Harry Theofanus send letter to the Wall Street Journal, reacting on an article by Alexei Barrionuevo, July 23 2003
Dear Mr. Staff reporter, you stated among other things in your article that: “The divisions in Cyprus are a flashpoint for a national and ethnic rivalry that dates back to the fall of Greek Constantinople to Ottoman Turks in 1453. More recently, the island of 800,000 residents, which is 40 miles from Turkey and 500 miles from Greece, erupted in violence in 1974 when Turkey dispatched troops to Cyprus to quash a coup by supporters of a union with Greece.”
In your brief statement above Mr. Borrionuevo you have four incorrect or misleading points. First, there were no Turks in 1453. Second the island and the residents of the island you refer to have names the Country is called Cyprus Republic and its residents are called Cypriots. A country with over 8,000 years of history and civilization. Third If you are referring to the distance from Cyprus shore to Turkish and Greek shores you are mistaken if you are referring to distances between the capital cities of Nicosia Athens and Ankara then again my friend you are wrong.
Forth point,. If Turkey invaded or as you stated dispatched troops to Cyprus to quash a coup why is the occupation of 1/3 of Cyprus still continuous thirty yrs later by these same troops? You should know the coup lasted only seven days and the UN general assembly res. 3212 that was voted and adapted by all countries including Turkey called upon all states to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and the removal of all foreign troops.
Alexie my name is Harry Theofanus United States citizen born in Kyrenia Cyprus, immigrated to America in late 1940’s served in the USAF and the NYANG for 9 yrs in the 1950’s. I am retiring now in Florida because the Turkish troops do not allow me and my wife to return to my birthplace and home in Kyrenia Cyprus.
I know the Turkish Cypriot compatriots, as I said I was born and lived in Kyrenia before immigrating to America. My past experience with the Turkish Cypriots makes me believe that the two communities can live in peace as in the past, side by side, and together form a great democratic State. All Cypriots, Greeks-Turks-Armenians- Maronites- Latins are freedom loving, hard workers, religious, family oriented and proud of their background religion, culture and customs. United States of America, my new country, is a country also made up of many different ethnic and religious communities and it’s this multicultural and multi-religious form of government that made this nation so strong. A country that has one sovereignty one citizenship one national identity and one Leader that is voted by a system that represents all the citizens, who have and exercise their right to vote. Each State selects their Leaders to run the affairs of the State or represent the State in the national government according to the Leaders abilities not the Leaders ethnic, religious, race or color background.
If Turkey really wants to enhance her prospects to eventually join the European Union, if Turkey really wants to help the Turkish community of Cyprus to bring an end to the international isolation of northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey, then Turkey, as a member of the UN, should assist the Secretary General in finding a solution based on the UN resolutions and high level agreements of 1977-78, and welcome the accession to the European Union as a catalyst for a solution.”
“Time is running out; let’s hope that the newly elected government in Ankara, will see things more democratically based on human rights for ALL Cypriots and Rule of Law.”
Human Rights Advocate
Palm Harbor Fl.