Please find below a letter from the American Hellenic Media Project as published by The Washington Times


Sunday, December 6, 1998

Page B2



Ahmet Erdengiz's Nov. 24 letter, "A Greek usurper goes to Houston," which laments the international community's universal recognition of the Cypriot government to the exclusion of Turkey's occupation regime, is highly misleading. Constitutions are misapplied, histories are contrived and international legal principles are contorted, yet Mr. Erdengiz is unable to obscure what lies at the heart of the Cyprus problem: Nearly 2 decades ago, Turkish forces invaded this European island nation and ethnically cleansed 200,000 of its indigenous inhabitants using terror tactics that involved the killing and raping of thousands of civilians.

Despite the enormous human and economic loss suffered by all Cypriots, Greek and Turkish alike, the Greek Cypriots have been able to achieve one of the most stunning success stories in postwar Europe. In the face of continuing military threats by Turkey, Cyprus has rebuilt itself from its ashes, strengthening its prosperous economy, its dynamic business environment, its progressive democratic institutions and its European Union ties. Is it any wonder that the EU has scrambled for the chance to admit Western-oriented Cyprus to the exclusion of militant Turkey and its breakaway state?

Turkey's occupation regime has trapped Turkish Cypriots in a political and economic black hole, all the while importing Turks from the depths of Anatolia to wrest control from Cyprus' native Turkish population. As a result, as many as half of all Turkish Cypriots have fled their own homeland in search of greater economic and political freedom.

Cyprus is Berlin all over again, with one difference. Rather than taking the side of civilian-controlled governments, pluralistic societies and democratic values, our government has instead decided to ratify invasion, occupation, and transnational aggression in order to sustain an alliance of increasingly questionable significance.

Executive director
American Hellenic Media Project
New York