THE GREEK CYPRIOT-PKK CONNECTION

THE GREEK CYPRIOT-PKK CONNECTION

The Greek Cypriot-Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) connection ex-ists not only on a simple level and is not just a tiny connection to a Cypriot passport numbered C015198, valid 1995-2005 and issued to Kurdish terrorist leader Abdullah Öcalan under the fake name Lazaros Mavros. The latter actually is the founder of the Kurdish Solidarity Committee (KSC) in Cyprus.

When Apo — the Kurdish terrorist leader Öcalan — was captured by the Turkish counterterrorism team in Nairobi on Feb. 15, 1999 around 8:00 p.m., he was carrying a Greek Cypriot passport officially issued by the Immigration Office of the Ministry of Interior of the Greek Cypriot administration.

In Nairobi, he was accommodated in the residence of the Greek Embassy and was looked after by Maj. Savvas Kalenderidis of the EIP, the Greek intelligence agency.

Despite the Greek Cypriot side’s desperate denials of its role in this passport issue, its link with the PKK in particular and interna-tional terrorism in general has been proven with various reports, press articles and other official documents.

Indeed, not only the Greek Cypriot officials but also other non and semi-official figures and organizations have, at times been reported to be supporting and morally and materially harboring the PKK and other terror groups, such as the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA). The prevailing mentality has always been “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That has finally backfired, as seen in the Kurdish violence against the Greeks in connection with the arrest of Apo and his subsequent repatriation to Turkey.

The Greek Cypriot-PKK connection was first established by Dr. Vassos Lyssarides, the honorary president of the socialist Greek Cypriot party the Movement of Social Democrats (EDEK) and the former speaker of the Greek Cypriot Parliament, right after the Turkish intervention of 1974, with the motto “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

With the financial backing of the Greek Cypriot administration he established terrorist camps in the Troodos Mountains of southern Cy-prus in 1976 for the accommodation and training of ASALA and PKK terrorists to fight against Turkey.
Recently, the very same Dr. Vassos Lyssarides was sent to Da-mascus on an inducement mission to stop the ferry service from Fa-magusta to Lattakia, relying on his past cooperation with Syrian offi-cials in PKK business. During his discussion with the new generation of Syrian officials, he was kindly turned down and showed out, when he hinted to disclose the old files if the ferry service from Famagusta to Lattakia was not banned.

He also acted as an advisor to the USSR during the Cold War era on the very important subject titled “NATO and the Strategy of NATO in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.” During one of the “anti-NATO” meetings held in Athens in 1976, he stated that “a medium similar to the Vietcong’s in Vietnam, against [the] US is already organized in Cy-prus to wipe out the Turkish Cypriots from Cyprus.”

During the mid-1970s Lyssarides, the journalist Lazaros Mavros — the non-fictitious owner of Apo’s passport — and Theophilos Georg-hiades, the notorious Greek Cypriot narcotics smuggler, jointly estab-lished the KSC in Nicosia, the capital city of south Cyprus, with the aim of supporting and harboring the PKK in the Greek sector of the island.

By the end of the 1970s, in more than 30 camps in south Cyprus Greek, Greek Cypriot, Armenian and Kurdish terrorists, as well as ter-rorists from various other countries were under the training of Cuban, Libyan and Greek army officers.
Up until the present day no Greek Cypriot politician has ever la-beled the PKK a terrorist organization.
Even Mr. Yiannis Kasulides, the DISY presidential candidate who promotes himself as a mild-mannered politician seeking a sustainable, peaceful solution on the island, made various statements lending official support to the PKK in their terrorist attacks against Turkish civilians and troops during his days as minister of foreign affairs, which clearly defined his perspective on Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish people.

Even today, the funding provided by the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church to the PKK, the organizational activities of the KSC by non-Kurdish Greek Cypriot members, the funding of the printed material supporting PKK activities by the Greek Cypriot administration, the medical treatment and rehabilitation of PKK terrorists in Cypriot hos-pitals who were wounded during their attacks against Turks and official permits to campaign for the collection of funds to benefit the PKK in south Cyprus show and clearly prove the strong connection between the Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriot administration and the PKK.

The Turkish Cypriots are being forced by the international com-munity to establish a joint state with the Greek Cypriots, who have harbored hostile feelings against Turks for centuries.
Somebody probably has pink dreams of a joint state in Cyprus under a unitary or a federal government umbrella, which in reality does not have a chance at survival. Two neighboring states in Cyprus is the inevitable and long-lasting solution for the island.

