Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Comments on the front page of the AlJazeera English YouTube aaccount:
(at 14th Nov 2007 14:40)
grokked | November 14, 2007
@Koggvos - I personally emailed Mr Khan with details of at least one leading member in the London Greek Cypriot Community that he could have contacted. I have just spoken to that person who confirmed there had been no effort by either AlJazeera or Riz Khan to contact him. This gives me every reason to state that the verbal 'fob off' by Mr Khan at the end of the item, about having made efforts to contact representatives of the Greek Cypriot comunity is an out and out LIE!
Koggvos | November 14, 2007
@Grokked - Riz stated very clearly that the program had approached the Greek Cypriots to take part in the programme but had no response, no doubt they will get 18 minutes of uninterrupted airtime when they return the call.
grokked | November 13, 2007
Having just seen the Riz Khan item which he pre-publicised with the 1 minute slot item asking whether, given all the other problems afflicting the world, the world media has "forgotten about the division of Cyprus" -- the program which Riz actually produced tonight was so one-sided it was beneath contempt. I totally lost my previous high respect for Riz Khan. Rather than treating the division of Cyprus with even a modicum of fairness he offered his media slot for blatant Turkish propaganda. Didn't know Al Jazeera does "pay per slot propaganda" items for selected causes. D I S G U S T I N G !
Comments on the AlJazeera English YouTube account, page for the broadcast he eventually arranged for the "Foreign Minister" of the so-called "TRNC":
(which I will not provide the link for)
AFTER THEIR ACCOUNT ADMINISTRATOR HAD TWICE DELETED MY VIDEO RESPONSE TO THE RIZ KAHN ITEM
bo3of (20 minutes ago)
Hopefully, one day we will see Cyprus's unification just as we saw Germany's unification in 1990.
rasihresat (51 minutes ago)
Bla bla bla... I really dont get it. Al Jazeera refuses to what CNN, Reuters, AP and others do and for a change decided to listen to Turkish Cypriot side of the story and all of a sudden it became disgusting. Typical Geeek Cypriot crap. If you dont follow up on their side of the story, regardless of its accuracy you turn into a bad guy. Arent we all sick of it. I am.
grokked (3 hours ago)
I personally emailed Mr Khan with details of at least one leading member in the London Greek Cypriot Community that he could have contacted. I have spoken to that person who confirmed there had been no effort by either AlJazeera or Riz Khan to contact him. This gives me every reason to state that the verbal 'fob off' by Mr Khan at the end of the item, about having made efforts to contact representatives of the Greek Cypriot comunity is an out and out LIE!
annarboriter (3 hours ago)
Yeah, so when greek representatives choose not to attend a discussion, it becomes disgusting propaganda. Only in a greek nationalist mind, grokked.
In the meantime the longstanding favoritism played by Europe towards Greece continues to worsen the situation. Ever since Greece was let into the EU, Greeks have been on the teat of the rest of Europe have have no reason to get off while promoting the animosity to Turkey for domestic political gain.
grokked (3 hours ago)
AlJazeera has itself highlighted Turkey's Article301 and Enlargement Commissioner has been interviewed, and Turkey fails to meet the Copenhagen Criteria BADLY! Let Turkey offer the Kurdish people in their midst the same they demand on Cyprus for Turkish Cypriots, then we can talk again. Till then this item is totally out of order.
Elefterios2 (3 hours ago)
For Riz Khan program. It is so wrong to here only one-sided of the Cyprus problem. It will be right to here the view of the Cyprus presenter (Papadopoulos) and the opinion of the people of Cyprus. In this interview we herd only the Turkish side the ones how are responsible for the invasion and occupation of Cyprus.
msgg81 (4 hours ago)
Divided as its human stubbornness not to sit down and resolve the issue once and for all
grokked (4 hours ago)
The program Riz Khan produced was so one-sided it is beneath contempt. Rather than treating the division of Cyprus with even a modicum of fairness he offered his media slot for blatant Turkish propaganda. Didn't know Al Jazeera does "pay per slot propaganda" items for selected causes. DISGUSTING !
Comments on the AlJazeera English YouTube account, page for the Riz Khan 1 minute video asking for comments:
(which I will not provide the link for)
grokked (13 hours ago)
Having just seen the Riz Khan item for which this 1 minute slot item was a preparation -- I totally lost my previous high respect for Riz Khan. Rather than treating the item with any fairness, he offered his media slot for blatant Turkish propaganda. Disgusting!
grokked (1 week ago)
Numerous comments here testify to how badly the world has forgotten Turkey's invasion and continuing occupation which led to the division of Cyprus, and in its 'diplomatic way' even the EU has swept aside the issue of invasion and continuing occupation, dealing instead with lifting the embargo on Cyprus ships entering Turkey's ports!
Friday, 9 November 2007
Open email to AlJazeera's Riz Khan about Turkey-Cyprus
The piece of writing below has been prepared as an open-email response to the following "Question of the Week" by Al-Jazeera English - Riz Khan (28th October 2007), embedded immediately below.
The contrast in relations between Turkey and the US during the Kissinger era and it's then-invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the recent situation over attacks by the PKK and Turkey's sabre-rattling over its intention to invade northern Iraq, maintained right up to the time of Erdogan's visit to talk with Bush on November 5th ... could not be more stark.
