very clearly that it expected the constitutional government to be restored. This would have been in conformity with what Great Britain had publicly stated and with what our other NATO allies had said." (House Committee on International Relations—name changed—1975 Cyprus Hearings, at page 51; N.Y. Times, July 11, 1975, at A2, col.3.)

Because of Kissinger’s refusal to halt arms shipments to Turkey, legislation was introduced in the House and Senate in September 1974, to enforce the law by embargoing arms to Turkey. From September to December, 1974, there were over a dozen votes in the House and Senate on the embargo that culminated in a congressionally enacted embargo in December 1974.

Throughout the congressional battle Kissinger and the State Department fought the embargo legislation. Kissinger personally lobbied Congressmen and Senators. After the embargo went into effect, the Administration immediately undermined its force by stating that legislation would be introduced to repeal it.

By not enforcing the penalty provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act and the Foreign Military Sales Act against Turkey, Kissinger violated laws that go to the very heart of U.S. foreign policy. This policy, that weapons and aid from the U.S. are not to be used for offensive strikes, is fundamental not only to American foreign policy, but is also central to the purposes underlying the UN Charter, namely, that disputes be settled peacefully and not by the threat or use of force.

The cover-up by the State Department of the U.S. role in Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 has continued to the present time.


For all the reasons set forth above, the Annan Plan was unfair, unbalanced, unworkable, not financially viable, rewarded the aggressor, Turkey, and punished the victims, the Greek Cypriots. For the State Department to contend otherwise is Orwellian.

The Greek Cypriots worked hard and abided by the rule of law to pull themselves up from the destruction, killings and rapes caused by the Turkish military in 1974 and thereafter. They have supported the U.S. throughout this period, particularly in the Persian Gulf War period in 1990 and 1991 and the Iraq War of 2003 while Turkey did not. The Greek Cypriots deserve better from the U.S. and the UN.

The U.S. should muster the political will (1) to apply diplomatic and economic pressure on Turkey to remove promptly its 35,000/40,000 troops and settlers from Cyprus, and (2) to apply the American principles of majority rule, the rule of law and protection of minority rights to Cyprus as we have to Afghanistan.

Mr. Secretary, I do not believe that you have been adequately briefed on the facts and history of the Cyprus problem and their important bearing on the Annan Plan.

I am sending a copy of this letter to the President.



/s/Gene Rossides
cc:    Vice President Richard B. Cheney
Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snow
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
UN Ambassador John D. Negroponte
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Lee Armitage
Chief of Staff Andrew Card
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice
Senior Advisor to the President Karl Rove
Advisor to the President Karen Hughes
Director of OMB Joshua Bolten
Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs A. Elizabeth Jones
Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston
The Congress
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
UN Under-Secretary-General Alvaro de Soto, Special Advisor on Cyprus


For additional information, please contact Vivian Basdekis at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our Web site at