The Kosovo Syndrome

The Kosovo Syndrome and the Search for a Settlement in Cyprus
by Sema Sezer

From the early 1990’s to today, we have seen the formation of 9 new independent states in the south and east of Europe emerge from the break up of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia alone. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia was divided into the “Czech Republic” and “Slovakia” through what was termed as a “velvet separation” as a result of a joint decision taken by the Czech and Slovakian Parliaments. On 1 May 2004, the two new states joined the European Union (EU). Disintegration in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia started in 1992 with the separation of four states – Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia. Finally, a total of seven independent states were born out of the former Yugoslavia with the separations of Montenegro from Serbia following a referendum on 21 May 2006, and then Kosovo, which was an autonomous region, after it declared its independence on 17 February 2008 from Serbia. Slovenia joined the EU with the 1 May 2004 enlargement process, while Croatia is in continued EU accession talks since October 2005, and Macedonia declared as a candidate country in December 2005. The winds of dissolution/separation were not limited to the east and south of Europe. In past years, debates on the issue of separation have arisen even in Belgium, despite its capital, Brussels, being central to the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Debates have increasingly intensified as to whether the separation of Montenegro in 2006 and Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia could constitute an example for problematic regions in other parts of the world. Cyprus became the main focal point of these debates in Turkey.

The reasons for mentioning the above events is to point out that every new-born state has been recognised by the international community, especially the EU states, and have taken their place in the international system within a short period of time despite the methods, and political and legal aspects of separation and independence processes all being different as in the examples of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

Kosovo and Cyprus: Differences and Similarities

Essentially, the Kosovo and Cyprus cases are both politically and legally different. However, some parallels can be drawn on the grounds of human rights violations, which were experienced by Kosovar Albanians and which are still being experienced by Turkish Cypriots today, behavioural similarities between Serbians and Greek Cypriots and military interventions in both regions . Comparisons between these two nations can even be made based on both having lived under Ottoman rule for centuries. For instance, the majority of the 7.5 million population of Serbia is Serb and Orthodox. In Kosovo, the population of 2 million consists of 95% Muslim, 90% being Albanian. In Cyprus, approximately 260 thousand Turkish Cypriots live in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), whereas 750 thousand Greek Cypriots live in the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus (GASC). The majority of Albanians and Turkish Cypriots are Muslim, whereas Serbs and Greek Cypriots are Orthodox Christian. A dominating sense of distrust between both the Serb and Albanian people in Serbia and Kosovo and the Turkish and Greek Cypriot population in Cyprus has led to a loss of will to live together.

The de facto situation in both Kosovo and Cyprus started with the destruction of the existing constitutional system by the Serb and Greek Cypriot majority respectively. In this process, both Albanians and Turkish Cypriots experienced ethnic cleansing, human rights violations and forceful migration. The Serb and Greek Cypriot attacks only stopped following military interventions. The United Nations peace force that was sent to the island in 1964 failed to make any significant impact in preventing Greek Cypriot attacks from 1963-1974. The bloodshed on the island eventually stopped through Turkey’s military intervention in 1974 by using its rights from the 1960 Guarantee Agreement. The existence of a Turkish military presence on the island is the biggest guarantee preventing a return to 1974. The military intervention in Kosovo came in 1999 from the Kosovo Force (KFOR), or in other words NATO forces.

Human rights violations and massacres orchestrated by the now deceased Serb leader Milosevic in Serbia and Papadopoulos in Cyprus, who was later to become the President of GASC during 2003-2008, presents another great similarity. The only difference being, while Milosevic was tried in front of the international community, Papadopoulos, who is known as the architect behind the ‘Akritas Plan’, the plan for the annihilation of Turkish Cypriots, was rewarded with Presidency. Furthermore, the disclosure of documents showing Papadopoulos as the person who was conducting money laundering for Milosevic in the GASC also shows another similarity between them.

In the south of Cyprus, the United Kingdom has two military bases (Akrotiri and Dhekelia), which were retained in accordance with the international agreements of 1960 and were not registered as EU territory; it is also used by the United States. In Kosovo, the US has the biggest military base in the Balkans and Europe – “Camp Bondsteel”.

After the military interventions of NATO in Kosovo and the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) in Cyprus, Serbs and Greek Cypriots lost control of territories where Albanians and Cypriot Turks lived. However, according to the UN Security Council’s (UNSC) decisions, Kosovo continued to be considered as “Serbian territory” (Resolution 1244, 1999), and the Greek Cypriot Administration as the “Legitimate Government of the Republic of Cyprus” (Resolution 186, 1964).
Kosovo-Cyprus Precedent Debates and Double Standards of the International Community.