In this writer's view, it illustrates amply the relative significance of Kirkuk's oil compared to Cyprus' olive oil and, as will be argued below, the Cyprus experience "makes a mockery of the existence of 'international law' ".
The US is evidently able to rein-in an over-aggressive neighbourhood bully-boy Turkey over its often-repeated 'duty' to protect the interests of the significant Turkoman community in Kurdish northern Iraq and it's imminent referendum over the future of Kirkuk ... whereas Kissinger could not possibly have stopped Turkey invading to 'protect' the numerically as well as proportionately much less significant presence of Turkish Cypriots on Cyprus in 1974.
Cyprus still suffers the results of Turkey having seized 37% of the small island's territory which it still holds onto 33 years after Turkey's invasion with the use of US-provided armaments, because of the protection of its powerful friends the US and Britain.
The 'Cyprus problem' has now been manoeuvred into being seen as a long-standing dispute between two communities on Cyprus, rather than as one of aggression by 'now candidate-EU country' Turkey, despite innumerable UN resolutions which the UN-led process itself managed to side-line. The majority Greek Cypriots have been daemonised with the help of agent-Verheugen and the Brits for having overwhelmingly rejected a blatantly unfair Annan Plan for a comprehensive settlement of the long-standing problem.
The fact that the 'virgin-birth' of a 'United Cyprus' was proposed to be 'agreed' by Cypriots in a referendum, on a just-in-time-basis for it's EU entry might be judged by future historians to have been a very immaculate conception of how to solve Turkey's problem over it's entry to the EU rather than a fair solution to the Cypriots' problem. The fact that it didn't solve the problem of Cypriots (by the judgement of 76% of its majority population in the 2004 referendum), and would arguably have exacerbated their problems as well as abolishing the Sovereign Republic of Cyprus along the way ... is never explained by commentators and the world's media.
Even international law can be manipulated to suit the powerful, as Cherie-Booth-Blair illustrated amply through her defence of the case of the Orams in Britain's High Court over their having expropriated stolen property in 'northern' Cyprus. The more recent appointment of Turkish Cypriot judges to the international court of human rights by Turkey, just in time to eventually be at the deciding end of how thousands of cases (deliberately stalled for decades by those working hard to protect Turkey from facing a massive bill for damages) by Greek Cypriots disposessed of their properties by Turkey, is decided by the Iinternational Court of Human Rights .... is never explained by commentators and the world's media.
We now witness the next stage in the operation, with Britain's Anglo-Turkish Strategic Partnership Agreement having been engineered on a just-in-time basis, to provide a lead to the EU sidelining any possible Cyprus veto of Turkey's entry (before the veto itself gets abolished through the non-Constitution agreed a month ago) ... by strategising the euphemism of 'easing the isolation' of the entity in 'northern' Cyprus whose creation was condemned by the UN. After all, the Turkish Cypriots were offered a bribe in order to vote yes for the Annan Plan, which was to be the lifting of their 'isolation' in exchange for voting yes in the 2004 referendum. The fact that Turkey's top military brass have admitted they would have staged a coup and got rid of the Erdogan government if the Annan Plan had not been voted down by those 'nasty' Greek Cypriots.... is never explained by commentators and the world's media.
The fact that Turkey's infamous Article 301, which remains a major issue in Turkey's EU entry process, despite having been written just two years ago as part of the Erdogan-Gul team's re-write of its legal statutes in their effort to better fit within the EU's acquis-communautaire and meet the Copenhagen Criteria which even Bush has admitted he can not help Turkey circumvent ... is often mentioned with reference to improving the country's image. It remains to be seen whether the reconsideration which the Erdogan Government announced following the continuing criticism in the EU's November 6th progress report on Turkey's EU entry process will actually improve its freedom of speech record. "We are determined to pursue reform until our country catches up with the highest levels of democracy and human rights," said a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
While many commentators will no doubt judge any replacement law by whether it makes it possible for Kurds to have their ethnic rights recognised, or whether it will be possible to talk in future of the Armenian Genocide without being dragged off to court for 'insulting Turkishness' ... this writer wonders whether any future replacement law will make it any less illegal for a Turkish citizen to state that he thinks Turkish troops should be withdrawn from Cyprus without being immediately lynched by the ultra-nationalists and dragged off for prosecution, or even be gunned down like Hrant Dink was..... but this small issue also is never explained or written about by commentators and the world's media.
So, a look at how some commentators view the Turkey situation:
Turkey after Nov. 5: What’s next? by Mehmet Seyfettin Erol (9th November)
(Dr.Mehmet Seyfettin Erol is a lecturer at Gazi University’s department of international relations)... among other comments:
The leader of one of the opposition parties made a very clear statement : “The mountain has given birth to a mouse.” The result of the Washington visit tells us that the meeting was passed off with secondary issues rather than focusing on the heart of the problem. In one sense, the US-Turkey relations were “saved,” the status of a “one-sided partnership” has been approved and it was given the green light again. Therefore, the relations were not severed as was expected. Conversely, the US administration proved to the entire world on Nov. 5 that it was able to keep Turkey fixed to the “port of alliance” under the conditions it determined and gave a very clear message to the entire world. “This operation may be carried out only under the conditions I determine and with a scope and duration I allow.” In fact, the world press has already started making commentaries in this direction.
