Greek American Membership Organizations’ 2006 Policy Statement on the Cyprus Problem
WASHINGTON, DC—American Hellenic Institute President Gene Rossides announced today that the major Greek American membership organizations endorse the 2006 policy statement on the Cyprus Problem. Prepared by the American Hellenic Institute, it is part of the 2006 Greek American Policy Statements. The major membership organizations are: the Order of AHEPA, the Hellenic American National Council, the Cyprus Federation of America, the Panepirotic Federation of America, the Pan-Macedonian Association of America, the PanCretan Association of America and the American Hellenic Institute. The endorsed statement follows:
The Cyprus Problem
The U.S. failed to take advantage of at least three factors since 2003 which presented the U.S. with opportunities for positive movement on the Cyprus problem. The first factor was that Operation Iraqi Freedom demonstrated (1) Turkey’s unreliability as a strategic ally when it counted most when Turkey refused on March 1, 2003 to allow up to 62,000 U.S. troops to use bases in Turkey to open a northern front against Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship; (2) that Turkey is of minimal strategic value for U.S. interests in the Middle East, since the defeat of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship without Turkey’s help and the availability of military facilities elsewhere in the region; and (3) that Turkey is an “extortionist” state who tried to get for its cooperation $6 billion more over the $26 billion offered, a veto over U.S. policy on the northern Iraq Kurds and access to northern Iraq oil. (N.Y. Times, Feb. 20, 2003; A1; col. 6.)
Turkey's unreliability as an ally is not new! There is a history of Turkey's actual support of and assistance to the Soviet military during the Cold War to the serious detriment of the U.S. (See Exh. 1)
On February 16, 2005 The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) carried an editorial page article (A14; col.3) “The Sick Man of Europe—Again” by Mr. Robert L. Pollock, a senior editorial page writer at the WSJ. Finally a mainstream journalist, and a conservative one at that, has given the U.S. public the real picture of Turkey’s virulent anti-American and anti-Semitic attitudes. He tells it as it is. (See Exhibit 2 for a copy of Mr. Pollock’s article.)
On March 8, 2005, the noted journalist, Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International, in an article titled “Cold Turkey” (Washington Times, Mar. 8, 2005, A17, col.1) pointed out that “Turkey, an erstwhile ally, nabbed the gold medal recently in the global anti-American stakes” citing a BBC world survey. (See Exhibit 3 for a copy of Mr. de Borchgrave’s article.)
On September 27, 2005, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., in an article in the Washington Times titled “‘No’ to Islamist Turkey” highlighted why Europe should not accept Turkey into the EU. (See Exhibit 4)
On March 14, 2006, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., in another article on Turkey, this one titled “Islamofascist Coup?” details Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “creeping Islamofascist coup against the country’s secular institutions and traditions.” (See Exhibit 5)
In February 2006 a new Turkish film “Valley of the Wolves: Iraq,” a virulent anti-American and anti-Semitic film, was released to record breaking audiences in Turkey.
On March 18, 2006 another article on Turkey by Robert L. Pollock was published in the Wall Street Journal titled “After Ataturk: The Weekend Interview with Recep Tayyip Erdogan.” It was based on Mr. Pollock’s interview with Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan and, in effect, is just as disturbing as his first article. (See Exhibit 6)
There is no need now, if there ever was, for the U.S. to continue its harmful policy of double standards for and appeasement of Turkey on Turkey's invasion of Cyprus, its occupation of 37.3 percent of Cyprus, its violation of human rights in Turkey and Cyprus , its outlandish claim to one-half of the Aegean Sea and its disdain for the rule of law. The U.S. should alter its harmful “double standards” policy on the rule of law for Turkey and Turkey’s aggression against Cyprus and occupation of 37.3 percent of Cyprus, now in its 32nd year.
On July 20, 1974, Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus with the illegal use of U.S.-supplied arms and equipment in violation of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, the UN Charter article 2 (4), the preamble and article 1 of the NATO Treaty and customary international law. Turkey occupied about four percent of Cyprus during the initial phase of its invasion. Turkish pilots flying American planes dropped American-made bombs (including napalm bombs), terrorizing and killing innocent Greek Cypriot civilians in Nicosia, Famagusta, Kyrenia, and elsewhere.