27 Ekim 2007
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Okunma 409
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TALAT VS PAPADOPULOS

TALAT VS PAPADOPULOS

President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) Mehmet Ali Talat met with UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon in New York on Oct. 18, 2007, on an official invitation. For the first time ever, Mr. Talat was received on very high level protocol and security mea-surements with escorts and other provisions provided only to presi-dents and prime ministers in the US. The meeting lasted for 40 mi-nutes, 20 minutes longer than that held with Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopulos late last month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Papadopulos tried to play a dirty Byzantine game shortly before the arrival of Mr. Talat to New York. He announced that he had pre-sented proposals and sent a letter to the UN Secretary General only one day before the meeting. His hopes were to manipulate the official meeting of Talat with Ban.

Papadopulos’s proposals consisted of eight articles that were con-fusing and not genuine but rather the same as before. Especially his statement concerning the unconditional opening of the Lokmacı (Ledra Street) border gate for crossings turned out to be a misstatement the next day, as stated by the Greek Cypriot spokesman.

Since the accession day of Greek Cypriots to the EU on May 1, 2004, the Greek Cypriot authorities have tried all means to drag the Cyprus dispute into the EU and solve it there under their patronage. But irrespective of their full range of efforts, backed up by the personnel and diplomats from mainland Greece and working at all levels of the EU, they ended up disappointed.

The EU refrained from handling the Cyprus dispute and lately it has become clear that the only platform to the solution of the Cyprus problem is the UN. UN Secretary General Ban during his talk with Mr. Talat seemed willing to settle the Cyprus problem but frightened of a disappointment and miscarriage of efforts as former Secretary General Kofi Annan experienced because of the “no” votes of Greek Cypriots in the referenda held on April 24, 2004.

Ban and the other high ranking UN officials no longer trust the Greek Cypriot leadership and they will take initiative only when both sides in Cyprus are ready, as they pointed out in the meeting with Ta-lat.

Ban reiterated this sentiment, saying that the UN would only take a new initiative on the island in case of a real commitment by both sides and his message was for the Greek Cypriot side mainly, based on their “no” votes three years ago and unwillingness for a sustainable solution to the problem.

In this meeting, Talat handed over to Ban a package of construc-tive proposals, putting forward confidence-building measures as well as military arrangements aimed at improving relations between the two sides and opening up the Lokmacı (Ledra Street) border gate for crossings.

He also made a genuine proposal to Mr. Papadopulos at a meeting held in Nicosia, the capital of both Southern and Northern Cyprus, on Sept. 5, to set a timetable leading to a sustainable solution, which was refused by the Greek side, proving their unwillingness for a solution and keeping the international recognition to themselves exclusively.

The two leaders will probably meet with each other in early No-vember to discuss implementation of the so-called July 8 agreement, with the aim of improving the quality of life on both sides of the island.

Talks on resolving the Cyprus problem have largely stalled since 2004, when Greek Cypriots rejected a UN-drafted proposal to reunify the island — a plan that was backed by most Turkish Cypriot voters. In May 2004, the Greek Cypriot government joined the European Union as the official representative of the southern part of the island, although EU legislation is not implemented in the northern part of the island, which is governed by the KKTC. Cyprus has been divided along ethnic lines since 1963, when Greek Cypriots backed by the Greek soldiers from mainland Greece attacked Turkish Cypriots to overtake the Republic of Cyprus, established in 1960.

22 Ekim 2007
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Okunma 86
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GREEK CYPRIOT STRUGGLE TO STOP FERRIES FROM FAMAGUSTA

GREEK CYPRIOT STRUGGLE TO STOP FERRIES FROM FAMAGUSTA

The Greek Cypriot administration has tried all possible means to stop ferries sailing from the port of Famagusta in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) to Lattakia of Syria and is still trying. All possible means includes everything from political oppression to blackmail, from political misdirection to bribery, inclusive of the influ-ence of the Orthodox ecclesiastics as well. They have tried everything possible to reach their goal.

I often wonder about those who say the Cyprus problem started after the Turkish intervention in 1974. This depiction is just a fairy tale and is often used to mislead people with minimal knowledge of the issue. It actually started in 1963 and still goes on. I am also perplexed by those who say there are no embargoes on the Turkish Cypriots. From Dec. 22, 1963, to July 20, 1974 — 11 long years — the Turkish Cypriots were confined to an “open-air prison” by the Greek Cyprus government headed by Makarios. They were allowed no freedom of movement, no property or education rights and no normal life: no jobs, no money, no medicine, no milk, no water and no future.

And from 1974 to this day the Greek Cypriot administration tried very hard to keep the Turkish Cypriots isolated from the world. This inhumane struggle of Greek Cypriots is nowadays concentrated on the sea route from Famagusta to Lattakia. Direct ferries between Syria and the KKTC were launched on Oct. 18, scheduled every Thursday and Saturday between the Gazimağusa (Famagusta) port in northern Cy-prus and the port of Lattakia in Syria.

