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10 August, 2022
 
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Erdogan critic wants Kissinger to apologize over Cyprus

American scholar blames Henry Kissinger for ‘freezing’ Cyprus Problem and signaling to Turkey that ‘aggression works’

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An American scholar is calling on Henry Kissinger to apologize to Cypriots for betraying Greeks and appeasing Turkey, arguing that the father of modern realpolitik had signaled to Turkey back in 1974 that “aggression works.”

In an op-ed published by the Washington Examiner this week, Michael Rubin argues there is western appeasement of Turkey that goes back half a century when former US state secretary Henry Kissinger got involved in the Cyprus Problem.

“Kissinger’s decisions in the Eastern Mediterranean at best froze an otherwise resolvable crisis and at worst might spark renewed conflict,” Rubin wrote.

The author, known for his critical stance against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wrote on Twitter that Kissinger “owes an apology for betraying Greeks and green lighting Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus.”

In his op-ed he went on to say that “Kissinger’s moves signaled to the broader Turkish establishment that aggression works.”

'Not only does the northern part of Cyprus therefore remain Europe’s last occupied territory, but Erdogan now believes force might win him possession of Greece’s Aegean Islands'

“Even though Greece was both a democracy and a staunch ally of the United States, Kissinger saw an opportunity to appease Turkey. ‘There is no American reason why the Turks should not have one-third of Cyprus,’ Kissinger counseled President Gerald Ford, who had assumed the presidency just days before,” Ruibin wrote.

Turkish troops landed in Cyprus on 20 July 1974 following a Greek-inspired coup on the island a week earlier. After the initial phase of the operation, viewed as “invasion” by Greek Cypriots and “intervention” by Turkish Cypriots, peace talks in Geneva were halted after a proposal by Ankara was rejected by the Greeks.

A day later, according to a State Department historical transcript dated 13 August 1974, taken during a conversation between Kissinger and President Gerald Ford, the now-99-year-old diplomat had told his boss that calls to cut off assistance to Turkey would be a disaster, famously adding he could see “no American reason why the Turks should not have one-third of Cyprus.”

But Ruibin says Kissinger got it wrong.

“Kissinger was wrong, and it will take crippling sanctions on Turkey, an end to the Cyprus military embargo, and further U.S. deployments in the Eastern Mediterranean to right historic wrongs and deter new conflict,” the author wrote.

Ruibin has been a staunch critic of Erdogan, who filed a criminal complaint against the author back in 2017 for allegedly supporting the FETO terrorist organization, viewed by Ankara largely-responsible for the failed coup.

The American Enterprise Institute senior fellow is also blaming Kissinger for “flattering” Turkey with the notion that “size matters.”

“Not only does the northern part of Cyprus therefore remain Europe’s last occupied territory, but Erdogan now believes force might win him possession of Greece’s Aegean Islands,” Rubin wrote.

Kissinger says he sought to maintain crucial balance between Greece and Turkey by seeking to help the two NATO allies reach mutually acceptable positions.

The US diplomat, who warned the West last month not to pursue a humiliating defeat of Russia, had written back in 2014 that Ukraine should “function as a bridge” between East and West.

But Rubin said Kissinger should apologize to Greece and Cyprus, saying “there would be no better way to signal to Turkey that its age of imperialism is over.”

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