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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-08-16 (2nd UPDATE)

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <>


  • [01] Congressman criticises US policy towards Turkey
  • [02] Friends bid farewell to murdered Greek Cypriot
  • [03] US Congressmen call for tough sanctions against Turkey
  • [04] US critical of Ciller's statement

  • 2230:CYPPRESS:14

    [01] Congressman criticises US policy towards Turkey

    Nicosia, Aug 16 (CNA) -- US Congressman Robert Menendez has criticised the US for the position it has adopted towards Turkey following two recent killings of Greek Cypriot demonstrators by Turkish troops in the UN-patrolled buffer zone in Cyprus.

    In an interview with BBC World Service today, Menendez said ''Turkey cannot be a US ally that acts with impunity, violates US law and international norms.''

    He said ''to look the other way and simply to take the position that Turkey is our ally in face of these actions is to show the US is not serious about sanctioning those who deal with terrorist countries and not serious about promoting democracy.''

    Menendez's comments came only after many US Congressmen have called on the US administration to intensify their efforts to help resolve the Cyprus question and expressed disgust and abhorrence at the killings.

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [02] Friends bid farewell to murdered Greek Cypriot

    Dherynia, Aug 16 (CNA) -- A wreath was laid late tonight near the spot where a Greek Cypriot, Solomos Solomou, was shot dead by Turkish troops on Wednesday, after the funeral of another Greek Cypriot killed last Sunday by a Turkish mob during demonstrations in the UN buffer zone.

    The wreath, with the inscription ''Goodbye friend,'' was taken near the National Guard post, just outside the buffer zone, by a soldier.

    A senior police officer took delivery of the wreath from a group of about 50 people who had gathered in the area after Solomou's funeral late this evening.

    The group requested permission from the police, which had taken unprecedented security measures to prevent anybody from entering the buffer zone, to allow a seven-member delegation to lay the wreath.

    After negotiating with the police, Solomou's friends gave the wreath to a senior police officer, who took it to the nearby military post. A soldier carried the wreath forward and placed it on the ground with a green beret, worn here by the army commando units.

    Solomou was killed by the Turks when he attempted to pull down from a pole the Turkish flag, in the UN-patrolled buffer zone.

    Today's funeral passed off peacefully in an atmosphere of deep mourning.

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [03] US Congressmen call for tough sanctions against Turkey

    United Nations, Aug 16 (CNA) -- Five members of the US Congress, taking part in a press conference at the United Nations today, expressed outrage and revulsion at the killings of two Greek Cypriot youths by Turkish troops, on the UN buffer zone in Cyprus.

    They called for a strong response from the Clinton Administration, including punitive sanctions against Turkey.

    Exclaiming that Turkey was the ''first to spit in the eye of the United States by signing a 23 billion-dollar oil deal with Iran'', Congressman Eliot Engel said President Bill Clinton should impose sanctions against Turkey.

    Although the oil deal has nothing to do with Cyprus, sanctions, Engel reasoned, would signal harsh disapproval of Turkish foreign policy, including the Cyprus issue.

    This was echoed by the others, including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who believed the Turkey-Iran agreement was a violation of the recently enacted Iran Oil Sanctions Act, which penalizes foreign entities and companies investing more than 40 million dollars in Iran's oil industry.

    The Clinton Administration earlier this week criticized Turkey for signing the massive deal with Iran.

    The deal, they said, was an especially egregious example of Turkish behaviour on the international scene that should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the 22-year-old tragedy of the Cyprus problem.

    Videotapes of the killings in the buffer zone were screened at the press conference. Said Congresswoman Nita Lowey: ''This brutal act demonstrates again why we must cut aid to Turkey... and why the illegal occupation of Cyprus cannot continue''.

    Congressman Robert Menendez said ''I intend to formally protest the barbaric acts of the Turkish troops''. He said he was especially incensed over Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller's current visit to occupied Cyprus and her statement that ''she wouldn't hesitate to use force again to protect the territorial integrity of the country, implying that northern Cyprus is Turkish''.

    With ill-concealed anger, Menendez, who is a member of the House International Affairs Committee, said ''she never said to us when she appeared before Congress which has appropriated millions of dollars for Turkey''.

    Congressman Thomas J. Manton, who like several of the others is a member of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, also condemned the Turkish government for the buffer zone atrocities and called for sanctions by Clinton.

    All agreed that the incidents highlighted the urgent need to implement Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides' demilitarisation proposals.

    Present with the Congressmen at the press conference were Cyprus' Ambassador to the UN, Nicos Agathocleous, Philip Christopher, President of the Justice for Cyprus Committee (PSEKA), and Peter Papanicolaou, President of the Cyprus Federation of America. The press conference was sponsored by the Cyprus Mission to the United Nations and organized by PSEKA.

    CNA JD/GP/1996

    [04] US critical of Ciller's statement

    Washington, Aug 16 (CNA) -- The US has told Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller in no uncertain terms that sanctity of human life goes beyond protection of national flags, after Turkish occupation troops shot dead a Greek Cypriot demonstrator attempting to pull down the Turkish flag, in the UN buffer zone in Cyprus.

    At the same time, the US has called for meetings between the military commanders to diffuse tension, a move being encouraged by US ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill.

    US State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns was commenting on Ciller's statement after Wednesday's killing of Solomos Solomou that Turkey would break the hands of anybody trying to tear the Turkish flag.

    ''Frankly, protection of a flag cannot excuse the horrible events of August 14. Human life and the sanctity of human life are ultimately more important than protecting a piece of cloth,'', he told a press briefing in Washington today.

    The spokesman also said that the US ''bows to no one in our respect and deference for national flags and this is a sentiment shared by countries all over the world.''

    Expressing ''deep concern, shock and sadness'' over the recent violence, Burns said the killing of two Greek Cypriot civilians (the first one was beaten to death by Turkish extremists during Sunday's demonstrations) was ''unwarranted and unjustified.''

    He advocated ''full accountability, first and foremost'' for those who are responsible for these acts and called on the Turkish Cypriots to ''adhere to internationally accepted norms.''

    ''We also strongly urge both sides to exercise restraint, to immediately take steps to reduce tensions and to restrain unauthorised entry into the UN buffer zone,'' he said.

    Burns said the US has been in contact with ''all the parties concerned'' and Greece and Turkey.

    CNA MM/GP/1996

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