USA Today Calls Illegal Invasion of Cyprus a "Feud" Between Turks and GreeksOn Thursday, October 10, 2002, USA Today printed an article by AP writer Robert Wielaard ("Turkey Left Out of EU's Planned Growth Spurt," p 8A) about the EU's decision to omit Turkey as a candidate from the next round of accessions. Wielaard either doesn't know anything about the history of the Republic of Cyprus or has intentionally misled readers. It's one or the other.
HCS Takes Associated Press Writer Robert Wielaard and USA Today to Task
By Mary Papoutsy
In November the European Union is expecting to invite a number of new members states in 2004, with two years to ratify treaties. According to the 93-page report just issued by the European Commission, productive membership talks with these states has justified extending invitations to them. The Republic of Cyprus is among those nations whose membership talks have progressed favorably, justifying bringing her into the union within a couple of years.
Yet challenges face the next round of EU expansion, according to Wielaard. At issue ar
Unfortunately, Wielaard neglects to mention that the "Greek-held southern portion" of Cyprus represents the internationally recognized, independent Republic of Cyprus and that the "Turkish side" is nothing more than an illegally occupied portion of the nation. Furthermore, the illegal armed invasion of a nation can hardly be characterized as a "feud." In 1974, as it is known among well-informed readers, Turkey illegally invaded the island-nation with American arms and has continued to occupy the northern sector, against repeated UN calls for withdrawal. To understate such a situation is reprehensible and irresponsible reporting on the part of Wielaard and USA Today. A public correction is in order.
More alarming, however, is an apparent pattern among the works of this AP writer to refuse to refer to Cyprus by her internationally recognized name--the Republic of Cyprus--and to omit any reference to the armed invasion and illegal occupation of one-third of this independent state. This is a significant news item and one that should be mentioned every time any journalist reports on events affecting the Republic of Cyprus. On the Internet Website of the Turkish Daily News, (http://www.turkishdailynews.com/old_editions/12_07_98/for2.html) an article by Wielaard ("Ahead of European Summit, EU Split on Key Expansion Issues") again omits reference to the independent sovereignty of the Cypriot Republic. Instead, Wielaard refers to "Greek Cyprus" twice, eliminating the possibility of any slight of pen. Somewhat better is his reference in an article one month earlier (Nov. 11, 1998, "EU Evalua Entrada de Nuevos Miembros") appearing on the Spanish El Universal.com website to "Chipre" and her Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides. But here, too, there is no mention of the illegal invasion and continued occupation of the independent, sovereign state by the army of Turkey.
Is it possible that this another case of ignorance? Regardless, Wielaard should be barred by the AP from reporting on any news in southeastern Europe or Cyprus. There is nothing unbiased about these terms that he has used; they are discriminatory and, more importantly, incorrect and misleading.
HCS calls for an immediate correction on the part of USA Today. If HCS readers concur, we encourage you to send your emails to USA Today to voice your opinion and to ask for better journalism.