American Hellenic Institute president Gene Rossides recently announced that major Greek American membership organizations jointly endorsed the 2005 Greek American Policy Statement on key issues affecting Greece and the relationship between Greece and the U.S., including AHEPA, Hellenic American National Council, the Cyprus Federation of America, the Panepirotic Federation of America, the Pan-Macedonian Association of American, the Evrytanian Association of America, and AHI. This statement addresses a broad range of issues: the Aegean Sea Boundary; the Cyprus Problem; the need for a Special Relationship between Greece and the U.S.; the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Turkey's Supression of the Religious Freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; Compensation to Turkey's Victims; Albania; Armenia; Legislative Priorities; the need for a Critical Review of U.S. Policy Toward Turkey; and overall Policy Themes.
2005 Greek American Policy Statement
Click on one of the links below to go directly to that section of the statement:
The U.S. Should Establish a "Special Relationship" with Greece
The Cyprus Problem
Aegean Sea Boundary
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Turkey's Suppression of the Religious Freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Critical Review of U.S. Policy Toward Turkey Needed
Compensation to Turkey's Victims
The U.S. Should Establish a "Special Relationship" with Greece
The U.S. has important and vital interests in Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. These include the significant energy, commercial and communications resources that transit the region. The U.S. should look to Greece as an immensely valuable link in the region. The U.S. should do more to capitalize on Greece’s location and close cultural, political, and economic ties to the Mediterranean countries, Western Europe, Southeastern Europe, and the Middle East in advancing U.S. interests.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Greece’s Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis in Washington, DC on March 24, 2005 for a working visit. Secretary Rice stated the following to the media:
"We had an opportunity to review the excellent state of relations between Greece and the United States, the outstanding bilateral relationship that we have, and also our joint desire and commitment for the spread of democracy and freedom throughout the world.
Greece has been a strong supporter of the work that we are doing in the broader Middle East, in Afghanistan, in supporting the people of Iraq as they are concerned and looking forward to a better future based on the elections that they've had.
We also had a very good opportunity to talk about the Balkans, a place in which we believe great progress has been made. But, of course, there are many challenges yet to meet. And we have no better friend in meeting these and other challenges than our friends in Greece."
Minister Molyviatis said:
Indeed, we had an excellent opportunity to review our excellent state of bilateral relations and also to express and reaffirm our determination to further promote that relationship into strategic cooperation on several fields.
We, of course, discussed the Balkans and the Mediterranean. And we greeted with satisfaction this mobility toward the spread of democracy and freedom in many parts of the world….
Also we discussed, of course, Cyprus and we considered ways in which we can promote our common objective, which is the reunification of the island through negotiations on the basis of the Annan plan.
And, frankly, I could say that we have both agreed to further strengthen our cooperation in all fields.
Secretary Rice responded to a question about "working together on strategic areas. Could you be more specific where Greece and the United States could work together?"
"Of course. First of all, we did talk about our joint responsibilities as members of NATO and the responsibilities that we hold in trying to promote stable and progressive developments in the Balkans. That is a place where we have had very, very good cooperation, and where it's extremely important that that process move forward.
We have some reports that will be coming forward, for instance, on Kosovo. We believe that this is an area that is ripe for cooperation between Greece and the United States as well as the other members of NATO.
I can remember quite well, for instance, at our recent NATO ministerial, that we talked about the need for there to be constant dialogue and discussion as we move forward through the spring on the situation in Kosovo.
We also talked about the Mediterranean, where we share interests and where there are now very active movements toward democracy and perhaps we could find a strategic common purpose there.
The foreign minister also talked about what Greece might be able to do as we continue to try to stabilize Afghanistan, and as we try to provide for the Iraqi people support for their newly elected transitional government.
So this is wide ranging.
We did not have a chance to talk today, although we have talked, of course, in the past, about the Middle East and the Israeli- Palestinian issue, where Greece has an important role with us to play in helping the Palestinian people to develop institutions that can be the institutions on which a state can be built.
So we have a broad strategic course ahead of us.
And the good news is that since Greece and the United States are good friends, since we're both democracies, since we work together in a number of institutions, well, we look forward to using all of those opportunities to promote this agenda, which is focused very much on the spread of freedom and democracy, and I might say, also, greater prosperity to the people of the world."
We have stated for decades that Greece is the strategic and political key for the U.S. in Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean and a proven and reliable ally. In 2001 the American Hellenic Institute Foundation published Greece’s Pivotal Role in World War II and its Importance to the U.S. Today with an introduction by General Andrew J. Goodpaster, USA (Ret.), the former Supreme Commander of NATO.
In World War I, Greece sided with the allies and played an important role in the Balkans, while Turkey fought against the U.S. as an ally of Germany. Greece’s actions also prevented Turkish troops from reaching the Western Front and saved many American and allied lives.
In World War II, with Europe under the heel of Nazi Germany and with Britain fighting the Axis powers alone, Greece’s courageous reply on October 28, 1940 of OXI (No!) to Mussolini’s surrender ultimatum echoed throughout the world and give support to Britain and the forces of freedom.
The defeat of Mussolini’s army by Greek forces, actually pushing them back into Albania, gave the first taste of victory to the allies against fascism. Greece’s success against Mussolini forced Hitler to change his plans and divert valuable troops, arms and equipment to invade Greece. Hitler’s invasion of Greece delayed his invasion of the Soviet Union by several weeks, from April to June 1941. That delay has been credited by military experts and historians as one of the main factors that prevented Hitler’s defeat of the Soviet Union.
Karl E. Meyer, in a New York Times editorial footnote, stated that Hitler believed that several weeks it took Germany to subdue Greece was responsible for his losing the war against the Soviet Union. (April 16, 1994, A20, col.1)
General Andrew J. Goodpaster, former Supreme Commander of NATO, has characterized Greece’s actions in World War II as a turning point in the war.
But the glory of Greece’s actions in World War II did not end there. During the harsh Nazi occupation, Greek resistance activities forced the Germans to retain a large number of troops in Greece, which otherwise would have been deployed to Eastern Front and in North Africa, and could have tipped the balance in both of those campaigns. Six hundred thousand Greeks, 9 percent of their population, died from fighting and Nazi Germany’s starvation policy.
In contrast with Greece, Turkey failed to honor its treaty with Britain and France to enter the war, remained neutral and profited from both sides. In fact, Turkey supplied Hitler with chromium, a vital resource to Nazi Germany’s armaments industry and war effort. Albert Speer, Hitler’s armaments chief, wrote in November 1943 that the loss of chromium supplies from Turkey would end the war in about 10 months. See F. Weber, The Evasive Neutral 44 (1979) and A. Speer, Inside the Third Reich 316-17, 405, 550 n. 10, (1970).
While the rest of Europe was rebuilding following World War II, Greece was involved in a civil war from 1946 to 1949 against communist forces supported by Stalin and Tito and supplied by them from the Skopje area of Yugoslavia. Greece’s defeat of the communists, with the Greek blood and American military aid provided under the Truman Doctrine (but without American combat troops), was an historic turning point in the post-World War II Cold War period.
Stopping the communist takeover of Greece, including Crete with its Souda Bay naval base, prevented Stalin’s domination of the Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean and the strategic encirclement by the Soviet Union of the Middle East oil resources including the Persian Gulf area. General Goodpaster has called the Truman Doctrine and Greece’s role a turning point in world history.
Secretary Rice’s comments give hope that finally the U.S. recognizes the full value of Greece to the U.S. for their mutual benefit. Words are important, but need to be followed by action. Secretary Rice can give meaning to her words by positive action on the key issues: Cyprus, the Aegean, FYROM, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Halki Patriarchal School of Theology and Albania.
Greece is a vigorous and stable democracy with a rapidly modernizing economy that serves as a stimulus for regional growth. It is also the only Balkan country that can boast membership in the EU and its European Monetary Union (EMU) as well as NATO. In combination, these factors make Greece a regional force for political stability and democracy-building and a sensible partner for U.S. strategic interests, economic cooperation and investment. Greece hosted an exceptional 2004 Olympic Games, which enhanced Greece’s visibility worldwide.
The 1999 Kosovo crisis confirmed Greece’s leadership role in the Balkans and its utility as the U.S.’s pivotal partner in the wider region. Greece coordinates the administration of EU aid to the Balkans and is itself a source of developmental capital, private investment, and know-how in the newly emerging Balkan economies.
The 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq War confirmed that the Souda Bay, Crete naval base and airbases in Greece are the most important Eastern Mediterranean bases for the projection of U.S. power. There is clearly nothing remotely comparable in Turkey.
The U.S. should establish a "special relationship" with Greece by broadening and deepening its relationship through a coordinated program in the strategic, political, military, commercial and cultural fields. Establishing such a relationship with Greece will allow the U.S. to capitalize on Greece’s unique assets, thereby increasing the prospects for achieving the U.S.’s long-term goals of political stability, economic progress and democracy in Southeastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.
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The Cyprus Problem
In 2004, the U.S. failed to take advantage of two factors which presented the U.S. with an opportunity for positive movement on the Cyprus problem. The first factor was Cyprus’s accession to the European Union (EU) on May 1, 2004. The second factor was that Operation Iraqi Freedom demonstrated (1) Turkey’s unreliability as a strategic ally when it counted most by refusing on March 1, 2003 to allow up to 62,000 U.S. troops to use bases in Turkey to open a northern front against Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship; (2) that Turkey is of minimal strategic value for U.S. interests in the Middle East, since the defeat of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship without Turkey’s help and the availability of military facilities elsewhere in the region; and (3) that Turkey is an "extortionist" state who tried to get for its cooperation $6 billion more over the $26 billion offered, a veto over U.S. policy on the northern Iraq Kurds and access to northern Iraq oil. (N.Y. Times, Feb. 20, 2003; A1; col. 6.)