A vew of Turkey from an American 'conservative' perspective:
More Turkish Saber Rattling, by Craig Chamberlain, October 23, 2007
"If an invasion [of Northern Iraq] should happen we should ask ourselves a couple of questions? Should we continue to support Turkey? It's been a pretty one-sided relationship, with the U.S. protecting Turkey from the USSR during the cold war, supporting Turkish entry into the EU, and supporting the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The one time we asked something from the Turks, to come in across the Turkish Iraq border in 2003, we were denied. Secondly if they do invade should we help the Kurdish Peshmerga to give the Turks the kicking they deserve, not to mention protect Iraq from being plunged back into the type of violence that was endemic before the surge?
"The U.S. must look out for its own interests, and that means keeping the Turks out of Iraq."
Cyprus Protests Anglo Turkish Strategic Partnership 021107
A Video study on Turkey and Cyprus can be found from this writer's profile at YouTube:
Turkey Cyprus invasion occupation Annan Plan comprehensive settlement international law united states britain foreign policy EU Article301 Europe ICHR
Thursday, 8 November 2007
By Charlie Charalambous
Nothing is going the government’s way at the moment but the polls still remain kind to the President.
And if he does manage to get something right, then ever-popular Tassos would most probably win the US primaries as well.
A true conspiracy theorist would argue that the international community - led by Britain, of course - is colluding to give Tassos a bad name.
To be precise, Cyprus is now under siege from a host of countries wanting to crush our spirit and facilitate Turkey’s global domination.
Okay, I’m slightly overstepping the mark but it’s a hugely convincing argument that wins votes among the converted.
There are so many bad omens travelling on the Syria ferry route to and from Famagusta that it’s no surprise that the Brits and the Swedes are joining the fray. And only god knows who else will join the Cyprus-bashing bandwagon.
Nevertheless, why has it come to this? What has government been doing on the awareness campaign to convert our enemies into Cyprus problem believers? Not a lot, we must assume, judging by the state of deadlock on July 8 Avenue.
The latest nail in the coffin appears to be the strategic partnership that Britain and Turkey have co-signed. Its mission is to facilitate direct political, economical and cultural contact between the EU and the Turkish Cypriots.
London insists there is "nothing new" in its policy towards the north, saying the UK does not recognise the "TRNC" in any shape or form. Cyprus is not convinced.
Why prepare a document with Ankara that specifically targets the north if it has been standard practice for some time?
Meanwhile, the government is blaming dark forces for resurrecting the Annan Plan from the dead.
What else could it be? Having said that, there is a tendency to get hysterically xenophobic about the Brits when there is a perceived slight against the Cyprus Republic.
There is a long-running love-hate relationship between the former master and servant.
Although the government should refrain from publicly flogging itself as a show of defiance.
Fanning anti-British sentiment would do more harm than good. Resolving these types of thorny issues is why we have diplomats - although most of them were fast asleep in London as the dreaded document was unveiled.
So, where does this leave the euphemistically termed "structured dialogue" aimed at mending broken Cyprus-Britain bilateral fences? Two years of road safety seminars and anti-hooligan training doesn’t seem to have improved matters.
There was so much positive dialogue going down that nobody in London mentioned a deal would be done with the Turks, despite Greek Cypriot sensitivities. Basically, unless the island is turned into a NATO base, Cyprus will always be sacrificed at the altar of international politics.
That’s how the wider world works. The big guys trample on the little guys all the time, doesn’t matter who you are, unless you’ve got oil - actually, you still get shafted, Iraq style.
Yeah, I can hear you say EU members are supposed to be cordial to one another and must avoid triggering conflict within the harmonious bloc.
As long as Brussels believes Cyprus earned its EU status by default, there is going to be a lot of surprises in store for Nicosia from many unsuspected quarters.
For now, Cyprus is in a sulk and refuses to play ball with London but what if the tourists stop coming?
british strategic partnership turkey greek anglo cyprus relations unity sovereignty TassosPapadopoulos CharlieCharalambous CyprusWeekly
Book on Cyprus-UK relations founders after Anglo-Turkish pact
Millet claims island owes economic miracle to Britain
By Philippos Stylianou
WHEN the book with the long title "Reflections on the Relations Between Britain and the Republic of Cyprus – and the Case of the British Sovereign Base Areas" was being launched on October 18 in Nicosia, nobody could predict that shortly afterwards it would become so topical on account of the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed in London between Britain and Turkey.
The remarks by the presenters of the book, including British High Commissioner in Cyprus Peter Millet, make it even more so.
"We want to work with Cyprus. We have absolutely no interest in working against Cyprus," Millet had told the audience at the University of Nicosia’s Unesco amphitheatre only to be contradicted by his Prime Minister Gordon Brown 5 days later.
It would make an interesting case study of ethics and diplomacy to know how privy Peter Millet was to the Anglo-Turkish pact and its "TRNC" section when he was giving the Greek Cypriots this assurance.
Presumably, he would say that by Cyprus he meant the island as a whole and not just the Republic of Cyprus, but then this would be one of those explanations that make matters worse.