The different approaches taken by the international community to the Kosovo and Cyprus issues demonstrates the double standards applied from the beginning. The different approaches to the issues demonstrated by the proposed resolutions, the UN’s “Annan Plan” for Cyprus and the “Ahtisaari Plan” for Kosovo, are total opposites. While one of them encourages the “reunification” of the island, the other encourages “separation” of Kosovo from Serbia. This attitude still applies after the independence of Kosovo. Another example was when, within a short period following the declaration of independence by the TRNC, the UNSC decided to define this declaration as “null and void”, taking a decision that “calls for non-recognition” (15 November 1983/541, 13 May 1984/550). However, the same UNSC did not take any such decision against Kosovo’s declaration of independence.

The USA, the EU and NATO countries reached a consensus, with a few exceptions, on the recognition of the Republic of Kosovo, which declared its independence on 17 February 2008. While the USA was among the first states that recognised Kosovo, the EU declared that it has officially noted Kosovo’s independence on 18 February and left the decision of recognition to individual member states. Greece, GASC, Romania, Spain and Slovakia declared that they would not recognise the declaration of independence . The point of departure for these decisions is that independence can set a precedent for minorities in Romania, Slovakia and the Basque and Catalonia regions of Spain. The main concern of Greece and GASC is that this situation can pave the way for the recognition of TRNC’s independence. Moreover, Greece is concerned about Albanians and Macedonians. However, what almost all the states agree upon is that regardless of recognition, “Kosovo is not a precedent for Cyprus”.

The most striking comment in the precedent debate came from the former President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, towards the end of his 8-year term, making an accusative statement of “the EU for its double standards in Kosovo and Cyprus” on 15 February 2008. Putin’s statement of “Northern Cyprus has been independent for 40 years. Why don’t you recognise it? Europeans aren’t you ashamed of your double standards?” is actually not in support nor an expression of the necessity for the recognition of TRNC’s independence. However, criticism of the double standards displayed by EU members echoed in many circles . Moreover, the statement is significant since this is the first time that the President of a permanent member of the UNSC has mentioned it. Essentially, expecting a change in policy towards Kosovo and Cyprus from Russia, which is known for its established support of Serbian and GASC policies, would not be realistic. Especially when one considers the role played by Russia in the crisis, which gave rise to a potential armed conflict, by selling an S-300 long-range SAM system to GASC and prevented a discussion of the UN Secretary-General’s Cyprus Report following the referendum of 24 April 2004 at the UNSC.

Consequently, what was the main aim of Putin’s statement? The following part of the statement has the answer. While Putin stated that they support a unified state in Cyprus and that the recognition of Kosovo is immoral and illegal, he also declared that Kosovo is not different from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, whereby they were forced to change their policies in these regions. Consequently, Putin might be signalling to Europe via the case of the TRNC that four frozen conflict zones can be separated – Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia, Trans-Dniester from Moldova, Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan – and that their declaration of independence can be recognised. However, while evaluating Putin’s statement, the possibility of Kosovo setting a precedent for the federal republics and provinces in the Russian Federation like Chechnya, Tatarstan, Sakha (Yakutia) and Kaliningrad should not be overlooked.
At first glance, Kosovo cannot be taken as a precedent for the TRNC neither in terms of its declaration of independence nor the model applied following the declaration of independence. This is because the TRNC already declared its independence on 15 November 1983, 25 years before Kosovo. Although the TRNC is not recognised, except by Turkey, it has all the necessary institutions for a functioning state, and has a more improved sense of democracy than most Western states. Moreover, although many states recognised Kosovo, is it truly independent? Are we going to experience a new model for independence, independent from Serbia but dependent on the international community?

Consequently, the issue of Kosovo being a precedent for others can only be examined to criticise the international community’s attitude based on the existence of contradictory policies. Because, as mentioned by Putin, the international community is constantly making efforts to unite Cyprus, which has been divided for 40 years, but supported the separation of 7 states from Yugoslavia, Kosovo being the latest example.
Turkey’s guarantor status and the presence of TAF on the island seem to be the main influence behind the different international approaches to Kosovo and Cyprus. But when you examine this closely, the absence of a system like the Guarantee and Alliance Agreement of Cyprus and the continuation of KFOR for the security of Kosovo, allows the EU, UN and NATO to maintain greater influence over Kosovo. But in reality, according to article 3 of the 1960 Guarantee Agreement, in the case of a breach of any article of the Agreement, the guarantor countries, multilaterally, unilaterally or in cooperation, have the right to re-establish the state of affairs described by the Agreement. Turkey, whose Armed Forces are the second largest army in NATO as well as the most powerful and operationally capable in the region, intervened on the island based on its right to do so on 20 July 1974. In addition to this, provisional article 10 of the TRNC constitution grants its national defence and security to TAF. All of these factors not only provide a military deterrent but also a political one.