Turkey's unreliability as an ally is not new. There is a history of Turkey's actual support of and assistance to the Soviet military during the Cold War to the serious detriment of the U.S.
In 2005, the U.S. can still take advantage of these two factors and should do so in the interest of the U.S. An additional factor that should impel the U.S. to alter its harmful "double standards" policy on the rule of law for Turkey and Turkey’s occupation of 37.3% of Cyprus, now in its 31st year, is the virulent anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism rampant in Turkey today.
On February 16, 2005 The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) carried an editorial page article (A14; col.3) "The Sick Man of EuropeAgain" by Mr. Robert L. Pollock, a senior editorial page writer at the WSJ. Finally a mainstream journalist, and a conservative one at that, has given the U.S. public the real picture of Turkey’s virulent anti-American and anti-Semitic attitudes. He tells it as it is. (See Exhibit 1 for a copy of Mr. Pollock’s article.)
On March 8, 2005, the noted journalist, Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International, in an article titled "Cold Turkey" (Washington Times, Mar. 8, 2005, A17, col.1) pointed out that "Turkey, an erstwhile ally, nabbed the gold medal recently in the global anti-American stakes" citing a BBC world survey. (See Exhibit 2 for a copy of Mr. de Borchgrave’s article.)
There is no need now, if there ever was, for the U.S. to continue its harmful policy of double standards for and appeasement of Turkey on Turkey's invasion of Cyprus, its occupation of 37.3% of Cyprus, its violation of human rights in Turkey and Cyprus , its outlandish claim to one-half of the Aegean Sea and its disdain for the rule of law.
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, as amended, the UN Charter article 2 (4), the preamble and article 1 of 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), terrorizing and killing innocent Greek Cypriot civilians in Nicosia, Famagusta, Kyrenia, and elsewhere.
Turkey’s invasion had the support and encouragement of then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who knew in advance Turkey planned to invade Cyprus and refused to use the U.S. Sixth Fleet or otherwise act to prevent the invasion, as requested by U.S. Ambassador to Greece, Henry Tasca. Kissinger refused to denounce Turkey's aggression, as Britain and most other nations did, and he refused to enforce U.S. laws requiring an immediate halt in U.S. arms to Turkey, though he had the statutory obligation to do so. He also violated his oath of office by failing to do so.
On August 14, 1974, three weeks after the legitimate government of Cyprus was restored, Turkey launched the second phase of its invasion of Cyprus. This was also encouraged by Secretary Kissinger, who the day before had authorized a statement by the State Department's spokesman, Ambassador Robert Anderson, that the Turkish Cypriots needed more protection. He failed to denounce the second phase of Turkey’s aggression and failed to uphold U.S. laws requiring an immediate halt in U.S.- supplied arms. In the second phase of the aggression, Turkey grabbed another 33 percent of the island, expanding its land grab to a total of 37.3 percent of Cyprus’s sovereign territory, killed innocent civilians, raped women from the ages of 12-71, forced 180,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes and property and committed massive destruction of property including churches. The European Commission on Human Rights issued a report on July 10, 1976 on the charges made in two applications by the Cyprus government. In the report the Commission found Turkey guilty of violating the following articles of the European Convention on Human Rights:
(1) Article 2 by the killing of innocent civilians committed on a substantial scale;
(2) Article 3 by the rape of women of all ages from 12 to 71;
(3) Article 3 by the inhuman treatment of prisoners and persons detained;
(4) Article 5 by deprivation of liberty with regard to detainees and missing persons a continuing violation;
(5) Article 8 by the displacement of persons creating more than 170,000 Greek Cypriot refugees, and by refusing to allow the refugees to return to their homes a continuing violation;
(6) Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention by deprivation of possessions,
looting and robbery on an extensive scale.
On January 23, 1977, the London Sunday Times published excerpts of the report (page 1, col.1) 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."
The Turkish army has continued to occupy this territory ever since. It is an affront to the international legal order and a continuing threat to regional stability.
The invasion and Turkey’s continuing occupation have drawn universal international condemnation, as reflected in UN resolutions, statements by members of Congress and from many nations, and various court decisions in Europe, but not from the Executive Branch of the U.S. government.
Turkey contributes some $350 million annually in direct economic support to the regime in the occupied parts of Cyprus, and it is estimated that the total cost to Turkey of its illegal occupation amounts to one billion dollars annually. To secure its land grab of Cypriot territory, Turkey has illegally settled northern occupied Cyprus with one hundred thousand Turks from Anatolia in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949, section III, art. 4, which prohibits colonization by an occupying power. These colonists are beholden to their Turkish sponsors whose heavy annual outlays subsidize them. As money is fungible, U.S. economic aid subsidized Turkey's occupation of Cyprus for decades.
There is no legal distinction between Turkey's 1974 invasion of Cyprus and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The Cyprus problem is one of invasion and occupation by Turkey. Viewed objectively, Turkey in 1974 committed war crimes in Cyprus in view of the evidence presented to the European Commission of Human Rights and upheld by the Commission in its report referred to above.
Then Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger bears the major responsibility for the Cyprus problem in 1974 because he encouraged and supported Turkeys invasion of Cyprus, violated his oath of office by failing to halt immediately arms to Turkey as required by U.S. law and refused to denounce Turkey's aggression. The U.S. bears a moral responsibility to redress the situation.
We 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, the EU acquis communautaire, the European constitution, UN resolutions on Cyprus, the pertinent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and of other European Courts.
Annan Plan "not a viable solution to the Cyprus problem"
The Annan Plan-5, submitted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as the basis for a settlement, was undemocratic, unworkable, not financially viable and not compatible with American principles, the EU's acquis communautaire, UN resolutions and the European Convention on Human Rights. Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, in a March 12, 2005 letter to President Bush calls the Annan Plan "not a viable solution to the Cyprus problem" and further stated: "The Annan Plan in its present form is unsuitable for a successful resolution of the Cyprus problem and needs major modifications to be viable."
Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen detailed the reasons why the Annan Plan is not a viable solution: "the continuing presence of Turkish troops;" "Turkish Cypriots and mainland Turkish settlers" keeping "Greek Cypriot homes and other property that they seized following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus" and "not have to reimburse the owners of the property;" Annan requires "the Greek Cypriots to be reimbursed by the federal treasury which is funded overwhelmingly by the Greek Cypriots" which means "the Greek Cypriots would be reimbursing themselves." (See Exhibit 3 for a detailed analysis of the Annan Plan’s many obvious shortcomings.)
The Congresswoman also referred to "the unwarranted criticism and attacks on the Greek-Cypriots for their ‘no’ vote of 76%," and stated that: "The public has been misled by claims that Greek-Cypriots were the ones responsible for the ultimate failure of the unification plan."
In the letter to President Bush, she also stated: "Perhaps it is now time for a new approach to the issue." She urged the President "to remain engaged in efforts to resolve the conflict in Cyprus, and to continue the search for a just and lasting reunification that will promote peace and stability."
With the State Department’s new political leadership of Secretary Condoleezza Rice and the new career leadership of Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns there is an opportunity to redress the situation.
Syria Out of Lebanon- Turkey Out of Cyprus
In March President Bush called for the immediate removal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. Last year the U.S. actively supported UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which called for the removal of all non-Lebanese forces from Lebanon, in effect telling Syria to get out of Lebanon.
Getting Syrian troops out of Lebanon is in the best interests of the U.S. Getting Turkish troops out of Cyprus is also in the best interests of the U.S.
The failure to call for the removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus is a striking example of the double standard in Turkey’s favor. It is particularly distressing as the Turkish troops which invaded Cyprus caused substantial loss of lives, 180,000 Greek Cypriot refugees and huge destruction of property. The reasons to call for the removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus are as compelling, and more so, than getting Syrian troops out of Lebanon.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, in a speech in Washington on March 5, 2005 at the American Hellenic Institute’s annual dinner, called for an end to "the continuing presence of Turkish troops on the island. They’ve got to go," she said.
President Bush should also call for the immediate withdrawal of Turkey’s 110,000 illegal colonists in Cyprus and the tearing down of Turkey’s Green Line barbed wire fence across the face of Cyprus. The removal of Turkey’s troops, colonists and Green Line barbed wire fence would end the Turkish Cypriot’s isolation and go a long way to solving the Cyprus problem because the Greek and Turkish Cypriots could then work out a fair and effective agreement.
Why hasn’t President Bush called for the removal of Turkey’s illegal troops and colonists from Cyprus and the tearing down of the Green Line barbed wire fence (as President Reagan called for the Soviets to tear down the Berlin Wall)? The answer is that he has followed the failed State Department policy of a double standard on the application of the rule of law to Turkey. That policy started in 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus with the illegal use of U.S. arms, and has continued to the present time.
The person who led the effort in promoting the double standard this past decade is former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman. Mr. Grossman retired on February 25, 2005 and has been succeeded by Nicholas Burns, former State Department spokesperson, U.S. Ambassador to Greece and U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO. Hopefully Mr. Burns will initiate a review of the U.S.-Turkey policy, a review which is long overdue.
Instead of calling for the removal of (1) Turkish invasion and occupation troops from Cyprus, (2) the illegal colonists and (3) the illegal Turkish Green Line barbed wired fence, the State Department says they are part of the negotiations, which means, in effect, the State Department’s support for Turkish aggression.
The State Department’s "double speak" on Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus compared to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait is right out of George Orwell’s 1984.
A review of U.S. policy towards Turkey should begin with the Eisenhower Doctrine: "There can be no peace without law. And there can be no law if we were to invoke one code of international conduct for those who oppose us and another for our friends." Eisenhower applied that doctrine to halt and reverse aggression by Britain, France and Israel against Egypt in 1956.
A top UN official has informed Syria that the UN will be considering "wide punitive sanctions" if Syria does not comply with UN SC Res. 1559. The U.S. should also consider sanctions against Turkey if Turkey does not get out of Cyprus now.
