07/19/10 - Statement submitted for the Congressional Record - Madam Speaker, for nearly 36 years, the people of Cyprus have endured an illegal occupation and massive violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by Turkey after it invaded a sovereign nation 36 years ago tomorrow. It breaks my heart to hear the stories of how the occupied north has been devastated, how the Turkish occupiers have converted chapels in Kyrenia into bars and tourist information centers; how once beautiful churches have been converted into mosques; how the U.N. peacekeepers on the island have watched for 36 years as the Turkish Army has laid land mines and can only sit and note what?s being done?a peacekeeping force operating with no mandate to stop the lawlessness.
It breaks my heart that families forcibly removed from their homes had all of their personal and real property stolen from them. More heartbreaking than anything else are the persons missing since 1974, Madam Speaker, whose families still grieve knowing they will never be at peace until their sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers are accounted for and whose bones must be laid to rest.
Yet the Turkish Government still refuses to cooperate. To us, their actions aren?t acceptable. That is why we will continue to fight and persist in our efforts to reunify Cyprus and make the island whole again and heal the wounds. A solution to the Cyprus problem has come from the Cypriots themselves and must serve first and foremost the interests of the Cypriots.
The key to a successful outcome of the negotiating process and reunification of the island remains in Ankara, since a solution to the Cyprus problem cannot be reached without Turkey?s full and constructive cooperation. Turkey must give the new Turkish Cypriot leader the freedom to negotiate a solution. Turkey must start with the removal of its occupation troops and illegal settlers from Cyprus.
The role of the U.N. and the international community is to provide assistance and support the process. The process should not be subjected to false time frames. The United States has publicly supported a solution of the Cyprus problem and specifically a bicommunal, bizonal federation. As a close ally of Turkey, the U.S. should use its influence to push Turkey to actively support the process and the reunification of the island as a bicommunal and bizonal federation. And the U.S. must also push Turkey to withdraw its occupational forces.
The Government of Cyprus continues to work for the genuine reunification of Cyprus and integration of its people and economy in the context of a functional and viable settlement, a solution which will bring peace, prosperity, and a better future for all of the citizens of a united Cyprus within the EU. A solution of the Cyprus problem that reunifies the island, its people, the economy, its institutions in a bizonal, bicommunal federation is in the best interest of all Cypriots.
Madam Speaker, I urge this body to pressure Turkey to remove its troops from Cyprus, remove its settlers, and come to the negotiating table in good faith to find a solution that is just for the Cypriot people. Let?s hope we are not recognizing the 37th anniversary of the invasion this time next year.
03/04/10 - Remarks offered during House Committee on Foreign Affairs markup of H. Res. 252 - I appreciate the opportunity to make a statement on this meaningful resolution. H. Res. 252 recognizing a genocide, the massacre of 1.5 million innocent Armenian men, women, and children at the hands of the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923.
History can?t be denied. The proof is irrefutable on the Armenian Genocide. Genocides wherever and whenever they occur cannot be ignored whether they took place in the twentieth century by the
Ottomans or mid-twentieth century by the Third Reich or currently in Darfur. Genocide must be acknowledged for what it is, a scourge on the human race.
In keeping with the humanitarian spirit of America and this legislative body, we must, we should be the global leaders in recognizing and condemning all genocides past and present. Why is this important now? Because denying genocide sets a dangerous precedent that makes future genocides more likely. As such, I support the Armenian Genocide Resolution.
The Armenian Genocide must not be put on the backburner of history for fear of acknowledging the truth or offending our ally Turkey. This resolution simply once and for all seeks to characterize the deliberate extermination of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide. For the sake of commemorating every instance of genocide so as to prevent its recurrence, let us adopt this resolution today and urge its final passage on the floor.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back the balance of my time.
Communications with Foreign
For Turkey and/or Azerbaijan:
(as reported by the U.S. Department of Justice - www.fara.gov)
2/12/2009 - Robert Mangas of the Dickstein Shapiro, LLP emailed Elizabeth Hittos regarding Mercan delegation visit..
6/4/2009 - Allison Shulman of the Dickstein Shapiro, LLP emailed Terry Carmack regarding an invitation to a July 16th event with the Turkish Ambassador..
6/15/2009 - Allison Shulman of the Dickstein Shapiro, LLP emailed Terry Carmack regarding an invitation to a July 16th event with the Turkish Ambassador..
7/6/2009 - Allison Shulman of the Dickstein Shapiro, LLP emailed Terry Carmack regarding an invitation to a July 16th event with the Turkish Ambassador..
7/10/2009 - Allison Shulman of the Dickstein Shapiro, LLP emailed Terry Carmack regarding an invitation to a July 16th event with the Turkish Ambassador..