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AHI Sends Letters To Washington Times Refuting Turkey's Alleged Value In War On International Terrorism
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
October 26, 2001 No. 50/01 (202) 785-8430

AHI Sends Letters To Washington Times Refuting Turkey's Alleged Value In War On International Terrorism

On October 23, 2001, AHI's founder, Gene Rossides, sent a letter to the editor of The Washington Times responding to an article by Andrew Borowiec ("Turkey anticipates benefits of answering America's call," October 5, 2001). The letter refutes, point-by-point, the arguments asserted by Turkish officials and journalists as to Turkey's perceived rise in status following the September 11 events.

Contradicting statements made by Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem, Rossides points out that Turkey is not a front line country in the current conflict as it is more than 1,000 miles away from Afghanistan.

Rossides asserts that Turkish columnist Mehmet Ali Birand's statement that, "Cyprus is no longer on [the U.S.] agenda," is inaccurate and is an attempt to divert attention from the Turkish state's "international terrorism" against Cyprus by its aggression in 1974 in violation of U.S. laws, the UN Charter, the NATO Treaty and international law. In reality, the current crisis will refocus attention on Cyprus and the double standard applied by the U.S. to Turkey's aggression and violations of the rule of law.

Rossides also emphasizes that Turkey's economic crisis is caused primarily by the military-controlled government, the military's vast ownership of businesses, and official corruption. Meaningful economic and political reforms must proceed in Turkey if she is to play an effective role in facilitating U.S. interests in the region.

No benefits should be extended to Turkey at the expense of U.S. values and foreign policy objectives until these reforms are realized. The U.S. must not relinquish long-held positions on human rights based on strong moral roots for the sake of short-term cooperation.

In closing, Rossides urges Mr. Borowiec to investigate:

  1. the Turkish military's vast business holdings and assets in the tens of billions of dollars which should be used now in Turkey's financial crisis;
  2. money laundering and drug trafficking in northern occupied Cyprus; and
  3. Osama bin Laden's contacts in Turkey and his two visits to Turkey on August 28, 1996 and February 17, 1998, during the period of time he was sought by Interpol.

AHI's full letter to the editor is available on the AHI Web site by clicking here.

For additional information, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or [email protected], and visit our Web site athttp://www.ahiworld.org.