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AHI Submits Letter to Forbes to Correct Inaccuracies with Cyprus Op-Ed
March 21, 2014—No. 17 (202) 785-8430

AHI Submits Letter to Forbes to Correct Inaccuracies with Cyprus Op-Ed 

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) sent a letter to the editor to Forbes to correct inaccuracies written about Cyprus in a March 17, 2014 op-ed titled “Obama’s Secret Weapon Against Putin’s Crimea Vote?” by Richard Miniter.

In his letter, AHI President Nick Larigakis criticizes Mr. Miniter for inaccurately identifying Mr. Ozdil Nami as the “foreign minister of Cyprus.”  Larigakis wrote: “[Miniter] should have done his homework and referenced Mr. Nami as the self-styled ‘foreign minister’ of an illegal entity, the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,’ which is only recognized by one country—Turkey.”

Larigakis sets the record straight with regard to the correct and legal description of the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, the nature of the Turkish invasion and subsequent occupation of Cyprus, and what the potential implications are for energy finds in the eastern Mediterranean.

 Although Mr. Miniter revised his op-ed, he still gets it wrong, referring to Mr. Nami as “the foreign minister of Northern Cyprus.”  He also locates Cyprus as being “between Turkey and Greece is the Eastern Mediterranean,” which is not accurate.

  • To read Mr. Miniter’s original op-ed, please click here.
  • To read Mr. Miniter’s revised op-ed, please click here
  • President Larigakis’ letter to the editor is found below.

The American Hellenic Institute is an independent non-profit Greek American public policy center and think tank that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.



For additional information, please contact Georgea Polizos at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at and follow us on Twitter @TheAHIinDC.




March 19, 2014

Ms. Susan Radlauer
Research Librarian

Dear Ms. Radlauer:

I read Richard Miniter’s opinion piece (“Obama’s Secret Weapon Against Putin’s Crimea Vote?” Mar. 17) with great dismay because it conveyed incredible inaccuracies about Cyprus.  Semantics are extremely important in establishing credibility on political issues; none more true than with the 40-year conflict on Cyprus.  The Turkish Cypriot community in the illegally-occupied northern part of Cyprus for decades has been trying to legitimize its pseudo state, which they refer to as the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).” Mr. Ozdil Nami’s recent visit to Washington is a prime example.

Unfortunately, Mr. Miniter was duped by Mr. Nami and his handlers. Mr. Miniter exacerbated the problem by inaccurately referring to Mr. Nami as the “the foreign minister of Cyprus.”  The self-proclaimed award-winning investigative journalist should have done his homework and referenced Mr. Nami as the self-styled “foreign minister” of an illegal entity, the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” which is only recognized by one country—Turkey. Mr. Miniter’s opinion writing is offensive to theinternationally-recognized and legitimate government of the Republic of Cyprus and leaves one to question his investigative techniques or his knowledge of foreign policy.

For the record, the Republic of Cyprus is the only internationally-recognized sovereign government established in 1960. Its foreign minister is Ioannis Kassoulides. Turkey illegally invaded Cyprus on July 20 1974 and initiated a second phase of the invasion on August 14, 1974, after the legitimate government had been re-established and the coup had failed.  Turkey maintains approximately 43,000 military troops in the north and has attempted to change the demographics of the island by illegally bringing in settlers from Turkey which today number well over 180,000.  The Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004 and the currency used today is the Euro. 

The energy-related matters are too many to get into detail here. However, be assured the Republic of Cyprus is willing to share the potential wealth of hydrocarbon finds (and other potential energy resources) once a solution is agreed to and the island is united in a settlement that is viable, just, and long-lasting. Furthermore, although Cyprus and Israel have the strong potential to provide sources of alternative energy to western Europe and to the region, generally, they are still many years away of being capable of delivering it.  Thus, the Cyprus comparison is not a viable “Secret Weapon for Mr. Obama in the immediate future regarding Crimea.


Nick Larigakis
American Hellenic Institute
1220 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC  20036