The book, edited by Andreas Theophanous, head of the research team at the University of Cyprus, and associate Yiannis Tirkides, is the result of a study, which examines the relations between Cyprus and Britain, "including their sensitive aspects and integrating public perceptions in the analysis."
It aimed at steering a smoother course in Cyprus-UK relations, but it has foundered in the sudden storm raised by the Anglo-Turkish pact instead. What follows is really the floating debris of the wreckage.
Speaking at the presentation of the book, Theophanous drew a sharp contrast between the flourishing Anglo-Cypriot relations in the socioeconomic field and the difficulties and mistrust prevailing in the political domain.
He noted that the net surplus Cyprus enjoys in her trade balance with the UK, including the British Bases, totals 10% of its GDP, although this is due to half the island’s tourists being Britons.
In the social spectrum, Theophanous said, the book highlights the incorporation of British practices in Cypriot business and the legal framework, the educational exchanges, the presence of a sizeable Cypriot community in the UK and the increasing number of British expatriates and business in Cyprus. And he then went on as follows:
"According to the study, this remarkable socio-economic record is not, however, matched in the political domain. Furthermore, the overall political relationship often becomes difficult and at times tense, with Greek Cypriots perceiving British policy over Cyprus to have been consistently pro-Turkish and that in 1974 Britain fell short of carrying out its Treaty obligations. It should also be noted that there is a widespread perception that Britain and NATO in general are enjoying a multitude of benefits from the operation of the sovereign bases in Cyprus without reciprocity toward the Republic of Cyprus."
After sketching a brief historical background, Theophanous said that the personal interviews contacted in the context of the study showed that the majority of Greek Cypriots felt unjustly treated by Britain. In addition to the grievances mentioned above, their frustration also stems from their unfulfilled national aspirations for union with Greece, the nature of the 1960 constitution, and Britain’s role in drafting the UN backed Annan Plan for Cyprus.
In his concluding remarks Theophanous presented the book as an effort to encourage the improvement of relations between Britain and Cyprus in all fields, in order to promote their common interests for mutual benefit.
British High Commissioner Peter Millet, in his presentation, largely took up Theophanous’ contrasting approach between the socio-economic and political aspects of relations between the two countries, but from a rather selfish and somewhat menacing standpoint, particularly as regards the former.
He agreed with the 10% figure of UK’s contribution to Cyprus GDP as being fairly accurate, noting however that what this meant was "that the strength of the Cyprus economic miracle is built on – and to some extent dependent on – tourism and development from the UK." He hammered on this later on in his speech, stressing the following: "The Cypriot economy is prospering not just because Cypriots are good businesspeople, but because hundreds of thousands of Britons have bet on Cyprus – through tourism, the property market, the education industry, and a host of other ways. We are already inter-dependent, and becoming more so with every investment decision."
Turning to the political relationship, Millet reminded the audience that Britain had important interests on the island and in the area and stressed that it took its "role as a Guarantor Power, as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council and as an EU partner, extremely seriously."
Referring to the criticism of the Bases contained in the book, he rejected that they are trying to become self-sufficient because they do not trust Cyprus. He said the Bases are not self-sufficient since for one thing they have to rely on the Republic of Cyprus for electricity supply, but added it was important for any military operation to rely as much as possible on self-sufficiency.
The Head of the British diplomatic mission in Cyprus also dismissed the findings of the book about the Greek Cypriot public being hostile to British policy. He ironically based his argument on the now cooled "Structural Dialogue" between the two countries, and blamed the perception about Cypriot animosity towards Britain on the media.
"I do not therefore see any justification for the perception of animosity between the UK and Cyprus. We hold no animosity for Cyprus and have no intention to punish Cyprus. On the contrary, why would we want to punish a country or a people with whom we want friendly relations and a positive constructive dialogue?" The British High Commissioner wondered.
Referring to his country’s involvement in the search of a Cyprus settlement, including support to the 8 July Agreement, he switched the argument around, saying that one should perhaps look at how others perceive Cyprus.
"Let me be frank," Millet said. "It is regrettable but not surprising that the Cyprus question has fallen off the international agenda. The priorities for the UN and EU are elsewhere: Iraq, Iran, Burma, climate change. And the perception is that Cyprus’s foreign policy is in danger of contaminating other EU and international priorities" (his emphasis again).
The High Commissioner insisted that his government had demonstrated its commitment to solving the Cyprus problem by the appointment of Joan Ryan MP as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative to Cyprus. He revealed that she was rather pessimistic after her recent visit to the island, but determined to play a positive role.
Millet then reiterated the latest leitmotif of British policy on Cyprus that the island’s political problem has to be solved next year, because "time is running out."
In the meantime, he said, Britain would continue its co-operation with Cyprus and referred in particular to the UK-Cyprus Forum scheduled in Paphos for November 3, which has been cancelled because of the Anglo-Turkish Strategic Partnership Agreement. It is uncertain what the future holds for a memorandum of understanding on research and development cooperation between Cyprus and Britain, to the impending signing of which Millet also referred in his speech.
The High Commissioner concluded on a personal note, using a quotation from Andreas Theophanous’ preface to the book, in which he said: "The past cannot be changed. But the challenge is to influence the future in a constructive manner."
"That in a nutshell is my job description," Millet said.