Turkey’s invasion had the support and encouragement of then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who knew in advance Turkey planned to invade Cyprus and refused to use the U.S. Sixth Fleet or otherwise act to prevent the invasion, as requested by U.S. Ambassador to Greece, Henry Tasca. Kissinger refused to denounce Turkey's aggression, as Britain and most other nations did, and he refused to enforce U.S. laws requiring an immediate halt in U.S. arms to Turkey, though he had the statutory obligation to do so. He also violated his oath of office by failing to do so.
On August 14, 1974, three weeks after the legitimate government of Cyprus was restored, Turkey launched the second phase of its invasion of Cyprus. This was also encouraged by Secretary Kissinger, who the day before had authorized a statement by the State Department's spokesman, Ambassador Robert Anderson, that the Turkish Cypriots needed more protection. He failed to denounce the second phase of Turkey’s aggression and failed to uphold U.S. laws requiring an immediate halt in U.S.- supplied arms. In the second phase of the aggression, Turkey grabbed another 33 percent of the island, expanding its land grab to a total of 37.3 percent of Cyprus’s sovereign territory, killed innocent civilians, raped women from the ages of 12-71, forced 180,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes and property and committed massive destruction of property including churches. The European Commission on Human Rights issued a report on July 10, 1976 on the charges made in two applications by the Cyprus government. In the report the Commission found Turkey guilty of violating the following articles of the European Convention on Human Rights:
On January 23, 1977, the London Sunday Times published excerpts of the report (page 1, col.1) 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.”
The Turkish army has continued to occupy this territory ever since. It is an affront to the international legal order and a continuing threat to regional stability.
The invasion and Turkey’s continuing occupation have drawn universal international condemnation, as reflected in UN resolutions, statements by members of Congress and from many nations, and various court decisions in Europe, but not from the Executive Branch of the U.S. government.
Turkey contributes some $350 million annually in direct economic support to the regime in the occupied parts of Cyprus, and it is estimated that the total cost to Turkey of its illegal occupation amounts to one billion dollars annually. To secure its land grab of Cypriot territory, Turkey has illegally settled northern occupied Cyprus with one hundred thousand Turks from Anatolia in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949, section III, art. 4, which prohibits colonization by an occupying power. These colonists are beholden to their Turkish sponsors whose heavy annual outlays subsidize them. As money is fungible, U.S. economic aid subsidized Turkey's occupation of Cyprus for decades.
There is no legal distinction between Turkey's 1974 invasion of Cyprus and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The Cyprus problem is one of invasion and occupation by Turkey. Viewed objectively, Turkey in 1974 committed war crimes in Cyprus in view of the evidence presented to the European Commission of Human Rights and upheld by the Commission in its report referred to above.
Then Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger bears the major responsibility for the Cyprus problem in 1974 because he encouraged and supported Turkeys invasion of Cyprus, violated his oath of office by failing to halt immediately arms to Turkey as required by U.S. law and refused to denounce Turkey's aggression. The U.S. bears a moral responsibility to redress the situation.
Britain also bears a major responsibility for Turkey’s invasion of 1974 and for failing to meet its responsibility under the Treaty of Guarantee to warn Turkey against invading and to take action to repel the invasion on July 20, 1974, and to have rejected Turkey’s ultimatum on August 13, 1974 during UN negotiations and to have acted on August 14, 1974 to oppose Turkey’s renewed aggression.
We support a settlement of the Cyprus problem through negotiations based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in a state with a single sovereignty and international personality, incorporating the norms of a constitutional democracy embracing key American principles, the EUacquis communautaire, the European constitution, UN resolutions on Cyprus, the pertinent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and of other European Courts.
President Tassos Papadopoulos’ new initiative with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised
Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos initiated a meeting with Secretary-General Kofi Annan on February 28, 2006 aimed at reviving talks to achieve a settlement of the Cyprus problem. In 2005 President Papadopoulos had submitted extensive material to Mr. Annan regarding a renewal of discussions following the overwhelming rejection of the UN Annan plan, by a vote of 76 percent, by the Greek Cypriots on April 24, 2004.