To achieve a Cyprus settlement, the U.S. should apply forceful economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Turkey, including sanctions if necessary, to get Turkey to remove its 35,000 armed forces and its 100,000 illegal colonists from Cyprus, and to tear down the Turkish Green Line barbered wire fence across the face of Cyprus which are the causes of the Turkish Cypriots isolation.
The limited opening of the Green Line in Nicosia in April 2003 resulted in thousands of peaceful daily crossings by Turkish and Greek Cypriots and has demonstrated beyond a doubt that Greek and Turkish Cypriots can live and work together peacefully as they did before. It destroyed the propaganda of Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, that they could not live together and needed to be separated.
NATO’s toleration of Turkey’s aggression against Cyprus in violation of the NATO Treaty and the UN Charter is evidence of a double standard and a stain on NATO’s record and honor. NATO should call for the immediate removal of Turkey’s illegal occupation forces and settlers from Cyprus and the demilitarization of Cyprus. If Turkey refuses to cooperate, NATO should consider appropriate action to bring Turkey into compliance. We call on the U.S. to encourage NATO members to apply pressure on Turkey to abide by the clear requirements of the NATO Treaty, to desist from aggression against other states and to reform the constitution of Turkey to reflect Western standards of civilian democracy.
The U.S. should make the search for a just solution to the Cyprus problem a foreign policy priority and should expand its economic, political, diplomatic, and security relations with Cyprus. The U.S. in its own interests should support amendments to the Annan Plan to make it democratic, workable, financially viable, just and compatible with American principles, EU democratic norms and human rights standards. Reunification of the island on just and viable terms and the nation’s membership in the EU as an integrated whole are worthy goals. They will benefit all parties concerned and will advance the U.S. interests in regional stability and adherence to the rule of law. To promote these interests, the U.S. should more forcefully exert its influence with Turkey, including the Turkish military.
The Greek Cypriots worked hard to recover from the devastation of the Turkish invasion and adhered in all their efforts to the rule of law. They achieved an economic miracle. Yet when the Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly voted no by 76% to the flawed Annan Plan, the State Department led by Under Secretary Marc Grossman attacked them for exercising their democratic right to vote and personally attacked Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos.
The Cyprus problem is the central issue of U.S.-Cyprus relations, but it is not the only component of the relationship. Cyprus is within the U.S. strategic perimeter in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Cyprus is a strategic key for U.S. interests in the region. It is a stationary aircraft carrier in the region and its mountains provide areas for the most effective listening and transmitting devices in the region. We suggest that the Administration increase efforts to deepen its relations with Cyprus by ensuring regular visits to Cyprus by senior officials whose responsibilities are not directly related to the solution of the Cyprus problem.
The Cyprus Problem Exhibit 1
Wall Street Journal February 16, 2005 article, "The Sick Man of Europe- Again" by Robert L. Pollock, a senior editorial writer (A14; col. 3.)
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The Sick Man of Europe--Again
Islamism and leftism add up to anti-American madness in Turkey.
BY ROBERT L. POLLOCK
Wednesday, February 16, 2005 12:01 a.m.
ANKARA, Turkey--Several years ago I attended an exhibition in Istanbul. The theme was local art from the era of the country's last military coup (1980). But the artists seemed a lot more concerned with the injustices of global capitalism than the fate of Turkish democracy. In fact, to call the works leftist caricatures--many featured fat capitalists with Uncle Sam hats and emaciated workers--would have been an understatement. As one astute local reviewer put it (I quote from memory): "This shows that Turkish artists were willing to abase themselves voluntarily in ways that Soviet artists refused even at the height of Stalin's oppression."
That exhibition came to mind amid all the recent gnashing of teeth in the U.S. over the question of "Who lost Turkey?" Because it shows that a 50-year special relationship, between longtime NATO allies who fought Soviet expansionism together starting in Korea, has long had to weather the ideological hostility and intellectual decadence of much of Istanbul's elite. And at the 2002 election, the increasingly corrupt mainstream parties that had championed Turkish-American ties self-destructed, leaving a vacuum that was filled by the subtle yet insidious Islamism of the Justice and Development (AK) Party. It's this combination of old leftism and new Islamism--much more than any mutual pique over Turkey's refusal to side with us in the Iraq war--that explains the collapse in relations.
And what a collapse it has been. On a brief visit to Ankara earlier this month with Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith, I found a poisonous atmosphere--one in which just about every politician and media outlet (secular and religious) preaches an extreme combination of America- and Jew-hatred that (like the Turkish artists) voluntarily goes far further than anything found in most of the Arab world's state-controlled press. If I hesitate to call it Nazi-like, that's only because Goebbels would probably have rejected much of it as too crude.
Consider the Islamist newspaper Yeni Safak, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's favorite. A Jan. 9 story claimed that U.S. forces were tossing so many Iraqi bodies into the Euphrates that mullahs there had issued a fatwa prohibiting residents from eating its fish. Yeni Safak has also repeatedly claimed that U.S. forces used chemical weapons in Fallujah. One of its columnists has alleged that U.S. soldiers raped women and children there and left their bodies in the streets to be eaten by dogs. Among the paper's "scoops" have been the 1,000 Israeli soldiers deployed alongside U.S. forces in Iraq, and that U.S. forces have been harvesting the innards of dead Iraqis for sale on the U.S. "organ market."
It's not much better in the secular press. The mainstream Hurriyet has accused Israeli hit squads of assassinating Turkish security personnel in Mosul, and the U.S. of starting an occupation of Indonesia under the guise of humanitarian assistance. At Sabah, a columnist last fall accused the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman, of letting his "ethnic origins"--guess what, he's Jewish--determine his behavior. Mr. Edelman is indeed the all-too-rare foreign-service officer who takes seriously his obligation to defend America's image and interests abroad. The intellectual climate in which he's operating has gone so mad that he actually felt compelled to organize a conference call with scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey to explain that secret U.S. nuclear testing did not cause the recent tsunami.
Never in an ostensibly friendly country have I had the impression of embassy staff so besieged. Mr. Erdogan's office recently forbade Turkish officials from attending a reception at the ambassador's residence in honor of the "Ecumenical" Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, who resides in Istanbul. Why? Because "ecumenical" means universal, which somehow makes it all part of a plot to carve up Turkey.
Perhaps the most bizarre anti-American story au courant in the Turkish capital is the "eighth planet" theory, which holds not only that the U.S. knows of an impending asteroid strike, but that we know it's going to hit North America. Hence our desire to colonize the Middle East.
It all sounds loony, I know. But such stories are told in all seriousness at the most powerful dinner tables in Ankara. The common thread is that almost everything the U.S. is doing in the world--even tsunami relief--has malevolent motivations, usually with the implication that we're acting as muscle for the Jews.
In the face of such slanders Turkish politicians have been utterly silent. In fact, Turkish parliamentarians themselves have accused the U.S. of "genocide" in Iraq, while Mr. Erdogan (who we once hoped would set for the Muslim world an example of democracy) was among the few world leaders to question the legitimacy of the Iraqi elections. When confronted, Turkish polls claim they can't risk going against "public opinion."
All of which makes Mr. Erdogan a prize hypocrite for protesting to Condoleezza Rice the unflattering portrayal of Turkey in an episode of the fictional TV show "The West Wing." The episode allegedly depicts Turkey as having been taking over by a retrograde populist government that threatens women's rights. (Sounds about right to me.)
In the old days, Turkey would have had an opposition party strong enough to bring such a government closer to sanity. But the only opposition now is a moribund People's Republican Party, or CHP, once the party of Ataturk. At a recent party congress, its leader accused his main challenger of having been part of a CIA plot against him. That's not to say there aren't a few comparatively pro-U.S. officials left in the current government and the state bureaucracies. But they're afraid to say anything in public. In private, they whine endlessly about trivial things the U.S. "could have done differently."
Entirely forgotten is that President Bush was among the first world leaders to recognize Prime Minister Erdogan, while Turkey's own legal system was still weighing whether he was secular enough for the job. Forgotten have been decades of U.S. military assistance. Forgotten have been years of American efforts to secure a pipeline route for Caspian oil that terminates at the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Forgotten has been the fact that U.S. administrations continue to fight annual attempts in Congress to pass a resolution condemning modern Turkey for the long-ago Armenian genocide. Forgotten has been America's persistent lobbying for Turkish membership in the European Union.
Forgotten, above all, has been America's help against the PKK. Its now-imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan, was expelled from Syria in 1998 after the Turks threatened military action. He was then passed like a hot potato between European governments, who refused to extradite him to Turkey because--gasp!--he might face the death penalty. He was eventually caught--with the help of U.S. intelligence--sheltered in the Greek Embassy in Nairobi. "They gave us Ocalan. What could be bigger than that?" says one of a handful of unapologetically pro-U.S. Turks I still know.
I know that Mr. Feith (another Jew, the Turkish press didn't hesitate to note), and Ms. Rice after him, pressed Turkish leaders on the need to challenge some of the more dangerous rhetoric if they value the Turkey-U.S. relationship. There is no evidence yet that they got a satisfactory answer. Turkish leaders should understand that the "public opinion" they cite is still reversible. But after a few more years of riding the tiger, who knows? Much of Ataturk's legacy risks being lost, and there won't be any of the old Ottoman grandeur left, either. Turkey could easily become just another second-rate country: small-minded, paranoid, marginal and--how could it be otherwise?--friendless in America and unwelcome in Europe.
Mr. Pollock is a senior editorial page writer at the Journal.
The Cyprus Problem Exhibit 2
Column titled "Cold Turkey" in the Washington Times, (March 8, 2005, A17; col. 1) by Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large of The Washington Times and United Press International.
By Arnaud de Borchgrave
No one noticed as Turkey, an erstwhile ally, nabbed the gold medal recently in the global anti-American stakes.
