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Kissinger—An Accessory to Turkey’s War Crimes
August 16, 2005—No. 75 (202) 785-8430

Kissinger—An Accessory to Turkey’s War Crimes

WASHINGTON D.C.—Gene Rossides, President of AHI made the following statement on August 16, 2005:

August 14-16, 2005 marks the 31st anniversary of the second and massive wave of Turkey’s aggression against Cyprus in the summer of 1974.

Turkey committed war crimes by its illegal invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974 when it occupied four percent of Cyprus’ territory with the illegal use of American-supplied arms and equipment; and again in the second wave of its invasion on August 14-16, 1974, when it breached a UN cease fire and UN sponsored negotiations, three weeks after the legitimate government of Cyprus had been restored, with a massive attack on the Greek Cypriots and grabbed another 33 percent of Cyprus’ territory.

Then Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger by his actions at that time became an accessory to Turkey’s war crimes.

First, I will set forth the war crimes committed by Turkey’s armed forces.

The European Commission on Human Rights issued a devastating report on July 10, 1976 on two applications by the government of Cyprus regarding Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus.

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

The European Convention on Human Rights is, by the terms of its preamble, an extension of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The Commission’s report of July 10, 1976 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 12-71;
    3. Article 3—by 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 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.

Turkey’s use of American—supplied arms and equipment in its invasion was in violation of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Turkey was in violation of section 505 ( d ) of the Act and section 3 (c) of the Foreign Military Sales Act and became “immediately ineligible” for further military assistance and sales.

What did Kissinger do that made him an accessory to Turkey’s war crimes?

Kissinger, as Secretary of State, was the primary official responsible for implementation of section 505 (d) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and section 3 (c) of the Foreign Military Sales Act of the United States. Except for the President, Kissinger had final authority regarding these particular laws.

Kissinger continued to authorize arms shipments to Turkey following Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus. He failed to declare Turkey “immediately ineligible” for further assistance and sales as required under the plain language of section 505 (d) of the Foreign Assistance Act and section 3 (c) of the Foreign Military Sales Act. That, in and of itself, made Kissinger an accessory to Turkey’s war crimes. There is much more.

Kissinger’s clear and deliberate violation of United States laws led Congress to pass the embargo legislation against Turkey. Kissinger also violated his constitutional oath of office to faithfully uphold and execute the laws of the United States. Kissinger not only acted illegally, but he also failed to deter the Greek junta from its planned coup against President Makarios.

Kissinger’s actions prior to the invasion encouraged Turkey to invade Cyprus in July 1974, and his actions thereafter further encouraged Turkey to renew its aggression on August 14, 1974. The Los Angeles Times reported that Kissinger knew in advance that the Turks planned to invade Cyprus in July 1974. Nevertheless, Kissinger rejected an appeal from the United States Ambassador to Greece, Henry Tasca, to use the United States Sixth Fleet to stop the invasion.

A review of the sequence of events leading up to the crisis is instructive. After the foiled assassination attempt against Cypriot President Makarios and the coup against his government, the British flew Makarios to London to meet with Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, stated that they were “following the situation closely with the Turkish authorities,” that it was a Greek Cypriot affair and that the Turkish Cypriots should “not ….interfere in any way.” Meanwhile, Nicos Sampson, an ultra-rightist and discredited former member of the Greek Cypriot national liberation movement EOKA, was installed as President of Cyprus. The coup and Sampson’s appointment were condemned by Britain and other nations throughout the world, except the United States.

While Britain was meeting with Makarios and condemning Sampson and the coup, Kissinger gave Turkey both time and the purported reason to invade Cyprus. Kissinger did not criticize the coup and the assassination attempt against President Makarios. In fact, Kissinger sought and obtained a postponement of the United Nations Security Council meeting from Monday, July, 15, 1974, the day of the coup, to Friday, July 19, 1974. Kissinger instructed the United States Ambassador in Nicosia to meet with the foreign minister of the renegade Sampson government,and had “high American officials” leak to the New York Times that the United States was leaning towards Sampson. (See New York Times, July 18, 1974, at A1 col.8)

Kissinger’s actions kept the Sampson government afloat long enough for Turkey to prepare and invade Cyprus, which she did on July 20, 1974.

Kissinger undermined the United Nations-sponsored negotiations and cease-fire by approving a statement issued by State Department spokesman Robert Anderson on August 13, 1974. The statement set forth the United States’ belief that the Turkish Cypriots needed more security even though there was no evidence of any threat to the Turkish Cypriot community. The statement was followed the next day, August 14, 1974, by renewed Turkish aggression when Turkish forces broke out of the four percent of Cyprus they controlled and occupied another thirty-three percent of Cyprus. Kissinger also ignored the United Nations Charter and UN resolutions on Cyprus.

If the United States had joined Britain and the other members of the Security Council in immediate condemnation of the coup and in supporting Makarios as the elected leader of Cyprus, the Sampson government would have fallen before the end of the week. This would have removed any possible excuse for Turkey to invade Cyprus. Coincidentally, it would have finished the Greek junta government as well. In any event, had the United States actively opposed Sampson, Turkey’s aggression would have been prevented.

In an editorial on September 14, 1974 (at A28, col.1), the New York Times put the responsibility for the tragic events in Cyprus on Kissinger’s shoulders. The editorial stated in part:

“A Library of Congress analysis of pertinent legislation, inserted in the Congressional Record by Representative John Brademas of Indiana, supports the contention of Mr. Brademas and three colleagues in a letter to Mr. Kissinger that the cut off in aid to Turkey ‘is not discretionary as a matter of policy, but is mandatory under the terms of the Foreign Assistance Act.…’

Senator Thomas F. Eagleton of Missouri charges that President Ford is being deliberately kept ‘uninformed’ of the mandatory cutoff for Turkey ‘in order to protect erroneous policy judgements made by the foreign affairs bureaucracy.’ But it has been not so much the State Department bureaucracy that has so bungled American policy in the Cyprus crisis as Mr. Kissinger himself.

The stalling on the aid cutoff, in violation of the laws, is of a piece with Washington’s earlier unwillingness to condemn Greece’s disintegrating junta for the coup against the legal Government of Cyprus—a reluctance that encouraged Turkey to intervene on the island. It is also consistent with Washington’s refusal to condemn Turkey’s subsequent massive occupation of third of Cyprus in flagrant breach of solemn cease-fire pledges.

Senator Eagleton, Representative Brademas and their colleagues are to be applauded for persisting in their demand for an end to Mr. Kissinger’s illegal appeasement of Turkish aggression. "


For additional information, please contact C. Franciscos Economides at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at