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US: Control Arms in Turkey

Now that reports have begun to surface that Turkish troops are mutilating and executing Kurds as part of an effort to oust the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) from Northern Iraq (''The Kurds Get in Their Own Way Under the Wing of US Protection,'' April 7), we must consider the role of the United States in this conflict.

The US, the No. 1 arms dealer to Turkey, is standing by as we watch the Turks use weapons made in the US to carry death and destruction into northern Iraq. President Clinton can take two immediate steps to rectify this wrong. First, he can reject the petition of Alliant Tech, a major weapons manufacturer in Minnesota, to sell deadly cluster bombs to Turkey. Second, the president should suspend all arms transfers and loans to Turkey until they give the international community a near-term exit plan and date for the removal of their troops from northern Iraq. Mr. Clinton must take steps to help control the arms this nation so freely distributes. Or he could try something even more simple -- just stop selling them.

Scott Nathanson


Peace Action Education Fund

Disarmament Campaign Organizer

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