Please find below a letter by the American Hellenic Media Project (AHMP) as published in The Washington Times:


Wednesday, April 1, 1998

Page A16


The real cause of Cypriots' irreconcilable differences

Andrew Borowiec's March 25 and 29 reports "Cyprus a Threat to EU Growth" and "EU's Growth Stumbles Over Cyprus' Division" wholly misconstrue the source of the Cyprus impasse and thus doom to failure any attempts at resolving it. "Irreconcilable differences" between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and the EU's "tak[ing] in problems that are not its own" are not driving the repercussions of the Cyprus dispute on EU expansion. Rather, Turkey's expansionist policies and their ratification by Ankara's Western benefactors are.

It is the failure of the United States and Europe that has allowed wounds such as Cyprus to fester into larger ones with far-reaching consequences. Problems with EU accession talks are simply one manifestation of a vicious cycle that feeds from the West's continued acquiescence to Turkey's brazen transgressions of international law in Cyprus, the Aegean, Turkish Kurdistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

The State Department's selective enforcement of prohibitions against human rights violations and international aggression with regard to Turkey has unleashed an army of chickens that have been steadily "coming home to roost". Saddam Hussein justified his invasion of Kuwait by explicitly citing the West's abject failure to enforce international law in Cyprus. The West's acquiescence in Turkey's expansionist foreign policy, a course charted by Henry Kissinger and maintained by our State Department, has created an environment of lethal instability in one of the world's most militarized regions, seriously compromising American, NATO and EU interests in the eastern Mediterranean and beyond.

As a result of the State Department's adherence to its Cyprus policy, the United States has been placed in the difficult position of proclaiming itself a champion of democratic values while simultaneously lending its wholehearted support to a nation that flagrantly undermines them. The larger peril to the Balkans' and Eastern Europe's stability stems not from an obstinate Greece or Cyprus, but from an increasingly armed and militant Turkey, Islamic or otherwise. The key to unraveling the Cyprus impasse lies in this realization and not in the continuation of our shortsighted policy of appeasement.

Director, American Hellenic Media Project
New York