Congresswoman blasts settlements, ‘creeping annexation’ – in Cyprus

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the most senior Republican woman in the House and an avid supporter of AIPAC/Netanyahu, has a great piece in the Washington Times against the occupation and settlements. As even the conservative readers of the Times noted (in the comments), all you have to do when reading is to replace Turkey with Israel.

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 (…)

Turkey also has tried to limit Cyprus‘ sovereign rights to develop its energy resources (…) Reports by the Turkish-Cypriot media indicate that the Turkish government continues to promote illegal immigration by Turks to the northern occupied areas of Cyprus with the goal of changing the demographic composition of the island. According to people administering the occupied area, there are an estimated 160,000 settlers from Turkey, many of whom occupy the homes of the evicted Greek-Cypriots. However, reports in the Turkish-Cypriot press from Turkish-Cypriots who live among the Turkish settlers put this number between 500,000 and 800,000. A recent “census” in the north indicated that the total population in the north had increased to nearly 300,000 people.

By its occupation, Turkey is “guaranteeing” nothing but a creeping annexation. It is time for Turkey to withdraw its military troops, end all support for illegal immigration to Cyprus and let the true inhabitants of the island determine their own future. Only then will the long-suffering Cypriot people finally enjoy the peace and security they have been trying so desperately to achieve for decades.

Read the rest here. As some might remember, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen criticised the Obama administration for demanding Israeli halt its settlement project in the occupied West Bank. She also opposed the Palestinian “unilateral” statehood bid.

(h/t Ken Sofer/CAP).