The Washington Times
July 24, 1995, Monday,
BYLINE: James Morrison; THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The ambassador from Cyprus is cheering last week's passage of a House resolution that calls for demilitarization of the divided island, viewed as a slap at Turkey, which garrisons thousands of troops on the Turkish Cypriot side.
A vote is expected soon on a similar resolution in the Senate. Ambassador Andrew Jacovides said, "All in all we have good reason to be satisfied with the support of these positions in the U.S. Congress. . . . The struggle for restoring justice to Cyprus continues on all fronts. . . ."
The House International Relations Committee passed the resolution on a vote of 24 to 6 last week, and Mr. Jacovides said the measure already has the endorsement of 73 members of the full House. The resolution calls for the "ultimate and total" withdrawal of Turkish forces.
The Cyprus News Agency quoted Rep. Robert Torricelli, New Jersey Democrat, as saying the "road to a settlement continues to lead to Ankara, and it is there that it has failed." "Political observers in Washington interpreted this resolution as a strong showing of congressional anger at the continued presence for 21 years of Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus," the agency said.
Turkish Ambassador Nuzhet Kandemir was out of town and could not be reached for comment. Namik Korhan, the Washington representative from the self-styled Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, said the blame should not be put on Turkey. He said residents of northern Cyprus consider the Turkish troops to be their protectors rather than occupiers. Mr. Korhan said Turkish Cypriots "are not against the demilitarization of the island, but we fear from the past." He said they want the Turkish troops to stay until a settlement is reached with the Cypriot government. Mr. Korhan said Congress does not understand the depths of the feelings on the Turkish side. "As long as Congress sees the problem as one of invasion and occupation, it will never be solved," he said.
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