Reply to Student's Paper dated 12/06/06

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The following letter was in response to the Daily Aztec, a student's paper, at San Diego State University which has established an exchange with the so called Eastern Mediterranean University inside the Turkish occupied territories of Cyprus.

http://www.thedailyaztec.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticle&uStory_id=cadfa4be-3c26-452e-a0ae-7afeadbad7c5

Hellenic Electronic Center (HEC)

A Non-Profit Organization Registered in the US
Representing 35,000 Hellenes and
34 Hellenic associations in the US and abroad

December 9, 2006

"Cyprus Study abroad deals with opposition," (Dec. 6th) stumbles when it
attempts to explain opposition to this program by confusing democracy and
the rule of law in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus with the rule of the
Turkish military in the occupied territories, which has turned this part of Cyprus
into a haven for fugitives from international justice including the extreme nationalist
MHP Grey Wolves whose members are wanted by INTERPOL for the murder
of Greek Cypriot refugees, money laundering, and funding for terrorist groups.
Al-Qaeda, according to the State Dept. (March 2002), supplied Muslims in the
Balkans through channels in the "TRNC" with 700 million dollars in 6 years.
(State Dept. estimates place the cost of the Sept. 11th attacks on the Twin
Towers and the Pentagon at under $500,000.) The "First Merchant Bank in
the "TRNC" is still on State Dept. watchlists.

The only misrepresentation of the political realities of Cyprus come from those
supporters of the program who completely ignore the humanitarian aspects of
the Turkish occupation and the human rights abuses which persist even today.
The idea that this exchange program which assists the Turkish occupation in
depriving Greek Cypriot refugees of their basic human rights and dignity,
furthers the cause of academic freedom is preposterous, as can be seen by
the repressive and anti-democratic actions in the Turkish occupied territory,
which include racially motivated killings of Greek Cypriot demonstrators and
the systematic destruction of Byzantine Churches and Monasteries of great
historic and spiritual value.

We dispute Ms. Sinclair's assertions that the University's policies are not pro-
Turkish, and the interpretation of comments by State Department official Matthew
Bryza about
bringing the communities together. He most certainly does not endorse
locating
exchange programs on illegally seized land or one sided initiatives which
do not include or have the support of the Greek Cypriots. How can SDSU claim
that its is furthering the goal of conflict resolution when it is clearly biased towards
the Turkish side and tramples over the human rights and dignity of the Greek Cypriots.

The conflict in Cyprus is not one of intercommunal strife, but of invasion, occupation,
and violation of the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus by the Turkish military. The
beneficiaries of this trip are neither members of the Greek Cypriot majority or the
Turkish Cypriot minority, but the Turkish government which does not intend to ever
return the territories of Cyprus were seized in the brutal invasions that resulted in the
ethnic cleansing of over 200,000 Greek Cypriots. Therefore, the University becomes
both a partner and enabler of Turkey 's atrocities in Cyprus and condones the violation
of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention since the vast majority of the students at the
so-called "EMU" are part of Turkey ’s civilian population who have been transferred
to Cyprus illegally.

If Ms. Sinclair is concerned about her students, she should refrain from criticizing the
protests directed at the University's unethical policies. University students are being
sent into a territory that lacks legal or political legitimacy to reside under Turkish
military rule. Furthermore, the anti-American climate in Turkey these days, and
continued strife in the Middle East provide further reasons American students should
not be in the Turkish-occupied territories of Cyprus . We would like to emphasize that
the Republic of Cyprus made known its good will and friendship toward the people
of the United States last summer when it earned the praise of Mr. Bryza and others
for the crucial assistance the Cyprus Republic provided in the evacuation of Americans
from the Middle East following the outbreak of hostilities in Lebanon .

The aggressive and illegal policies of the Turkish government and military in Cyprus can
be seen by United Nations Resolutions 353, 361, 365, 3212-XXIX, 367. In addition,
the involvement of SDSU with entities under Turkish military occupation in Cyprus
conflicts with United Nations Resolution 541 which denounces the attempt of the
occupation to legitimize itself under the guise of establishing an independent entity.
Resolution 550 makes it eminently clear to member States of the United Nations
that any form of recognition of the occupation is an illegal act and must be
denied
. By aligning itself with the Turkish military invader and occupier of Cyprus ,
SDSU has involved itself in a venture that carries with it very serious international
consequences of a diplomatic and political nature. The fact that all governments have
respected United Nations Resolution 550 up to the present time exposes the
outrageousness of what SDSU is attempting to do. That the University is willingly
violating international laws to assist in upgrading the status of the "TRNC" is
incomprehensible.

On behalf of Hellenic Electronic Center (HEC) www.greece.org
Theodore G. Karakostas This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Member of HEC Executive Council