Those with the most negative views of the Bush administration's policies are (1) Turks with 82 percent; (2) Indonesians, 81 percent; (3) Lebanese, 80 percent; (4) Argentines, 79 percent; (5) Brazilians, 78 percent. Mercifully, half the 22,000 people surveyed in 21 countries by the BBC around the world did not agree, "America's influence on the world is very negative."
For those who see thousands of demonstrators in Beirut excoriating Syria as pro-American voices for freedom, think again. In Egypt, far more people are angry with President Hosni Mubarak for his close alliance with the United States than for denying them their political freedom.
After reading a long list of lies and distortions published by the Turkish media, the gold medal is hardly surprising. From left to right, and from centrist to Islamist, the United States is raked over hot coals with odious comparisons to Nazi Germany.
The Middle East Media Research Institute has once again scored in bringing to our attention trends our mainstream media have ignored. It is difficult to detect the difference between what Osama bin Laden said in his 19 audio and videotapes since September 11, 2001, and what some Turkish journalists write. If anything, the Turks outvenom bin Laden.
Columnist Suleyman Arif Emre wrote in the pan-Islamist daily Milli Gazette: "As we know, Germany's Hitler started World War II, and about 50 million people perished because of his ambitions. Bush is America's Hitler. Like Hitler, he too has become a curse for the world. If the world's sensible leaders don't unite against Bush to stop him, a great number of people will die because of his ambitions."
"Bush," the venomous Turk continued, "who is an ally of the Zionists, belongs to the racist philosophy too. The beliefs of Bush's evangelical church coupled with Jewish racism, which exceeds Hitler's, are sufficient proof that the 'Sharon-Bush duo' is militants of the same fanatical philosophy. Hitler said he would establish a new order if Germany won. Bush is after similar invasions."
Following Afghanistan and Iraq, President Bush's map of invasions, Mr. Emre says, includes 22 additional Islamic countries. How did he reach this figure? Because Mr. Bush is carrying out a 5,000-year-old Zionist dream to conquer everything between the valleys of the Nile and Euphrates. Mr. Bush has already "blurted out the names of Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt."
Nuray Mert, another columnist for the center-left liberal daily Radikal, described Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as "one of the leading architects of the American project to push the world into chaos and carry it out in the most barbaric way." Burhan Bozgeyik, in Milli Gazette, added the Bush administration is in the hands of the worst enemies of Islam. Their hate is so deep no amount of Muslim blood (spilled by them) satisfies them ... even hundreds of thousands of dead seem little for them."
The "evil triangle" -- the U.S., U.K. and Israel -- whose "hatred for Muslims has reached the point of madness, pretends to be Turkey's ally, but in fact it is weakening her foundations and planning to destroy her. ... The so-called 'elections' were nothing but the first step toward dividing Iraq."
This would be hilarious if not for the incontrovertible fact it is believed not only by Islamist extremists but by countless millions of Muslim fundamentalists, including all who subscribe to Wahhabi tenets. And we only have ourselves to blame.
America's public policy voice is pathetically defensive. It lacks credibility. Even Al Hurrah, the federally funded U.S. satellite feed to the Arab world has at times sounded too critical of the Bush administration. This, monitors reported back to Pentagon inquiries, was "to gain credibility."
Burhan Ozfatura, a former mayor of Izmir and a columnist for the business daily Dunya, writes, "It is my sincere belief ... the U.S. is run by an incompetent, very aggressive, true enemy of Islam, brainwashed with evangelical nonsense, a bloodthirsty team that is a loyal link in Israel's command-and-control system." The United States, he concludes, is the "biggest danger for Turkey, today and in the future."
Anti-Americanism is a relatively new phenomenon in Turkey. Throughout the 1990s in Turkey, 60 percent of the people had favorable views about the U.S. and its policies. The 2003 Iraq war closed many minds. The mood began souring with the advent of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-leaning ruling party.
The low point came when the Turkish parliament rejected the U.S. plan to open a northern front against Iraq. A $6 billion sweetener plus more billions in credit didn't change any minds. The U.S. 4th Infantry Division that was to spearhead the northern offensive was confined to the troopships offshore. Eventually, they sailed around the Arabian Peninsula and entered Iraq from Kuwait.
Turkish paranoia fed suspicions the United States wishes to create an independent and oil-rich Kurdish state. Turkish journalists convinced themselves, in turn, that Turkey's restive Kurds would then try to secede.
Mr. Bush has reassured Mr. Erdogan time and again the United States is firmly committed to Iraq's territorial integrity. But time and again, disinformation about U.S. intentions resurfaces courtesy of the wild bunch in the Turkish media.
Turkey's bid to join the European Union has also lost momentum over Ankara's reluctance to recognize Cyprus, an island nation Turkish troops invaded in 1974 to block a Greek Cypriot coup that sought union with Greece. EU says it's a sine qua non. The Turks still occupy the northern third of Cyprus.
Negotiations for EU membership are expected to take 10 to 15 years -- and the first session isn't scheduled till next Oct. 3.
Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.
The Cyprus Problem Exhibit 3
The Annan Plan Needs Serious Changes In The Interests Of The U.S
The Annan Plan, originally submitted in November 2002, was regarded by Cyprus, Greece and the international community as a basis for negotiations. The Annan Plan has gone through several modifications. Annan Plan-5, was the version submitted for separate referenda votes by the Greek and Turkish Cypriots on April 24, 2004. The Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly voted "no" by 76% and the Turkish Cypriots voted "yes" by 65%.
Modifications in the Annan Plan-5 are needed to make it democratic, workable, financially viable, just and compatible with EU norms and the EU acquis communautaire, the emerging European constitution, UN resolutions, American principles and human rights standards.
The Annan Plan submitted in the fall of 2002 by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for negotiations for the settlement of the Cyprus problem is a more complicated version of the 1959-1960 London-Zurich agreements imposed on the Greek Cypriots by the British during the Cold War.
As currently written the Annan Plan is undemocratic and unworkable and needs serious changes in the interests of the U.S. as well as those of Cyprus, the UN and the European Union (EU). It also violates key UN resolutions and the EU’s democratic norms and acquis communautaire.
The British had the primary influence in drafting the proposal with Lord David Hannay being the chief British interlocutor. The U.S. acquiesced and aided the British. The Annan Plan-5 perpetuates the undemocratic features and ethnic divisions of the London-Zurich agreements. The Cold War is over yet the British continue their policy of setting one ethnic group off against another.
The Annan Plan-5 is harmful to U.S. efforts to build democratic institutions in Iraq.
The U.S. should in its own best interests be the champion of democratic norms throughout the world, not obvious undemocratic constitutions like the one proposed. The U.S. should support changes in Annan Plan-5 to make it democratic, workable, financially viable and just.
Annan Plan-5 fostered division and strife. Secretary-General Annan himself should seek changes in the plan in the interests of the UN to have a democratic and viable plan.
The proposal is undemocratic.
The parliamentary system under the Annan Plan creates a minority veto for the 18% Turkish Cypriot minority. The following key legislative matters among others would be subject to the Turkish Cypriot veto:
Adoption of laws concerning taxation, citizenship and immigration;
Approval of the budget; and
Election of the Presidential Council.
This arrangement is clearly undemocratic, a recipe for stalemate and harmful to all Cypriots.
The minority veto is also present in the Presidential Council which exercises the executive power of the component state. Political paralysis in the exercise of executive power will be the result.
The Annan Plan vetoes exceed the minority vetoes of the London-Zurich 1959-1960 agreements, which vetoes led to the breakdown of the Cyprus constitution.
Is the U.S. prepared to propose the Annan Plan’s minority veto provisions for the 20% Kurdish minority of 15 plus million in Turkey? Is Turkey prepared to give its Kurdish minority rights it seeks for the Turkish Cypriots? What about the Arab minority in Israel, Turks in Bulgaria, Albanians in FYROM, Greeks in Albania and minorities in Africa, Asia and North and South America?
The U.S. position in support of the British maneuvered Annan Plan is, frankly, an embarrassment to our foreign policy. Rather than supporting undemocratic norms, the U.S. should promote with vigor the democratic policy espoused for Cyprus by Vice President George H.W. Bush on July 6, 1988: "We seek for Cyprus a constitutional democracy based on majority rule, the rule of law, and the protection of minority rights; " and by presidential candidate Governor Bill Clinton in 1992: " A Cyprus settlement should be consistent with the fundamental principles of human rights and democratic norms and practices."
The proposal is unworkable.
It is useful to recall that the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research called the 1959-1960 London-Zurich agreements dysfunctional. It predicted the problem areas. The Annan Plan is even more complicated and creates conditions for continuous squabbling, disagreements and deadlock.
The proposal violates key UN resolutions.
The proposal violates on its face important UN resolutions which guarantee the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus.
The proposal subverts property rights.
One of the most pernicious effects of the illegal Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus is that the rightful owners of real property there continue to be excluded from their property by the Turkish military. The Annan Plan proposes a highly complicated, ambiguous and uncertain regime for resolving property issues and is based on the principle that real property owners can ultimately be forced to give up their property rights which would violate the European Convention on Human Rights and international law. And the Greek Cypriots would be reimbursed from the federal treasury which is funded overwhelmingly by the Greek Cypriots who in effect would be reimbursing themselves.
The proposal fails to fully demilitarize Cyprus.
There is no need for Turkish soldiers to remain in Cyprus. How could such a proposal be made by the UN? And, unbelievably, Annan-5 provided for increased intervention rights. The U.S. should insist on full demilitarization now.
The proposal does not provide for the return to Turkey of the 110,000 illegal Turkish settlers in the occupied area.
Central to a proper solution is the return of the 110,000 illegal Turkish settlers to Turkey.
The proposed territorial adjustment is clearly unfair.
The two proposed mapsA 28.6% and B 28.5% reward Turkey, the aggressor and penalize the Greek Cypriots, the victims. The Turkish Cypriots comprise 18% of the population and have title to about 14% of the land. A map proposal should provide for no more than 18% under the Turkish Cypriots.
The Turkish government is absolved for its invasion and aggression against Cyprus.
The Turkish government is absolved for its invasion and aggression against Cyprus, the enormous destruction it did to Cyprus, the killings on a substantial scale of innocent civilians, rapes of women from 12-71, the large scale looting and destruction of churches.
The U.S. should seek changes in the Annan Plan to reflect U.S. values and interests.
The Cold War has been over for more than a decade. Turkey’s March 1, 2003 "no" vote against helping the U.S. did occur and we should not forget it! And Turkey’s attempt to extract more billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, a veto on U.S. Iraqi Kurdish policy and access to Iraqi oil also occurred! As one senior administration official said, Turkey’s actions are "extortion in the name of alliance."
The U.S. aided and abetted Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974 and its renewed aggression on August 14-16, 1974 through the actions of then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger by his unlawful conduct in refusing to halt immediately arms to Turkey as required by U.S. law and his oath of office.
The U.S. should be seeking changes in Annan Plan-5 to make it democratic, workable, financially viable and just. The U.S. bears the major responsibility for Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus and should now be willing to stand up and hold Turkey accountable for its aggression by calling:
- for Turkey’s armed forces and settlers to leave Cyprus now;
- for Turkey to pay damages for all the destruction and loss of life she caused;
- for Turkey to pay to all property owner’s the losses they have suffered from Turkey’s occupation of their property since 1974 as Turkey was forced by the Council of Europe to pay Titina Loizidou under threat of expulsion; and
- for Turkey to pay for the costs of resettlement of the Greek Cypriot refugees.
The Annan Plan contains elements contrary to the policy enunciated by President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in Helsinki on September 9, 1990 when they condemned Iraq’s aggression against Kuwait and declared "that aggression cannot and will not pay."
The Cyprus government has long advocated the demilitarization of the island. The U.S. should support the demilitarization of Cyprus and the inclusion of Cyprus in the European Common Foreign and Security Policy. For demilitarization to succeed Turkey must withdraw all its armed forces from Cyprus. It is inconceivable that Turkey, a non-EU state can maintain troops and have intervention rights in an EU country.
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Aegean Sea Boundary
Turkey has made claim to one-half of the Aegean Sea and refuses to take its boundary claim to the International Court of Justice at the Hague for a binding ruling. The U.S. should publicly state that it accepts as final the treaty-defined demarcation of the maritime border between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea. The relevant agreements are the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, the Italy-Turkey Convention of January 4, 1932, the Italy-Turkey Protocol of December 28, 1932 and the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, under which the Dodecanese Islands and adjacent islets were ceded by Italy to Greece.
The U.S. is a signatory to the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty and is obligated by U.S. law to carry out its provisions. The State department has failed to publicly declare what the law is and should do so now. The U.S. should also vigorously repudiate any challenge to the treaty-defined boundary and should urge Turkey to submit its claim to the International Court of Justice in the Hague for binding arbitration.
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The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
We call on the U.S., in its own self- interest, to strongly support a name for this former Yugoslav republic that does not include the word "Macedonia." Since antiquity, the name Macedonia has referred to a geographical region, not to a nationality.
When Marshal Tito fashioned the puppet "Socialist Republic of Macedonia" from the southern Yugoslav province of Vardar-Banovina in December 1944, he did so to foment disorder in northern Greece in furtherance of his plan to communize the Balkan Peninsula and gain control of the key port city of Salonica. "Macedonian" nationalism was a product of Tito's fabrications. In December 1944 the U.S. vigorously opposed the use of the name Macedonia by Tito. Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., in a Circular Airgram (Dec. 26, 1944) stated:
"This Government considers talk of Macedonian ‘nation,’ Macedonian ‘Fatherland,’ or Macedonian ‘national consciousness’ to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece.
The approved policy of this Government is to oppose any revival of the Macedonian issue as related to Greece."
Our policy was valid then and it should be valid now.
The Truman Doctrine and massive financial aid under the Marshall Plan foiled Tito’s hopes for communizing Greece.
The State Department’s reversal of policy on November 4, 2004 by the recognition of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as the "Republic of Macedonia" was an act of disgraceful proportions as it relates to our staunch ally and supporter in the Balkans, Greece. This act is harmful to U.S. interests in the Balkans.
We call on President Bush to reconsider this misinformed and ill-advised policy and to tell the State Department to withdraw recognition of FYROM as Macedonia as in the best interests of the United States.
We call on President Bush to inform FYROM to continue in good faith its diplomatic dialogue with Greece on the name issue under UN auspices.
The State Department stated that this decision was made with the purpose of providing "stability" in "Macedonia," regarding the November 7, 2004 referendum in FYROM on the law giving the ethnic Albanian minority greater local autonomy. We disagree strongly with State’s position. On the contrary, recognition does not help to facilitate stability in the region.
Consideration needed to be given to the sensitivities by this decision and how it would potentially impact all of FYROM’s neighbors, especially Greece.
Yet, State Department Spokesman, Richard Boucher, during his press briefing on November 5, 2004 stated that he wasn’t aware of any consultations by the U.S. with FYROM’s neighbors prior to recognition.
If the United States is interested in promoting peace, democracy, stability and economic progress in the Balkans, our main ally in the region in promoting these goals is and has been Greece.
In announcing the recognition of FYROM as Macedonia, the State Department is thumbing its nose at Greece and the Greek American community. By it’s actions, the Administration is in effect disregarding the approximately 1,500,000 Americans of Hellenic descent as a non-entity in the formulation of U.S. policy since we are not consulted on decisions that impact Greece.
This action sends the wrong message to Greece that could be construed as dismissive of her sensitivities and concerns in the region.
Further, regarding Mr. Boucher’s comments, he attempts to justify that since the name "Macedonia" is the name "that the government and the people of Macedonia have chosen for their country, and that’s the name we will recognize them under."
This premise is false. There is no unqualified universally accepted rule of international law that authorizes a state to name itself anything it wants. The Macedonia issue stems from the 1991 secessionist Skopje regime’s naming itself in the most provocative way possible as the so called "Republic of Macedonia" and requesting worldwide recognition.
It is not proper for a country, which is part of a region to define itself in an official manner as representing the whole region. Macedonia, like the Americas, Europe, Scandinavia, and the Balkans, is a region. Just as no country in North and South America would call itself the "American Republic," and no European country would call itself the "Republic of Europe," FYROM in naming itself cannot assume the mantle of Macedonia.
Greece and FYROM had increased their dialogue recently on strengthening bilateral relations, including the name, and this unexpected and sharp shift in U.S. policy is counter-productive. For our Government to be a party to this only serves to create instability in a volatile area of the Balkans and thus threatens our interests there.
We find incomprehensible the advice from the State Department and the National Security Council to President Bush, which, in effect, equates the FYROM, a nation of only 13 years, of little, if any, strategic, economic or political value to the United States, with Greece, a long-time important strategic, political and economic ally of the United States, who fought as allies with the U.S. in 4 wars in the 20th century, whose defeat of Mussolini’s forces in 1940 was a turning point in World War II, who gave the communists their first defeat by arms (1946-49), who is an important partner in the war on terrorism, and who is the strategic key for the United States in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean.
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Turkey’s Suppression of the Religious Freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Turkey’s restrictions on the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its brutal assaults against its Kurdish minority reveal that democratic norms have still not taken root. In view of Turkey’s horrendous human rights record, U.S. policy toward Turkey should be driven by forceful incentives for democratic reform. These include an arms embargo and economic sanctions.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in North America led a panel discussion at the U.S. Helsinki Commission on March 16, 2005 which presented "a clear picture of how religious human rights violations by the Turkish government have been working to exterminate the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Orthodox Christian community in that country." The panel briefing "highlighted Turkey’s systemic efforts to undermine the Orthodox Church, violating numerous international treaties to which it has agreed."
U.S. Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman Congressman Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) stated: "The concern of this Commission in the protection of religious rights and freedoms. Turkey’s treatment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate violates its obligations under international human rights law." Mr. Smith blamed Turkey for systematically attempting to prevent the activities of the Patriarchate by disallowing the opening of the Halki Theological School forcibly closed in 1971, destroying churches by creating hurdles preventing their repair, denying the Patriarchate the opportunity to purchase and or sell property and not recognizing the Patriarchate’s "Ecumenical" status, in effect, denying its universal status.
We commend the Bush administration for its prompt and full support of the universality of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Archbishop Demetrios and Dr. Anthony Limberakis "detailed the severe restrictions on property ownership which have allowed the government to confiscate nearly 7,000 properties from the Ecumenical Patriarchate since 1936. Behind them stood placard-size photos of the most recently seized property, an orphanage on Buyukada island which once housed hundreds of homeless children."
We condemn Turkey’s toleration of assaults against its Greek Orthodox religious minority, its continuing illegal closure of the Greek Orthodox Halki Patriarchal School of Theology in Istanbul and its illegal seizure of Greek Orthodox Church property. We call on the U.S. to press Turkey to enforce strictly the guarantees of religious freedom set forth in the Treaty of Lausanne, the UN Charter, and other international agreements. In accordance with U.S. law expressed in Section 2804 of the Fiscal Year 1999 Appropriations Bill, we urge the U.S. government to use its influence with the Turkish government to safeguard the Ecumenical Patriarchate, its personnel, and its property, and to reopen the Halki Patriarchal School of Theology.
Turkey has a notoriously dismal human rights record, which is well documented in numerous credible reports. Of special interest is the November 1999 report "Arming Repression: U.S. Arms Sales to Turkey During the Clinton Administration," produced jointly by the World Policy Institute and the Federation of American Scientists. Other reports by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and successive State Department Country Reports on Turkey have stated that "extrajudicial killings, including deaths in detention from excessive use of force, ‘mystery killings,’ and disappearances continued. Torture remained widespread." Thousands of political prisoners cram Turkish jails. Dozens of journalists have been assassinated, and many others are in jail.
Presidential Actions under the Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 USCA § 6441, 6445)
Under the Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the President is obligated to oppose violations of religious freedom in any country whose government "engages in or tolerates violations of religious freedom and promote the right to religious freedom in that country". The Act further obligates the President to take one or more of 15 enumerated actions with respect to any such country. The following are among those enumerated actions under 22 USCA § 6445:
1. An official public demarche.
2. A public condemnation to the country or within one or more multilateral fora.
3. The denial, delay or cancellation of one or more working, official, or state visits.
4. The withdrawal, limitation, or suspension of United States development assistance.
5. Directing the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or the Trade and Development Agency not to approve the issuance of any (or a specified number of) guarantees, insurance, extensions of credit, or participations in the extension of credit with respect to the specific government, agency, instrumentality, or official found or determined by the President to be responsible for violations
6. Direct the United States executive directors of international financial institutions to oppose and vote against loans primarily benefiting the specific foreign government, agency, instrumentality, or official found or determined by the President to be responsible for violations.
7. Order the heads of the appropriate United States agencies not to issue any (or a specified number of) specific licenses, and not to grant any other specific authority (or a specified number of authorities), to export any goods or technology to the specific foreign government, agency, instrumentality, or official found or determined by the President to be responsible for violations.
8. Prohibit any United States financial institution from making loans or providing credits totaling more than $10,000,000 in any 12-month period to the specific foreign government, agency, instrumentality, or official found or determined by the President to be responsible for violations.
9. Prohibit the United States Government from procuring, or entering into any contract for the procurement of, any goods or services from the foreign government, entities, or officials found or determined by the President to be responsible for violations.
Given the obvious and egregious violations of religious freedom by the Turkish government, Congress should urge the President and the Secretary of State to invoke the foregoing provisions of the Act against Turkey.
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Critical Review of U.S. Policy Toward Turkey Needed
Dramatically changed circumstances since the end of the Cold War and Turkey’s refusal on March 1, 2003 to allow U.S. troops to use bases in Turkey to open a northern front against Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship when it counted most, its "extortion in the name of alliance" negotiating tactics to get $6 billion more for its cooperation over the $26 billion offered and its virulent anti-American and anti-Semitic attitudes, warrant a wholesale review of the U.S. policy toward Turkey. It should also be noted that earlier, during the Cold War, Turkey actively aided the Soviet military to the serious detriment of the U.S. (See Exhibit 1.)
The Turkish military and the Erdogan government were key players in the "no" vote which put U.S. forces at risk. They thought we needed Turkey and that we would give Turkey more dollars, a veto on policy regarding the Iraqi Kurds and access to Iraqi oil. They miscalculated the U.S. reaction.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on March 20, 2005, the second anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, in two TV appearances, blamed Turkey’s refusal to permit the U.S. Fourth Infantry Division to use its territory to open a northern front against Iraq with preventing the capture or killing of future insurgents hardest and reducing their number. If that had happened, he said "the insurgency today would be less." It follows that if that had happened fewer American soldiers would have been killed by the insurgents.
Among U.S. policymakers, decades of Cold War reliance on Turkish military and political cooperation (together with an effective Turkish public relations initiative) gave rise to the largely unchallenged perception that Turkey was an indispensable military and political ally in the Eastern Mediterranean. Accordingly, when colliding Greek and Turkish interests required U.S. intervention, the U.S. usually accommodated Turkey, while publicly denying any policy "tilt" in Turkey’s favor. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Islamic fundamentalism took the place of Soviet communism as the region’s major geopolitical threat, reinforcing among U.S. policymakers the perceived value of a cooperative Turkey. More recently, global terrorism directed at the U.S. has continued the perception that Turkey’s goodwill must be preserved.
The views of Turkey's alleged importance have been propagated to the detriment of U.S. interests by a handful of U.S. officials, think tank advocates and Turkey's paid U.S. foreign agents registered with the Department of Justice. Leading the pack have been former Defense Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Defense Under Secretary for Policy Douglas Feith, former Defense Advisory Board Chairman Richard Perle, former State Under Secretary for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, and U.S. registered foreign agents for Turkey, former Congressmen Bob Livingston (R- LA) and Stephen Solarz (D-NY) who are paid $1.8 million annually by Turkey. Mr. Feith, an assistant to Mr. Perle at the Defense Department in the 1980’s, is a former paid agent of Turkey who headed International Advisors Inc. (IAI) from 1989-1994 and received $60,000 annually. IAI was registered with the U.S. Department of Justice as a foreign agent for Turkey. Mr. Perle, who initiated IAI and its contract with Turkey, is a former paid consultant for Turkey in his capacity as a paid consultant to IAI at $48,000 annually from 1989-1994.
The U.S.’s successful prosecution of the war against Iraq without access from Turkey proved Turkey’s marginality as a strategic military resource in the region. Over the years, other actions have raised considerable doubt over Turkey's reliability as a strategic ally. Today, the U.S. has access to alternative military facilities in the region including countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, Afghanistan and in Iraq itself.
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld stated on April 18, 2003 that the Incirlik Air Base in southeast Turkey is no longer needed to patrol the northern Iraq "no-fly zone" and that the U.S. has withdrawn nearly all the 50 attack and support planes from Incirlik (N.Y. Times, 4-29-03, A11, col. 6). Incirlik should be closed and U.S. taxpayer money saved.
The military’s notorious influence over the Turkish government, traditionally tolerated by U.S. policymakers for perceived strategic reasons, is increasingly being recognized as an impediment to Turkey’s successful democratization, its EU aspirations, and the reform of its economy. The transformation of Turkey into a politically stable, fully democratic, and economically sound nation, whether or not she accedes into the EU, is in the interests not only of the people of Turkey, but also of Turkey’s neighbors (especially Greece and Cyprus) and of the U.S. It is by no means certain, however, that Turkey will complete this desirable process quickly, or at all.
Expressing considerable doubt, France’s former ambassador to Turkey, Eric Rouleau, concludes that one of the great challenges facing Turkish reformers is "to convince the Turkish military to relinquish its hold on the jugular of the modern Turkish state." (Eric Rouleau, "Turkey’s Dream of Democracy," Foreign Affairs, Nov./Dec. 2000, pp 100-114, at 102.) He refers to Turkey’s National Security Council, established by Article 118 of the Turkish constitution, as "a kind of shadow government through which the [military] can impose their will on parliament and the government" (page 105). He describes "Mercantile Militarism" under which the Turkish military draws up its own budget, controls substantial industries through OYAK, "a vast conglomerate comprising some 30 enterprises," and an arms production company, TSKGV, which also "comprises some 30 companies and generates tens of thousands of jobs. More than 80 percent of its revenues go into a reserve fund estimated to reach tens of billions of dollars" (pages 109-110). OYAK and TSKGV, he reports, are very profitable and for a good reason they are exempt from duties and taxes (page 109).
The reforms of the Erdogan government have not measurably reduced the role of the Turkish military.
Turkey and the EU
To achieve EU accession, Turkey, like all other candidate states, must meet the Copenhagen criteria, the EU acquis communautaire, and the specific criteria set by the EU if accession talks are to begin in October 2005. This also includes a settlement of the Cyprus problem and of all its claims against Greece and recognition of the Republic of Cyprus and the obligation of Turkey to treat Cyprus as Turkey treats other members of the EU, i.e. Cypriot flagged ships to use Turkish ports and Cyprus Airways to use Turkish air corridors.
Achieving the goals of genuine democratic freedoms, political stability and economic progress, whether through EU accession negotiations or otherwise, will require fundamental changes in Turkey’s governmental institutions. The U.S. should be pressing for fundamental changes now.
Such changes include reducing the military’s traditionally pervasive role in all aspects of national life and placing it under civilian control. Turkey must also reverse its historic intransigence to a reasonable and just solution to the Cyprus problem, must conform to longstanding international agreements concerning Aegean Sea boundaries, and must significantly improve its human rights record, particularly regarding its 20 percent Kurdish minority.
The U.S. supports Turkey's territorial integrity but should also adopt in its own best interests a policy of political, cultural and human rights and local autonomy for the Kurds in Turkey.
We will continue to urge the Executive Branch and Congress to engage in a critical review of U.S. policy towards Turkey and to acknowledge that the foregoing changes are desirable U.S. policy goals.
Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Against Its Kurdish Minority
The suppression of human rights by the government of Turkey has been particularly brutal against Turkey’s twenty percent Kurdish minority and amounts to ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide. The Kurds have a unique language and traditions. Mostly Sunni Muslims and numbering 15 plus million in Turkey today, they have been settled for more than two millennia in a broad arc spanning southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran (7 million), and northeastern Iraq (4 million). They have traditionally resisted subjugation, but history has consistently denied them a national homeland. They are therefore political and ethnic minorities wherever they live, the easy target of majorities casting about for targets to attack and divert attention from domestic issues. In Turkey, the abuses against Kurds by the government have been chronic and genocidal.
In the past two decades, the Turkish military and mercenary groups have killed, either by direct military intervention or assassination, tens of thousands of Kurds, over ninety percent of whom have been innocent civilians. It is also well-documented that since 1984, the Turkish military’s genocidal policy has destroyed over 3,000 Kurdish villages (some in northern Iraq outside of Turkish territory), creating over 3 million Kurdish refugees. France’s former ambassador to Turkey, Eric Rouleau, detailed Turkey’s massive killing of Kurds between 1984 and 1999:
"According to the Turkish Ministry of Justice, in addition to the 35,000 people killed in military campaigns, 17,500 were assassinated between 1984, when the conflict began, and 1998. An additional 1,000 people were reportedly assassinated in the first nine months of 1999. According to the Turkish press, the authors of these crimes, none of whom have been arrested, belong to groups of mercenaries working either directly or indirectly for the security agencies." (Eric Rouleau, "Turkey’s Dream of Democracy," Foreign Affairs, Nov./Dec. 2000, page 112.)
