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Greek Community Hurt by Turkish Students' Allegations

Greek Community Hurt By Turkish Students' Allegations

The Greek and the Cypriot communities of MIT are surprised and grieved by the unfair and unfounded allegations that appeared last week in The Tech. The authors of the column ["Infinite Corridor Posters Push Fascism for Cyprus," Oct. 14] and the author of the letter to the editor ["Bulletin Board Offensive to Turkish Cypriots," Oct. 14] collectively cite only one source to support their arguments: the Bulletin of the Ministry of External Affairs of Turkey.

Unlike them, I will present the facts about the Cyprus issue based solely on impartial, international sources.

In 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus. Countless are the human rights abuses committed by the invading army in its ethnic cleansing effort. A report by the European Commission of Human Rights (July 1976), concludes that the Turkish invasion army is responsible for numerous killings and rapes of civilians and the displacement of more than 170,000 (more than 25 percent of the island's population) Greek-Cypriot refugees.

The Turkish invasion of Cyprus was immediately condemned as an illegal act of international aggression by the world community. In Resolution 353, adopted the day of the invasion (July 20, 1974), the United Nations Security Council, discounting all Turkish allegations, "Calls upon all States to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus," and, "Demands an immediate end to foreign military intervention in the Republic of Cyprus that is in contravention of the provisions of paragraph one above."

Less than a month later, Turkey violated the Security Council's resolution, breached the cease-fire, and continued its aggression. This prompted resolution 360 (Aug. 16, 1974) in which the Security Council "records its formal disapproval of the unilateral military actions undertaken against the Republic of Cyprus."

Not only did Turkey not comply with the Security Council's resolutions, but six months later threatened to annex the occupied part of Cyprus. This policy was condemned in Resolution 367 (March 12, 1975) where the Security Council "regrets the unilateral decision of 13 February 1975 declaring that a part of the Republic of Cyprus would become a Federated Turkish State.'"

Despising the expressed opinion of the world community, the Turkish threat was realized in 1983, with the proclamation of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" prompting yet another international condemnation. In Resolution 541 (Nov. 18, 1983), the Security Council "deplores the declaration of the Turkish Cypriot authorities of the purported secession of part of the Republic of Cyprus" considers it "as legally invalid and calls for its withdrawal." Once again, Turkey insulted the international community by disregarding this decision.

Today, 20 years after the invasion, more than 1,600 people, many of them U.S. citizens, are still missing. This summer, in order to address this continuing human rights abuse, the U.S. Congress felt compelled to adopt a bill entitled "An Act to provide for an investigation of the whereabouts of the United States citizens and others who have been missing from Cyprus since 1974" (HR 2826). As of now, Turkey has not responded to this initiative.

The adjective "fascist" is unacceptable when used against a country that shed so much blood fighting against fascism. Let's not forget that the Greek casualties during World War II exceeded 5 percent of the population (this death toll was the highest among the Western allies) while Turkey was comfortably "neutral." If it wasn't harassing, the use of the word "fascism" by the Turkish propaganda would be amusing.

The Cypriots wish to live in peace on their island. The UN has repeatedly insisted that no solution to the Cyprus problem can be achieved unless all countries "respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Cyprus." It is clear that the issue at hand is the Turkish aggression against the Cyprus Republic and the continuing occupation of part of the island by Turkish troops. The issue at hand is the bullying tactics of Turkey, which despises the world community and defies the UN resolutions.

This is what the posters that grieved the guest columnists were all about. Maybe my reiterating of the UN resolutions will also be considered "malicious" and serving "no positive cause."

Thanassis Tjavaras G