Turkey Treats Kurds Fairly

The assertion that Turkey's treatment of the Kurds ``approaches `ethnic cleansing' '' is a serious and dangerous accusation, especially since it is false.

Turkey is firmly dedicated to defending and strengthening its democracy in addition to safeguarding the human rights of all its citizens. In this regard, it is committed to fighting the brutal scourge of international terrorism and ethnic cleansing.

In discussing human rights in Turkey, it is the PKK itself which indiscriminately violates basic human rights. Regarded as a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization by several Western nations including the US, the PKK is engaged in a reign of terror, violence, and intimidation in its efforts to carve a Kurdish nation out of the sovereign borders of Turkey. The PKK kills the very Kurds it claims to represent and serve.

Germany's minister of the interior appropriately stated that the PKK is attempting to spoil the peace and stability of Germany, as well as that of the entire region, under the mask of human rights. The Turkish government is determined to eradicate the PKK's terror within the rule of law.

Furthermore, your implication that ``the arrest in Turkey of eight elected Kurdish members of the Turkish parliament'' is an affront to the rights of Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin is misleading.

The lifting of the immunities of certain members of the Turkish parliament was not an arbitrary decision. Rather, it was a legal, constitutional, democratic process which required a vote by the Parliament. The fact that 100 Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin in the Parliament, representing several different political parties, actually voted to lift the immunities of the members in question proves that this was not a campaign to impede or silence the political rights or representation of Kurdish citizens. Nuzhet Kandemir, Washington Turkish ambassador to the US

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