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"The success of President Clinton's efforts on Cyprus and in the Aegean will be significantly advanced if Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz goes home with the proper message from his meetings this week in the United States," said leaders of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes in letters sent to top U.S. government officials who will be meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister this week in Washington, D.C. These leaders stressed that, "Those journalists, government officials and business people in Turkey who understand that the path to Turkish advancement requires adherence to today's rules of a civilized world order, including respect for human rights, international law and sovereignty and the non-use of force or threat of force, will be strengthened if America's message is correct."

These Greek-American leaders asked top U.S. policy-makers to, "do whatever you can during this visit of Turkish Prime Minister Yilmaz to help Turkey understand that in today's world, whether in the EU or the U.S., leaders will no longer accept the `right' words followed by the `wrong' actions."

"The traditional American message sent to Turkey (through our previously routine and presently sporadic practice of ignoring Turkish wrongdoing) has given legitimate standing and credence to a group in Turkey who advocate that Turkey can advance by saying the `right' things and doing the `wrong' things. This administration was the victim of those advocates following its hard work which secured for Turkey in 1995 the European Union's Customs Union and in August of 1997 the release of $150 million worth of frigates and $113 million in Seahawk helicopters following Turkey's `right' words in Madrid, Spain. Turkey's `wrong' actions subsequently stopped cold the completion of the customs union benefits for Turkey. Their `wrong' actions following the arms transfer they wanted, which flowed from their `right' words in Madrid, played a significant role in the EU finding Turkey's conduct as a nation unacceptable for accession."

These leaders noted that, "Telling this reality to Turkey pays off. The Americans who have been best able to move Turkey somewhat in the right direction and who are most highly thought of in Turkey are those who are frank with respect to Turkey's actions -- Dick Holbrooke and Madeleine Albright."

These leaders concluded by saying that, "The right message this week can set the stage for a breakthrough in 1998 in the Aegean and on Cyprus." Below is a list Turkish provocations against Greece and Cyprus that was sent with these letters. For more information, please contact Mike Manatos ( at (202) 393-7790.


Dec. 11, 1997 U.S. State Department spokesman calls flights by Turkish war planes near Thessaloniki "needlessly provocative and totally unnecessary," stating that, "military activity of this kind undermines confidence and needlessly exacerbates tensions between our NATO allies."

Oct. 16, 1997 Four Turkish F-16 fighters buzz the military transport plane carrying Greece's defense minister from Cyprus to Greece, coming close enough to make the plane rock;

Oct. 14, 1997 Turkish F-16 jets fly over Cyprus with defense systems, rockets and warheads.

Oct. 13, 1997 Two Turkish F-16 fighters buzz the military transport plane carrying Greece's defense minister to Cyprus.

Oct. 12, 1997 Turkish planes harass two Greek Air Force bombers over Cyprus -- the first such confrontation over Cyprus.

Sept. 19, 1997 Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz announces that his government has asked the Turkish military to "plan and propose additional military measures" to address the planned delivery of defensive surface-to-air missiles to Cyprus. U.S. State Department spokesman clarifies that the U.S. is, "firmly opposed to threats to address the missile question militarily."

August 6, 1997 Just five days before the start of the second round of U.N.-sponsored Cyprus settlement talks, Turkey signs an agreement calling for the partial economic and defense integration of Turkey with the occupied areas of Cyprus.

July 15-21, 1997 Just days after the first U.N.-sponsored Cyprus settlement talks in three years:

  • Turkey's deputy prime minister Bulent Ecevit and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash issue a joint declaration regarding the gradual integration of the occupied areas of Cyprus with Turkey;
  • Turkish war ships dock at ports in the occupied area.

July 7-8, 1997 While the prime ministers of Greece and Turkey meet in Greece (the first official visit by a Turkish leader in 36 years), Turkish armed forces hold their largest ever military maneuvers in and around Cyprus. These amphibious and airborne operations were the first of their kind in the 23 years of the occupation of Cyprus.

April 7, 1997 Turkish air force planes fly over the occupied area of Cyprus.

April 1, 1997 On this national day for Cyprus, four Turkish Phantoms follow the previous day's pattern of violations.

March 31, 1997 Four Turkish F-4 Phantoms fly over the Turkish-occupied area of Cyprus in staged mock attacks.

Feb. 5, 1997 Turkey dramatically escalates in 1996 its misuse of U.S.-supplied war planes to overfly Greek sovereign territory -- from 73 times in 1995 to 538 times in 1996.

Jan. 21, 1997 Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan joins Turkey's President, Foreign Minister and Defense Minister in threatening war against Cyprus following announcement of the Cyprus government's plans to acquire defensive surface-to-air missiles in 16 months. Erbakan states, "We are not going to wait passively for 16 months...If it is not declared within a certain time that the missiles will not be coming, we will definitely not hesitate to take the steps required...We will take the initiative."

Oct. 13, 1996 Turkish troops kill an unarmed 58 year-old Greek-Cypriot who mistakenly wandered into the occupied area. Petros Kakoullis, who was snail-gathering with his son-in-law, was shot twice while his hands were raised above his head and a third time at close range while on the ground. United Nations officials were not permitted to approach the body for over four hours.

Aug. 9-15, 1996:

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller diverts thousands of dollars in government funds to send over 3,000 members of the "Grey Wolves" terrorist group from Turkey into occupied Cyprus for purposes of turning a peaceful Greek-Cypriot protest demonstration into a violent confrontation.
  • Turks savagely beat to death, with rocks and iron poles, unarmed 24 year-old Greek-Cypriot Tassos Isaac and seriously injure 41 other Greek-Cypriot demonstrators in the United Nations buffer zone. Greek-Cypriots were protesting Turkey's continuing illegal military occupation of Cyprus.
  • Three days later, Turkish troops open fire on a group of unarmed mourners in the U.N. buffer zone. Turks kill an unarmed 26 year-old cousin of Isaac, Solomos Solomou, who was climbing a flag pole, and injure 11 others, including two U.N. peace-keepers, two Cypriot police officers and a 59 year-old woman.
  • Turkish Foreign Minister Ciller flies to occupied Cyprus to show support for the murders, publicly stating that Turkey will "break the hands of anyone who lays a finger on the Turkish flag."
June 18, 1996 The Foreign Minister of Turkey [a non-European Union (EU) member] asks the EU President not to adopt the principle of protecting the external borders of EU countries.

June 5, 1996 Turkey disputes Greek sovereignty over Greek Island of Gavdos inhabited by over 300 Greeks.

June 3, 1996 Turkish troops murder unarmed 19 year-old Greek-Cypriot National Guardsman in U.N. buffer zone on Cyprus. U.N. rescue team is pinned down by Turkish gunfire while boy dies from loss of blood.

April 9, 1996 On the day that Greek Prime Minister Simitis meets with U.S. President Clinton in Washington, D.C., Turkish war planes escalate violations of Greek air space to a record 48 times in one day.

Feb. 3, 1996 Turkey claims sovereignty of 1,000 Greek isles and threatens war if Greece doesn't recognize that sovereignty.

Jan. 31, 1996 Turkey moves 100 more U.S. battle tanks to occupied Cyprus, during height of near war in the Aegean, giving Turkish forces on Cyprus night fighting capability for the first time.

Jan. 30, 1996 Turkish plan to invade Greek isle of Imia containing Greek personnel averted by U.S. presidential intervention. Invade instead Greek isle containing no Greek personnel.

June, 1995 Turkish Prime Minister threatens war against Greece.

June 8, 1995 Turkish Parliament adopts resolution authorizing war against Greece.