In view of Turkey’s horrendous human rights record, U.S. policy toward Turkey should be driven by forceful incentives for democratic reform. These include an arms embargo and economic sanctions.
Economic and Military Aid to Turkey
The U.S., in its own best interests, should not give economic and military aid to Turkey. The U.S. should publicly repudiate Turkey’s illegal use of U.S. arms in Turkey’s invasion and continuing occupation of Cyprus, now in its 31st year with over 35,000 Turkish armed forces illegally in Cyprus and 110,000 illegal settlers/colonists from Turkey; its actions suppressing the ethnic Kurdish minority in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq and its suppression of the religious freedom of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The U.S. should stop further sales or transfers of arms and military technology to Turkey and should continue an arms embargo until Turkey supports a democratic, workable, financially viable and just solution to the Cyprus problem and demonstrates significant improvement in its human rights and religious freedom record.
Ceasing U.S. arms supplies will contribute to a more rational allocation of Turkey’s resources, thereby bringing about badly needed economic reform. Halting further arms sales or transfers will also eliminate a stimulus for the regional arms race. The U.S. should also urge the termination of the Turkey-Israel military cooperation understanding because of its adverse influence on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and road map.
Since the 1980's Turkeys brutal suppression of its Kurdish minority has been accomplished with U.S.- supplied arms as documented in reports by the State Department, the World Policy Institute, the Federation of American Scientists, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The grant and sale by the U.S. of arms to Turkey these past decades has made the U.S. an accessory to Turkey's horrific human rights record against its Kurdish minority.
Similarly, Turkey's illegal use of U.S.- supplied arms in its invasion and continuing occupation of Cyprus, and the U.S.'s failure to immediately halt arms to Turkey as required by U.S. law, and the failure to denounce Turkeys aggression, as most nations did, made the U.S. an accessory to Turkey's invasion of and occupation in Cyprus.
Despite the end of the Cold War, Turkey has a military inventory far beyond its legitimate defense needs. Who is threatening Turkey? Each year Turkey spends a disproportionately large amount of its resources on its military. This not only reflects the military’s deeply entrenched influence over Turkish society, but also drains away resources better spent on economic reform. The result is chronic financial distress necessitating periodic requests for emergency assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the U.S. taxpayer. The IMF and World Bank should insist on Turkey getting out of Cyprus now as a financial factor and make it a condition of any further assistance.
Additional Reasons Not to Give Economic and Military Aid to Turkey
1. Turkey’s horrendous human rights violations against its citizens generally as set forth in the State Department’s annual Human Rights country reports.
2. Turkey’s illegal blockade of Armenia.
3. Our huge deficit.
4. Our substantial domestic needs.
5. The Turkish military has "tens of billions of dollars" in a cash fund and owns vast business enterprises including the arms production companies of Turkey. (See Eric Rouleau in Foreign Affairs (Nov./Dec. 2000; at pages 110-112.)
6. The fact that Turkey owes the U.S. $5 billion.
7. The fact that Turkey’s U.S. foreign agents registered with the Department of Justice have contracts totaling $1.8 million. Since money is fungible, $1.8 million of any aid to Turkey goes to these U.S. foreign agents from U.S. taxpayer dollars.
Turkey in Violation of U.S. law and its agreement by transfer of U.S.-origin tanks to Cyprus
Turkey is presently in violation of U.S. law by its recent transfer from Turkey to Cyprus of 12 U.S. supplied M-48 tanks and other arms. The State Department spokesperson, Adam Ereli has erroneously stated that the transfer is not in violation of U.S. law because the tanks transferred to Cyprus are under the control of the Turkish military. The State Department official who advised Mr. Ereli on the answer was in error. Since December 22, 1987, 22 U.S.C. § 2373 absolutely prohibits the transfer of U.S. supplied arms to Cyprus by Turkey without regard to whether the arms remain in the control of the Turkish military.
Subsection 2373 (e) (1) reads as follows:
"(e) Arms sales agreements to prohibit transfer to Cyprus
(1) Any agreement for the sale or provision of any article on the United States Munitions List…entered into by the United States after December 22, 1987, shall expressly state that the article is being provided by the United States only with the understanding that it will not be transferred to Cyprus or otherwise used to further the severance or division of Cyprus."
Further, subsection 2373 (e) (2) requires the President to report to Congress any violations. It reads as follows:
"(2) The President shall report to Congress any substantial evidence that equipment provided under any such agreement has been used in a manner inconsistent with the purposes of this subsection."
Turkey- a major drug trafficking nation
A number of other examples of actions by Turkey that are harmful to U.S. interests could be listed. One of the most serious is Turkey's breaching its understanding with the U.S. by lifting the ban on opium cultivation in 1974 and tolerating the use of its territory for major drug trafficking to the present time.
For all the above reasons, we believe that a critical review of U.S.-Turkey relations is long overdue by the Executive Branch and Congress. We urge the Bush Administration to conduct this review so that it can engage Turkey more effectively on the Cyprus and human rights issues and on Turkey’s indefensible Aegean Sea territorial claims.
A critical review of U.S.-Turkey relations should include:
(a) a candid re-assessment of Turkey’s strategic value to the U.S. and reliability as a regional ally in view of Turkey's failure to help in the Iraq War; its attempt "to extort" more money from the U.S.; its demand a veto over U.S. policy on the Iraq Kurds; and its demand for access to Iraqi oil;
(b) the availability of military facilities elsewhere in the region;
(c) an end to the double standard and appeasement of Turkey on the rule of law for its invasion of Cyprus and its violations of human rights in Turkey and Cyprus; and
(d) identification and implementation of the best means (economic sanctions, cessation of arms sales, withdrawal of any economic benefits, conditions on any U.S., IMF and World Bank aid to Turkey, etc.) for promoting U.S. interests in the region.
Hopefully the State Department, with its new political leadership in Secretary Condoleezza Rice and its new career leadership in Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, will initiate a critical review of U.S.-Turkey policy, a review which is long overdue.
Critical Review of U.S. Policy Toward Turkey Needed Exhibit 1
Turkey's Collaboration with the Soviet Military during the Cold War
How many readers are aware that Turkey actively aided the Soviet military during the Cold War! The Turkish Parliament’s vote on March 1, 2003 not to allow U.S. troops to use bases in Turkey to open a second front against Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship is not the first time Turkey has double-crossed the U.S. Let us look at the record. As long ago as 1974, Edward Luttwak, the noted strategic analyst, discussed Turkey’s cooperation with the Soviet military during the Cold War. He wrote at that time the following:
No longer presenting a direct threat to the integrity of Turkish national territory, and no longer demanding formal revision of the Straits navigation regime, the Soviet Union has nevertheless successfully exercised armed suasion over Turkey, even while maintaining a fairly benevolent stance, which includes significant aid flows. Faced with a sharp relative increase in Russian strategic and naval power, and eager to normalize relations with their formidable neighbor, the Turks have chosen to conciliate the Russians, and have been able to do so at little or no direct cost to themselves. It is only in respect to strategic transit that Turkey is of primary importance to the Soviet Union, and this is the area where the concessions have been made. Examples of such deflection, where the Russians are conciliated at the expense of western rather than specifically Turkish interests, include the overland traffic agreement (unimpeded Russian transit to Iraq and Syria by road), the generous Turkish interpretation of the Montreux Convention, which regulates ship movements in the Straits, and above all, the overflight permissions accorded to Russian civilian and military aircraft across Turkish air space. The alliance relationship in NATO and with the United States no doubt retains a measure of validity in Turkish eyes, but it is apparent that its supportive effect is not enough to counteract Russian suasion, especially since the coercion is latent and packaged in a benevolent, diplomatic stance. (Luttwak, The Political Uses of Sea Power, Johns Hopkins Press, 1974, pp. 60-61.)
Examples of Turkey’s disloyalty and unreliability over the past decades as a NATO ally for U.S. strategic purposes include:
- During the 1973 Mid-East War, predating the Turkish invasion of Cyprus by one year, Turkey refused the United States military overflight rights to resupply Israel and granted the U.S.S.R. overland military convoy rights to resupply Syria and Iraq, and military overflight permission to resupply Egypt. A member of the Turkish Foreign Policy Institute in Ankara wrote:
- During the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, Moscow’s overflights of Turkish airspace were tolerated. On the other hand, during the same Middle East conflict, Turkey refused to allow the United States refueling and reconnaissance facilities during the American airlift to Israel. (Karaosmanoglu, "Turkey’s Security and the Middle East," 52 Foreign Affairs 157, 163, Fall 1983.)
- In the 1977-78 conflict in Ethiopia, Turkey granted the Soviets military overflight rights to support the pro-Soviet minority of Ethiopian communist insurgents, led by Colonel Mengistu, who eventually prevailed and established a Marxist dictatorship directly dependent upon the Soviet Union. Giant Soviet Antonov-22 transport aircraft ferried Cuban troops, Soviet weapons and other assorted needs to Ethiopia. During the peak months of the conflict (December, 1977January, 1978), the Soviet Union greatly increased the number of overflights through Turkish airspace with the direct acquiescence of Turkey’s regime. The Soviets ferried in 2,000 Cuban troops by the end of the first week in December. By late December, 17,000 Cuban troops were in Ethiopia. The Cuban troops were immediately moved to the fighting front against Somali and anti-Communist Ethiopian forces. They effectively turned the tide in favor of the communists. (C. Meyer, Facing Reality- From World Federalism to the CIA 276-80, 1980.)
- Over NATO objections, Turkey allowed three Soviet aircraft carriers, the Kiev on July 18, 1976, the Minsk on February 25, 1979 and the Novorosiisk on May 16, 1983, passage rights through the Bosphorous and Dardanelles Straits into the Mediterranean in violation of the Montreux Convention of 1936. The Soviet ships posed a formidable threat to the U.S. Sixth Fleet.