Reflections of Kosovo’s Independence to the Cyprus Issue

On 17 February 2008, while the first round of Presidency elections were held in GASC, Kosovo became the 49th state of Europe by declaring its independence. Kosovo’s independence has two effects on the Cyprus issue: the first and foremost being the rising discourse directed against Papadopoulos, initiated by the international community and his election rivals claiming that under his Presidency “the island will remain divided”. The EU and US kept this discourse on the agenda based on the idea that Papadopoulos’s rigid policies were restricting any area for movement and created an expectation that if Papadopoulos lost, then “a new period for resolution will start”. Putin’s accusing statement toward European states of “double standards regarding Kosovo and Cyprus” and Kosovo’s declaration of independence on the same day of the first round of elections reinforced Greek Cypriot voters’ fear of the international recognition of the TRNC and negatively affected votes for Papadopoulos. From this perspective, the international community had reached its aim after the first round of elections and was indifferent towards the remaining two candidates, Kasoulides and Christofias, in the second round. Both candidates based their campaign on “supporting a solution and negotiation with Turkish Cypriots”. Consequently, the uncompromising Greek Cypriot attitude in the referendum of 24 April 2004 was blamed on the losing party rather than the Greek Cypriot people. The electoral victory of Communist AKEL leader Christofias in the second round on 24 February enabled the restoration of GASC’s image in the international community as the side “who wants a solution”. Therefore, it was Papadopoulos himself that failed in the elections, not his policies.

The second effect is that rather than push for the international recognition of the TRNC, as was the case with Kosovo, efforts at unification for the island were intensified by the international community. In other words, Kosovo’s independence created an opposite effect in Cyprus. Following the Christofias – Talat meeting on 21 March 2008, study groups and technical committees were established for a three month period in preparation for comprehensive negotiations. The reports, which will be presented to the respective Presidents at the end of June, will determine the initiation of comprehensive negotiations.

When analysing the current political situation in Southern Cyprus, AKEL’s policies and the influence of the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church, it appears very doubtful that the Christofias administration have enough will for a solution with possible negotiations. The most significant reason for this is that the Greek Cypriot National Council, which is composed of all the Greek Cypriot political party leaders, decides policies on the Cyprus issue. The signing of all Council decisions by the leader of AKEL, i.e. Christofias, during Papadopoulos’s presidency can be taken as a sign that the Greek Cypriot policy of 2003-2008 will continue. During Papadopoulos’ presidency an agreement had been reached where part of these negotiations were to continue with a coalition government model with policies towards the Cyprus issue and to never put the Annan Plan on the agenda. In fact, we can now see that after his election, Christofias seems to be sticking to this agreement.

Christofias talks about a two region – two nation federal solution. However, he employs a “unitary” state discourse with statements calling for “one state, one sovereignty and one citizenship”. He proposes the annulment of the 1960 Guarantee Agreement, withdrawal of Turkish soldiers from the island, the return of Turkish migrants to Turkey and Greek Cypriots to their estates in northern Cyprus as preliminary conditions. Like Papadopoulos, AKEL defends the use of Turkey’s EU accession process in the Cyprus issue. All of the above show that when Christofias and Papadopoulos are compared, the expected change is not evident and only that the “terminology” and “methodology” has changed rather than the core principles. Moreover, by using the phrase “Cypriot Solution”, and stating that the solution can only be found by the Turkish and Greek Cypriots we can see that he is trying to move away from the UN framework and push out the guarantor states from the process.

However, the election of a Greek Cypriot candidate, who favours a solution, be it sincere or not, means an increase of pressure on the Turkish side. With a “Now” solution prone administration in office in the GASC, there will be increased demands for some facilitative action from Turkey. These demands will focus upon Cyprus’s obligations in accession talks, Turkey’s guarantor status and TAF’s presence on the island. Actually, Greek Cypriot and Greek officials state that “there is no need for the 1960 Guarantor Agreement, the guarantee of the EU will be sufficient.” They do not pay attention to the fact that the agreement, which was signed by Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom, cannot be annulled without the mutual agreement of all signatory states. Naturally, nobody asks how the EU can provide a guarantee for Turkish Cypriots, while Greece and GASC are members of the EU and Turkey is not.
The goal of the Greek Cypriots is possibly to gain time by employing diversionary tactics rather than reaching a solution. In December 2006, the EU suspended accession talks in eight chapters with Turkey, deciding to monitor Turkey’s Cyprus obligations until 2009. If Turkey does not meet these demands, a crisis may arise between the EU and Turkey toward the end of 2009. If Turkey meets the demands for the “normalisation of relations with the Republic of Cyprus, opening of ports and airports and application of supplementary protocol” without reaching a lasting-comprehensive settlement in Cyprus, this would mean “the end of the Cyprus issue” for the Greek Cypriot side. It is possible that the Greek Cypriot Administration is trying to buy time with diversion tactics until the Kosovo issue dies down from the international agenda. This is because, suitable conditions for the TRNC to demand recognition have arisen following Kosovo’s declaration of independence on 17 February 2008, just as it had after the 24 April Referendum. However, the international community, which promised the “removal of isolations” after the referendum, is trying to prevent the rising voices of Turkish demands with statements of “finding a solution in Cyprus” while at the same time recognising Kosovo’s independence.


