The interview with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit [Outlook, Oct. 24] was a missed opportunity to underscore how Turkey is undermining yet another U.S.-led international initiative on Cyprus. Mr. Ecevit has in effect laid down preconditions for the Group of Eight and U.N. process that he knows to be fatal impediments to any progress. Regrettably, Mr. Ecevit was not pressed on the issue.

The Turkish leader was allowed to repeat unremarked the monstrous falsehood that "genocide" against Turkish Cypriots took place before Turkey's invasion of Cyprus in 1974. No one denies that intercommunal problems existed during the early years following the island's independence. Both Greek and Turkish Cypriots experienced tragedy during that period.

Mr. Ecevit says that there is no serious Cyprus problem because the invasion and the forced separation of the two communities resolved all issues. This is twisted logic. Foreign occupation did not resolve anything. To the contrary, it has created a major international problem of aggression, illegal occupation and massive human rights violations. Reversing Turkey's aggression is the only way to secure lasting peace in Cyprus and stability in the region.

Mr. Ecevit also asserts that it is an "undeniable fact there are two completely independent states on the island." But it is deniable, because only Turkey recognizes the illegal regime that it created in the occupied areas of Cyprus in 1983 and whose declaration has been denounced as "legally invalid" by the U.N. Security Council. Reconciliation is possible if Turkey endorses the U.N. framework for the reunification of Cyprus under a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.


Press Counselor

Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus