Turkey Must Back Down from Military Intimidation, Says Pallone

Rep. Frank Pallone

WASHINGTON—Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ) Wednesday wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding Turkey’s disregard for international law and recent threats to Israel and Cyprus. Recent reports indicate that Turkish F-16 fighters have been deployed in the Turkish occupied northern Cyprus and Turkish warships have been harassing Israeli merchant vessels in the Cypriot waters.

“There is no question that should any type of violent conflict erupt in the east Mediterranean between Turkey and Cyprus or Israel that it will be result of Turkish aggression in violation of international law,” Pallone wrote in the letter.

The complete text of the letter appears below.

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I am writing to express my deep concerns regarding the Republic of Turkey’s recent aggressive posturing towards Israel and Cyprus.  Israel and Cyprus have proven to be steadfast allies of the United States and have shown their dedication to respecting international law.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Turkey, which has expanded its policies of threatening peaceful acting neighbors with complete disregard for international law.

Recently, Cyprus and Israel signed an agreement for the delimitation of their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) which has enabled them to cooperate in oil and gas exploration in a coordinated manner.  Cyprus’s sovereign right to access its natural resources within its own territory is well recognized by the international community and, I believe, their cooperation with Israel in this regard deserves to be commended.  Turkey, however, has met this news with renewed threats towards Cyprus and Israel.

Furthermore, the U.S. based Noble Energy Inc. has entered into an agreement with the government of Cyprus and has begun to carry out exploration in the east Mediterranean, within Cyprus’s offshore territory.  While respecting and promoting the sovereign rights of an ally is important to U.S. interests, protection of a U.S. company must also be a priority of the Department of State.

Turkey’s threats have now escalated and have become actions that are directed at provoking conflict with peacefully acting nations.  Turkey has sent an oil exploration ship escorted by a frigate and a submarine to the waters off Cyprus, hardly actions of a peaceful mission.  Recent reports indicate that Turkish F-16 fighters have been deployed in the Turkish occupied northern Cyprus and Turkish warships have been harassing Israeli merchant vessels in Cypriot waters.
There is no question that should any type of violent conflict erupt in the east Mediterranean between Turkey and Cyprus or Israel that it will be result of Turkish aggression in violation of international law.  Additionally, should the Turkish navy take action to interfere with a U.S. based company pursuing a legal agreement to explore for natural gas with a European Union nation it would certainly require a strong reaction from the United States.

In stark contrast to the actions of the Turkish government, President Demetris Christofias of Cyprus announced at the United Nations that Cyprus would share revenues generated by its natural gas development with Turkish occupied northern Cyprus.  Additionally, the Israeli government has refused to engage Turkey in its heated rhetoric and has instead carried on with its legal and peaceful operations in the east Mediterranean in accordance with its agreement with Cyprus.

Israel and Cyprus are key allies of the United States and their importance to our strategic goals in the region cannot be overstated.  U.S. foreign policy should reflect a dedication to assist in their protection and prosperity.  I urge you to issue a statement calling on Turkey to cease its policies of intimidation and military threat toward our allies.  I also ask that you call on the Turkish government to recall all of its naval ships and military aircraft that have been dispatched to interfere with the lawful exploration of natural resources in the east Mediterranean. 

Member of Congress


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  1. HARUT said:

    Like i have been saying all these time everydog got its day and Turkey is no exception to it, days are coming for Turkish government to relax and knoweldge the right from wrong, dont get me wrong one might say turkey is a country with no memory but they do remember very well of what happened in the past and it is haunting them as we speak and you all know what i’m talking about.

  2. Edward Demian said:

    We have been arming Turkey for thelast 50 years. now we are faced and challenged by our own guns.

  3. Paradigm said:

    This is typical of U.S. uninformed intervention. How easily Frank Pallone Jr forgets Turkey;s role in NATO during the Cold War. Mr Pallone is obviously ‘spoon-fed’ one side of the story without having any experience or knowledge of the background to the Cyprus problem or any understanding of the 11 year Greek Cypriot EOKA-B campaign of genocide against Turkish Cypriots that obliged Turkey to intervene in 1974. Neither, it appears, does Mr Pallone disapprove of the recent Isreali murder of Turkish civilians on the high seas. It is quite pathetic when domestic electoral interests take precedence over common sense and, indeed, common decency,

    • Mabuballah said:

      Where were YOU when the US and the Western powers betrayed their Cold War ally, Yugoslavia, over the past 20 years? The Turks are taking every advantage of the opportunities for filthy lucre that the West has so obligingly opened up to them there, you may be sure!

    • Edward Demian said:

      The indecency is all over Turkey and its citizens. As far as turkey’s participation in NATO; Turkey stabbed all its allies in the back. First it received major funding from Bolshevic Russia by misrepresenting themselves to be Bolshevic. Then it took major military aid from Kaiser’s Germany without any reciprocity. Then it received military aid from Hitler’s Germany, promising to join their struggle, just to stab them in the back. Then it negotiated billions in aid and loans from the US, just to shore up its military and continue its genocidal campaigns against its remaining minorities. The Turks have no honor. Its time for the world to realize that Turkey is a deceitful ally, not dependable in any event. It’s time for Turkey to pay its dues and pull in it’s horns. The best thing to do is to break up Turkey into several smaller nations.

  4. Somebody said:

    Clinto repied:
    “Shut up ape, if you dont know the facts about this issues”
    I was there, i could see that in her face 😉

  5. Stew said:

    To Harut and Pallone,

    It SURE would be a shame if Armenia and Israel both got hit with a massive earthquake! What a tragedy that would be! Now, can either of you say…KARMA?

    • Edward Demian said:

      Hello Stew; You old Armenian hater. It sounds like you hope for a major calamity to hit both Israel and Armenia. Don’t worry, better people than you hated Armenia and where are they now? First , that we can discern, the Hittites, then the Babylonians, then the Assyrians, then the Persians, then the Romans, than the Barbarians, and now the Mongrols. All hated Armenia and its resilience, and all slid right into the wastebasket of history. We are still here. More powerful, and more resilient than ever. We are the weeds that survived all the weed killer toxins that the world had to bestow on us. We will survive you too. The mongroll nation of Turkey and the Tatars of Azerbaijian will make a mistake and find themselves in the same waste basket. I thought that I made it clear to you that this is an Armenian site. You and your well paid state propaganda is not effective here. You won’t change any hearts and minds, you are a hateful mongrol, of dubious paretage, looking to be noticed. Get lost already.

  6. amb said:

    Has anyone checked to see if any Armenian churches or buildings were destroyed or damaged in the quake that hit Van this last week?

  7. Tazz said:

    Turkey is huge modern economical and militar power that should not be subestimated. Turkish people is a nation with centuries of warfare experience. Nobody should test Turkeys power.