Even if comprehensive negotiations are initiated on the island, reaching a settlement seems unlikely because both sides have a different understanding of a “settlement” and “expectations” from the process. Despite administrations and leaders from different political spectrums coming to office throughout the years on both sides, a settlement could not be reached. Although former President Denktas has been accused of being uncompromising, no settlement has been reached during Talat’s presidency either. If GASC continues with the same attitude, the infertility of this process will be realised. Consequently, this new initiative on the island, which started after Kosovo’s declaration of independence and the presidential elections in GASC, would be the “last initiative” for the resolution of the Cyprus issue. However, the EU membership of GASC, the proposed Cyprus obligations in the Turkey-EU accession talks and the isolation of the TRNC will decrease the possibility of GASC accepting a solution under the auspices of the UN.
For now, the significant issues are, what would be the parameters of a possible solution in Cyprus and in case of the failure of efforts for a resolution, what kind of alternatives can arise for the TRNC in light of Kosovo setting a precedent? Since “independence” was never mentioned in the Ahtisaari Report, the independence model for Kosovo means being independent from Serbia but dependent on the international community. In fact, after Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the UN passed its control to the EU and the EU’s representative in Kosovo declared it will continue to work under the name of “International Civilian Representative”. To further demonstrate this point, approximately a total of 2000 police and judges from EU member states are operating in Kosovo. Regardless of how many states recognise Kosovo, its UN membership is impossible in the near future while GASC, Greece, Spain, Romania and Slovakia continue to oppose it; similarly Kosovo’s membership to the EU and NATO also cannot happen. Unfortunately, the story does not end there; Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence is expected to create new political and legal problems even if Kosovo is recognised by various states.

Every regional conflict has its own specific conditions and these conditions should be considered for any settlement. Consequently, in the case where the Greek Cypriot side takes preventative actions against a resolution, instead of a “contrivable unification”, other alternatives may arise. The most rational way for a lasting solution on the island is the initiation of the negotiation process to reach an understanding for the “agreed separation” of the “TRNC” and the “GASC” in line with the de facto status created by the events of 1963. The initiation of such a process, which will test the international community’s sincerity, will have a positive impact on peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean, in addition to preparing a proper basis for the settlement of Turko-Greek disputes. The preliminary condition is that the international community should face both politically and legally the reality of the state that they recognised in Cyprus, GASC, is not the “1960 Republic of Cyprus”, which was crafted in the Agreements of 1959-1960.

1 for a deeper anaylsis see, Sema Sezer “Kosova Sorunu ve Kıbrıs Meselesi Üzerine Bir Karşılaştırma”, Stratejik Analiz, No: 91,November2007,pp.40-48.
2 “Kosova’yı Tanıyan Ülke Sayısı 23 Oldu”,26February2008,
3 Putin: Europe has double standards against N. Cypres, 15 February 2008

Iraqi Forces Mass Outside Southern City of Amara

Monday 16 June 2008
by: Andrew E. Kramer and Alissa J. Rubin, The New York Times

Editor’s Note: This story describes a military operation by, “Iraqi forces”. Scant mention is made of support for the operation by US military forces. In fact the so called Iraqi military is organized, funded and often backed in operations directly by US military forces. This fact omitted by The New York Times is conspicuous by it’s absence. ma/TO

    Baghdad – The Iraqi Army continued to mass troops outside the southern city of Amara on Sunday and Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, offered a three-day amnesty and weapons buyback program to militants willing to surrender.

    Similar offers in the past few months have presaged other military operations, in Basra, the Sadr City slum of Baghdad and in Mosul in northern Iraq.

    This time, Mr. Maliki is preparing for an operation against the capital of a rural marsh region in southern Iraq, on the Iranian border, where Iraqi officials say a poisonous blend of militia lawlessness and weapons smuggling from Iran has created a chaotic situation.

    The city is also the capital of the only province in Iraq dominated politically by followers of the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, a political rival for Mr. Maliki.

    In the city Sunday, traffic thinned on the streets. Those who did venture out in cars said they feared American air strikes.

    Some residents said the militiamen Mr. Maliki’s government is focusing on, and who Iraqi commanders say include leaders who fled from earlier fighting in nearby Basra, had again fled.

    Still, Iraqi army patrols were setting up checkpoints in the city Sunday and searching cars, some driven by residents moving to neighborhoods they believed would be safer during the anticipated fighting.

    “We are very scared of the waves of military moving into Maysan,” Abdul Ameer Abbas, a 41-year-old high school teacher, said, referring to Iraqi army troops who have been staging outside of town and in a sports stadium.

    Haider Karim, a 35-year-old Taxi driver, said the militiamen had already fled and that the civilians would bear the brunt of the military operation.

    “The security forces must follow these criminals wherever they go because they terrified innocent people,” he said. “We don’t want to be terrified again by the warplanes and troops.”

