Letter to The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 1999

Please find below:

(1) The longer of two responses by the American Hellenic Media Project (AHMP) to The Wall Street Journal; and

(2) The shorter of two responses by AHMP.


(1)

American Hellenic Media Project
P.O. Box 1150
New York, N.Y. 10028-0008
ahmp@hri.org
www.ahmp.org

Via fax & e-mail: 212-416-2658, 9

(the longer of two responses)

July 2, 1999

To the Editor of The Wall Street Journal:

In its June 30 editorial "Help Turkey help the Kurds", The Wall Street Journal denounces Greece for blocking Turkey's entry into the EU. Your readers should be aware that Greece has not been alone in demanding that Turkey first evolve into a civilized democracy before it is considered for EU candidacy.

Turkey's militarily-controlled government has one of the worst human rights records on earth, having killed five times more dissidents during the past two decades than Pinochet's notorious dictatorship. And this is not counting the thousands of Kurds felled by the Turkish military during its ethnic cleansing of up to 3 million Kurds from Turkish Kurdistan. The International Pen disclosed that Turkey had more writers in jail than any other nation, and The New York Times cited Turkey as the country leading the world in imprisoned journalists ahead of China and Syria.

In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus twice and ethnically cleansed over 200,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes, killing thousands in the process. Within Turkey, over 100,000 Greeks were expelled since W.W.II by government-sponsored pogroms, institutionalized discrimination, as well as terror tactics. In Istanbul, the Ecumenical Patriarchate the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity -- is slowly being asphyxiated as the world watches, and sits idly by.

The neofascist Nationalist Action Party (MHP) doubled its votes in parliamentary elections this April and emerged as the second-largest party in Turkey. A picture hangs in MHP's headquarters with the slogan "Those who lift a hand against the Turk will die like dogs." Through the use of death squads, kidnappings, bombings and other violent methods, the Gray Wolves, MHP's paramilitary arm, are credited with having killed thousands of leftists and other dissidents.

This century began with Turkey's genocide of 2 million Armenians and 350,000 Pontian Greeks, and with its expulsion of 2 million Greeks from Asia Minor. It is ending with Turkey's campaign to destroy its Kurdish minority, and with expansionist threats against Greece that promise to plunge an already explosive region into wider conflict. Why the Journal chooses to cover up for this international pariah while simultaneously denouncing what is by far the region's most democratic and progressive country defies both decency and reason.

Very truly yours,

Theodore G. Karakostas
Associate

_____________

The American Hellenic Media Project is a non-profit organization created to address inaccuracy and bias in the media and encourage independent, ethical and responsible journalism.


(2)

American Hellenic Media Project
P.O. Box 1150
New York, N.Y. 10028-0008
ahmp@hri.org
www.ahmp.org

Via fax & e-mail: 212-416-2658, 9

(the shorter of two responses)

July 2, 1999

To the Editor of The Wall Street Journal:

In its June 30 editorial "Help Turkey help the Kurds", The Wall Street Journal denounces Greece for blocking Turkey's entry into the EU. Yet Greece has not been alone in demanding that Turkey first evolve into a civilized democracy before it is considered for EU candidacy.

Turkey's militarily-controlled government has one of the worst human rights records on earth, having killed five times more dissidents during the past two decades than Pinochet's notorious dictatorship. And this is not counting the thousands of Kurds felled by the Turkish military during its ethnic cleansing of up to 3 million Kurds from Turkish Kurdistan. In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus twice and ethnically cleansed over 200,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes, killing thousands in the process.

The neofascist Nationalist Action Party (MHP) doubled its votes in parliamentary elections this April and emerged as the second-largest party in Turkey. A picture hangs in MHP's headquarters with the slogan "Those who lift a hand against the Turk will die like dogs," and the Gray Wolves, MHP's paramilitary arm, are credited with having killed thousands of dissidents.

This century began with Turkey's genocide of 2 million Armenians and 350,000 Pontian Greeks. It is ending with Turkey's campaign to destroy its Kurdish minority, and with expansionist threats against Greece that promise to plunge an already explosive region into wider conflict. Why the Journal chooses to cover up for this international pariah while simultaneously denouncing what is by far the region's most democratic and progressive country defies both decency and reason.

Very truly yours,

Theodore G. Karakostas
Associate


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