The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

VOICE OF AMERICA
SLUG: 2-324950 Turkey/Cyprus
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=5/30/05

TYPE=CORRESPONDENTS REPORT

TITLE=TURKEY/CYPRUS

NUMBER=2-324950

BYLINE=NATHAN MORLEY

DATELINE=NICOSIA, CYPRUS

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

HEADLINE: US Congress Team Arrives in Northern Cyprus Despite Protests From Nicosia

INTRO: A U.S. congressional delegation has arrived in the Turkish controlled sector of Cyprus, entering the unrecognized state via Turkey in direct defiance of the Greek Cypriot government. Since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, only two congressmen have entered the island through the north's Tymbou Airport. For VOA, Nathan Morley reports from Nicosia.

TEXT: The trip, headed by Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield, is seen as a step towards ending the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. However, this visit has caused anger among the Greek Cypriot community in the United States and in Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos is outraged that the delegation flew directly to the occupied north. His government insist the visit flouts both international and U.S. law.

Tymbou Airport has been as closed to all international air traffic since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Congressman Whitfield told VOA News that he was not aware any laws were being broken by his visit.

///WHITFIELD ACT 1///

"We have been in discussions with the National Security Council and the U.S. department of state and we've been assured by everyone that there is not anything illegal about going into northern Cyprus directly."

///ACT END///

It's a claim rejected by the Greek Cypriot government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides, who told VOA direct flights into the north violate U.N. Security Council resolutions.

///ACT CHRYSOSTOMIDES///

"We believe that such a visit by members of congress directly into the occupied areas of Cyprus is clearly illegal. Under international law there is no doubt about this illegality; both under the general principals of international law and under the resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations, in particular resolution 550 (1984) which calls upon all states, not to assist or further the secessionist regime established in the occupied part of Cyprus."

///END ACT///

In 2004 Turkish Cypriots voted overwhelmingly in favor of a U.N. settlement plan, hatched by U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan, to re-unite the island. Greek Cypriots, urged by their president, rejected the proposal.

Since the referendum the U.S. has been examining all possibilities regarding the lifting of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. Congressman Whitfield stressed that his visit is a symbolic gesture on the part of the U.S. Congress to pay tribute to the Turkish Cypriots efforts to seek the re-unification of Cyprus.

///WHITFIELD ACT 2///

"The Turkish Cypriots voted overwhelmingly for re-unification on the Annan plan. The Greek Cypriots voted against it. The entire international community supported re-unification and the Annan plan and statements have been made by the U.N. representatives as well as in the U.S. and elsewhere that steps should be taken to remove the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots."

///END ACT///

Earlier this year the pro-EU candidate Mehmet Ali Talat was elected president of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot community. He has called for an end to the isolation of his people and vowed to reunite the island. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded it following an Athens-inspired coup aimed at unifying the island with Greece. (SIGNED)

NEB/NM/MEM/RH



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list