Tags: cypriot bases economics british strategic partnership turkey petermillet greek anglo cyprus relations unity sovereignty PhilipposStylianou UniversityofNicosia AndreasTheophanous
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
The Cypriot community in Britain yesterday (2.11.07) staged a massive demonstration outside the residence of the British Prime Minister to express their indignation and anger at the British Government's decision to sign an agreement of Strategic Partnership with Turkey.
In a letter conveyed to the British Prime Minister, they ask him to clarify his positions on the Cyprus issue.
Images-chanting: Turkish troops out of Cyprus.
Placards: Gordon Brown Forget Cyprus - Forget Votes; Prime Minister do not relinquish Human Rights; Greek Cypriot refugees demand their homes back; Brown please help us end the Turkish occupation.
With their demonstration outside the Prime Ministerial residence and the letter to the British Prime Minister the Cypriot community took a series of measures as a reaction to the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between Britain and Turkey. Cypriot students at Universities in London and beyond provided their active support.
Student (interviewed on camera) : We are here today to express our indignation at the agreement which was recently signed by the British and Turkish Governments. We want to show the British Government that this kind of agreement will not pass without being challenged and that we are opposed to efforts which seek to establish illegal situations on our island and we will always demonstrate against them.
The demonstration was organised by the British Federation of Cypriot Organisations which sent a letter to the British PM asking him to reiterate Britain's support for a Cyprus solution based on international law, and reiterate that the British Government will strive for a reunited Cyprus with no Turkish army of occupation and to state that Britain supports implementation of the 8th July Gambari Agreement.
Peter Droussiotis (interviewed on camera) (President of Federation of Cypriot Organisations in Britain): As British citizens we feel great dissapointment that Britain, as a guarantor power of the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus not only does not support these significant positions but instead tries in every way to promote the Turkish positions on the Cyprus issue.
Reimen Mpoil (interviewed on camera) (German MEP): For me, as a European citizen, its a very strange declaration because a member state of the European Union is dealing with the special problems of Cyprus, talking with a third country which is asking for membership now. They should respect more the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.
The initiatives by the National Federation will continue with meetings with British Officials.
Freedom and Justice for Cyprus; Europe end Turkish occupation now; Turkey is guilty of Genocide in Cyprus, Kurdistan, Armenian and Turkey.
Tags: cybc nationalfederation cypriot organisations united kingdom britain british government foreign office strategic partnership agreement turkey peterdroussiotis demonstration downing street protest greek greeks anger letter indignation cyprus unity sovereignty gordon brown prime minister david milliband foreign secretary
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AT:
Monday, 5 November 2007
As Turkish PM Erdogan visited Washington 5th November for talks with George Bush, which he will no doubt would wish to emerge from with a Turko-American version of the strategic partnership agreement he signed with Britain last month, in exchange for not rocking the boat in Northern Iraq (over the Kurds), readers of this blog might wish to take a look at the video material at the two following profiles on YouTube, (which provide the source material for the videos below). The true historical nature of the Turkey which is such a good expedient partner for the US, and now a "Strategic Partner" for poodle Britain is shown. But, will the master of the poodle jump as high as the poodle at the urgings of the Turkish Prime Minister? This is the Turkey for whom Britain will strategise entry to the EU?
The two playlists below DO NOT WORK but are included here anyway as 'placemarkers' to encourage viewers to visit the YouTube account (detailed immediately above) to view the material.
(a) Professor Taner Akcam talks about the Armenian genocide (watch all five parts).
(b) Germany Turkey and the Armenian Genocide - documentary (7 sections)
More material by Turkish archives-historian Taner Akcam, at:
(A talk on Taner Akcam's book "A Shameful Act", at the Human Rights faculty of Columbia University)
Oct 18th, 2007
Historian Bruce Clark discusses the emergence of modern Greece and Turkey in the early 20th century. Leaders in both countries sought to advance a national ethnic identity, resulting in mass expulsions of Christian Greeks from Turkey and Muslims from Greece.
Below, a playlist from my own YouTube account with items from a variety of media sources, though mostly from Al-Jazeera English which has chosen to follow the Turkey-Kurds situation particularly closely, to show the developing 'attitude' in Turkey during and following the Armenian Genocide debate in the US House of Representatives early in October 2007.
Lastly, a playlist with items from recent Cyprus politics, providing a reaction in Cyprus to Britain's Gordon Brown having signed a "Strategic Partnership Agreement" with Turkey's Erdogan during the latter's visit to Downing Street in October 2007. Video clips of the press conference are included, with Erdogan referring at length to how it is the UN Security Council which has failed to endorse the Report about the Annan Plan process which is to blame for the lack of progress. During the press conference both Brown and Erdogan failed to refer to the Gambari Agreement in November 2006 which has been agreed by the UN Security Council as the 'way forward' .
Saturday, 11 August 2007
US gave full backing to Turkish invasion
THE United States gave full blessing to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, even assuring Turkey that it would "get them a solution involving one third of the island.''
This cynical US involvement is revealed in the latest batch of secret official State Department documents released for publication under the 30-year rule.
The American stand has long been known, but this is the first time that it has been confirmed so completely by an official State Department document.
This is clarified in the very first paragraph of the document which is stamped ``SECRET/EYES ONLY.''