    The operation is the Iraqi army’s fourth this year to regain control over militia-dominated cities. Though disparate in their specific blend of violence and ethnic and sectarian divides, in all three cities the army has followed a template including offers of amnesty backed by military force.

    Mr. Maliki, in a statement, said militias in the city had three days to take advantage of the amnesty and surrender heavy weapons, such as rocket propelled grenade launchers, machine guns, mortars and rockets. The government, he said, would “give the outlaws and the members of the organized crime groups a last chance to review their stance.”

    The statement also promised rewards for residents who reveal the locations of militia arms caches in the city.

    The Maysan province, rural and remote from Baghdad, lies amid vast marshes. The dozen or so tribes in the area have an independent streak; even Saddam Hussein could not force them into submission.

    After an uprising in the marshes after the 1991 Gulf War, Mr. Hussein sought to stamp out the way of life of the marsh Arabs, as they are known, by digging giant canals to drain the wetlands. Outside of Amara, the capital on the Tigris River, the province of about 920,000 people includes settlements built of reed huts.

    Meanwhile a spokesman for the movement loyal to Mr. Sadr clarified statements made earlier in the weekend that suggested that Sadrists would not participate in the upcoming elections.

    On the contrary, said cleric Lua’a Smaysim, the head of the Sadr movement’s political committee, Sadrists will run, but not under the Sadr banner. They will run as independents or possibly as part of other groups, he said.

    “We will participate in the next elections, but there is no Sadrist list,” said Mr. Smaysim. “We will participate as individuals. Also we will support a lot of independent nominations from another lists.”

    Mr. Sadr, a protean force on the Iraqi political scene, in recent days appeared to be redesigning his movement to avoid being affected by a new election law expected to be approved this month that will govern elections in the fall for provincial council members. The law will outlaw the participation of parties or movements that have an armed wing.

    The ban on parties that have militias is clearly aimed at Mr. Sadr’s followers because his movement is affiliated with the Jaish al-Mahdi, an armed group, said Saad al-Hadithy, a political science professor at Baghdad University.

    “Therefore the Sadr movement decided to participate in this election through individuals who represent this movement and still have loyalty to it, but who are using their own names,” he said. “Those independent politicians will say that they are independents, but they are related to the Sadr movement in one way or another,’ he said

    Some may participate by joining the new political alliance created by former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaferi, also a Shiite, said Mr. Hadithy as well as Shiite politicians.” The Sadr movement declared that they will participate with new entities or with independent individuals and this of course is to avoid being banned from the next elections because of their militia, ” said Basim Sharif, a parliament member from the Shiite Fadhila Party,

    Mr. Sadr had announced on Friday that he was splitting his movement in two and that the political wing would no longer be involved in any military operations. By the end of the weekend, it appeared that when it came to fielding candidates, it would no longer carry the Sadr name.

    The Sadr movement has broad popularity among the poor and had been predicted to garner more seats in the upcoming provincial elections. Such an outcome would almost certainly mean fewer seats for members of Shiite parties loyal to Mr. Maliki.

    Recent operations by government forces in Basra and Sadr City have weakened Mr. Sadr, said a western diplomat who is closely watching the situation, but Iraqi political commentators say he remains a unique populist force in Iraq.

    “Most of the places targeted by the government military operations are widely popular with the Sadr movement,” said Mr. Sharif.

    “The government says that it’s not targeting a specific party but the most targeted is the Sadr movement because of its popularity and its resistance to the occupation.”


    Suadad al-Salhy and Mudhafer al-Husaini contributed reporting from Baghdad, and an Iraqi employee of The New York Times from Amara.



—  Republican Candidate Calls on Americans to
Remember and Acknowledge “Facts and Lessons” of
the “Genocidal Campaign” against the Armenians

WASHINGTON, DC – In a powerfully worded letter to two of his
leading Armenian American supporters, Republican presidential
hopeful Texas Governor George Bush acknowledged the Armenian
Genocide, called on Americans to join with him in remembering the
crime committed against the Armenian people, and pledged as
President to ensure that the United States properly recognizes this
terrible atrocity, reported the Armenian National Committee of
America (ANCA).

Governor Bush’s letter, addressed to Michigan community activist
Edgar Hagopian and New York businessman Vasken Setrakian, who
attended Harvard with the Governor, also called for continued U.S.
aid to Armenia, encouraged a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno
Karabagh conflict, and praised the “tremendous contribution of the
Armenian community to the United States.”

“We welcome Governor Bush’s principled stand on the Armenian
Genocide and join with him in calling upon all Americans to
acknowledge both the facts and lessons of this crime against
humanity,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.  “We would
like, as well, to voice our community’s gratitude to Vasken
Setrakian and Edgar Hagopian, both of whom have done so much to
share with Governor Bush the issues of pressing concern to our
community.  We appreciate their leadership and value their
contribution to expanding the voice of Armenian Americans in the
political process.”

