America's Double Standard on Turkey

The front-page article "Turkey Smites US-Led Effort to Aid Iraq's Exiled Kurds," April 11, states that the American mission to protect Iraqi Kurds from Saddam Hussein's wrath faces Turkish hostility and is unwelcome in Turkey.

It's ironic that on the one hand the United States wants to protect the Iraqi Kurds, and on the other hand it turns a blind eye to the plight of the Kurds within the Turkish border.

The atrocities and ethnic cleansing committed by Turkey against the Kurdish minority are well documented by international human rights groups.

In addition to the persecution of the Kurdish minority and the violation of the human rights of its citizens within its borders, Turkey is an aggressor state which has occupied Cyprus since 1974 in violation of the principles and objectives of the United Nations charter.

Turkey's invasion of Cyprus created more than 200,000 refugees.

Turkey still refuses to account for 1,600 missing Greek Cypriots, among them five American citizens, who were taken prisoner at gunpoint during the invasion and have since vanished in Turkish prisons.

The United States should not apply a double standard. The US shouldn't continue its support of Turkey without requiring it to comply with international norms.

Turkey should be required to withdraw its forces from occupied Cyprus and to respect the human rights of its Kurdish population. Conditions essential for peace and stability in the region should be consistently imposed on all parties.

Athanasia Gregoriades

New York

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