It declares that the only conceivable settlement of the Cyprus problem "will have to rest on a de facto division of the island, whatever the form."
While admitting that the United States ``has the clout'' to prevent the invasion, the document nevertheless advises against doing so "before the fighting stops."
The document is dated August 14, 1974, the exact date of the second massive wave of the Turkish invasion of the island. It is headed: ``Memorandum for the Secretary - Cyprus Actions'' from Helmut Sonnenfeldt, one of the top State Department officials dealing with Greco-Turkish affairs.
The document even includes a map detailing the plan of action of the Turkish invasion force. This is headed ``Map done by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research projecting Turkish moves on Cyprus, August 13, 1974.''
It is worth noting that this plan was the one followed exactly by the Turkish troops, a further proof of the close American involvement in the Turkish invasion planning.
Here is the full text of the document:
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
August 14, 1974
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY
FROM: Helmut Sonnenfeldt
SUBJECT: Cyprus Actions
You wanted some brief ideas on what we do next.
Nothing I can think of will stop the Turks now from trying to secure by force what they demanded in their ultimata. In fact, as has always been true, the only coneivable modus vivendi will have to rest on a de facto division of the island, whatever the form.
If the Turks move fast and can then be gotten to stand down, it may pre-empt Greek counteraction and then give us a chance to try for a deal. (It may also save Karamanlis).
While the Soviets can serve as a bogey, we must keep them at arms length. They cannot become the arbiter between US allies. Their interests differ drastically from ours: we want a modus vivendi between Greece and Turkey, they want a non-aligned Cyprus, preferably with Greece or Turkey or both disaffected from NATO.
Thus, we should
- urgently try to contain Greek reaction; 24 hours at a time;
- bluntly tell the Turks they must stop, today, tomorrow at the latest;
- warn the Turks that Greece is rapidly moving leftward;
- send high-level US man to Athens to exert continuing direct influence on Karamanlis;
- assuming the Turks quickly take Famagusta, privately assure Turks we will get them solution involving one third of island, within some kind of federal arrangement;
- assure Greeks we will contain Turk demands and allow no additional enclaves, etc.
You should not get involved directly till the fighting stops; then you must since there is no alternative and only we have the clout.
I do not think Brussels/NATO is the place to use when the time comes. The Greeks are probably too sore at NATO and the vehicle of a ministerial meeting is awkward. Anyway, you need Ecevit and Karamanlis.
London may be unacceptable to the Turks because of Callaghan’s blast at them.
You should not shuttle.
This may mean Geneva. Washington, at the President’s initiative, would be all right but hard to get the parties to come to. Also provocative of the Russians. New York would make it difficult to keep the Russians away.
You could also try Rome.
10th August 2007
Cyprus Weekly Editorial on the matter:
Shocking US admission
THE full United States backing of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 has long been well known.
This does not render any less shocking the first official confirmation of this involvement in the State Department secret documents released this week under the 30-year rule.
If anything, what is needed is a stronger word than just "shocking" to describe the State Department's assurance to the Turks that "we will get them a solution involving one third of the island, within some kind of federal arrangement."
Here is the almighty Uncle Sam acting like King Solomon by assuring Turkey that it will in effect chop Cyprus in half, and give it part of it as its own!
While it may be argued that such a division might have been accepted by both sides as a mutually agreed settlement of the problem, it is a far cry from backing such a solution as the direct result of the invasion of one sovereign country by another at the cost of tens of thousands of innocent civilian lives lost, the forced uprooting of a whole population and the seizure of the properties of the displaced persons.
Such actions are war crimes and this inevitably makes Uncle Sam himself a war criminal, or an accessory, for advising Turkey to act this way.
Cyprus has already resorted to the international courts, demanding Turkey's punishment, and compensation for the victims of these war crimes.
With the US State Department admission that it backed the Turkish aggression and consequent war crimes, it is high time that Cyprus also sued the United States, and Henry Kissinger himself, as accessories to Ankara's war crimes and sought compensation from there also.
[op ed: This writer calls for Google to be "sued" at court in the US by the Cyprus Lobby regarding its practice in "promoting the sale of property which has been proved to have been stolen"]================================
Below, a video recorded by the author of this blog during a recent event in London organised by the "Lobby for Cyprus" within the context of Theatro Technis' "Cyprus Week" [all organised in conjunction with the [Organisation of Cypriot Organisations, this year presented by its newly elected President, Peter Droussiotis] (to mark 33 years since the Greek junta coup and Turkish invasion of the island) regarding continuing moves in the European Court of Human Rights -- "Property rights in occupied Cyprus"
Other video items, including the Demonstration in Trafalgar Square (with speeches by British MPs and EuroMP's) is available at the Theatro Technis facility at MySpace:
Thursday, 9 August 2007
US Congress legislation to end Turkish occupation of Cyprus
The US Congress has taken another significant step toward improving American policy on Cyprus with the introduction of two Cyprus bills, which the sponsors noted complement each other, said the leaders of the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH).
