Monday, July 21, 2008

Cypriots Protest At The Turkish Embassy Washington DC To Mark 34th Anniversary

For Immediate Release: July 21, 2008

Contact: Nikolaos Taneris, New York, Tel. 1-917-699-9935


WASHINGTON DC—The crowd of diverse Cypriot demonstrators braved the scorching
sun outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC, and long distances, travelling
from as far away as Seattle, Annapolis, Philadelphia and New York to mark the
34th Anniversary of Turkey’s criminal military-invasion and ongoing illegal
military-occupation of Cyprus and to protest Turkey’s continued denial of that
crime against humanity.

“Turkey's efforts to deny the invasion of Cyprus, coupled with its systematic
destruction of cultural and religious monuments, the renaming of cities and
other geographic landmarks and its methodical program of illegal Turkish
settlers make the current Turkish government an accomplice to and culpable for
Crimes Against Humanity in Cyprus," stated Nikolaos Taneris, who heads the
Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA). “We reiterated our message to the
Turkish regime and its collaborators that we will not go away and we will not be
silent until Turkey admits the invasion, returns occupied Cypriot lands and
makes appropriate reparations,” he continued.

A bus load of Cyprus supporters from the STATHAKION CENTER of the FEDERATION of
HELLENIC SOCIETIES of GREATER NEW YORK in Astoria, were joined by dozens of
others who came to Embassy Row in the downtown area of Washington DC for the
demonstration. Representatives from the Hellenic societies of the Lakonians,
the Athenians, the Pan Thracian Union of America “ORPHEUS” and, most notably,
support from the Brotherhood of MANI, helped make this demonstration such a
great success. Demonstrators distributed flyers while, loudly and proudly,
chanting slogans such as “Turkish Troops Out of Cyprus” and “Turkish Murderers
Out of Cyprus.”

This year, the Turkish Embassy organized numerous Turks, many of whom were seen
coming in and out of the Turkish Embassy, to provoke and heckle the
demonstrators. These actions call into question grave ethical and legal
questions about a foreign embassy (that is, Turkey’s Embassy) directly
supporting and organizing “so-called” political demonstrators on American soil.
The Turkish Embassy directly interacted with their Turk “so-called” political
demonstrators , some of whom flashed the Grey Wolf (this is the Turkish version
of the Ku Klux Klan) hand signal. The Turks, with numerous portraits of
“Ataturk” and flags representing the illegal pseudo-state of Occupied-Cyprus,
were in front of their Turkish Embassy many hours before the official CANA
protest was set to begin, and were seen giving directions to their Turk
“so-called” demonstrators and to their lawyer through the gates and doors of the
Turkish Embassy. All the Turkish signs in the beginning looked like they were
printed out by computer, with denialist propaganda slogans, and lame outdated
quotes from the 1960s about Cyprus, that they most likely copied quickly off of
a random Turkish website. At one point, some Turks went into the Turkish
Embassy empty-handed and came out moments later carrying hand written signs
scrawled with the slogans 'Greek Troops Occupy Macedonia' and 'Istanbul since
1453'. Many of the Turk so-called demonstrators were sighted driving around
with Turkish diplomatic license plates. Some of the Turks drove up and down
Embassy Row honking their horns and waving Turk flags, until they were pulled
over by the police. It is noteworthy to mention that Yenal Kucuker, the Turkish
born intern of U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (KY-01), co-chair of the
Congressional Caucus on Turkey, was one of the Turkish Embassy’s so-called
demonstrators. Gunay Evinch President Elect of ATAA (Assembly of Turkish
American Associations) and "the lawyer of the Turkish Embassy” led the Turks who
provoked our demonstrators. Gunay Evinch acted as th
eir spokesperson, he spent his whole day on July 20th 2008, standing in front of
the Turkish Embassy, trying to provoke our demonstrators. Hear and see Gunay
Evinch in our CANA grassroots You Tube video. Gunay Evinch (wearing a white
t-shirt and white shorts), standing in front of the Turkish Embassy in
Washington DC on July 20, 2008, singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." GUNAY
on You Tube, for all to view, please distribute widely. This is “the brains” of
the Turkish lobby and “the lawyer of the Turkish Embassy”:

The demonstration was aired on the CBS affiliate (WUSA9), in the July 20th
evening broadcast. CANA now has earned remarkable success for the Cyprus cause.
The Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA) through bold and assertive public
advocacy, managed to achieve American network television coverage to mark July
20th 2008 as “the 34th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus”

Please visit this link to view CBS television news coverage of the CANA
demonstration to Mark “the 34th Anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus”:

In addition to the CBS coverage, CANA supporter, Kathryn Cameron Porter,
President of the Leadership Council for Human Rights, joined our demonstration
in Washington and published a commentary entitled “Cyprus solution , please” in
The Washington Times on July 20th 2008, which she asked to be read aloud at the
CANA protest::

Senator Leonidas P. Raptakis of Rhode Island also sent a letter to The Cyprus
Action Network of America (CANA), to be read into the record at our
demonstration to mark the 34th Anniversary Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the
letter can be read in pdf format in this link:

Washington DC Greek press correspondent Lambros Papantoniou wrote a Hellenic
language report on our demonstration, for large circulation Hellenic daily
Eleftheros Typos, available in this link:

On July 20th of each year Cypriots worldwide commemorate Turkey's criminal
military-invasion of Cyprus. July 20, 1974, was the date when the Turkish
government with use of napalm, bombs and warplanes began a campaign of rapes,
terror and murder that resulted in the illegal military-occupation of well over
one-third of Cypriot land, The Cypriot community holds a picket in front of the
Turkish Embassy in London every year, and an all night vigil is also held in
Syndagma Square in Athens, in addition to demonstrations and memorials in Cyprus
and around the world. This July 20, 2008 marks the second time in history that
Cypriots demonstrated directly in front of the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC.
The Turkish State continues to deny responsibility for Crimes Against Humanity
in Cyprus and finances endowed chairs of Turkish Studies at various American
universities, and spends millions of dollars each year on lobbies in America,
to deny Turkish crimes in Cyprus.

Despite such pressure, grass-roots activism spearheaded by this Cyprus Action
Network of America (CANA) demonstration in front of the Turkish Embassy in
Washington DC has managed on July 20th 2008 in marking the 34th Anniversary of
the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus, to send the message out to millions of
Americans and to the entire Turkish State that we will not be silent and we will
not go away, until Turkey admits to the invasion, returns occupied Cypriot lands
and makes appropriate reparations,

Several videos of the CANA demonstration marking the 34th Anniversary of the
Turkish invasion of Cyprus have been uploaded to the CANA Grassroots channel on
YouTube, available in this link:

Please visit our homepage ( for pictures.

Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA)
2578 Broadway #132
New York, NY 10025
New York: Tel. 917-699-9935

The Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA) is a grass-roots, not-for-profit
movement created to support genuine self-determination and human rights for the
people of Cyprus.

You may post any CANA article, press release or action alert on the internet as
long as you credit CANA and the author(s).