Following their meeting, Messrs Annan and Papadopoulos issued a joint statement and held a press conference. The UN press release dated February 28, 2006 follows:
U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) praised President Papadopoulos for his initiative in remarks on the Senate floor on March 9, 2006 which follow:
On March 18, 2006, Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland), at the American Hellenic Institute’s annual awards dinner congratulated President Papadopoulos as follows:
Annan Plan “not a viable solution to the Cyprus problem”
The Annan Plan-5, submitted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as the basis for a settlement in 2004, was undemocratic, unworkable, not financially viable and not compatible with American principles, the EU's acquis communautaire, UN resolutions and the European Convention on Human Rights. Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, in a March 12, 2005 letter to President Bush called the Annan Plan “not a viable solution to the Cyprus problem” and further stated: “The Annan Plan in its present form is unsuitable for a successful resolution of the Cyprus problem and needs major modifications to be viable.”
Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen detailed the reasons why the Annan Plan was not a viable solution: “the continuing presence of Turkish troops;” “Turkish Cypriots and mainland Turkish settlers” keeping “Greek Cypriot homes and other property that they seized following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus” and “not have to reimburse the owners of the property;” Annan requires “the Greek Cypriots to be reimbursed by the federal treasury which is funded overwhelmingly by the Greek Cypriots” which means “the Greek Cypriots would be reimbursing themselves.” (See Exhibit 7 for a detailed analysis of the Annan Plan’s many obvious shortcomings. Exhibits 1-7 may be accessed at AHI’s website at ahiworld.org.)
The Congresswoman also referred to “the unwarranted criticism and attacks on the Greek-Cypriots for their ‘no’ vote of 76 percent,” and stated that: “The public has been misled by claims that Greek-Cypriots were the ones responsible for the ultimate failure of the unification plan.”
In the letter to President Bush, she also stated: “Perhaps it is now time for a new approach to the issue.” She urged the President “to remain engaged in efforts to resolve the conflict in Cyprus, and to continue the search for a just and lasting reunification that will promote peace and stability.”
Dora Bakoyannis, Greece’s new Foreign Minister, has stated, most recently on April 4, 2006 in Cyprus that the UN Annan Plan was “history.” “‘The Annan Plan, as it was submitted for approval by the Cypriot people, was rejected. From the moment it was rejected, it is history,’ Bakoyannis said.” (National Herald, April 8, 2006, page 13; col.1)
With the State Department’s new political leadership of Secretary Condoleezza Rice and the new career leadership of Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns there is an opportunity to redress the situation.
Syrian Troops Out of Lebanon Turkish Troops Out of Cyprus
In March of 2005 President Bush called for the immediate removal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. Last year the U.S. actively supported UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which called for the removal of all non-Lebanese forces from Lebanon, in effect telling Syria to get out of Lebanon.
Getting Syrian troops out of Lebanon is in the best interests of the U.S. Getting Turkish troops out of Cyprus is also in the best interests of the U.S.
The failure to call for the removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus is a striking example of the double standard in Turkey’s favor. It is particularly distressing as the Turkish troops which invaded Cyprus caused substantial loss of lives, 180,000 Greek Cypriot refugees and huge destruction of property. The reasons to call for the removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus are as compelling, and more so, than getting Syrian troops out of Lebanon.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, in a speech in Washington on March 5, 2005 at the American Hellenic Institute’s annual dinner, called for an end to “the continuing presence of Turkish troops on the island. They’ve got to go,” she said.
Removal from Cyprus of Turkey’s 120,000 illegal colonists/settlers
President Bush should also call for the immediate withdrawal of Turkey’s 120,000 illegal colonists/settlers in Cyprus in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949.
Tear down Turkey’s barbed wire fence across the face of Cyprus
The removal of Turkey’s troops, colonists and barbed wire fence would end the Turkish Cypriot’s economic isolation and go a long way to solving the Cyprus problem because the Greek and Turkish Cypriots could then work out a fair and effective agreement.
Why hasn’t President Bush called for the removal of Turkey’s illegal troops and colonists from Cyprus and the tearing down of the Green Line barbed wire fence (as President Reagan called for the Soviets to tear down the Berlin Wall)? The answer is that he has followed the failed State Department policy of a double standard on the application of the rule of law to Turkey. That policy started in 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus with the illegal use of U.S. arms, and has continued to the present time.
