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From: Nihat Canikli [mailto:ncanikli@...]
TEMSILCILER MECLISINE TURKIYE KARSITI TASARILAR SUNULDU- KIBRIS
CONGRESS - CYPRUS
The US Congress has taken another significant step toward improving American policy on Cyprus with the introduction of two Cyprus bills, which the sponsors noted complement each other, said the leaders of the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH).
According to a CEH statement, one of the two bills, House Resolution 620, calls on Turkey to end its military occupation particularly because Turkeys pretext has been refuted by over 13 million crossings by Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots into each others communities without incident.
This legislation carries particular weight with American policy-makers because its primary sponsors, Congressmen Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), are among only 14 out of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives selected by their colleagues to oversee matters relating to Europe -- as members of the House Foreign Affairs Committees Subcommittee on Europe . Greek Cyprus advocates Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Zack Space (D-OH) are also original co-sponsors, CEH added.
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-08-07
The Cyprus News Agency at http://www.cyna.org.cy
TEMSILCILER MECLISINE TURKIYE KARSITI TASARILAR SUNULDU
ABD Temsilciler Meclisi'ne sunulan Turkiye karsiti iki Kibris tasarisindan birinde Turkiye, Kibris'taki 'askeri isgale' son vermeye cagriliyor.
LEFKOSA (ANKA)- ABD Temsilciler Meclisi'ne Turkiye karsiti iki Kibris tasarisinin sunuldugu bildirildi. Birbirini tamamladiklari belirtilen bu tasarilardan birinde Turkiye, Kibris'taki 'askeri isgale' son vermeye cagriliyor.
Rum Haber Ajansi, Kibris konulu iki tasarinin sunuldugunu duyururken bu tasarilarin 'ABD'nin Kibris politikasinin iyilestirilmesine yonelik onemli bir adim olusturdugu goruslerine yer verdi.
ABD'deki Yunan lobi kurulusu CEH tarafindan yapilan aciklamada soz konusu tasarilardan birinde Turkiye'nin, Kibris'taki 'askeri isgal'e, ozellikle 'Kibrisli Turkler ve Kibrisli Rumlarin, herhangi bir olay yasanmadan yaptigi 13 milyon gecisin Turkiye'nin bahanesinin gecersizligini gosterdigi' icin son vermeye cagrildigi belirtildi.
Aciklamada ayrica, soz konusu tasariyi sunan Temsilciler Meclisi uyeleri Albio Sires and Gus Bilirakis'in, Dis Iliskiler Komisyonu'nun Avrupa Altkomitesi'nin 14 uyesi arasinda yer aldiklari dikkat cekildi.(ANKA)
HRES 620 icin: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:3:./temp/~c110iXJvmJ::
Greek Cypriots engineer anti-Turkish bill in US Congress
The New Anatolian / Ankara
07 August 2007
Pro-Greek congressmen have introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress asking Turkey to end its military presence on Cyprus .
The bill "House Resolution 620," calls on Turkey "to end its military occupation…particularly because Turkey 's pretext has been refuted by over 13 million crossings by Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots into each other's communities without incident."
Turkish forces intervened in Cyprus after Athens engineered a coup to topple the Makarios government in 1974.
The Coordinated Effort for Hellenes (CEH) which seems to have engineered the legislation made a statement saying the legislation carries particular weight with American policy-makers because its primary sponsors, Congressmen Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), are among only 14 out of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives selected by their colleagues to oversee matters relating to Europe -- as members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Europe.
It also said " Cyprus advocates" Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Zack Space (D-OH) are also original co-sponsors.
From: sedef@... [mailto:sedef@...]
U.S. faces obstacles as it seeks to ease tensions with Turkey
U.S. faces obstacles as it seeks to ease tensions with Turkey
The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Bush administration officials see Turkey 's recent election as an opportunity to improve strained relations with an important ally, but they face obstacles that may be beyond their control.
The first is that Congress, led by opposition Democrats, has a proposed resolution up for debate that would recognize World War I-era killings of Armenians as genocide â€” a view Turkey adamantly rejects.
The other issue is in the hands of the Iraqi government: A possible referendum on incorporating the oil-rich city of Kirkuk into the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq . Turkey opposes the referendum, fearing it could boost Kurdish separatists in Turkey , and sees it as another example of U.S. policy gone awry in neighboring Iraq .
"Turks would blame the U.S. for its failure to prevent the referendum because they believe they hold sway as the occupying power," said Bulent Aliriza, the director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Turkey research program.
The United States wants to strengthen ties with Turkey , a strategically important NATO ally located at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia . U.S. officials view Turkey , a secular democracy with a majority Muslim population, as a model for other nations.
But relations have been strained, largely over the Iraq war. Turkey refused to allow U.S. troops to use its territory to invade Iraq in 2003 and Turks continue to oppose the war. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found the United States had only a 9 percent favorable rating in Turkey .
Turkey has criticized the United States for failing to stop Kurdish guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in northern Iraq from carrying out attacks in Turkey . Some analysts had feared that Turkey might invade northern Iraq ahead of the July 22 elections, to boost Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's nationalist credentials.
But Turkey did not invade and Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, or AKP, won an overwhelming victory.
The U.S. believes the win provides an opportunity to boost ties. Despite the party's Islamic roots, Erdogan and other leaders are seen as open to closer integration with the West and improving U.S. relations.
"This is an optimal outcome," said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matt Bryza in an interview. "The AKP is a known quantity."
Some critics of the administration say the White House needs to move urgently to repair relations with Turkey .
"There has been massive policy neglect," said Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under the Clinton administration. Holbrooke, who is now supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton's Democratic presidential bid, said that Turkey should be treated as the most important strategic ally in the region.
But, that may be difficult as congressional Democrats push for the Armenian genocide resolution.
Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks, an event widely viewed by scholars as genocide. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated, and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.
Turkish officials warn that if the resolution is approved, they will shut down routes to Iraq from Turkey that the U.S. uses to bring in most of its military supplies.
The resolution has strong support in the House of Representatives, but will hinge on whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Tom Lantos, both Democrats, bring up the measure for votes. Both Lantos and Pelosi have previously supported it, but are under intense pressure from both sides.
They agreed to delay action on the referendum until after Turkey 's election, congressional aides said. But the expectation in Congress is that it will likely pass this year.
The other source of tensions is the Kirkuk referendum, which the Iraqi constitution says must be held by the end of the year.
Turkey fears it would be a step toward an independent Kurdistan and could endanger ethnic Turks who live in the region.
But last week, the leader of Iraq 's Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, warned of a "real civil war" if the central government does not hold the referendum. And the U.S. says the decision is for the Iraqi government to decide.
Analysts say that the U.S. could achieve goodwill in Turkey by ordering military action against PKK fighters holed up in remote mountainous territory. But U.S. officials are reluctant to widen the Iraq conflict, taking on new combatants and increasing violence in what has been Iraq 's most stable region.
Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler, who advocates close ties with Turkey , said that U.S. military officials have told him the U.S. is closer to moving against the PKK.
"American and Turkish forces are cooperating to counter the PKK in a more concrete way than they were six months ago," he said. "Counterterrorism operations and strategies are being employed." He declined to elaborate.
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