From the Huffington Post
Now let me get this straight: UN and State Department officials are pressing – my country of origin and America’s long-time ally – Cyprus, to agree to Turkey’s latest attempt to steal Cyprus’ large natural gas discovery? Did these officials not hear Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently say that the US, “wants us dead, they like seeing our children die”? Did they not hear ISIL leaders recently say that, “without Turkey, the Islamic State would not be in its current place. Tigris to Jordan, Palestine to Lebanon, Sunni Law will rule.”
Are they doing this to Cyprus because of Turkey’s tease to allow us to use our base at Incirlik to stop ISIL? Aren’t they aware of our American reporter and mother of two, Serena Shim, who just now exposed their transit of ISIL fighters to Syria in “humanitarian aid” trucks, was threatened by Turkey’s CIA and days later was mysteriously killed? And, have they forgotten Turkey’s never-fulfilled five-year-old monthly State Department tease-commitment to reopen the theological school of the spiritual head of the second largest Christian Church in the world, Orthodox Christianity, President Obama embarrassingly announced in Korea?
Turkey is asking Cyprus – who does virtually everything the US asks – to cave to the demands of Erdogan who, only recently, said that “The US never landed on the moon” and “Muslims discovered America in 1178, not Christopher Columbus.” Erdogan also said that “Equality between men and women is against nature” and that “Israel has surpassed Hitler in barbarism.” Women, Israel and any other group attacked by Erdogan’s outrageous statements and actions are injured when America supports Erdogan’s outrageousness, as we are on Cyprus.
To throw Cyprus under the bus for such an Anti-American is clearly contrary to American and Israeli interests. Have our policymakers forgotten that Cyprus and Israel are our only real allies in their extremely dangerous hotbed region of anti-American extremism? Aren’t they aware that Islamist terrorist attacks are now being ordered and funded from their new international headquarters in Turkey? Have they not read about the de facto Russo-Turkey gas pipeline alliance that could shift the regional balance of power decisively in Moscow’s favor? Have they forgotten that the Cypriot people live in one of only six countries allied with us in every international conflict in the 20th Century?
Could it be that UN and State Department officials actually believe Erdogan’s claims that he effectively owns any hydrocarbons found in another Mediterranean country’s Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ)? Why else would they reward with this pressure on Cyprus, Erdogan’s decision to illegally send a seismic ship escorted by naval vessels into Cyprus’ EEZ? Why else would they support his demands that the government of Cyprus give a degree of de facto recognition of some Turkish control over Cyprus’ EEZ? He wants this de facto recognition through the Government of Cyprus at an official public meeting acquiescing to Turkey’s very public demand that Cyprus commit much of its gas to Turkey, through Turkey’s puppet Turkish-Cypriot regime.
Don’t the UN and our US officials remember that sharing gas with Cyprus’ Turkish-Cypriot community was taken care of generously a few years ago when the then President of Cyprus and the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community made an agreement on the distribution of federal revenue? It was then agreed – and this is still valid today – that the Turkish Cypriots would get the lion’s share of the federal government’s GDP earmarked for development and infrastructure until such a time as the per capita income of the Turkish Cypriot economy reaches that of the Greek Cypriot economy.
Could these officials be pushing Cyprus to give Turkey more of its sovereign rights on the promise of an Erdogan step toward ending his illegal military occupation of over 1/3rd of Cyprus? Such Turkish promises have been given – for over 40 years now – in exchange for some of Cyprus’s sovereign rights at every Cyprus negotiation. Yet, not one Turkish promise has been kept. This is Erdogan’s pattern. Did he reciprocate when President Obama pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to apologize on worldwide television for the flotilla incident? No. Instead, Erdogan responded by accusing Israel of causing the coup in Egypt.
Maybe this bizarre UN and US treatment of Cyprus is the result of Erdogan’s diplomatic skill. Maybe he is leading UN and US officials down this naïve pro-Turkish, anti-American and anti-Western path to demonstrate how he treats people who he says want to “see his children die”.
In the 1990s America sent billions upon billions of dollars worth of arms to Turkey. Then our officials wised up and stopped it when they saw our arms being pointed at our western allies. We saw those same guns misused again recently as they remained unfired in Turkish hands as they watched ISIL slaughter innocent people.
It is clear that UN and State Department pressure on Cyprus and Turkey’s incursion in Cyprus’ EEZ has never been about Turkish-Cypriot gas rights. Erdogan recently ordered Turkish schools to start teaching the language used during the Ottoman Empire in place of modern Turkish. Our actions are simply helping put symbolic meat on the bones of Erdogan’s claim that he is re-establishing the Ottoman Empire’s regional control, power and ability to bully. It is time that the UN and the State Department remind themselves over and over about: (1) Erdogan’s outrageous statements and anti-western actions, (2) the clear support Turkey is giving ISIL and other Islamic terrorist fanatics and (3) that America and Israel’s long term interests dictate standing by our ally Cyprus and clearly showing this support with deeds not just words. Time to wise up, America!