According to a CEH statement, “one of the two bills, House Resolution 620, calls on Turkey to `end its military occupation…particularly because Turkey’s pretext has been refuted by over 13 million crossings by Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots into each other’s communities without incident.’ ”
“This legislation carries particular weight with American policy-makers because its primary sponsors, Congressmen Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), are among only 14 out of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives selected by their colleagues to oversee matters relating to Europe -- as members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe. Cyprus advocates Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Zack Space (D-OH) are also original co-sponsors”, CEH added.
“The bill adds to momentum that is building in the U.S. to end Turkey’s occupation of Cyprus, particularly after 13 million peaceful crossings of the Green Line”, CEH said, noting that it also “builds on the recent statement by the Chairman of the powerful U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), who encouraged America to refocus on this matter that is at the heart of the Cyprus problem."
It also adds to the impetus generated by the recent letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice by the creator of the Congressional Turkey Caucus and Chairman of the House Europe Subcommittee, Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL), the statement notes. "Chairman Wexler felt that it is in Turkey’s interests to focus on withdrawing troops", it says.
“No legislation in recent years that has focused on ending the division of Cyprus has received more than 27 members of Congress asking to become cosponsors (advocates). If this new momentum continues, and we plan to make sure that it does, many more that 27 members of Congress will become cosponsors.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s northern third. Restrictions on free movement to and from the island’s occupied areas, imposed by the Turkish Cypriot regime, were partially lifted in April 2003, a move that is still in place and allows, albeit under restrictions, Cypriots to cross the UN controlled buffer zone.
No - this is NOT a comment on Brown having appeared, during his recent visit to see Bush, to be no different to Blair .... we will see in coming months whether the next time Bush says 'jump' ... whether Brown will ask "how high do you want me to jump this time?" .... as his predecessor in the British Prime Ministerial office had done!
This IS a comment about the first moves Brown has made on the Cyprus issue since taking office.
Though it is a convention in 'blog' circles to not quote entire sections of material from another site, but to choose selections and then provide a link, in this instance the comments by Theresa Villiers on her website (and repeated during the 'Rally for Cyprus' which was videotaped by me) provided below do deserve to be quoted in their entirety.
Chipping Barnet MP - Theresa Villiers - has today written to the new Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, to protest about Joan Ryan's appointment as Gordon Brown's advisor on Cyprus. Speaking from Westminster, she said:
“I was shocked to learn of this appointment. This is a slap in the face for the Cypriot community. If the community thought that Tony Blair's resignation would mean that the Labour government started to see sense again on Cyprus, this appointment shows there's no hope of that. Gordon Brown is clearly going to continue Mr Blair's discredited approach on Cyprus which has completely let down all those who fled their homes during the 1974 invasion.”
“Joan Ryan has not taken a balanced or fair approach on Cyprus issues and I am deeply worried about the prospect of her deciding what the British government’s approach on this issue should be. I oppose this appointment and I have appealed to David Miliband to meet me and representatives of the Cypriot community so that he can hear at first hand why Gordon Brown’s decision has caused such anger and outrage in his first 3 days at Number 10.”
The letter sent to Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, is as follows:
Rt Hon David Miliband MP, Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
I am writing in my capacity as MP for Chipping Barnet, a role which gives me the honour and privilege of representing a large British Cypriot community.
Many of my constituents are deeply concerned about yesterday’s appointment of Joan Ryan as the Prime Minister’s advisor on Cyprus.
They believe that Ms Ryan has not taken a balanced or fair approach on matters relating to Cyprus. I have to say I sympathise with their point of view.
You will no doubt become aware as you read into your new brief that Tony Blair caused grave offence to many in the Cypriot community by criticising the Greek Cypriot no vote on the Annan 5 UN plan on Cyprus. They rightly felt that it was unacceptable for the then Prime Minister to tell them that they were wrong in the way they chose to vote in a democratic referendum on the future of their own country.
The UK government’s subsequent pressure for a move towards direct trade links with the unrecognised regime in northern Cyprus breaks with many years of cross party consensus in British politics and betrays a hugely worrying lack of concern and respect for the many people who were driven from their homes and villages by the 1974 invasion of Cyprus.
By appointing Joan Ryan to a highly influential position on Cyprus as one of his very first acts as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has delivered a slap in the face to those people and to thousands of other in the British Cypriot community.
He is not only signalling that the discredited and one-sided approach of Mr Blair is to continue, he is making the situation worse and driving an even deeper wedge between the Labour government and the Cypriot community. Many of my constituents rightly feel disappointed, angry and deeply disillusioned by this latest Labour betrayal on Cyprus.
In the light of the dismay felt that Mr Brown’s decision has caused, I would be grateful if you could consider agreeing to meet me and a delegation of British Cypriots to discuss this further and to listen to the reasons why they strongly oppose this appointment.
In the meantime, I would also appreciate it if you could outline the exact nature of the role Ms Ryan will play in relation to Cyprus.
Theresa Villiers MP
Readers can also refer to other additional information on a site that many will point out is more partisan, in being a Greek source, but hey, this is OUR issue, OUR island, OUR lives that are being 'determined' ...
... being determined still ... (who said anything about the Cypriot people having the right to 'self-determination')
... determined as a result of strings being pulled in a particular sequence in certain particular foreign centres of power.
