Looking into the Cyprus problem, I keep running into quotes referencing the Athens Court of Appeal Judgement 2658/79 on March 21 1979.

The only legitimate source I could find, which also seems to be the source quoted, is a statement of Dan Burton, a US Congressman from Indiana. The part of that document I am referring to is:

Even, the Athens Court of Appeals (Formal Name: The Court of Cassation in Athens) acknowledged the legality of the Turkish peace operations in Judgment Number (No: 2658/79) on March 21, 1979. It stated:

''Turkey's intervention in Cyprus as a Guarantor Power within the framework of the Zurich and London Agreements is legal. Actually the Greek Officers against whom the court cases have been brought, are responsible for the intervention.''

Does anyone know where I can find the entirety of this judgement? I find it highly unlikely a court judgement is one paragraph.

I hope I kept this post as unbiased as I can. I only seek to find the original source for 2658/79


2 Answers 2


To the best of my knowledge it is not feasible to get a copy of this, especially not online as the Court of Appeal's library isn't digitized. (UPDATE: seems the library of files is only accessible by registered laywers)

What I did find online though is this article claiming to have had access to the only remaining original and certified copy of the judgment.

For what its worth, the following is included in the article in regards to the claim:

The decision consists of 7 pages. Nowhere in it is there such a quote. The Greek version of the decision is inconsistent with its supposed English translation. The relevant extract from the judgment of the Court of Appeal is not part of the judgment for the appeal, but the deposition of Ath. Zafeirios (the only surviving soldier of the "Noratlas" group) from a previous trial of the 1974 events. The quote does not state that the Turkish invasion was legal. Quoting the relevant extract from the judicial document, which at this point writes: "Under the Zurich Treaty, Greece, Turkey, and England undertook as guarantors the obligation to prohibit any action aimed at promoting either the union of Cyprus with any other State or the disintegration of the island and generally warranted the independence and security of the Republic of Cyprus ... The Turks, acting on the unique opportunity mentioned above, acted on 20.7.1974 in a military approach in Cyprus (Kyrenia), when the Greek Cypriot military forces defending asked for aid from Athens ... ". In no way, it justifies Turkey for the invasion, nor does it say that "Turkey intervened in Cyprus using its legal right." It merely begins by mentioning, historically, what the three guarantors had assumed in 1960.


I think the received version in the West comes from a rather biased source. For example a recent book says

Allegedly, the Greek Supreme Court of Appeals, in an individual case concerning public liability for wrongful acts of Greek military in Cyprus, also found that Turkey intervened on 20 July 1974 “due to reasonable ground according to the Treaty of Guarantee”.

The fact that they put "allegedly" in there suggests that the decision is hard to verify. The fact is indirectly cited via Z. Necatigil, United Nations resolutions on Cyprus, in: Resat Arim (ed.) Cyprus and international law, p. 60 (67)

A bit more search finds that

Zaim M. Necatigil, formerly the Attorney-General of the TRNC, is a lawyer and legal consultant at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

So this is not really an unbiased source for material on Cyprus. But Necatigil has published a lot of material in the West, including a book (not that one) by Oxford University Press (also on Cyprus). So he is/was probably influential in some Western circles. The Turkish lobby in the US used to be well-known for its influence.

According to ProPublica, Turkey is one of the top foreign lobbying interests in Washington, ranking in the top list with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and others.

Through various contracts and subcontracts, the roster of those officially lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government has been impressive: former CIA Director Porter Goss, Dick Gephardt, former Republican congressman Jim McCrery, former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a firm that employed former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, former Minnesota Republican congressman John Vin Weber, and more. And of course, perhaps the most high-profile fighter of Turkish interests in DC was former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who retroactively registered as an agent of Turkey.

Dan Burton is not mentioned there, but who knows from where he got that info.

The Turkish Coalition of America does have a 2007 article praising Burton's "history lesson" to Congress about Cyprus.

Pro Publica does list Burton more generally as having taken FARA money, but Turkey is not explicitly mentioned among the donors, which are not detailed there:

Spotlight: Who gave

Of the 74 donations FARA agents made to members they’d personally contacted, 34 came from lobbyists working for a single firm, the PLM Group. PLM was formed in March 2007 as a joint venture of the Livingston Group and the Podesta Group. In all, lobbyists with the PLM Group reported giving nearly $63,000 to members of Congress. Three of the contributions made to Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., Dan Burton, R-Ind., and Donald M. Payne, D-N.J., came on the same day they met with lobbyists.

One would have to figure out who the middlemen (PLM group) channeled money for.

And the Atlantic reported on Burton's alleged benefits from such lobying, albeit not from Turkey but from Bahrain

The Bahrain American Council then paid nearly $21,000 to fly Burton and his wife to Bahrain in 2012. The investment paid off almost immediately. Burton returned to Congress to deliver a speech hailing Bahrain as "one of our most important allies" in the Gulf region. And he suggested the antigovernment protesters there, who had been violently squelched, might "have been infiltrated by outside radical elements supported by Iran."

A much older article from 2001 in The American Prospect made more explicit accusations tying Burton to the Turkish lobby:

Zaire was not Burton's only overseas interest. He also took thousands of dollars in legal contributions from people with business interests in Turkey. Afterwards, he made a statement on the floor of the House of Representatives he had cribbed from a Turkish government official. The statement defended Turkey against well-documented charges that its government committed serious human rights violations against the Kurds.

In 1996, Burton made another floor statement that almost exactly echoed materials that Turkey's lobbying firm gave to members of Congress, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Anyway, I think all-in-all there is good reason to doubt Burton's "history lesson" on Cyprus.

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