AHI SENDS LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH REGARDING TURKISH PRIME MINISTER'S VISIT TO THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON, DC—On January 23, 2004 AHI general counsel Gene Rossides sent a letter to President George W. Bush in view of Turkish Prime Minister’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan visit to the White House, on January 28, 2004.
The full text of AHI’s letter to President Bush follows. For additional information, please contact Angeliki Vassiliou at (202) 785-8430 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.
January 23, 2004
I write regarding your forthcoming meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on January 28, 2004. In view of this meeting we take the opportunity to address certain issues that are important for U.S. interests in the Southeastern Mediterranean.
Mr. President, with regard to Cyprus, it is in the best interests of the U.S. to:
Mr. President, there is a misconception regarding Turkey and its role in the Southeastern Mediterranean. The realities of the post September 11th environment clearly dictate a change of policy towards Turkey.
First, Turkey has proven to be an unreliable ally many times in the history of U.S.-Turkish relations with most recently, by Turkey’s refusal on March 1, 2003 to help the U.S. open a northern front against Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. Given its unreliability as an ally, Turkey should not be granted any different treatment than France or Germany on this matter. Hence, we do not believe that Prime Minister Erdogan should have been accorded a White House visit in view of Turkey’s refusal to help the U.S. in the war in Iraq. Besides, Turkey aided the Soviet military during the Cold War to the serious detriment of U.S. interests.
Second, the use of the Turkish political model to promote democracy in the Middle East is unrealistic for two main reasons: (1) Turkey lacks the political legitimacy in the Arab world to serve as a "model." The Iraqi Council’s opposition to accept Turkish troops on their soil proves this. (2) Turkey is not a democracy. Freedom House rates Turkey as only "part free." It is a military-dominated state which violates human rights and the rule of law. The repression of its Kurdish minority, the invasion of Cyprus, the illegal blockade of Armenia and the continuous violation of the Greek borders, are examples of Turkey’s aggressive action in the past decades, not to mention the threat they pose to the Kurds in northern Iraq. Turkey is a threat to its neighbors and uncritical U.S. support only exacerbates the situation and fuels instability in the region.
For the above reasons Mr. President, we ask you to reconsider and reevaluate Turkey’s importance to U.S. interests and raise the above issues during your meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan on January 28.
AHI Sends Letter to president Bush regarding Turkish Prime Minister's Visit to the White House