AHI Executive Director, Nick Larigakis, has issued an Action Alert for all members of hte Greek community. During the August Congressional recess please contact your representative regarding the following:
A. To co-sponsor H.R. 857 (American-owned Property in Occupied Cyprus Claims Act) (Click here to go directly to that section)
B. To co-sponsor H. Con. Res. 137 (Expressing the Sense of Congress Regarding Turkey's Claims of Sovereignty Over Islands and Islets in the Aegean Sea) (Click here to go directly to that section)
C. To co-sponsor H. Res. 411 (Urging the Republic of Turkey to Comply with All European Union Standards and Criteria Prior to its Accession to the European Union) (Click here to go directly to that section)
D. To Join the Hellenic Caucus if she or he is not a member (Click here to go directly to that section)
E. To refuse to participate, if invited, to a trip to the illegally occupied area of Cyprus directly through the illegal Tymbou Airport (Click here to go directly to that section).
F. Thank your representative if he or she is a member of the Hellenic Caucus or a co-sponsor for either H. Con. Res. 137 and H. R. 857 (Click here to go directly to that section).
Click here to go to list of recommended action.
Click here to learn how to contact your representative.
Click here to see list of current Hellenic Caucus, 109th Congress.
A. H.R. 857 (American-Owned Property in Occupied Cyprus Claims Act)
On February 16, 2005, Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) reintroduced bipartisan legislation- the American-Owned Property In Occupied Cyprus Claims Act, H.R. 857.
This bill was first initiated in September of 2004 and will enable U.S. citizens who own property in the Turkish occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus to seek financial remedies with either the current inhabitants of their land or the Turkish government.
The following 20 cosponsors for H.R. 857 are Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Frank Lobiondo (R-NJ), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Mike Rogers (R-AL), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), James McGovern (D-MA), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Don Payne (D-NJ), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Shelley Berkeley (D-NV), Diane Watson (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Michael Capuano (D-MA).
This bill will allow American nationals to seek financial remedies regarding their property through the following methods:
The bill authorizes the President to initiate a claims program under which the claims of U.S. nationals who Turkey has excluded from their property in occupied Cyprus can be judged by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC) and compensated through government-to-government negotiations between the United States and Turkey.
The bill empowers the United States district courts to hear causes of action asserted by U.S. nationals who have been excluded from their property in occupied Cyprus against private persons or entities that occupy or use the property of U.S. nationals in occupied Cyprus.
The bill empowers the United States district courts to hear causes of action asserted by U.S. nationals who have been excluded from their property in occupied Cyprus against Turkey without having to assert those causes of action under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 as amended.
The American Hellenic Institute urges you to contact your congressman to cosponsor and support H.R. 857.
B. H. CON. RES. 137 (Expressing the sense of the Congress regarding Turkey’s claims of sovereignty over islands and islets in the Aegean Sea)
On April 21, 2005, Representative Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ) reintroduced H.Con.Res.137, "Expressing the sense of the Congress regarding Turkey's claims of sovereignty over islands and islets in the Aegean Sea." The resolution establishes that:
"the maritime boundaries established in the 1923 Lausanne Treaty of Peace, the 1932 Convention and Protocol Between Italy and Turkey, and the 1947 Paris Treaty of Peace, as well as international law, under which the Dodecanese islands and adjacent islets were ceded by Italy to Greece, are the borders between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea; and
any party, including Turkey, objecting to these established boundaries should seek redress in the International Court of Justice at The Hague."
H.Con.Res.137 expresses the view of the House of Representatives that the boundaries between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean have been established once and for all and that islands and islets on the Greek side, including the islets of Imia, are the sovereign territory of Greece.
The following 11 cosponsors of H.Con.Res.137 are Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Bob Filner (D-CA), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Michael Capuano ( D-MA), and Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA).
H.Con.Res.137 incorporates language initiated by AHI and first introduced November 7, 1997 by Rep. Michael Pappas (R-NJ) in the 105th Congress. Please, write to your congressman to cosponsor and support H. Con. Res. 137 in the 109th Congress.
C. H.RES.411 ( URGING THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY TO COMPLY WITH ALL EUROPEAN UNION STANDARDS AND CRITERIA PRIOR TO ITS ACCESSION TO THE EUROPEAN UNION)
Representative Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced H.Res.411 on July 28, 2005 that urges Turkey to comply with all European Union standards and criteria prior to its accession to the European Union. As you know, accession negotiations, scheduled to begin on October 3, 2005, obligate Turkey to continue making progress on democratic and human right reforms, as well as to extend its customs union to all European Union members.
The following 10 cosponsors of H.Res. 411 are Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter (R-MI), Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. John J.H. Schwarz (R-MI), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA), Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA), and Rep. Ted Strickland (D-OH).
Since 1974, Turkey has been illegally occupying the northern one-third of the Republic of Cyprus. 1,479 Cypriot and Greek nationals are still missing as a result of that invasion. United Nations Security Council Resolution 353 demands "an immediate end to foreign military intervention in the Republic of Cyprus that is in contravention of, "the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus," yet Turkey still has 36,000 troops stationed in the country. In addition, Turkey still has not extended its customs union to the ten new countries that entered the European Union on May 1, 2004, including Cyprus.
