AHI Letter to President Bush Re: why it is not in the interests of the U.S. to have Turkish troops as part of a multinational peacekeeping force

between Israel and Lebanon

WASHINGTON, DC— The following letter was sent today, July 31, 2006, to President Bush setting forth reasons why it is not be in the interests of the U.S. (or Israel or Lebanon) to have a Turkish contingent in a multinational peacekeeping force between Israel and Lebanon.

July 31, 2006

The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Re: Multinational Peacekeeping Force

Dear Mr. President:

We support an immediate cease fire in the Middle East and a multinational peacekeeping force between Israel and Lebanon under UN auspices. We note news reports that Secretary Condoleezza Rice raised the matter of Turkey possibly providing a contingent for such a multinational peacekeeping force.

We submit, Mr. President, that it is not in the interests of the U.S. (or Israel or Lebanon) to seek Turkish troops as part of a multinational peacekeeping force between Israel and Lebanon for the following reasons:

    1. Turkey is an aggressor in Cyprus and an occupier of 37.3% of Cyprus now entering its 33rd year. Today there are an estimated 40,000 Turkish occupation troops with several hundred U.S.-supplied tanks illegally in Cyprus.

    2. Turkey has illegally transported an estimated 120,000 Turks from Turkey to Cyprus as illegal settlers/colonists in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949. Section III of the Convention deals with Occupied Territories. Article 49 states in its last paragraph: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer part of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

    3. Turkey has had a military understanding and agreement of cooperation with Israel since 1996 which we do not believe has been helpful to the peace process.

    4. The European Commission on Human Rights (now the European Court on Human Rights) in its report of July 10, 1976 on the charges made in the first two applications by the government of Cyprus, found Turkey and its military guilty of violating the following articles of the European Convention on Human Rights:

(1) Article 2 – by the killing of innocent civilians committed on a substantial scale;

      (2) Article 3 – by the rape of women of all ages from 12 to 71;
      (3) Article 3 – by inhuman treatment of prisoners and persons detained;
      (4) Article 5 – by deprivation of liberty with regard to detainees and missing persons – a continuing violation;
      (5) Article 8 – by displacement of persons creating more than 170,000 Greek Cypriot refugees, and by refusing to allow the refugees to return to their homes – a continuing violation;

      (6) Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention – by deprivation of possessions, looting and robbery on an extensive scale.

      On January 23, 1977, the London Sunday Times published excerpts of the report and stated: “It amounts to a massive indictment of the Ankara government for the murder, rape and looting by its army in Cyprus during and after the Turkish invasion of summer 1974.” (Page 1, col. 1)

    5. Turkey is the former harsh colonial ruler of the Middle East.

    6. Turkey aided the Soviet Union in the 1973 Arab-Israel War by granting the USSR overland military convoy rights to resupply Syria and Iraq and military overflight rights to resupply Egypt while refusing the U.S. overflight rights to resupply Israel. E. Luttwak, The Political Uses of Sea Power 60-61 (1974). A member of the Turkish Foreign Policy Institute in Ankara wrote: “During the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, Moscow’s overflights of Turkish airspace were tolerated. On the other hand, during the same Middle East conflict, Turkey refused to allow the United States refueling and reconnaissance facilities during the American airlift to Israel.” Karaosmanoglu, “Turkey’s Security and the Middle East,” 52 Foreign Affairs 157, 163 (Fall 1983).

We believe it would be detrimental to the aims of a multinational peacekeeping force to have a Turkish military contingent involved.

    /s/Gene Rossides

cc: Vice President Richard B. Cheney
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns
Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes
Chief of Staff to the President Joshua B. Bolten
Special Assistant to the President Karl Rove
National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley
Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Daniel Fried
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Matthew Bryza
Director of Southern European Affairs Douglas Silliman
U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus Ronald L. Schlicher
U.S. Ambassador to Greece Charles Reis
U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson
Cyprus Desk Officers Katherine Ingmanson and Elise Mellinger
Greek Desk Officer Joseph Parente
Turkey Desk Officer Andrew Morrison
The Congress
The Media