Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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15 December 2014
Lobby for Cyprus calls for Turkey to be expelled from NATO
Lobby for Cyprus has added its voice to the growing chorus demanding that Turkey be kicked out of NATO, said Theo Theodorou, spokesman for the group.

“The crisis facing the West, today,” he stated, “is the fight against the fundamentalist group calling itself the Islamic State, or ISIS, as the West refers to it, “and Turkey not only has not joined the fight against ISIS but also has actively supported it.”

There is undebatable evidence that not only is Turkey supporting ISIS but also is knowingly allowing its territory to be used as a conduit for volunteers to go to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS, Theodorou said, adding, “I quote many critics who say, ‘This is not the proper behaviour for a NATO ally. Turkey is not a reliable Western ally’.”

In fact, Theodorou continued, Turkey is playing a very cynical double game. Not only is it supporting ISIS, but also it is using the ISIS attack against the Kurdish village of Kobane, within sight of the Turkish border, as a solution to its “Kurdish problem.” And, if by any chance, should ISIS feel strong enough to turn on Turkey, Turkey knows that it can rely on NATO to come to its defence.

Its double game is further evidenced, Theodorou said, by Ankara stubbornly resisting joining the coalition unless it broadens its fight to topple Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and conditions any support of the anti-ISIS coalition on the US, especially, joining in toppling Assad – knowing full well that the US and its allies cannot be fighting ISIS on the one hand and Assad on the other.

It would appear, he said, that with Turkey’s much-vaunted policy of “zero problems with neighbours“ in shreds throughout the Middle East – its conflicts with Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Syria merely the most prominent – Turkey has decided to divert the world’s attention from these failures by taking what it expects will be unchallenged provocative moves around Cyprus. 

In marking the fortieth year of its invasion and occupation of 37 percent of the Republic of Cyprus, Turkey recently sent an exploratory vessel into Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), where the Republic has already discovered vast resources of natural gas. “Just as its actions forty years ago were inconsistent with its NATO membership, so, too, is this intrusion into Cyprus’ territorial waters,” Theodorou stated.

It is fair to ask just how much more Turkey can do to bring disgrace to NATO’s credibility and reputation?

Note to editors
  • The Republic of Cyprus was invaded by Turkish troops in 1974.
  • Turkey maintains an illegal occupation in the north of the island with 43,000 troops in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. 
  • 200,000 Greek Cypriot refugees and displaced persons are prevented from returning to their homes in the occupied north.  
  • Turkey continues its policy of colonising the occupied territory with hundreds of thousands of Turkish nationals in an attempt to alter the demography of the island, in violation of the Geneva convention.