H.Res. 411 states that Turkey must continue to demonstrate its readiness to uphold democratic values and human rights before beginning accession negotiations with the European Union. In addition, it calls on Turkey to:
- remove all Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus and abandon all insistence of the right to intervene in or invade Cyprus, in accordance to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 353;
- extend customs unions to all European Union members, including Cyprus;
- respect the fundamental rights of all Cypriots, including property ownership, free movement, free settlement, and return for refugees;
- cooperate with Cyprus on discovering the fate of the 1,479 people still missing from the 1974 Turkish invasion; and
- respect and uphold human rights in general without compromise.
Please, write to your congressman to cosponsor and support H. Res. 411 in the 109th Congress.
D. To Join the Hellenic Caucus
The American Hellenic Institute is engaging in an effort to sustain and increase congressional membership to the Hellenic Caucus.
The co chairs of the Hellenic Caucus are Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). There are currently 124 members of Congress on the caucus. (Please see list)
If your member is not on the Hellenic Caucus, please contact him or her to become a Hellenic Caucus member.
E. To Refuse to participate, if invited, to a trip to the illegally occupied area of Cyprus directly through the illegal Tymbou Airport.
We have recently learned from Representative Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) that a potential delegation consisting of congressional staffers and their families might be invited by the Friends of Turkey to visit the illegally occupied area of Cyprus sometime during the August recess arriving through the illegal Tymbou airport in Occupied Cyprus.
The Tymbou airport was built on property illegally taken from its lawful owners during the Turkish invasion in 1974. Their visit would constitute a second violation of the rule of law by congressional personnel. During the memorial day holiday, a congressional delegation led by Turkish Caucus Co-Chairman Edward Whitfield (R-KY) that included Representatives Nathan Deal (R-GA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and one staffer of Turkish Caucus Chairman Wexler (D-FL), illegally flew into the illegal Tymbou Airport directly from Turkey bypassing the legal entry points to Occupied Cyprus via Larnaca and Paphos.
The AHI strongly supports visits to Cyprus, including the occupied area of Cyprus in the north, if they are done in a manner consistent with international law and U.S. law. The internationally recognized government of the Republic of Cyprus facilitates such visits from a legal and internationally recognized airport in the Republic of Cyprus, such as Larnaca and Paphos airports, to the various crossing points in the UN monitored buffer zone.
If members or their staff take part in this trip through the illegal Tymbou airport instead of the legal airports of Larnaca or Paphos, it places them in a position of aiding and abetting the violation of the laws of the Republic of Cyprus, a friendly nation who has helped the U.S. substantially on many important occasions, and the violation of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of December, 1944. It further lends endorsement of the illegal occupation and violation of human rights by Turkey in Cyprus.
F. Please take the time to thank your Representative if he or she is a member of the Hellenic Caucus or a cosponsor for either H. Con. Res. 137 and H.R. 857.
ACTION REQUESTED -- CALL, FAX, or E-MAIL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE:
1. To cosponsor H.R. 857
2. To cosponsor H.Con. Res. 137
3. To cosponsor H.Res. 411
4. To Join the Hellenic Caucus if she or he is not a member
5. Contact your own Representative to make him/her aware that if they or their staff are invited to participate in such a trip, they should decline.
6. Thank your Representative if he or she is a member of the Hellenic Caucus or cosponsor for either H. Con. Res. 137 or H.R. 857.
HOW TO CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE:
To Contact your U.S. House Representative by mail:
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
To Contact your U.S. Representative by phone:
1. Dial 202-224-3121 (general number) and ask the operator to connect to your Congressman’s office.
To Contact your U.S. Representative by fax:
1. Visit http://www.house.gov/Welcome.html
2. Enter your zip code
3. Click on the link to your representative’s web site
4. Locate the “Contact” or “Constituent Services” button on your representative’s Web site to find the fax number for your representative’s office.