- In 1979 Turkey refused to allow the U.S. to send 69 U.S. marines and six helicopters to American military facilities at Incirlik in Turkey for possible use in evacuating Americans from Iran and protecting the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
- Again in 1979 Turkey refused the U.S. request to allow U-2 intelligence flights (for Salt II verification) over Turkish airspace "unless Moscow agreed." (N.Y. Times, May 15, 1979, at A1, col. 3.) This position was voiced over a period of months by Turkish officials, the opposition party and the military Chief of Staff, General Kenan Evren, (See, Washington Post and New York Times, AprilSeptember 1979).
- In January of 1981, President Carter tried to obtain a commitment from Turkey for the use of Turkish territory for operations in cases of conflict in the Middle East. The January 20, 1981, New York Times reported that Turkey was not in favor of "the United States using Turkish bases for conflicts not affecting Turkey." In the spring, 1983, issue of Foreign Policy magazine, Harry Shaw pointed out that Turkey is unlikely to become involved in, or allow U.S. forces to use Turkish territory in a Middle East war that does not threaten her territory directly.
- As an example of the above, in 1980, Turkey refused to permit the U.S. to use the NATO base at Diyarbakir in eastern Turkey as a transit point for the purpose of conducting a rescue mission into Tehran, Iran, to free the American hostages held in that city. The distance from Diyarbakir to Tehran is 450 miles as opposed to the actual route taken, which was over 900 miles.
- In May, 1989, Turkey rejected an American request to inspect an advanced MIG-29 Soviet fighter plane, flown by a Soviet defector to Turkey. (New York Times, May 28, 1989, at A12, col.1.)
- The Turkish government refused repeated American requests for the installation of antennas in Turkey concerning eleven transmitters whose broadcasts would have been directed primarily at the Soviet Union and its eastern European satellites. As reported in the July 22, 1983, issue of Newsweek, the initiative by the U.S. Department of State sought to improve reception of programs broadcast by Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and the Voice of America.
- Turkey further damaged NATO by vetoing NATO’s effort to put military bases on various Greek islands in the Aegean for defensive purposes against the Soviet navy.
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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:
1) to the victims of Turkey's illegal invasion of Cyprus of 1974;
2) to the owners of property in Cyprus illegally taken, occupied and used by the Turkish authorities and individuals since 1974;
3) 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;
4) to the victims of the Turkish genocide against the Pontian Greeks in the 1920's;
5) 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
6) 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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Although some improvements have been made lately in the conditions and treatment of the Greek minority, continuing acts of discrimination and persecution tolerated by the government of Albania against the nation's ethnic Greek minority constitute subtle ethnic cleansing aimed at making ethnic Greeks feel isolated, powerless and vulnerable so that they will abandon their homes and move south to Greece.
The personal safety of ethnic Greeks in Albania is also at risk by reason of direct intimidation by security forces and the burning of schools, churches and businesses by lawless bands that the police allow to operate with impunity. Nowhere are ethnic Greeks given a fair deal or even a fair count. Although Albania successfully sought a census to measure the Albanian minority in neighboring FYROM, its government resists the demand of the European Union to measure its minorities, so it can continue to claim that the Greek minority is small when it constitutes at least 10 percent of the country's 3.5 million population.
We call on the U.S. government, in its own interest and the interest of maintaining peace and stability in the southern Balkans, to undertake an intense diplomatic dialogue with the government of Albania to ensure that the rule of law is observed and minority and basic human rights are protected. The U.S must make clear that Albania must treat its minorities fairly and humanely the way it wants Albanian minorities in neighboring countries to be treated.
*Endorsed also by the Evrytanian Association of America
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We support the Armenian American community's efforts to secure full recognition, proper commemoration, and a just resolution of the Armenian Genocide.
In 2005, the 90th anniversary of the Genocide, the Administration should, for the sake of U.S. interests and American values, finally bring an end to all forms of U.S. complicity in Turkey's denial of this crime against all humanity. The President, in his annual April 24th remarks, should properly recognize the Armenian Genocide as a clear instance of genocide, as defined by the United Nations Genocide Convention.
The U.S. Congress should adopt legislation both recognizing the Armenian Genocide and urging the American people to apply the lessons of this tragedy to the cause of preventing future genocides.
Finally, Turkey must be pressured to acknowledge its genocidal crime against the Armenian nation, to come to terms with this chapter in its history, and, consistent with the Genocide Convention and other relevant international legal instruments, to make full reparations to the Armenian people.
We also support efforts to press Turkey to lift its illegal blockade of Armenia and to end the mistreatment of the Armenian population in Turkey.
We refer readers to Professor Peter Balakian's recent book The Burning Tigris, a remarkable history of the Armenian Genocide by the Young Turk government in Turkey. Professor Balakian includes the details of the humanitarian movement of leading American public citizens and ordinary citizens to save the Armenians
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Since its founding in 1974, AHI has consistently advocated the following policy themes as in the best interests of the United States:
In the spirit of the following presidential statements, U.S. interests are best served by applying American values spearheaded by the rule of law in international affairs.
"There can be no peace without law. And there can be no law if we were to invoke one code of international conduct for those who oppose us and another for our friends." President Dwight D. Eisenhower, condemning the invasion of Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel in his October 31, 1956, television and radio report to the nation. President Eisenhower's actions halted and reversed the aggression.
" We are united in the belief that Iraq's aggression must not be tolerated. No peaceful international order is possible if larger states can devour their smaller neighbors.
* * * * *
[W]e are determined to see this aggression end, and if the current steps fail to end it, we are prepared to consider additional ones consistent with the U.N. Charter. We must demonstrate beyond any doubt that aggression cannot and will not pay." Joint Statement by President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on September 9,1990 condemning Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and declaring that "aggression cannot and will not pay."
"We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order, a world where the rule of law, not the rule of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations." President George H.W. Bush, on January 16, 1991, the day the Persian Gulf air war began against Iraqi forces.
"Most Americans know instinctively why we are in the Gulf. . . . They know that we need to build a new, enduring peace based not on arms races and confrontation but on shared principles and the rule of law." President George H.W. Bush's January 29, 1991, State of the Union address.
"This is a victory for the United Nations, for all mankind, for the rule of law and for what is right." President George H.W. Bush's February 27, 1991 announcement to the nation that "Kuwait is liberated."
"We seek for Cyprus a constitutional democracy based on majority rule, the rule of law, and the protection of minority rights." Presidential candidate Vice President George H. W. Bush statement on July 7, 1988 in a speech in Boston.
"A Cyprus settlement should be consistent with the fundamental principles of human rights and democratic norms and practices." Statement by presidential candidate Governor Bill Clinton in 1992.
As clearly set forth in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and other U.S. statutes, U.S. foreign policy is required to foster and embody U.S. values, including human rights.
The U.S. should have a "special relationship" with Greece, recognizing that Greece's strategic location and proximity to its neighbors, with whom the U.S. has important commercial, military, and political interests, and Greece's proven reliability as a strategic ally, makes Greece a pivotal nation for the advancement of U.S. interests in Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly in the rebuilding of the Balkans. The naval base at Souda Bay, Crete, is the key base for the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean.
A Cyprus settlement should not reward aggression, but should be based on democratic norms, UN resolutions, EU laws and constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. Cyprus should be recognized as an important partner for U.S. strategic interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The U.S. use of a double standard regarding Turkey harms the U.S. promotion of the rule of law, human rights, democracy and freedom universally.
U.S. interests are best served by supporting rapprochement between Greece and Turkey based on the rule of law and democratic norms.
U.S. interest are best served by promoting Turkey's emergence as a fully democratic state whether or not she accedes to the EU.
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To give legislative effect to the foregoing policies, we will work with the Congress to pass:
- H R. 857, the bipartisan American Owned Property In Occupied Cyprus Claims Act, introduced on February 16, 2005 by Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) with eleven co-sponsors. H. R. 857 authorizes lawsuits to seek financial remedies in U.S. district courts by U.S. citizens against the Turkish government and private persons for actions damaging U.S. citizens.
- legislation requiring the Administration to seek a Cyprus solution consistent with American principles and UN resolutions referring to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in a state with a single sovereignty and international personality which incorporates the norms of Western constitutional democracy and be in accordance with EU legal principles and common practices.
- legislation linking continued good U.S. relations with Turkey with a viable and workable settlement of the Cyprus issue based on democratic norms, recognition by Turkey of the existing boundary in the Aegean Sea and improvement in Turkey's human rights record. Such legislation should incorporate economic sanctions, a halt to assistance of any kind, and the withdrawal of any economic benefits if Turkey does not cooperate.
- H. Con. Res. 137 regarding the Aegean Sea boundary. It expresses the sense of the Congress that--
- the water 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, 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 was introduced by Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ) on April 21, 2005 with four co-sponsors: Michael Bilirakis (R-FL); Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY); James P. McGovern (D-MA); and Diane E. Watson (D-CA) and was referred to the House International Relations Subcommittee on Europe.
- legislation calling for a critical review of U.S. policy toward Turkey.
- legislation enforcing the provisions of S.1067, "The Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers Act," and H.R 1757, "The European Security Act," as they apply to arms transfers to Turkey, and ensuring that no arms transfers take place (specifically no Bell-Textron Cobra attack helicopters) so long as Turkey fails to meet fully the seven human rights conditions set forth by the State Department and continues to violate U.S. and international law, the UN Charter, the NATO Treaty, the 1949 Geneva Convention, and relevant treaties and agreements with specific reference to Greece and Cyprus. The provisions of S. 1067 would condition arms exports on minimum standards of conduct, basic respect for human rights, non- aggression and participation in the UN Register of Conventional Arms.
- legislation regarding FYROM
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