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Op-Ed on “Annual Report on Executive Branch Actions and Inactions Regarding Greece, Cyprus and Turkey”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
January 24, 2008—No. 4 (202) 785-8430

Op-Ed on “Annual Report on Executive Branch Actions and Inactions Regarding Greece, Cyprus and Turkey”

Washington, DC—The following Op-Ed appeared in the National Herald, 1-12-08 page 11 and the Greek News, 1-14-08, page 44.

Annual Report on Executive Branch Actions and Inactions Regarding Greece, Cyprus and Turkey

By Gene Rossides

January 8, 2008

This is the first Annual Report on Executive Branch actions and inactions regarding Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. For too long we have been given lip service on our issues. We need concrete actions by the Executive Branch based solely on what is in the best interests of the U.S. In my view support of the rule of law in international affairs is fundamental for U.S. foreign policy.

The Executive Branch in 2007, led by the State Department, continued its violations of law regarding U.S. relations with Cyprus and Turkey, its appeasement of Turkey, its application of a double standard on the rule of law for Turkey; its continuing cover-up of State’s support of Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974 and its support and involvement in Turkey’s massive second wave of its aggression on August 14-16, 1974, without pretext, three weeks after the legitimate government of Cyprus had been restored on July 23, 1974.

The Executive Branch in 2007 continued its failure to give adequate support to Greece regarding the name issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, failed to take into account Greece’s views regarding Kosovo, failed to take adequate steps to halt Turkey’s incursions of Greek territorial airspace and failed to state publicly the maritime boundary in the Aegean established by treaties, including the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty following World War II of which the U.S. is a signatory and is obligated to support and carry out its provisions.

The Rule of Law

The violations of law by the Executive Branch continued unabated in 2007. For example, U.S. law prohibits the transfer of U.S.-supplied military equipment from Turkey to Cyprus, yet the State Department refuses to act to tell Turkey to remove from Cyprus the 12 U.S.-origin M-48 tanks supplied to Turkey and illegally transferred to Cyprus in 2005.

Nobody in the Executive Branch in 2007 publicly called for the removal of Turkey’s illegal occupation troops, estimated at over 40,000, or Turkey’s 160,000 illegal settler/colonists from Anatolia in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949 which prohibits the occupying power to “transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Failure to do so continues to make the U.S. an accomplice to Turkey’s invasion of and aggression against Cyprus. The White House should instruct the State Department to obey the law and call for the immediate removal of Turkey’s illegal troops and settlers.

Another violation of law by the Executive Branch in 2007 concerns the continuing failure of the U.S. to take action under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 regarding religious freedom in Turkey and protection of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Ecumenical Patriarchate. Under that Act, the President is obligated to oppose violations of religious freedom in any country whose government “engages in or tolerates violations of religious freedom.” The Act obligates the President to take one or more of fifteen enumerated actions with respect to any such country. Nether the President or his Secretary of State have taken any such actions in response to Turkey’s notorious anti-Christian actions.

Turkey is and has been in violation of its agreement, the Ankara Protocol, regarding the accession of Cyprus to the European Union (EU) in 2004 by barring Cypriot ships and planes from Turkish ports and airspace and airports. In 2007 there was, again, no public statement denouncing Turkey’s actions.

Cover-up

In 2007 the State Department continued its cover-up of the State’s role under then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in support of Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974, in which Turkey occupied 4 percent of the territory of Cyprus, and its support of and involvement with Turkey’s massive second wave of its aggression on August 14-16, 1974 in which Turkey grabbed another 34 percent of Cyprus territory.

The cover-up by State during 2007 was continued despite the revelation last summer of an August 14, 1974 SECRET/ EYES ONLY MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY from the Counselor of the State Department, Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Kissinger detailing, among other things, the recommendation to offer Turkey one-third of the island.

That memorandum, the false statement of State’s spokesman Ambassador Robert Anderson on August 13, 1974 that “the Turkish community on Cyprus requires considerable improvement and protection,” and oral histories by Tom Boyatt, Cyprus Desk officer and Robert McCloskey, Ambassador at Large on Kissinger’s immediate staff, amply document Kissinger’s connivance with Turkey to partition Cyprus.

The State Department’s cover-up of Kissinger’s role and State’s role in 1974 is further revealed in the text of the “Background Note: Cyprus” issued by the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. The current version, dated August 2007 on State’s website, is a blatantly false and misleading statement with serious errors of fact and omission as to what happened in July and August 1974. It amounts to a deliberate attempt to rewrite history and to cover-up the State’s unlawful conduct in 1974 and its continuing efforts to mislead the public, the Congress and historians. It states:

“In July 1974 the military junta in Athens sponsored a coup led by extremist Greek Cypriots against the government of President Makarios…Turkey, citing the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, intervened militarily to protect Turkish Cypriots.

In a two-stage offensive, Turkish troops took control of 38 percent of the island. Almost all Greek Cypriots fled south while almost all Turkish Cypriots fled North.”

The website fails to state that Turkey invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974 and committed aggression against Cyprus. Instead of invasion it uses the term intervention. The U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus, Michael Klosson, in a meeting with an American Hellenic Institute delegation to Cyprus, stated he was not authorized to use the word invasion. He used the word intervention.

The website fails to state that Turkey invaded Cyprus in violation of the UN Charter article 2 paragraph 4 and international law and that the UN Security Council and General Assembly in November and December 1974 called for the removal of all Turkish troops from Cyprus and supported the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus.

The website fails to state that Turkey in its invasion of Cyprus illegally used American supplied planes, bombs and arms in violation of U.S. laws, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Foreign Military Sales Act and agreements under those acts that state that U.S. supplied arms and equipment can only be used for defensive purposes.

The website fails to state that Kissinger violated those U.S. laws by refusing to halt immediately all military arms and equipment to Turkey as required by those laws; that Kissinger refused to denounce the Greek military junta’s coup against President Makarios on July 15, 1974, when most of the democracies of the world, including Britain, a guarantor power, did denounce the coup; that Kissinger also refused to denounce the invasion by Turkey on July 20, 1974 and the second massive wave of aggression on August 14-16, 1974 in which the Turkish army was responsible for the killings of innocent civilians committed on a substantial scale, rapes of women from 12 to 71, enormous destruction of properties and churches and forced 170,000 Greek Cypriots to flee to the south. All this has been documented by the European Commission on Human Rights in its report of July 10, 1976. If Kissinger had denounced the coup the junta would have fallen and there would have been no invasion of Cyprus.

The website makes no mention of the historic three month battle with the Congress in the fall of 1974 which resulted in a rule of law arms embargo against Turkey in December 1974 effective on February 5, 1975. The members of the House and Senate used the words invasion and aggression regarding Turkey’s action.

The New York Times in a series of editorials, September 14 and 26 and October 13, 1974, condemned Kissinger’s failure to apply the law mandating the cutoff of military aid to Turkey in response to the “massive Turkish aggression on the island.”

The website refers to Turkey “citing the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee” but fails to state it does not authorize “force” when it authorized “action;” that if the Treaty is interpreted to mean the use of force, it is in conflict with article 103 of the UN Charter and consequently void; that the Treaty only authorized action to restore the status before the coup. Sir David Hunt, former British High Commissioner in Cyprus, has written that “neither in 1974 nor at any time since” has Turkey “either professed or practiced” the “sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs created by the treaty.”

There are many other inaccuracies and omissions in State’s websites on Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. The American Hellenic Institute will be issuing a more detailed report later this month.

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