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AHI Letter to President Clinton on Yugoslavia Criticizes Double Standards Toward Turkey Regarding Cyprus and The Kurds
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: JONATHAN CLARKE
April 2, 1999 No. 14/99 (202) 785-8430

AHI Letter to President Clinton on Yugoslavia Criticizes Double Standards Toward Turkey Regarding Cyprus and The Kurds

On April 2, 1999 the American Hellenic Institute sent a letter to President Clinton expressing concern over the regional implications of the NATO military action against Yugoslavia. The letter criticizes the Administration for continuing to apply a double standard to Turkey regarding the Kurds and Cyprus. A copy is attached.

While condemning the brutality of Serbia's actions and expressing support for autonomy for the Albanian minority in Serbia, the letter regrets the "major diplomatic failure" which led to the bombing campaign. It states that diplomacy had not been exhausted and should not have been abandoned. It urges an early resumption of the diplomatic process, including a truce over the Western and Orthodox Easters. The letter commends the generous Greek response to the refugee crisis.

Turkey and the Kurds: A Double Standard

With regard to Turkey, the letter shows that the reasons cited by the Administration for action against Serbia apply equally to Turkey. For 15 years, the Turkish military has conducted a scorched earth policy against its Kurdish minority that has resulted in deaths, burned villages, and forced population displacement on a scale exceeding Kosovo.

Turkey and Cyprus: A Double Standard

In relation to Cyprus, Turkey's 1974 invasion and subsequent occupation of 37.3% of the island is a clear and unambiguous violation of international law, including the UN Charter and the North Atlantic Treaty. Further, Turkey violated U.S. laws because it illegally used U.S. supplied arms in its invasion of Cyprus.

The Administration's failure to apply to Turkey its own stated arguments for action against Serbia constitutes a grotesque double standard. The letter calls on the Administration to use the opportunity of its and NATO's engagement in the Balkans to act on the more serious problems of aggression against Cyprus by the military controlled government of Turkey and the Turkish military's 15 year war of terror, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide against its Turkish minority in Turkish Kurdistan.