The person who led the effort in promoting the double standard this past decade is former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman. Mr. Grossman retired on February 25, 2005 and has been succeeded by Nicholas Burns, former State Department spokesperson, U.S. Ambassador to Greece and U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO. Hopefully Mr. Burns will initiate a review of the U.S.-Turkey policy, a review which is long overdue.
Instead of calling for the removal of (1) Turkish invasion and occupation troops from Cyprus, (2) the illegal colonists and (3) the Turkish barbed wired fence across the face of Cyprus, the State Department says they are part of the negotiations, which means, in effect, the State Department’s support for Turkish aggression.
The State Department’s “double speak” on Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 compared to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 is right out of George Orwell’s 1984.
A review of U.S. policy towards Turkey should begin with the Eisenhower Doctrine: “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.” Eisenhower applied that doctrine to halt and reverse aggression by Britain, France and Israel against Egypt in 1956.
A top UN official informed Syria that the UN would consider “wide punitive sanctions” if Syria did not comply with UN SC Res. 1559. The U.S. should also consider such sanctions against Turkey if Turkey does not get out of Cyprus now.
To achieve a Cyprus settlement, the U.S. should apply forceful economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Turkey, including sanctions and the withdrawal of trade benefits if necessary, to get Turkey to remove its 40,000 armed forces and its 120,000 illegal colonists from Cyprus, and to tear down the Turkish barbed wire fence across the face of Cyprus which are the causes of the Turkish Cypriots isolation.
The limited opening of the Green Line in Nicosia in April 2003 resulted in thousands of peaceful daily crossings by Turkish and Greek Cypriots and has demonstrated beyond a doubt that Greek and Turkish Cypriots can live and work together peacefully as they did before. It destroyed the propaganda of Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, that they could not live together and needed to be separated.
NATO’s toleration of Turkey’s aggression against Cyprus in violation of the NATO Treaty and the UN Charter is evidence of a double standard and a stain on NATO’s record and honor. NATO should call for the immediate removal of Turkey’s illegal occupation forces and settlers from Cyprus and the demilitarization of Cyprus. If Turkey refuses to cooperate, NATO should consider appropriate action to bring Turkey into compliance. We call on the U.S. to encourage NATO members to apply pressure on Turkey to abide by the clear requirements of the NATO Treaty, to desist from aggression against other states and to reform the constitution of Turkey to reflect Western standards of civilian democracy.
The U.S. should make the search for a just solution to the Cyprus problem a foreign policy priority and should expand its economic, political, diplomatic, and security relations with Cyprus. The U.S. in its own interests should support amendments to the Annan Plan to make it democratic, workable, financially viable, just and compatible with American principles, EU democratic norms and human rights standards. Reunification of the island on just and viable terms and the nation’s membership in the EU as an integrated whole are worthy goals. They will benefit all parties concerned and will advance the U.S. interests in regional stability and adherence to the rule of law. To promote these interests, the U.S. should more forcefully exert its influence with Turkey, including the Turkish military.
The Greek Cypriots worked hard to recover from the devastation of the Turkish invasion and adhered in all their efforts to the rule of law.They achieved an economic miracle. Yet when the Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly voted no by 76 percent to the flawed Annan Plan, the State Department, led by then Under Secretary Marc Grossman, attacked them for exercising their democratic right to vote and personally attacked Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos.
The Cyprus problem is the central issue of U.S.-Cyprus relations, but it is not the only component of the relationship. Cyprus is within the U.S. strategic perimeter in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Cyprus is a strategic key for U.S. interests in the region. It is a stationary aircraft carrier in the region and its mountains provide areas for the most effective listening and transmitting devices in the region. We suggest that the Administration increase efforts to deepen its relations with Cyprus by ensuring regular visits to Cyprus by senior officials whose responsibilities are not directly related to the solution of the Cyprus problem.
For additional information, please contact Georgia Economou at (202) 785-8430 or email@example.com. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at https://www.ahiworld.org.
Greek American Membership Organizations’ 2006 Policy Statement on the Cyprus Problem