Britain, being the former colonial power in Cyprus, as well as having some vestige responsibilities as one of the 3 so-called guarantor powers (a system which has so demonstrably failed Cypriots and MUST therefore be got rid of in any future proposal on solving the gordian knot which is the Cyprus problem) ... has some particular responsibilities on Cyprus which fortunately for Cyprus are now being modified by the collective decision-making process within the EU. Britain, and its influence in efforts to 'shape' initiatives and ideas both within the EU as well as within the Security Council at the United Nations ..... was seen in the debacle of Tony Blair's efforts to get United Nations approval over the Iraq War.
It will be for historians in future years to assess the exact impact of Britain's (and behind it the hand of the US State Department) lead in shaping the so-called Annan Plan which the Cypriot people were presented with at the April 2004 referendum .... in the (UK and US) hope of getting the people to pass it by referendum as a last-ditch attempt at the point of maximum leverage on the Greek Cypriots ... BEFORE accession to the EU by Cyprus became a reality.
The role of Britain's Lord Hannay has already been written about in his own book on the matter, as well as having been discussed elsewhere, but the role of Verheugen producing a ruling that the then-Annan plan was compatible with the EU's Acquis Communautaire is a good subject for some aspiring PHD student to take up as a subject for critical legal autopsy.
Given THAT history, for Brown to come up with the appointment of Joan Ryan despite the feelings and representations against the selection by the Cypriot community in the UK .... is correctly categorised by Theresa Villiers as a 'slap in the face' !
Prime Minister Brown - no improvement on Blair's dismal performance With reference to the above, there is now an online petition which those who are British subjects are asked to sign.
The petition reads as follows:
"We are shocked and appalled to learn of the appointment of Joan Ryan as special envoy to Cyprus. It is our belief that Joan Ryan has not taken a balanced or fair approach on Cyprus issues and we are deeply worried about the prospect of her deciding what the British governments approach on this issue should be. We are deeply worried that Gordon Brown is going to continue Mr. Blair's discredited approach on Cyprus which has completely let down all those who fled their homes during the illegal 1974 Turkish invasion. Joan Ryan%u2019s appointment as special envoy underlines that this government will continue its biased approach against a just and fair solution with ultimate aim the division of Cyprus and the appeasement of Turkey. We petition the Prime Minister to appoint a new special envoy after consulting the leaders of the Cypriot community in the UK and the Cyprus government and obtaining their approval."
The petition is available online and is open for new signatured until October 2007
Please take a moment to sign the petition
Sunday, 25 March 2007
Regarding "Turkey suspends F-16 purchase from US over Cyprus" ...
How amazing that this item over allowable, or rather of non-allowable use of weapons provided by the US to other countries, should suddenly surface now (see Zaman report detailed below).
Amazing because such conditionality over use of US-provided weapons applies as much to Israel in its use of US-supplied weapons in the Lebanon during the 2006 war (and in many years previously) as WELL as to Turkey in almost ALL its military operations in Cyprus, during 1964, in 1967 and of course during the invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
The flagrant violation of the conditionalities attached to the use of weapons provided by the US to Turkey has been a very long-standing grievance on the part of the people of Cyprus against US Government hypocricy for many years. Repeated questions by journalists to many US Government Spokesmen on such matters have always drawn non-commital answers.
The use of American-provided aircraft to drop bombs, including napalm bombs in 1964 by Turkey against Cyprus was documented at the time.
The BBC video archives provide a video item online about Turkey having dropped napalm bombs using American provided planes during 1964. Click on "The BBC's Charles Wheeler reports from Cyprus - one doctor says napalm was used on civilians - interview with Archbishop Makarios" available from the BBC video archives.
OK, so how do we retrospectively prove that the use of US provided weapons in Turkey's military actions against Cyprus were all illegal, and that therefore the specific people in power within succeeding US administrations as well as the generals who ordered such illegal use by Turkey can be held personally as well as collectively responsible for such violations in the terms under which the weapons were sold?
The press-item which has caused the above comments to be made can be found in full at:
"Turkey has reportedly suspended negotiations with the US over the purchase of an additional 30 F-16 fighters after Washington set the condition that they not be flown over the divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
"Military sources close to the Turkish Air Force Command (THK) told Today's Zaman that US technology restrictions, including a ban on their usage by Turkey over Cyprus, irked Ankara. "The US condition that fighters should not be used over Cyprus made us mad," said a source at the THK."
Wednesday, 14 March 2007
Then decided it would be worth following through some of the links that arose out of that ... one of which was to visit the Faux Press website, where I found an interview with Dan Rather (Anchorman with CBS News, I think it is) and thought I'd create a first link from my newly created weblog to this interview ....
The Faux Press :: Politics, Law, Media & Marketing: Dan Rather interview
Other links arising from watching the video were the views expressed about the future of advertising on the web, and rather liked the attitude expressed, and therefore provide a link to the website by Jen Simmons
Other links, which I note here in order to come back for further 'look-in' at those sites in future, were: node101 - cafn8ed - The teaching section at Jen's website - and finally BetterBadNews .
I had earlier done some follow-up research on the climatechange series I've been involved in creating at www.veoh.com/series/climatechange and found with some considerable interest an outstanding interview at YouTube, and so I will end this first ever posting at my new blog by making a recommendation that any readers interested with world politics should take a look at the 26 minute interview with David Kortn available through the excellent efforts of Peakmoment.tv ... here