The Greek Cypriot administration voiced its disappointment a couple of days before the start of the ferry service, after its protests to Damascus against such a move went unheeded. In the very beginning the Greek Cypriot administration started diplomatic contacts at a dip-lomatic agent level, but the Syrian high-ranking diplomat in Nicosia never gave a clear response as to whether they would give permission to the regular boat tours or not.
The next stage was to establish a contact in the level of foreign ministers, and Mrs. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, the minister of foreign affairs of the Greek Cypriot administration, tried very hard to reach her counterpart in Syria by phone, but without success. Then she flew to New York to meet him there at the UN General Assembly and finally managed to have a diplomatic talk on this very important KKTC ferry issue. The Syrian minister of foreign affairs kindly put off the case. Still determined, Kozakou-Marcoullis insisted on a meeting and requested confirmation for an official visit to Syria. This was also not successful.

Then the Greek Cypriot administration decided to send Dr Vassos Lyssarides, the honorary president of the socialist Greek Cypriot party, the Movement of Social Democrats (EDEK), for an inducement mission to Damascus. Although he has not yet received an official invitation, he probably will still go there as a tourist today.

While Greek Cypriot operations were going astray in Syria, Arch-bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church Chrysostomos II, in his visit to Georgia to join the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of Georgian Patriarch Elias’s assumption of duties, was ordered by Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos to discuss the case with his counterparts and exert pressure together on the Georgian government to take the necessary steps to stop the Turkish Cypriot ferry from bearing the Georgian flag. The Maritime Transport Department of Georgia imme-diately sent a warning to the owners of the vessel, threatening deletion from the registry if they ever sail again from a port declared as closed by the Greek Cypriot administration in September 1974.

The Greek Cypriots also complained about the case to the En-largement Commission of the EU with the hope of getting support from them, just as they did with the Azerbaijan direct flight from Ercan Air-port KKTC to Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku two years ago; they managed to stop the flights after threatening the Azerbaijan government by vetoing all of their talks and benefits from the EU, which was shameful diplomatic blackmail.

The unexpected happened, and the Greek Cypriot administration had a head-on collision with the EU Enlargement Commission. The commission simply refused to back up their claim and replied in a very clear manner that the commission’s understanding is that there is no prohibition under general international law to enter and leave seaports in northern Cyprus, and their declaration of a “closed port” is a unila-teral decision binding only the Greek Cypriot administration. The commission also refused to intervene with the authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic in this matter.

After this incident, no one could ever say that the Greek Cypriot administration is not imposing isolation on the Turkish Cypriots or that there are no embargoes on them. They are shamefully trying all possible means to strangle the Turkish Cypriots in the hope that they will accept the Greek Cypriot yoke one day, which is a rose-colored dream for Greek Cypriots and a nightmare for Turkish Cypriots.

20 Ekim 2007
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Okunma 132
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SOMEBODY IS PUSHING TURKEY TO DISORDER

SOMEBODY IS PUSHING TURKEY TO DISORDER

Turkish people are quite sensitive and touchy about certain sig-nificant concepts, like military and militarism, Islam and Islamic prac-tices, religious laws, laicism, the Armenian issue and Turks killed by Armenians during World War I, family relations, martyrs and national dignity.

During the past few days, incidents have hit a number of these nerves as if to indicate planning, rather than mere coincidence. Terror-ists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) ambushed Turkish troops in the Gabar Mountains and ruthlessly executed 15 wounded soldiers at point blank range. This attack engulfed the Turkish people in deep sorrow, as other attacks in the past have done. It has prompted the government to send a decree to the Turkish Parliament, perhaps as early as next week, right after the country’s religious holiday, authorizing the military to send troops to northern Iraq. The govern-ment is aware of the anger and sorrow that this inhuman attack caused and it is now under significant pressure to take action.

International relations and diplomacy wizard and former US Am-bassador to Turkey Morton Abramowitz, in his article titled “Cyprus Sabotage,” together with Dr. Henri J. Barkey of Lehigh University, has drawn an advisory picture for Turkey.
In this article, Abramowitz criticizes the attitude of the EU towards Turkey and Turkish Cypriots and the pressures exerted by the EU on Turkey to open up seaports and airports to Greek Cypriot-flagged vessels and planes, irrespective of previous guarantees of direct trade, financial aid and Green Line regulation, which have not yet been fulfilled due to the blockades of Greek Cypriots. Abramowitz also points out the weakness of the EU to exert pressure and intrude on the realistic amendments in the Annan plan to the Greek Cypriots.

