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AHI Sends Letter To Washington Times Rebutting False Allegations Of Representatives From Occupied Northern Cyprus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
November 7 , 2001 No. 54/01 (202) 785-8430

AHI Sends Letter To Washington Times Rebutting False Allegations Of Representatives From Occupied Northern Cyprus

On October 26, 2001, AHI's executive director Nick Larigakis sent a letter to the editor of The Washington Times rebutting misinformation and false allegations waged by Ahmet Erdengiz's letter to the editor, published in the October 21, 2001 edition of the newspaper. Mr. Erdengiz's letter was the third in a series of letters to the editor printed regarding the issue of culpability in the unresolved problem of Cyprus.

Mr. Larigakis' letter is included below, and is followed by Mr. Erdengiz's letter.

For additional information, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or[email protected], and visit our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.


October 26, 2001

The Editor
The Washington Times
3600 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Dear Madam:

Ahmet Erdengiz’s October 21 letter to the editor in response to my letter of October 5 underscores, once again, the misinformation campaign waged by the Turkish Cypriots pseudo representative regarding the Cyprus issue. Although my original comments can serve to answer his letter, let me reiterate what the facts truly are as recognized by the international community. Which by the way does not recognize this pseudo entity (except for Turkey) that Mr. Erdengiz represents.

For the record:

  • In 1974 Turkey illegally invaded Cyprus with the illegal use of U.S. supplied arms and equipment and subsequently occupied over a third of the island;
  • Turkey’s aggression against Cyprus violated U.S. laws, the UN Charter, the NATO Treaty, and customary international law;
  • The occupation continues to date despite universal international condemnation. Talks have been held under UN auspices to reach a settlement based on a ‘bizonal, bicommunal federation’ in a sovereign state. This solution has been unanimously adopted by the international community but is rejected by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash;
  • In 2001 talks have been stalled because of unproductive and unacceptable “recognition” demands by Mr. Denktash, supported by Turkey. In contrast, the Cyprus government ha actively engaged in the search for a settlement, as evidenced by Cyprus’ constructive participation in UN sponsored proximity talks;
  • The United States has stated that “recognition” of the TRNC is a non-starter, and this is supported by the international community;

Mr. Erdengiz speaks about atrocities. Well, how about this for starters.

The European Commission on Human Rights, in its report dated July 10, 1976, found Turkey guilty of violating the following articles of the European Convention on Human Rights by its actions in Cyprus:

  • Article 2-by killings of innocent civilians committed on a substantial scale;
  • Article 3-by rapes of women of all ages from 12 to 71;
  • Article 3-by inhuman treatment of prisoners and persons detained;
  • Article 5-by deprivation of liberty with regards to detainees and missing persons, a continuing violation;
  • Article 8-by displacement of persons, creating more than 170,000 Greek Cypriot refugees, and by refusing to allow the refugees to return to their homes-a continuing violation; and
  • Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention-by deprivation of possessions, looting and robbery on an extensive scale.

In addition, on May 10, 2001, the European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of 14 violations under the European Convention of Human Rights stemming from Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

Regarding his reference to “Turkey exercised its right of intervention [in Cyprus] in accordance with Article IV of the Treaty of Guarantee.” That Treaty did not authorize the use of force. If the word “action” in Article IV is to be interpreted as authorizing force, then that article is null and void under article 103 of the UN Charter as contrary to the Charter. (See David Hunt, “Cyprus: A Study in International Relations” 11 (1980), the Montague Burton Lecture in the University of Edinburgh. Hunt was Britain’s High Commissioner in Cyprus from 1965 to 1966.)

As to his comments that “Greek Cypriot belligerence has compelled Turkish forces to remain on Cyprus.” He should go ask the numerous Turkish Cypriots why they are lining up to apply for passports, which have to come from the internationally recognized government of Cyprus. Applications rose from 448 last year to 817 in the first half of this. (The Guardian, Sept. 25, 2001, “Northern Cypriots Turn Against Turkey”). In the same article, Ahment Barcin, president of the zone’s (occupied Northern Cyprus) secondary-school teachers’ union, said “Please tell the world that the TRNC is an open prison… It’s one big, militarized zone and the gates are locked. Our only key to freedom is a quick peace settlement, entry into the EU and reintegration with the rest of the World.”

His comment that the government of Cyprus “supports unification with Greece as official policy” is a blatant falsehood and an example of their propaganda to explain away Turkey's aggression against Cyprus.

Finally, I would hope that the editor of The Washington Times will exercise proper scrutiny when publishing the views of someone who represents an international entity that has been denounced by the U.S., the U.N, and is only recognized by one country, Turkey-its creator by aggression.

Sincerely,

[SIGNED]

Nick Larigakis Executive Director