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AHI Calls for U.S. Rejection of Turkish Challenge to U.S. Policy on Cyprus and an End to Appeasement of the Turkish Military
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: JONATHAN CLARKE
September 3, 1998 No. 39/98

AHI CALLS FOR U.S. REJECTION OF TURKISH CHALLENGE TO U.S. POLICY ON CYPRUS AND AN END TO APPEASEMENT OF THE TURKISH MILITARY

On September 3, 1998, the American Hellenic Institute sent a letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calling for the United States to reject a direct challenge by the military controlled government of Turkey to U.S. policy on Cyprus. A copy is attached.

On August 31, 1998 Mr. Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, presented a proposal for a 'confederation' on Cyprus. This proposal implies a recognition of two sovereign nations in Cyprus, one Greek Cypriot and one Turkish Cypriot. As such it violates the long-standing approach of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and the international community. It also contradicts previous positions adopted by the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey in the 1997 and 1979 High Level Agreements.

The letter faults the initial U.S. reactions from the U.S. embassy in Nicosia and the State Department as inadequate and weak. Despite the direct challenge to long-held U.S. policy neither the embassy nor the State Department condemned the confederation proposal. The letter calls upon the Administration to inform the military controlled government of Turkey that confederation is a non-starter.

The letter points out that Denktash is acting under orders from the Turkish military. His statement is the latest in a series of challenges by the Turkish military to stability in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. It follows the early May rejection by the Turkish military of Presidential Envoy Richard Holbrooke's Cyprus mission through the introduction of two unacceptable conditions and the August 23, 1998 statement by Turkish President Suleiman Demirel (also orchestrated by the Turkish military) asserting new and extensive Turkish territorial claims in the Aegean.

These previous actions together with Denktash's statement form a pattern. They demonstrate that the Turkish military feels that it can ride roughshod over positions that form the core of the international consensus on Cyprus and the Aegean. It has clearly embarked on a campaign to negate the Administration's positions one after another. AHI calls upon the Administration to call an immediate halt to this insidious process and to implement the 1992 Clinton-Gore pledges on Cyprus and the Aegean.

AHI General Counsel Eugene T. Rossides stated: "Congress has shown the way forward on this issue, namely that Turkey is the source of regional instability. The U.S. must cease its appeasement of the Turkish military. If it does not, the outlook for American interests and American values in the region is grim."