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Greek American Membership Organizations’ 2006 Policy Statement on Compensation to Turkey’s Victims
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
April 27, 2006—No. 35 (202) 785-8430

Greek American Membership Organizations’ 2006 Policy Statement on Compensation to Turkey’s Victims

WASHINGTON, DC—American Hellenic Institute president Gene Rossides announced today that the major Greek American membership organizations endorsed the 2006 policy statement on Compensation To Turkey’s Victims. Prepared by the American Hellenic Institute, it is part of the 2006 Greek American Policy Statements. The major membership organizations are: the Order of AHEPA, the Hellenic American National Council, the Cyprus Federation of America, the Panepirotic Federation of America, the Pan-Macedonian Association of America, the PanCretan Association of America, the Pan-Pontian Federation of U.S.A. and Canada and the American Hellenic Institute. The endorsed statement follows:

Compensation To Turkey's Victims

We cite the compensation paid by the government of Germany to holocaust victims and to the state of Israel and the government of Japan to the victims of its actions in Asia before and during World War II. We call on the U.S. government to press Turkey to pay compensation:

  • to the victims of Turkey's illegal invasion of Cyprus of 1974;
  • to the owners of property in Cyprus illegally taken, occupied and used by the Turkish authorities and individuals since 1974;
  • to the victims of the September 1955 Turkish pogrom against its Greek citizens in Istanbul. The Turkish government at the time said it would pay compensation to those victims but it has failed to do so;
  • to the victims of the Turkish genocide against the Pontian Greeks in the 1920's;
  • to the victims of the Turkish massacre of the Greek and Armenian populations of Smyrna (now Izmir) in 1922 under Kemal Ataturk's orders; and
  • to the victims of Turkey's Armenian Genocide in 1915.

Turkey, under threat of expulsion from the Council of Europe, finally complied with the ruling of the European Court and paid the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights which awarded $1.3 million in damages to Titina Loizidou for the violation of her property rights in the occupied area in connection with Turkey’s illegal invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and its continuing illegal occupation. It demonstrates that forceful action regarding Turkey will bring results. We call for payments to all similarly situated Greek Cypriots and other owners of property in the occupied area, including American owners.

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For additional information, please contact Georgia Economou at (202) 785-8430 or georgia@ahiworld.org. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.