Governor Bush’s rival for the Republican nomination, Arizona
Senator John McCain, has yet to speak out on Armenian issues.  He
has remained silent, in particular, on the Armenian Genocide,
despite having received an unprecedented number of postcards from
Armenian Americans as part of the ANCA’s million postcard campaign
to leading presidential candidates – including Governor Bush, Vice
President Al Gore and former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley.

The two hundred thousand postcards addressed to Sen. McCain ask him
to explain his vote in 1990 against former Senator Bob Dole’s
Armenian Genocide resolution and, more recently, his 1999 vote to
lift the Section 907 restrictions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan,
despite Azerbaijan’s failure to lift its blockades of Armenia and
Nagorno Karabagh.  (For more information on the ANCA postcard
campaign, visit anca web site.)

In a September 1998 speech in the U.S. Senate, McCain attacked a
Congressionally approved ten million dollar aid package to the
American University of Armenia as an “objectionable program,” and a
“serious diversion of scarce resources otherwise needed for truly
worthy programs.”  (For more information on this speech, visit

Provided below is the full text of Governor Bush’s letter.


George W. Bush for President
February 19, 2000

Mr. Edgar Hagopian
Mr. Vasken Setrakian

Dear Edgar and Vasken,

Thank you for your inquiry to my campaign regarding issues of
concern to Armenian Americans.

The twentieth century was marred by wars of unimaginable brutality,
mass murder and genocide.  History records that the Armenians were
the first people of the last century to have endured these
cruelties.  The Armenians were subjected to a genocidal campaign
that defies comprehension and commands all decent people to
remember and acknowledge the facts and lessons of an awful crime in
a century of bloody crimes against humanity.  If elected President,
I would ensure that our nation properly recognizes the tragic
suffering of the Armenian people.

The Armenian diaspora and the emergence of an independent Republic
of Armenia stand as a testament to the resiliency of the Armenian
people.  In this new century, the United States must actively
support the independence of all the nations of the Caucasus by
promising the peaceful settlement of regional disputes and the
economic development of the region.  American assistance to Armenia
to encourage the development of democracy, the rule of law and a
tolerant open society is vital.  It has my full support.

I am encouraged by recent discussions between the governments of
Armenia and Azerbaijan.  The United States should work actively to
promote peace in the region and should be willing to serve as a
mediator.  But ultimately peace must be negotiated and sustained by
the parties involved.  Lasting peace can come only from agreements
they judge to be in their best interests.

I appreciate the tremendous contribution of the Armenian community
to the United States.  The Armenian community has been and will
continue to be a model of dedication to values of faith and family.


George W. Bush


The Bloody Co-existence of…

The Bloody Co-existence of
Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots

George Nakratzas

     Any nationalist expansionist policy can be carried out only by means of war. And the people have to be psychologically prepared for this by a propaganda device which idealises their own acts and demonises those of the enemy.
     Greece has employed this device in the past, and continues to do so today, one typical exponent being the new Archbishop of Athens, Christodoulos, who has publicly, in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic, referred to the Turks as ‘the eastern barbarians’.
     It is a well-known fact that the Turks treated the Greek minority in Istanbul with great barbarity in 1955; and it is equally well known that dozens, if not hundreds, of Greek Cypriot captives were executed in Cyprus in 1974. Rauf Denktash has publicly admitted it.
     But what the young people of Greece have no idea of is that Turkish Cypriots were murdered by the parastatal groups run by Sampson, Yeorgadzis, and Lyssaridis between 1963 and 1967. It should be borne in mind that at that time the Cypriot government was responsible for safeguarding the life, the honour, and the property of all Cypriot citizens, irrespective of national or religious identity.
     A somewhat more detailed analysis of the Greek and foreign literature on the events in Cyprus in this period may fill the gap in young modern Greeks’ knowledge.
     The invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish army in 1974 resulted in the partition of the island into two zones, a northern zone populated by Turkish Cypriots and Turkish settlers and a southern zone populated by Greek Cypriots. Since then, the Cypriot government has steadfastly demanded the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation forces so that Cyprus may be restored to its former status. However, a study of the relations between the two communities between 1963 and 1967 may tell us something about the quality of their ‘peaceful co-existence’.
     Regarding the Greek Cypriots’ supposed intention to live in peace and equality with the Turkish Cypriots, an extract from a speech by Archbishop Makarios in the village of Panayia is particularly telling. It is quoted by Rustem and Brother, according to whom, on 4 September 1962, Makarios said:
Until this small Turkish community, forming a part of the Turkish race, which has been the terrible enemy of Hellenism, is expelled, the duty of the heroes of EOKA can never be considered as terminated. (1, p. 47) A letter from Denktash protesting about the Panayia speech was never answered.
     Fourteen months later, on 30 November 1963, Makarios submitted his famous thirteen-point amendment of the Constitution, in direct contravention, as he himself publicly admitted, of the Geneva Convention (2, p. 56). The Geneva Convention ruled out any unilateral change to the Cypriot Constitution, as also any partition of the island or unification with Greece. It should be borne in mind that even today the Republic of Cyprus derives its legitimacy from the Geneva Convention.
     Makarios’s proposed changes would have meant that the Turkish Vice-President would lose his right of veto and would be elected not by the Turkish Cypriots but by the parliamentary majority, i.e. the Greek Cypriots. These two articles, together with another nine similar ones, would have lost the Turkish Cypriots the rights which the Cypriot Constitution had guaranteed them until then.
     The Cypriot mass media presented the Turkish Cypriots’ refusal to accept this unilateral amendment of the Constitution as ‘Turkish insubordination to the state’, which was quite untrue, because, as we have seen, from a legal point of view it was not the Turkish Cypriots, but Makarios who had made a unilateral, arbitrary attempt to violate the Constitution.
     General Karayannis, Commander of the Cypriot National Guard, confirmed that it was not the Turks who initiated the so-called insubordination in an interview in Ethnikos Kirix on 15 June 1965: When the Turks objected to the amendment of the Constitution, Archbishop Makarios put his plan into effect and the Greek attack began in December 1963. (3, p. 87)
     That Makarios had a premeditated plan to exterminate the Turks is also indirectly confirmed by the Communist Party of Cyprus, which published the following critique of the Archbishop in issue No. 57 of its organ Neos Dimokratis in July 1979: Armed by Makarios, Mr Lyssaridis . . . formed his own armed bands, which, in 1963-4, together with those of Yeorgadzis and Sampson, waged a ‘liberation struggle’ against the Turkish Cypriots and as a result brought
us the Green Line and, eventually, Attila. (2, p. 67) That the sole purpose of the so-called liberation struggle was to force the Turkish Cypriots to yield to Makarios’s unilateral amendment of the Constitution is also officially revealed by an article in the Cypriot newspaper Haravyi, which was published on the second day of the clashes, 22 December 1963: And since it is accepted that the tension is the result of the climate created by the Zurich and London agreements and the undemocratic terms of the Constitution, . . . the Turkish government, . . . which is inflaming the tempers of our fanatical compatriots, and the Turkish Cypriot leadership must reconsider their negative attitude and approach the President of the Republic’s proposals in a constructive manner. (2, p. 73) 
     The Greek Cypriot assault on the Turkish Cypriots started on 21 December 1963, when Greek Cypriot police officers shot and killed a Turkish Cypriot couple in the Turkish sector of Nicosia while attempting to carry out a spot check. 
     The most serious attack was the assault on Omorfita, a suburb of Nicosia inhabited by 5,000 Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Cypriot parastatals were headed by Nikos Sampson, whom the Greek Cypriot press henceforth dubbed ‘the conqueror of Omorfita’. The material damage wreaked by Sampson’s parastatals in Omorfita is described in the UN Secretary General’s report No. S/5950 to the Security Council, which states that 50 houses were totally destroyed and 240 partially destroyed (4, para. 180). As for the human losses, 4,500 Turkish Cypriots managed to flee to the Turkish sector
of Nicosia and 500 were captured and taken to Kykkos School in Nicosia, where they were held with 150 Turkish Cypriots from the village of Kumsal.
     On Christmas day, 150 of the 700 or so captives were selected and dragged away, and the sound of shooting followed.
     Gibbon reports that an English teacher at Kykkos School told the High Commission that she had seen the results of the shooting; whereupon, for security reasons, the British administration put her on the first plane to London, because she was the only eye witness to what had happened (5, p.
