Turkey's Difficult Position

In the article ``Ankara Hobbles Turkey's Press Over Kurds,'' Dec. 31, the author contends that Turkey wrongly censored press reports about Kurds. The author fails to mention that Cumhuriyet, one of Turkey's most respected newspapers, recently published two articles about the Kurdish minority. Also, only press releases from southeastern Turkey are censored. This region is currently a potential war zone from which Turkish and American military maneuvers are staged against Iraq. The censorship facilitates domestic security in the region as well as harmonization in global efforts against Iraq.

Finally, the author ignores the history of Kurdish-based propaganda and terrorist activities that have plagued southeastern Turkey. Over the summer, for example, Kurdish terrorists attacked a Turkish village and killed 26 people, 19 of them children.

Turkey continues to admit thousands of Kurdish refugees from Iraq. To deny Kurds entrance would be inhumane, yet to house them is another struggle.

The article fails drastically in assessing Turkey's difficult position in balancing democratic principles against domestic and global security during the Gulf crisis.

Gunay Evinch, Lexington, Va.

The industrialization of Hawaii Thank you for the article ``Hawaiians Try to Preserve a Rain Forest,'' Jan. 3, on geothermal development and rain forest destruction in Hawaii. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg of what is planned. The real reason for geothermal development is to have an abundant source of electricity to power a smelting plant on the island. The plan is to mine minerals from the ocean floor around Hawaii, and then process them on the island. This will totally destroy any forest that is left. Anyone who cares at all about Hawaii should oppose the industrialization of the island, and the destruction of this last bit of unspoiled America.

David Caccia, Sewell, N.J.

Is it time for schools to teach religion? Regarding the article ``US Education Agenda Looms Large,'' Jan. 2: About 30 years ago there was much debate on the need to upgrade the educational system. At a public school PTA meeting I participated in such a discussion. Our unanimous and surprising conclusion was that religion should be taught impartially to create an atmosphere of understanding and compassion without prejudice. Realizing how difficult this would be, we dropped the idea like a hot potato.

I sincerely believe the time has come to seriously consider this all-important subject. If we are to become a global community and avoid wars and crime, we owe children an education that will aid them in their personal and business dealings with each other for a more harmonious future. When one gets to understand one's enemies, they become friends.

Kathryn Butt, West Berne, N.Y.

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