- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A recent letter to the editor (“Settling Cyprus,” July 20) — submitted by a representative of an illegal entity, the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which no country except Turkey recognizes — would have you believe the Greek Cypriots are not in favor of a unified Cyprus because they voted 76 percent against the “U.N.-sponsored settlement plan in April 2004.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s not forget what created the Cyprus problem and who continues to facilitate it. It was the illegal Turkish military invasion and now, 35 years later, Turkey’s military continues to occupy close to 40 percent of an EU country, thus making Cyprus the only divided country in Europe. Let’s not confuse the aggressor with the victim.

If Turkey were to remove its 43,000 occupation army troops from Cyprus tomorrow and abandon its illegal claims to Cyprus, I am sure the issue would be resolved by the people of Cyprus in a relatively short period of time.

In the 2004 referendum, the Greek Cypriots had no real choice but to vote a resounding “no” to a plan that was undemocratic, unviable and economically unfeasible. Rather than facilitating peace and stability, the plan would have done just the opposite. The plan was very biased against the Greek Cypriots and, in addition to its numerous other flaws, would have created two separate states on Cyprus. It also would have allowed for a permanent Turkish military presence on Cyprus and would have provided for a vague interpretation for future interventions by Turkey against Cyprus. This was not acceptable, to say the least.

NICK LARIGAKIS

Executive director

American Hellenic Institute

Washington

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