Letters

Forget not the Turkish struggle in Cyprus

In response to your Jan. 6 editorial "Happy ending for Cyprus?": Unfortunately, this only focuses on the Greek tragedy, and omits the Turkish tragedy that lives on the island. The island's problems did not originate in 1974, but in 1963 (and even earlier) with the gang of EOKA attacking the Turkish population. Why did the UN peacekeepers arrive in Cyprus in 1964 if everything was so nice and peaceful prior to 1974? Maybe the answer is that more than 100 Turkish villages were destroyed and hundreds of Turkish Cypriots were killed or just vanished between 1963 and 1967.

In 1974, Turkey did not invade the island, but intervened because of a very a real threat to the Turkish population. The right to intervene is given to Turkey, Greece, and Britain by the Treaty of Guarantees signed in 1960. Prior to intervening, Turkey asked for the support of Greece and Britain to protect the Turkish population. Greece and Britain refused.

The standard of living of the Turkish population on Cyprus is a quarter of the Greeks' standard of living. This is a direct result of the inhumane embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriots, who are being punished for asking for the right to life, self-determination, and self-government.

I remain ever hopeful that one day the Turkish population in Cyprus will be given the basic human rights and fair press coverage that they deserve.
Ali Kirtay
San Diego

Regarding your Dec. 30 article "Ankara, Kabul get reacquainted": What a wonderful story. At a time when everyone is pushing Turkey away (sometimes because they are not Christian enough, sometimes because they are not Muslim enough), it's so good to see someone tell a true story.

Yes, secularism is secularism in Turkey, and secularism is entirely different from atheism. And Islam is Islam - something sacred and private, not just something people shout about. And Turkish education is a universal education (in schools in Turkey, religious education consists of Islam, Christianity, and other religions).

The Turkish Army always has advocated democracy. The Turkish people love and trust their army more than their politicians - which the European press always ignore.
Diren Yardimli
Istanbul, Turkey

Economist tallies cost of Israel to US

In response to the Dec. 9 column (Work & Money) "Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US": In David Francis's column, you refer to the Stauffer study as being "commissioned" by the US Army War College. This is misleading.

The US Army War College cosponsored a conference on US-Arab relations with the University of Maine. Dr. Stauffer was invited by the conference organizer from the University of Maine. The conference was held in an environment of academic freedom: Participants were selected for their credentials rather than their political perspective. The US Army War College had no prior knowledge of or role in the development of the content of his paper.
Steven Metz
Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
Director of Research, US Army War College


The value of pen and ink

Regarding your Jan. 8 article "The write way to honor John Hancock's legacy": Thank you for this wonderful article. Today, sadly, I find myself using the computer for most letter writing, but do use pen and ink often. A handwritten note or letter is always much more appreciated - it's certainly more personal. This article should be read and acted on by all teachers through high school. Think what a difference it would make.
Dorothy Merrill Whitney
Portland, Maine

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. We can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

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