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Op-Ed on “Turkey’s Negotiating Tactics and George Orwell’s 1984”
October 11, 2007—No. 67 (202) 785-8430

Op-Ed on “Turkey’s Negotiating Tactics and George Orwell’s 1984”

Washington, DC—The following Op-Ed appeared in the National Herald, 9-29-07 page 11, the Greek News, 10-1-07 page 44, the Hellenic Voice, 10-3-07 page 5, and the Hellenic News of America, 10-1-07 page 3.

Turkey’s Negotiating Tactics and George Orwell’s 1984

By Gene Rossides

September 25, 2007

Recent comments by Turkish officials and the Turkish Cypriot leadership that Turkey’s 40,000 plus occupation army holding the northern part of Cyprus by force of arms is “a peace force,” and is legally in Cyprus under the Treaty of Guarantee is right out of George Orwell’s classic book 1984.

In that book the Ministry of Peace actually wages war and the Ministry of Truth actually tells lies.

The comments of the Turkish officials and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, were in response to remarks of President Tassos Papadopoulos who stated in a TV press conference on September 11, 2007 that the Turkish occupation army was “the only enemy” of Cyprus.

President Papadopoulos responded on September 14, 2007 by stating:

“Our view is well-known, the presence of the Turkish occupational forces and the Turkish invasion cannot be legally based on the Treaty of Guarantee and their presence in Cyprus, is, in any case, illegal. We said that if Turkey believes otherwise, then it can appeal or agree to appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”

Turkey refuses to do this as it refuses to take its outlandish claims to one half of the Aegean Sea to the ICJ at The Hague.

The Treaty of Guarantee

Turkey has stated she had the right to invade Cyprus under article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee, one of the three treaties under the London-Zurich Agreements of 1959-1960. The Treaty of Guarantee among Britain, Greece and Turkey contained the ban on enosis (union with Greece) and partition.

Article IV states:

“In the event of a breach of the provisions of the present Treaty, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom undertake to consult together with respect to the representations or measures necessary to ensure observance of those provisions.

Insofar as common or concerted action may not prove possible, each of the three guaranteeing Powers reserves the right to take action with the sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs created by the present Treaty.”

The Treaty of Guarantee did not authorize Turkey’s use of force to invade Cyprus and on its face, indicts Turkey. Turkey’s argument is untenable for a number of reasons including:

(1) Article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee did not authorized “force” when it authorized “action.” There is no mention of the word “force” in the Treaty.

(2) When Cyprus became a member of the United Nations in 1960, all provisions of the London-Zurich Agreements in conflict with or inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations became null and void pursuant to article 103 of the United Nations Charter. Article 103 states: “In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail.” If an interpretation of article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee could be made to justify the use of force then all or part of article IV used to justify force is in conflict and inconsistent with article 103 of the United Nations Charter and , consequently, is void ab initio.

Article2(4) of the United Nations Charter, states that member states “shall refrain…from the threat or use of force.”

Professor R.St.J. MacDonald concludes that article IV “to the extent that it purports to authorize the use of armed force, in inconsistent” with the United Nations Charter and void. He writes (Canadian YB of International Law, 1981):

“I thus reach the following conclusions: that obligations imposed by Article 2(4) have not been discharged on the basis of frustration, that by virtue of Article 103, Charter obligations prevail over treaty rights as well as treaty obligations…Therefore… Article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee, to the extent that it purports to authorize the use of armed force, is inconsistent with Article 2(4) of the Charter…

* * * * *

On the basis of the following reasoning, I conclude that the 1974 invasion of Cyprus was in contravention of international law: for an invasion to be legal, it must be consistent with the provisions of the United Nations Charter, whether express or implied; compliance with a treaty, on its own, is insufficient to render an invasion consistent with Article 2(4) of the Charter.”

Sir David Hunt, former British High Commissioner in Cyprus concurs that the provisions of the Charter prevail over the Treaty of Guarantee. He said (1980 Montague Burton Lecture, Univ. of Edinburgh):

“There is, however, a more fundamental objection to be brought against the Turkish thesis than an argument based on the wording of this one particular article and its interpretation. This is that the Treaty of Guarantee lacks all legal validity.

[T]his argument …rests on the principle that the obligations which all nations have accepted voluntarily on their accession to the United Nations are superior to all other obligations. Where there are conflicts between them the Charter is JUS COGENS, laying down peremptory norms of international law from which no derogation is permitted.

* * * * *

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.”

(3) On its face, the Treaty of Guarantee only authorized action to restore the status quo ante. Article IV states that the right to take action is for “the sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs created by the present Treaty.” Then and throughout the ensuing thirty-three years, Turkey demonstrated that she never had any such intention. As Hunt states:

“The parties announce that they reserve the right to take action…its purpose is defined, in restrictive terms, as having the sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs created by the treaty. But nether in 1974 nor at any time since have the Turkish government either professed or practiced this aim. They have on the contrary presented as their aim a form of settlement wholly contrary to the one defined in the treaty, and specifically excluded by it: territorial partition and the creation of a separate Turkish Cypriot state.”

Taylor G. Belcher, former United States Ambassador to Cyprus concurred in this view.

Turkey’s Negotiating Tactics

Turkey’s response to President Papadopoulos’ comment that the Turkish occupation army was “the only enemy” of Cyprus is a classic example of Turkey’s negotiating tactics. Martin Gilbert, the world renowned historian and biographer of Winston Churchill, in a conference at the Library of Congress on the Armenian Genocide summarized Turkey’s negotiating tactics as follows:

  1. Admit nothing and deny everything;
  2. lie; and
  3. attack, attack, attack.

Other examples where Turkey’s basic negotiating tactics are evident include:

  • Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.
  • The false statement that the so-called “isolation” of the Turkish Cypriots is caused by the Greek Cypriots. Clearly the isolation is caused by Turkey’s Army of occupation and Turkey’s Green Line barbed wire fence across the face of Cyprus.
  • The Turkish argument that Greeks and Turks cannot live and work together. Since the openings in the Green Line in April 2003, there have been thirteen million crossings without serious incident which destroys the Turkish argument which on its face is racist and supports Turkey’s apartheid policy.

The United States should examine its diplomatic, political and economic dealings with Turkey and adjust its negotiating tactics if it wants to achieve success on the several issues of concern in U.S.-Turkey relations.

I submit that Cyprus should be a key issue of concern for the U.S. because of (1) the strategic value of Cyprus to the U.S.; (2) the political value regarding the U.S. democracy initiative of a settlement based on UN resolutions, the EU’s acquis communautaire and American values; and (3) the moral value in view of Secretary of State Kissinger’s role in the junta’s coup against President Makarios and Kissinger’s encouragement of Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974 and Turkey’s second wave of aggression on August 14-16, 1974.

Get active. You can make a difference.

Call and write the President and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and your elected Representative and Senators to publicly call for the removal of Turkish troops and settlers/colonists from Cyprus in the interests of the U.S.


For additional information, please contact Georgia Economou at (202) 785-8430 or For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at