139). As for the 150 captives, the Greek Cypriot authorities told their families for many years that they should regard them as missing. Other major assaults by the Greek Cypriots near Nicosia targeted the villages of Mathiati, Ayos Vassilios, and Kumsal. In Kumsal, the Greek Cypriot parastatals executed 150 people in cold blood.
     The most apalling photograph, which went round the world, showed three small children and their mother lying dead in a pool of blood in the bath in their home. These unfortunates were the family of Major Ilhan, an officer in the Turkish expeditionary force in Nicosia (3, p. 95).
     In the surgical clinic in Nicosia Hospital, the Greek Cypriots dragged from their beds twenty-two Turkish Cypriot convalescents, all trace of whom vanished for ever (3, 91). 
     Government and parastatal armed forces continued their attacks on the Turkish Cypriots over the next four months. One notable incident, which almost provoked a Greek-Turkish war, took place at Famagusta, where, on 11 May 1964, three Greek officers and a Greek Cypriot policeman took their
car into the Turkish sector, possibly intending to make a display of power. A Turkish Cypriot policeman attempted to obstruct them, there was an exchange of fire, and in the end two of the Greek officers, the Greek Cypriot policeman, and a passing Turkish Cypriot lay dead. Two days later,
the Greek Cypriots abducted thirty-two Turkish Cypriots, who were never seen again. The abduction is confirmed by the UN Secretary General’s report No. S/5764 (6, para. 93).
     Lastly, on 9 August 1964, there was the attack on the Turkish Cypriot enclave of Kokkina-Mansoura, where the Turkish air force ended the hostilities by dropping napalm bombs.
     The UN Secretary General’s report No. S/5950, para. 142, tells us that, during the period of the hostilities ? from 21 December 1963 to 8 June 1964 ? 43 Greek Cypriots and 232 Turkish Cypriots disappeared and have been officially posted as missing ever since. The missing Turkish
Cypriots include the 150 hostages from Kykkos School in Nicosia and the 32 abductees from Famagusta.
     The Cypriot media constantly show pictures of Greek Cypriot women holding photographs of their nearest and dearest and seeking information about their whereabouts; yet the Greek media have never shown similar pictures of Turkish Cypriot women seeking information about their own lost
     The termination of the Cypriot government’s assaults on the Turkish Cypriots led to the creation of Turkish Cypriot enclaves, where the Turkish Cypriot refugees lived in wretched conditions for no less than eleven years. According to Kranidiotis, in his book Unfortified State: Cyprus 1960-74
(in Greek), these enclaves occupied 4.86 per cent of Cypriot territory Seeing that the Greek Cypriot armed bands were unable to assert themselves over the Turks, . . . on 26 December, Makarios was obliged to accept the Green Line. . . . Six large Turkish enclaves were formed, . . . which
corresponded to 4.86 per cent of the territory of Cyprus. (2, p. 75) From 1964 to 1967, owing to the restrictive measures imposed by the Greek Cypriot government, the day-to-day efforts of the confined Turkish Cypriots consisted exclusively in a struggle for survival. Apart from imposing an economic embargo on the enclaves, the Makarios administration also banned the supply of strategic commodities, such as cement, tractors, men’s socks, and wollen clothing.
     The imposition of the military dictatorship in Greece in 1967 heralded fresh oblems for Cyprus. On 15 November 1967, Greek and Greek Cypriot forces armed with cannon, machine-guns, and bazookas attacked the lightly armed Turkish Cypri- ots in the villages of Ayos Theodoros and Kofinou in the Larnaca area. As the defen- ces crumbled, the Greek Cypriots killed twenty-seven Turkish Cypriots (3, p. 139).
     The incident brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of war, which was avoided only when the illicit Greek division and General Grivas were recalled from Cyprus.
     The slaughter and looting at Kofinou were confirmed in the Greek parliament on 21 February 1986 by Andreas Papandreou, who spoke, inter alia, of the ‘great provocation of 15 November 1967,’ and added that the operation had been ‘ordered by the Supreme Command of the Greek Armed Forces [and] killing and looting took place’ (2, p. 33).
     The military junta brought its political career to an end in 1974 with the invasion of Cyprus and an attempt on Makarios’s life. We shall not discuss subsequent events here, because both warring sides perpetrated crimes against humanity during that period.
     Even now, both the Greek and the Turkish propaganda do their best to convince us that such acts of barbarity were commited exclusively by the other side. But this sort of propaganda is mainly intended for domestic consumption.
     What needs noting is that a war was fought between two nations in 1974, and it is usually the case in any war situation that criminal elements seize the opportunity to legitimise acts that would land them in prison in peace time. The reason why the blame lies so heavily on the Greek Cypriot side is the fact that, between 1963 and 1967, the Cypriot government was exclusively responsible for any acts committed by Greek Cypriot government or parastatal armed forces.
     During the forthcoming talks on the island’s entry into the European Union, the Republic of Cyprus will have two questions to answer.  Since the Cypriot government refuses 
                  1)     either to recognise the Turkish Cypriot state
                  2)   to countenance a loose Greek-Turkish Cypriot confederation, 
                    which of the two remaining solutions has it in mind? 
1) That the Turkish Cypriots should return to the villages in which they were living before 963?            or 
2) That the Turkish Cypriots should return to the enclaves in which they were confined for eleven years?

1.   Rustem, and Brother,. (1998) : Excerpta Cypria For Today 
      Edited by Andrew Faulds MP , Lefkosha-Istanbul-London 
      The Friends of North Cyprus Parliamentary Group
      The House of Commons, London SW1,   ISBN 9963-565-09-3 
2.   Oberling, P., (1982) : The Road to Bellapais, Social Science
      Monographs, Boulder Distributed by Columbia University Press, New York, ISBN

3.   Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Counsil on the United
      Nations operation in Cyprus , Document S/5950, 10 September 1964. 

4.   Gibbons, H, S., (1997) : The Genocide Files 
      Charles Bravos, Publishers, London ,  ISBN 0-9514464-2-8

5.  Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Counsil on the United Nations
     operation in Cyprus , Document S/5764, 15 Juni 1964.



The Secrets in the Cypriot Graves



Read the full article at :