The “what-to-do” list drawn up by Abramowitz is as follows:
Turkey should not open the air and sea ports to Greek Cypriot vessels and planes unless the embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cy-priots are lifted completely.
In the event the Greek Cypriots aren’t immediately interested in a sustainable solution to the Cyprus issue, Turkey should boost the Turkish Cypriot economy and start official contacts with Islamic coun-tries and other allies for diplomatic recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC).
Last Wednesday night the US House of Representatives Commit-tee on Foreign Affairs passed a resolution in support of Armenian alle-gations of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, with 27 votes in favor and 21 opposed.
Of course, the results of this vote and the topic of the resolution multiplied the anger and hatred in the hearts of the Turkish people towards the US and its ally — the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq — which is perceived as giving full support to PKK terrorists in the northern territories of Iraq

Turkey’s relations with the United States have become increa-singly strained lately. This is primarily due to the US invasion of Iraq, US-Kurdish policy, American military equipment that has ended up in the hands of PKK terrorists, and this recent resolution backing Arme-nian allegations of genocide that is making its way through the US Congress.

These factors will push Turkey towards an invasion of the Kurdish area in northern Iraq. It is probable that a bloody fight will take place and that thousands of innocent civilians will lose their lives.

It is more likely that at the end of this scenario, that situation in northern Cyprus will be placed on one of side of a scale with the situa-tion in northern Iraq on the other. Turkey will be squeezed into a corner and forced to decide which issue is a higher priority

15 Ekim 2007
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Okunma 98
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TURKEY: AT THE CROSSROADS OF EURASIA

TURKEY: AT THE CROSSROADS OF EURASIA

After decades of passivity, Turkey has suddenly found itself standing right at the center of the crossroads of Eurasia and had sig-nificantly restructured its foreign policy to become an important dip-lomatic actor in the Middle East. Recently there has been a debate both inside and outside Turkey as to whether its Eurasia policy is changing and if so, in what direction. In particular, the importance of the Middle Eastern direction has been reviewed and is now one of its priorities. The Foreign Ministry was instructed to improve relations with the Arab states and Iran, while at the same time conserving allied relations with Israel on quite a cool level.

The government of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) that came to power in 2002 restructured the hierarchy of the basic direction of Turkish foreign policy, which had been built up during the last 50 years; and has established close ties with Iran and Syria, with which it had tense relations during the 1980s and 1990s; adopted a more active approach toward the Palestinians’ grievances; and im-proved relations with the Arab world more broadly.

Turkey now is strengthening its ties with Syria, its foe for the last two decades, while its relations with strategic ally Israel seem to be souring.
At the same time, Turkey’s ties to the West have deteriorated. Its path to European Union membership has been blocked by disagree-ments with Brussels over Cyprus and over stalled political and eco-nomic reforms in Turkey. In addition, Turkey’s relations with the United States have become increasingly strained, largely because of the US invasion of Iraq, US Kurdish policy and the American arms in the hands of the Kurdish-separatist, terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Concerning Israel, the relationship is strained. Israeli-Turkish re-lations have gone through a difficult period recently, especially after the air raid on Syria.
In so many ways Israel and Turkey are in the same boat. They are non-Arab Middle Eastern powers and relatively powerful non-Christian neighbors of the EU, with a complicated network of troubled historical, cultural and political ties to the peoples of Europe.

The two countries shared a similar strategic vision of the region and thus cooperated in the 1990s, although even then it was clear that their interests differed to a large extent in Iraq and Syria.

The serious crisis in the Middle East in summer 2006, which es-calated to the point of armed confrontation, gave Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his supporters another opportunity to try to realize their old theoretical calculations regarding the projected sharp increase of Turkey’s role and importance in this strategic world region. To achieve that goal, a model of “active diplomacy” was chosen. The model was worked out in early 1990s by President Turgut Özal to establish Turkey’s dominant role in the Turkic republics of the Soviet Union.

Turkey will have the opportunity to take on a mediating role both in the Middle East conflict and in the controversial relations between some Middle-Eastern countries and the West. Therefore, Turkey will become a key state in the region, which will enhance its significance for the European Union and accelerate the process of Turkey’s accession to that organization.

Similar concerns continue to drive Turkey’s foreign policy toward the region and affect its relations there in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq War. The potential for disintegration of Iraq — and particularly, but not only the emergence of an irredentist Kurdish state — is considered a major threat to Turkey. Turkey’s policy is thus geared toward preventing this development, including a change in the status of oil-rich, multi-ethnic Kirkuk in the new political landscape of Iraq. There are of course other factors that affect the overall policy and position of particular foreign policy actors. These may include: domestic policy concerns of the AK Party, genuine interest and concern about the Pal-estinians, Turkey’s interest in emerging as a soft power in the region, particularly as a model for political and economic transformation in the Middle East, and the effects of harmonization with the EU — not necessarily in this order. Yet the crux of the policy is Iraq, Syria and Iran.

Turkey’s recent focus on the Middle East, however, does not mean that Turkey is about to turn its back on the West. Turkey’s new activism is a response to structural changes in its security environ-ment since the end of the Cold War. And if managed properly, Turkey can solidify its position in the center of the crossroads to Eurasia, as a two-way bridge from the Western world to the Middle East.

8 Ekim 2007
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Okunma 103
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