To Contact your U.S. Representative Via E-mail:
1. Visit www.house.gov/writerep
2. Enter your state and zip code
3. Fill out the electronic form of your name and address
4. Write and submit your message
LIST OF HELLENIC CAUCUS MEMBERS, 109th Congress:
1. Nancy Pelosi (D-8th-CA)
2. Barbara Lee (D-9th-CA)
3. Tom Lantos (D-12th-CA)
4. Fortney Stark (D-13th-CA)
5. Anna G. Eshoo (D-14th-CA)
6. Mike Honda (D-15th-CA)
7. Zoe Lofgren (D-16th-CA)
8. Dennis Cardoza (D-18th-CA)
9. George P. Radanovich (R-19th-CA)
10. David Dreier (R-26th-CA)
11. Brad Sherman (D-27th-CA)
12. Howard L. Berman (D-28th-CA)
13. Adam Schiff (D-29th-CA)
14. Henry A. Waxman (D-30th-CA)
15. Xavier Bacerra (D-31st-CA)
16. Hilda A. Solis (D-32nd-CA)
17. Diane E. Watson (D-33rd-CA)
18. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-34th-CA)
19. Jane Harman (D-36nd-CA)
20. Juanita Millender-McDonald
21. Grace Napolitano (D-38th-CA)
22. Linda T. Sanchez (D-39th-CA)
23. Edward R. Royce (R-40th-CA)
24. Jerry Lewis (R-41st-CA)
25. Gary Miller (R-42nd-CA)
26. Ken Calvert (R-44th-CA)
27. Loretta Sanchez (D-47th-CA)
28. Randy Cunningham (R-50th-CA)
29. Bob Filner (D-51st-CA)
30. Susan A. Davis (D-53rd-CA)
31. Christopher Shays (R-4th-CT)
District of Columbia
32. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
33. Ander Crenshaw (R-4th-FL)
34. Michael Bilirakis (R-9th-FL)
35. Mark Foley (R-16th-FL)
36. Ilena Ros-Lehtinen (R-18th-FL)
37. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-21st-FL)
38. Alcee L. Hastings (D-23rd-FL)
39. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25th-FL)
40. John Lewis (D-5th-GA)
41. Bobby L. Rush (D-1st-IL)
42. Danny Davis (D-7th-IL)
43. Mark S. Kirk (R-10th-IL)
44. Lane Evans (D-17th-IL)
45. Peter J. Visclosky (D-1st-IN)
46. Chris Van Hollen (D-8th-MD)
47. James P. McGovern (D-3rd-MA)
48. Barney Frank (D-4th-MA)
49. Martin T. Meehan (D-5th-MA)
50. John Tierney (D-6th-MA)
51. Edward J. Markey (D-7th-MA)
52. Michael Capuano (D-8th-MA)
53. Joe Schwarz (R-7th-MI)
54. Joe Knollenberg (R-8th-MI)
55. Thaddeus McCotter (R-11th-MI)
56. Sander M. Levin (D-12th-MI)
57. John Conyers, Jr. (D-14th-MI)
58. William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-1st-MO)
59. Shelley Berkley (D-1st-NV)
60. Jeb Bradley (R-1st-NH)
61. Charlie Bass (R-2nd-NH)
62. Robert E. Andrews (D-1st-NJ)
63. Frank A. LoBiondo (R-2nd-NJ)
64. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-6th-NJ)
65. Michael Ferguson (R-7th-NJ)
66. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-8th-NJ)
67. Steven R. Rothman (D-9th-NJ)
68. Donald M. Payne (D-10th-NJ)
69. Rush Holt (D-12th-NJ)
70. Robert Menendez (D-13th-NJ)
71. Steve Israel (D-2nd-NY)
72. Carolyn McCarthy (D-4th-NY)
73. Gary Ackerman (D-5th-NY)
74. Gregory Meeks (D-6th-NY)
75. Joseph Crowley (D-7th-NY)
76. Jerrold Nadler (D-8th-NY)
77. Anthony Weiner (D-9th-NY)
78. Vito Fossella (R-13th-NY)
79. Carolyn Maloney (D-14th-NY)
80. Charles Rangel (D-15th-NY)
81. Eliot Engel (D-17th-NY)
82. Nita Lowey (D-18th-NY)
83. Sue W. Kelley (R-19th-NY)
84. John E. Sweeney (R-20th-NY)
85. Michael McNulty (D-21st-NY)
86. Maurice Hinchey (D-22nd-NY)
87. Louise McIntosh Slaughter (R-28th-NY)
88. Virginia Foxx (R-5th-NC)
89. Mike McIntyre (D-7th-NC)
90. Sue Myrick (R-9th-NC)
91. Steve Chabot (R-1st-OH)
92. Paul E. Gillmor (R-5th-OH)
93. Mary Kaptur (D-9th-OH)
94. Dennis Kucinich (D-10th-OH)
95. Sherrod Brown (D-13th-OH)
96. Tim Ryan (D-17th-OH)
100.Robert Ney (R-18th-OH)
101.John Sullivan (R-1st-OK)
102. Earl Blumenauer (D-3rd-OR)
103. Phillip English (R-3rd-PA)
104. Melissa Hart (R-4th-PA)
105. Curt Weldon (R-7th-PA)
106. Mike Doyle (D-14th-PA)
107. Tim Holden (D-17th-PA)
108. Patrick Kennedy (D-1st-RI)
109. James Langevin (D-2nd-RI)
110. Henry Brown Jr. (R-1st-SC)
111. Joe Wilson (R-2nd-SC)
112. Zach Wamp (R-3rd-TN)
113. John S. Tanner (D-8th-TN)
114. Ruben Hinojosa (D-15th-TX)
115. Lloyd Doggett (D-25th-TX)
116. Gene Green (D-29th-TX)
117. Jo Ann Davis (R-1st-VA)
118. Thelma Drake (D-2nd-VA)
119. Robert C. Scott (D-3rd-VA)
120. J. Randy Forbes (R-4th-VA)
121. James P. Moran (D-8th-VA)
122. Brian Baird (D-3rd-WA)
123. Jim McDermott (D-7th-WA)
124. Shelley Moore Capito (R-2nd-WV)
125.Tammy Baldwin (D-2nd-WI)