Turkish Military Perceived in Wrong Light

The editorial ''Too Much Understanding,'' March 21, is inaccurate and misleading. Allow me to set the record straight:

* The ''Turkish military'' is not engaged in a ''war against Kurds.'' It is against the PKK, a Marxist-Leninist terror organization. This critical distinction between the Kurds and the terrorists is often overlooked and repeatedly resurfaces throughout the editorial.

* The assertion that the ''Kurds ... have few rights in Turkey'' couldn't be further from the truth. Our Kurdish citizens enjoy equal rights, privileges, and responsibilities as all other citizens in Turkey.

* The latest Turkish offensive against the PKK camps based in northern Iraq is meant to immobilize those terrorists. Again, this does not constitute ''attacks on Kurds under UN protection.'' The Iraqi Kurds enjoy United Nations protection through Operation Provide Comfort, which is conducted from Turkish territory with Turkey's permission.

* The press, whose whereabouts the editorial questions, is in fact reporting extensively from northern Iraq during this latest Turkish operation.

* The charge that ''874 Kurdish villages were torched, and 1 million Kurds cleansed'' is also misleading. It is in fact a piece of propaganda promulgated by the PKK to disguise its own campaign of destruction.

* We would expect and certainly appreciate the ''understanding'' of the United States in this matter because our fight is against terrorism.

* The ''cluster bombs'' sale referred to in the ''Human Rights Watch'' report simply does not exist.

Contrary to what the editorial asserts, ''multiethnic rights'' do exist within Turkey's sound democratic system. The press should print only the truth and not let itself be used as an instrument of propaganda for some fringe groups.

Nuzhet Kandemir, Washington Turkish Embassy, Ambassador

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