AHI Calls for Apology from State Dept.
for Conduct Leading to Invasion of Cyprus

AHI Sends Letter to Secretary Condoleezza Rice Calling for an Apology from the State Department for Its Unlawful and Other Conduct in 1974 which led to the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey

WASHINGTON, DC—On July 20, 2005, the occasion of the 31st year of Turkey’s invasion and occupation of northern Cyprus, AHI President Gene Rossides sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calling for an apology from the State Department to the Greek Cypriots for its unlawful and other conduct in 1974 which led to the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey. The text of the letter follows:

July 20, 2005

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
State Department
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Re: The State Department should apologize to the Greek Cypriots for its unlawful and other conduct in 1974 which led to the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey

Dear Madame Secretary:

On the occasion of the 31st anniversary of Turkey’s illegal invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974 with the illegal use of American arms and equipment, the State Department should apologize to the Greek Cypriots for its unlawful and other conduct at that time which led to the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey.

The State Department in 1974, under Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, violated U.S. laws, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, and the Foreign Military Sales Act, following Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus by refusing to halt immediately all military arms and equipment to Turkey as required by those laws.

The State Department should also apologize for its encouragement of (1) the illegal coup on July 15, 1974 against President Makarios of Cyprus ordered by the Greek dictator Brigadier General Dimitri Ioannides and (2) the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey on July 20, 1974.

A review of the sequence of events leading up to the Turkish invasion of July 20, 1974 is instructive. On Monday, July 15, 1974 following the coup against Makarios, an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was called for that evening. The State Department under Kissinger requested and got a postponement until Friday July 19. The State Department refused to denounce the coup against Makarios when most democracies of the world, including Britain, a guarantor power, did denounce the coup. If the State Department had denounced the coup the Greek dictatorship would have fallen and there would have been no invasion of Cyprus.

Makarios escaped the assassination attempt and the British flew him to London to meet with Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Meanwhile, Nicos Sampson, an ultra-rightist and discredited former member of the Greek Cypriot national liberation movement EOKA, was installed as President of Cyprus. Sampson’s appointment was condemned by Britain and other nations throughout the world, except the United States.

While Britain was meeting with Makarios and condemning Sampson and the coup, the State Department under Kissinger gave Turkey both time and the purported reason to invade Cyprus.

State, on July 17, 1974, instructed the U.S. Ambassador in Nicosia to meet with the foreign minister of the renegade Sampson government and had "high American officials" leak to the New York Times that the U.S. was leaning towards recognizing the Sampson government. That story was the lead story on the front page of the New York Times on Thursday, July 18, 1974. Turkey invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974.

The State Department’s wrongdoing did not end there. State undermined the UN-sponsored negotiations and cease-fire by approving a statement issued by its spokesman Ambassador Robert Anderson on August 13, 1974 saying that the Turkish Cypriots needed more security despite the fact that there was no evidence of any danger to the Turkish Cypriot community. After the coup, Rauf Denktash, the leader of the 18% Turkish Cypriot community stated that they were "following the situation closely with the Turkish authorities," that it was a Greek Cypriot affair, and that the Turkish Cypriots should "not…interfere in any way."

On August 14, 1974, three weeks after the legitimate government of Cyprus had been restored, Turkey renewed its aggression and broke out of the 4% of Cyprus that they controlled and seized another 33% of Cyprus from August 14-16, 1974, with the killings of innocent civilians on a substantial scale, rapes of women from 12-71, enormous destruction of properties and churches and forced 180,000 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.

On January 23, 1977, the London Sunday Times published excerpts of the report and stated: "It amounts to a massive indictment of the Ankara government for the murder, rape and looting by its army in Cyprus during and after the Turkish invasion of summer 1974."

State’s Cover-up

The State Department’s wrongdoing did not end in 1974. State has conducted a campaign since 1974 to cover-up its unlawful conduct, its encouragement of the coup against President Makarios of July 15, 1974 and its encouragement of Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974.

State has done this by simply ignoring the facts as to what occurred in July and August 1974 and the action of Congress in upholding the rule of law by imposing an arms embargo on Turkey in the fall of 1974.

One has only to look at the State Department’s web site on Cyprus: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5376.htm, to see the extent of State’s cover-up of its unlawful conduct in 1974. It reminds one of George Orwell’s 1984. Enclosed is a copy of my letter to you of June 22, 2005 "Re: State’s web on Cyprus false and misleading" which sets forth in detail the serious errors of fact and omission.

The State Department has a great deal to apologize for and should do it now. I urge you to have the courage to apologize and to correct State’s web site on Cyprus in the interest of accuracy, fairness and decency. The U.S. Senate recently apologized for its repeated failure to pass a federal anti-lynching law. President Clinton apologized in November 1999 in Athens regarding the junta and he also apologized to the people of Nicaragua regarding the U.S. role there.



Gene Rossides


cc: Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Dan Fried
Chief of Staff Andrew Card
National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley
The Congress

For more information about the American Hellenic Institute in Washington, D.C., contact Georgia Economou, Director of Public Relations for AHI, at (202) 785-8430 or at georgia@ahiworld.org, or visit the groups' website at http://www.ahiworld.org. AHI was founded in 1974 following Turkey's illegal invasion and occupation of 37.3% of Cyprus. It is a membership-based organization with members throughout the nation. AHI's core mission is to promote American values and the rule of law in U.S. foreign policy and to strengthen relations between the U.S. and Greece and Cyprus as being in the best interests of the United States. It conducts an active program with Congress in espousing and supporting legislation designed to promote American interests in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean and is registered with the Congress under the Lobbying Act. The AHI Foundation is the first think-tank devoted exclusively to the study of the issues confronting the Greek American community. This organization sponsors conferences, seminars and publishes books and other materials on the issues.

HCS maintains an extensive archives for AHI articles and press releases which visitors may browse under the American Hellenic Institute Releases section of the archives at http://www.helleniccomserve.com/contents.html.

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