By Harry Theofanus
U.S. Congressman Robert Wexler sharply criticized both Washington and a number of European countries charging that they continue to institute an unfair policy on Cyprus. The charge was made in an article in “The New Anatolian” Turkey’s only independent English- language daily, Monday April, 10th 2006.
Wexler states: “I think the United States has made a historical error in permitting the Cyprus dilemma to be characterized for decades in the way it has been characterized. When I visited Cyprus for the first time, I was floored by what I saw and experienced in terms of the demonization of Turkey when the facts on the ground suggest something very different.
“Unfortunately, most people of the U.S. don’t know anything about Cyprus Those that do will often understand it to be a Turkish attack, and not a response to a historical effort to unify Cyprus with Greece.
“I don’t, quite frankly understand how the United States and Europe have allowed this historical falsehood to go on as long as it has. The unfortunate doubling of that error is that on top of this historical falsehood, we now have a policy as a result of the falsehood which is an entirely unfair policy, in my view”.
Comment: After the July 15th 1974 failed coup against the democratically elected president of the Republic of Cyprus, by the military regime ruling Greece took place, most of us insiders to the Cyprus problem, expected that the other two Guarantor Powers of the Republic will act accordingly and restore the legal government, and safeguard the Independence, territorial integrity and the sovereignty of the Republic.
The coup was followed by an invasion, or as Turkey called it an intervention to restore constitutional order. A number of UNGA Resolutions and Security Council Resolutions, for example GA Res. 3212 that was unanimously adopted by the GA and endorsed by the SC in its Res. 365 of December 1974, demanded the immediate withdrawal of all foreign armed forces and foreign military presence from Cyprus, also called upon all states to respect the sovereignty, independence, and the territorial integrity of Cyprus.
The United States followed rightly by placing an arms embargo on Turkey for violating the use of arms given to Turkey for defensive prepuces. Turkey as a Guarantor Power had the duty to guaranty the security, the sovereignty and the independence of Cyprus not to support and help forming the occupied area of the north as the TRNC the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus illegal By the UN and all its members except Turkey. The Turkish occupation troops of 40.000 in a country of less than 900.000 total populations are still present.
*** Harry Theofanus is a former President of Cyprus Federation of America and human rights advocate.