Cyprus: an Island Divided

Your Jan. 7 article, "Weapons Buildup on Cyprus Puts EU, US on Edge," prompts me to mention a few things.

First, Turkish troops didn't "secure" 39 percent of the island but forced 200,000 people to move from the place they were born. Cyprus has recorded 1,619 missing people since 1974. Could that be called "secure?"

Second, the Greek Cypriots that were murdered at the Green Line, where only the UN has the authority to move, were not killed by "Turkish defenders." One was beaten to death by the "Gray Wolves" extremist Turkish organization. The other was shot dead while unarmed.

Theodoros Georgiou

Aglantzia, Cyprus

The Jan. 7 article on Cyprus leaves out the important "non-role" the US has played since the 1960s. While our State Department's public policy statements follow the pattern of condemning any and all human rights violations against its own citizens and the people of Cyprus, our foreign aid programs have consistently financed and armed military powers intent on destabilizing the island.

Both the Greek dictatorship, which overthrew Cyprus's elected government in 1974, and the Turkish army, whose bloody invasion made refugees of half the island's population, were supplied by American arms. Turkey's continued occupation of northern Cyprus has been enforced by American weapons. Turkey's continued intransigence in the negotiations has been possible because its expenses in occupying northern Cyprus are offset by American aid.

The only way to end militarism between Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus is to eliminate the reason for it. Greece has agreed to allow the World Court to resolve its problems with Turkey. We should make our foreign aid to Turkey contingent upon its agreeing to take all its disputes with Greece and Cyprus to that tribunal.

Demetrios Matsakis

Silver Spring, Md.

Your article of Jan. 7 refers to the "yawning economic gap" between northern and southern Cyprus.

While the South, due to its recognition, has received more international aid per capita than perhaps any country in the world in the last two decades, the North is kept under an undeclared embargo, receiving development aid only from Turkey.

Unless the world community starts treating the two communities on the island on an equal basis, both politically and economically, there is little chance that the Greek Cypriots would be willing to share either political power or economic influence with their Turkish Cypriot neighbors in a bi-zonal, federal set-up.

Egemen Bagis

New York

In the Jan. 24 article, "Clash of Titans on Cyprus Menaces NATO, EU Moves," the suggestion that "United States involvement is crucial" to a Cyprus settlement because the Americans have influence in Ankara presupposes that it is Turkey that is blocking a solution. This one-sided approach is far from the truth.

Cyprus's history clearly demonstrates that between the two "mother countries" it has always been Greece that played a negative role in intercommunal negotiations under UN auspices, by encouraging Greek Cypriot intransigence. UN-sponsored plans for a settlement in 1985 and '86, as well as the "set of ideas" of '92 and the confidence-building measures (CBMs) of '94 were all rejected by the Greek Cypriot side, as was the latest US proposal for a moratorium on military flights over the island.

If any influence is to be exerted toward a settlement in Cyprus, this should be directed at Athens, which is bent on keeping Turkey out of the EU, not to mention the Aegean Sea, by exploiting the Cyprus issue.

Osman Ertug

New York


Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

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