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AHI Statement on 37th Anniversary of Turkish Invasion of Cyprus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Demetra Atsaloglou
July 20, 2011—No. 51 (202) 785-8430

AHI Statement on 37th Anniversary of Turkish Invasion of Cyprus

Releases Trailer for Groundbreaking Cyprus Documentary

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) has issued the following statement on the 37h anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of the Republic of Cyprus on July 20, 1974:

“Today we remember the solemn 37th anniversary of Turkey’s brutal invasion of the Republic of Cyprus.

“On July 20, 1974, Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus with the illegal use of U.S.-supplied arms and equipment in violation of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the United Nations Charter, the NATO Treaty, and customary international law. Turkey occupied about four percent of Cyprus during the initial phase of its invasion. Turkish pilots flying American planes dropped American-made bombs, including napalm bombs, on Greek Cypriot communities.

“Furthermore, on August 14, 1974, three weeks after the legitimate government of Cyprus was restored, Turkey launched the second phase of its invasion of Cyprus. As a result of its two-phase invasion of Cyprus, Turkey grabbed 37 percent of Cyprus’s sovereign territory, killed innocent civilians, raped women ages 12 to 71, forced 170,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes and properties, and committed mass destruction of Cyprus’s cultural and religious heritage, including its churches and cemeteries. Approximately 1,600 Greek Cypriots and five American citizens of Cypriot heritage went missing and a large majority of these cases remain unresolved.

“For 37 years, the people of Cyprus have endured an illegal occupation and massive violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by Turkey, an ally of the United States. Current efforts to find a solution under United Nations auspices have yielded minimal tangible results. Under the leadership of Dr. Dervis Eroglu, the Turkish Cypriots, with the support of Turkey, present hardline positions that are outside the parameters of the UN high-level agreement and European Union principles that have led to a stalemate. Clearly, the problem, as well as the solution to the Cyprus issue, rests in Ankara.

“AHI contends the U.S can play a crucial role by getting realistic with Turkey and eliminating its double-standard policy that has rewarded Turkish aggression and ignored countless violations of the rule of law in Cyprus—a valued ally of the U.S. on counter-terrorism and security issues in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

In addition, AHI continues to:

  • support a settlement of the Cyprus problem through negotiations based on a bi-zonal, bi communal federation in a state with a single sovereignty and international personality, incorporating the norms of a constitutional democracy embracing key American principles, including majority rule, the rule and protection of minority rights, the EU acquis communautaire and EU Founding Treaty, UN resolutions on Cyprus, the pertinent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and of other European Courts—as is the best interests of the United States;
  • call for the withdrawal of Turkey’s 43,000 occupation troops illegally in Cyprus;
  • call for the return of the 180,000 illegal Turkish colonists/settlers in Cyprus to Turkey and for a halt to the illegal bringing of more colonists/settlers from Turkey to occupied Cyprus to illegally change the demographics of the island and of the Turkish Cypriot community, all of which is in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949;
  • call for the restoration of property illegally taken in the northern-occupied area of Cyprus to their rightful owners, and payment by Turkey to the owners for deprivation of the use of their property;
  • urge the U.S. government to direct Turkey to tear down the green line barbed wire fence across the face of Cyprus that makes Nicosia the last divided capital in Europe;
  • contend Ankara must not manipulate the direct talks or restrict Mr. Eroglu during negotiations; and
  • call on Ankara to normalize relations with the Republic of Cyprus, a member of the European Union (a body to which Turkey aspires to join), and as agreed to by Turkey.

AHI Releases Video Trailer for PBS Cyprus Documentary

On the occasion of the somber 37th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of the Republic of Cyprus, AHI announces the release of a two-minute video trailer for the documentary “Cyprus Still Divided: A U.S. Foreign Policy Failure.”

Why did the United States fail to act? The answer, according to the one-hour documentary, lies in a tangled web of domestic politics, the realpolitik of then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and repeated refusal of successive U.S. presidents to demand that the rule of law and fundamental human rights be upheld in Cyprus. “Cyprus Still Divided” reveals a recently declassified 1974 White House memorandum of conversation in which Kissinger stated to President Ford: “There is no American reason why the Turks should not have one-third of Cyprus.”

The documentary aired on Detroit Public Television on September 13, 2010 and has been screened to audiences throughout the United States and Greece. It was made possible by the support of the American Hellenic Institute Foundation.


The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

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For additional information, please contact Demetra Atsaloglou at (202) 785-8430 or at pr@ahiworld.org. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at http://www.ahiworld.org.