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The Washington Times Prints AHI Letter
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
July 30, 2004—No.52 (202) 785-8430

The Washington Times Prints AHI Letter

Washington, DC—On July 30, 2004, The Washington Times published AHI President Gene Rossides,’ letter to the editor responding to Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat’s article on Cyprus. The text of the letter follows below.

July 26, 2004

Letters to the Editor
The Washington Times
3600 New York Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20002-1947

[email protected]

Dear Editor:

In his July 23 Commentary Column " Moving Forward on Cyprus," Mehmet Ali Talat, Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (which is recognized only by Turkey), asserts incorrectly that the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is the fault of Greek Cypriots. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots was caused and continues to be caused by the Turkish military’s 35,000 troops in northern occupied Cyprus and the Green Line barbed-wire fence erected by the Turkish military across the face of Cyprus. To contend otherwise is Orwellian.

The opening of parts of the Green Line in Nicosia last year and the more than 1 million crossings by Greek and Turkish Cypriots have demonstrated beyond a doubt that the Greek and Turkish Cypriots can live and work together and that there is no security problem for Turkish Cypriots. Mr. Talat has recently refused the request of the president of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, to increase the number of openings.

The Turkish military made these decisions, not the Greek Cypriots. There is a way for Turkish Cypriots to improve their economic condition. It is not by distorting history and the facts. Instead, Mr. Talat should call on Turkey to remove the 35,000 troops from the island and tear down the Green Line. Do these things now, and the economic conditions in the north will improve substantially. The choice is for the Turkish military and the Turkish Cypriots to make.

Sincerely,

/S/ Gene Rossides
President, American
Hellenic Institute

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For additional information, please contact Vivian Basdekis at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected]. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.