American Hellenic Institute

AHI Calendar



Facebook Image
The True Nature of the Cyprus Problem: Invasion and Occupation


July 27, 1998 No. 34/98


On July 27, 1998 the American Hellenic Institute sent a letter to President Clinton protesting his administration's characterization of the Cyprus problem as one of "conflict" between Greeks and Turks rather than as one of illegal invasion and occupation by Turkey. A copy of the letter is attached.

The letter makes clear that there is no mystery about the Cyprus problem. It is one of Turkish invasion and occupation. Successive Resolutions by the UN Security Council supported by the United States demanding Turkey's withdrawal from the occupied areas of Cyprus highlight invasion as the salient characteristic of the Cyprus problem.

In December 1974 the Congress passed the rule of law embargo on Turkey because of Turkey's violation of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, by its illegal use of U.S. supplied arms in its invasion of Cyprus.

To characterize the Cyprus problem as a "conflict" is to ignore and distort the true nature of the problem and to attempt to rewrite history. It is to suggest that the problem is one of routine differences between states which can be solved by traditional 'split-the-difference' diplomacy.

As twenty-four years of unproductive negotiations show, this approach is bankrupt. In its place we need a realistic approach based on the fundamentally clear and straightforward facts underlying the Cyprus problem. These are:
** The Cyprus problem is one of aggression and illegal occupation by Turkey.
** The Republic of Cyprus is the victim of Turkey's aggression and illegal occupation.
** For 24 years, Turkey has violated the will of the United States and the United Nations to cease its illegal occupation of Cyprus and not to recognize or give any other assistance to the illegally occupied areas. Instead it has reinforced its forces there and illegally sent Turkish settlers there.

The letter calls upon the administration to develop a new approach based on these facts, to carry out a critical review of its policy toward Turkey, and to identify the persons purveying advice to the President at variance with the facts and historical record.