06/15/12 - Ros-Lehtinen penned a scathing Op Ed against Turkey's occupation of Cyprus in the Washington Times. 'More than 40,000 heavily armed Turkish soldiers are occupying the northern part of the country, with one Turkish soldier for every two Turkish-Cypriots. The presence of this overwhelming force cannot be justified by the claims that they are needed to prevent any renewal of violence. In fact, since the 2003 opening of the border between the two communities, more than 17 million intercommunal visits have occurred without conflict.
The result of this occupation by foreign troops is that many Cypriot neighborhoods in the occupied areas remain vacant or in a state of disrepair. ' Op Ed is saved in our electronic file.
02/12 - Ros-Lehtinen statement after meeting with Davutoglu in DC was very crticial of Turkey: '?It is long overdue for Turkey to fully support the critical reunification efforts in Cyprus, cease its interference in the negotiations, and commit to a permanent withdrawal of its military troops after an agreement has been reached. Also, through Turkey?s sponsorship of radical Islamist flotillas to Gaza, its ties to violent extremist groups, and its unwillingness to pressure Iran, Turkey risks facilitating more instability in an already fragile region. I urge Turkey to reconsider its policies and actions toward Israel, and to do everything it can to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.?' http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press_display.asp?id=2202
01/07/12 - Ros-Lehtinen travels to Turkey to meet Turkish relatives on a TCA sponsored trip. TCA press release.
12/11 - Church resolution was allowed to go under suspension calendar and pass the House due in large part because Ros-Lehtinen did not object to its skipping the HFAC which she chairs.
11/30/11 - Ros-Lehtinen and Sen. Gillibrand were two keynote congressional speakers at Turkic American Alliance Conf. (Gulen affiliated). http://ros-lehtinen.house.gov/photo-gallery/ileana-speaks-about-importance-strong-turkish-american-ties
07/13/11 - RNK spoke with Sarah Blocher who handles our issues for Ros-Lehtinen. She said that getting on board the church resolution was a very difficult decision and she knew nothing about a possible markup. Did not have a chance to thank chairwoman. Interns were late so no picture with Ileana.
07/13/11 - Statement submitted for the Congressional Record on Cyprus - Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark the dark anniversary of July 20, 1974, when Turkish military troops illegally invaded the sovereign nation of Cyprus .
In the gray pre-dawn hours, heavily armed Turkish troops began the military operation named ``Operation Atilla'', implementing their strategy of ``clearing'' the territory in northern Cyprus , a community whose population was previously 80 percent Greek Cypriot.
As a result of these attacks, violent conflict erupted and over five thousand Greek Cypriots were estimated to have been killed; an additional sixteen hundred Greek Cypriots were reported missing; and over two hundred thousand Greek Cypriots were forcefully expelled from their homes.
Unfortunately, this tragedy which began that morning of July 20 continues today, as over 43,000 Turkish military troops occupy almost 40 percent of Cyprus' territory.
That amounts to one Turkish soldier for every two Turkish-Cypriots.
During the thirty-seven years the Turkish military has occupied northern Cyprus , illegal immigrants from Turkey flood into northern Cyprus , with some reports indicating at least 800 illegal migrants each year.
In total since 1974, this influx has resulted in more than 160,000 Turkish mainland illegal immigrants settling in the occupied territory, to the extent that these settlers now outnumber indigenous Turkish-Cypriots two to one.
Many claim that these immigrants are ``encouraged'' to settle in Cyprus by the Turkish government as part of a cynical strategy to alter the demographic statistics on the island and gain more property in any eventual settlement.
In addition, under the Turkish occupation, hundreds of religious and cultural sites have been desecrated.
Icons, manuscripts, frescoes and mosaics have been looted from Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Maronite and Jewish religious sites in northern Cyprus .
Over five hundred Orthodox churches or chapels have been demolished or vandalized.
Seventy-seven churches have even been converted into mosques, twenty-eight churches are being used by the Turkish military as hospitals or camps, and thirteen churches have been turned into barns.
For thirty seven years, the Cypriot people have endured conflict, division and foreign occupation.
It is long past time for their liberation.
The United Nations Security Council has passed seventy-five separate resolutions calling for Turkey to allow Greek Cypriots to return to their homes and to withdraw its troops from Cyprus .
In 1976, 1983 and again in 2009, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Turkey was illegally occupying Cyprus and must return all seized properties to their Greek Cypriot owners.
Yet, to date Turkey continues to ignore such condemnations of its actions.
Meanwhile, two generations of Cypriot youth have now grown up knowing no other reality than the division of their homeland, the segregation of their people, the militarization of part of their country by foreign troops, and the ever present threat of another outbreak of violence.
Many have, or are beginning to, abandon hope of a peaceful settlement.
Unfortunately, the limited progress achieved in the reunification talks since 2008 heightens this general sense of despair.
In fact, a few weeks ago U.N. Special Advisor for Cyprus Alexander Downer even stated, ``It could not go any slower without stopping altogether. The last three months have been the worst three months we've ever had since these negotiations began.''
This lack of constructive movement can be directly attributed to the behind-the-scenes interference from Ankara and the new hard-line representative from the Turkish community, Dr. Dervish Eroglu.
It is apparent that there are some both in Turkey and in the leadership of the Turkish-Cypriot community who believe that continued obstruction of the talks serves their best interests by garnering domestic political support.
I would argue that such a mercenary approach to these talks in fact prevents the Turkish-Cypriot people from attaining that which is in their long-term best interests.
Until there is the reunification of the country, the Turkish-Cypriot community cannot fully benefit from the economic and social benefits derived from Cyprus' membership in the European Union.
As a result, Turkish-Cypriots endure a far lower standard of living, reduced foreign direct investment, and other limitations on their overall development.
Therefore, I urge the representatives of the Turkish-Cypriot community to promote their own community's interests rather than their own by working for reunification of the island.
In that regard, I was encouraged by the recent pledge by both parties, President Dimitris Christofias and Dr. Dervish Eroglu, to commit once more to the talks with the aim of making substantial progress this year.
In order for these talks to succeed however, Turkey must grant the Turkish-Cypriot community full autonomy in the reunification negotiations and to publicly commit to abiding by any terms agreed upon in a Cypriot developed reunification agreement.
That includes the full, permanent withdrawal of its troops of occupation from Cyprus .
I will continue to do what I can in my role in Congress to support such reunification efforts, until that long-awaited day when the next generation of Cypriot youth realize the hopes of their predecessors for a sovereign Cyprus --independent, unified, and at peace.
06/16/11 - 'Today?s hearing is titled, ?Why Taiwan Matters.? The answer simply is that Taiwan matters because people matter. I do not mean ?people? as in ?People?s Republic of China.? I refer to ?people? as in ?We, the People.?
?Taiwan has taken the ?We, the People? principles of democracy, human rights, freedom of religion, and a free market economy, and transplanted them firmly into East Asian soil. Taiwan has belied those critics who asserted that a Confucian-based, hierarchical society is ill-suited for the tenets of Jeffersonian democracy. Taiwan offers the audacity of hope to those survivors of the Tiananmen Square massacre.'
04/06/11 - Narine, ANCA intern, spoke with Ros-Lehtinen at AHI Greek Independence Day event on the Hill. Narine mentioned that she used to support the Armenian Genocide resolution and asked her if she still supports it. RosLehtinen and her staffer got visibly uncomfortable and immediately started to make an exit. Ros-Lehtinen then turned back as she walked away to say that it was 'tricky, tricky situation.'