Ties to Turkey

The article ``Turkey takes a tentative step toward Soviet Union by signing trade agreement'' [Dec. 27] suggests that Soviet-Turkish economic relations are a new and tenuous development. Strong and even symbiotic Soviet-Turkish economic relations have been basic to Turkish foreign policy. In the mid-1960s, when the Turkish economy was healthy, its government began to regularly accept substantial installments of Soviet economic aid. Thus, the latest available CIA survey of cumulative communist aid to noncommunist less developed nations ranks Turkey as the leading communist (and Soviet) aid recipient, over second-ranking India. Ironically, India's policy reflects a response to perceived US favoritism towards an Islamic neighbor, Pakistan. Also the nations ranking last and third to last in the CIA survey are, respectively, Cyprus and Greece, which also perceive US favoritism towards an Islamic neighbor, Turkey. George Peters, Chicago As an American who has lived in Greece and Turkey I wish to refute the Dec. 27 letter of E. I. Vardalas. His misrepresentations regarding Cyprus, the Aegean, and the ``righteous reaction and indignation . . . by Prime Minister Papandreou'' demonstrate the bias which colors his thesis that the US government is unfair and discriminatory vis-`a-vis Greece. The facts are:

The US is not building an air base in Cyprus.

The large-caliber land-mounted guns on Greek Aegean islands are in place in violation of international treaties conferring demilitarized status on the islands.

Prime Minister Papandreou praises the Soviets as anti-imperialist, claims identical views on peace as Qaddafi, and asserts that the Korean 007 jet was on a CIA spy mission -- not to mention his anti-NATO and anti-US policies and actions.

Mr. Vardalas doesn't reckon with continuing US efforts to serve the best interests of both Greece and Turkey or with such geopolitical and security realities as Greek population -- roughly one-fifth that of Turkey; its landmass, about one-sixth Turkey's; and its per capita income, more than three times greater than Turkey's.

These disparities go hand in hand with that of Turkey's Army of 820,000, the second largest in NATO (as large as the British, Danish, Dutch, Greek, Norwegian, and Portuguese combined), protecting 33 percent of NATO's frontier with the Warsaw Pact nations, and providing facilities for strategic nuclear warning to the US. Lachlan Reed, Palm Beach, Fla.

In Mr. Foell's otherwise excellent article ``Sorting 1984's history from its trivia,'' Jan. 2, I find his euphemistic statement ``Most Western specialists on the Soviet economy believe ethnic Russian managers fear that the decentralization of economic power eventually could mean yielding control to non-Russian ethnics . . .'' pernicious. That statement reflects a world view common to our educated elite; namely, that the USSR is an innocuous modern multinational federal government of the Indian model, and not the 19th-century type of European colonial empire of the British Raj. If the sentence is rewritten substituting the USSR with the British Raj, my objection will be clear. ``Most Western specialists on the British Raj economy believe ethnic English managers fear that the decentralization of economic power eventually could mean yielding control to non-English ethnics.''

Another objection I have is the word ethnic. In the US as a Ukrainian-American, I am considered an ethnic, but as a Ukrainian in the USSR (neo-Russian Empire) I am a national. The Ukrainian on Ukrainian soil is not an ethnic, but the Russian colonizer is! To put the above concept into the Western historico-cultural perspective, substitute Italian for Ukrainian and Frenchman for Russian. Peter J. Piaseckyj, Duxbury, Mass.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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