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The Washington Times Prints AHI Letter
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
November 28, 2005—No. 100
(202) 785-8430

The Washington Times Prints AHI Letter

Washington, DC—On November 27, 2005, The Washington Times published AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis’ letter to the editor, on page B2, responding to Osman Ertug’s article “Narrowing the split in Cyprus.” The text of the letter appears below, followed by The Washington Times article to which the letter responds.

November 17, 2005

Letters to the Editor 
The Washington Times 
3600 New York Avenue, NE 
Washington, DC 20002

Dear Editor:

Readers of The Washington Times are well advised to separate fact from fiction after reading the November 9th letter from Mr. Osman Ertug on the recent visit to the United States by Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, at the invitation of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and other moves which your correspondent in Andrew Borowiec had presented—very wisely—as moves that “widen the split” in Cyprus.

First, Mr. Ertug rewrites history as easily as he misrepresents it. First, by addressing Mr. Talat as the “Turkish Cypriot President” and, secondly, by choosing to forget that Turkey is the one which perpetuates the division in Cyprus by occupying over one third of this sovereign country’s territory for the past 31 years. Mr Talat is not the “President” of any country since the rump state he heads is recognized only by Turkey. And his presence here or anywhere in the world will NOT remove or ease the so-called “isolation of the Turkish Cypriots”.

The economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is caused by Turkey’s 40,000 plus armed occupation forces and the infamous Turkish barbed-wire fence-the Green Line.

Mr. Ertug knows very well that Mr. Talat is not authorized and cannot take any decision on the core issues of the Cyprus problem since the breakaway “state” he represents was best described by the European Court of Human Rights as a “subordinate local administration” of Turkey.

It is the withdrawal of the over 40,000 Turkish troops and the over 100,000 thousand illegal Turkish settlers from Cyprus that will help improve prospects for a settlement.

Finally, it is in Turkey’s interests to quickly move to recognize the Republic of Cyprus, a full-fledged European Union member. This will go a long way to helping achieve a settlement as well as facilitate Ankara’s aspirations to join the European Union family.

Sincerely,

Nick Larigakis 
Executive Director 
American Hellenic Institute

Washington Times, The (DC) 
Narrowing the split in Cyprus
November 9, 2005
Section: LETTERS
Page: A20

The Washington Times

It is regrettable that the recent visits to the United States by Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat, at the invitation of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and by four members of parliament, headed by the speaker of the Assembly, are presented as moves that "widen [the] split" in Cyprus ("Turkish-Cypriot visits to U.S. widen split," World, Monday).

Removing or easing the isolation of the Turkish-Cypriots, as it was promised to us before the referendum of April 2004 and as called for by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his relevant report to the Security Council on May 28, 2004, can only help reduce the economic disparity between the two communities on Cyprus and make them more compatible, economically, politically or otherwise. This, in turn, helps improve prospects for a settlement.

One should not forget that one of the principal arguments that the Greek-Cypriot side advanced for rejecting the Annan plan was that it would have to shoulder the economic burden of unification because the Turkish-Cypriots were the poorer community.

Now that the Turkish-Cypriot economy is showing signs of improvement and Turkish-Cypriots find more acceptance internationally for their constructive behavior, the Greek-Cypriot leadership, under Greek-Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, is shedding crocodile tears that such developments "promote divisive tendencies..." The fact of the matter is that it is the rejectionist policies of the Papadopoulos administration, and not the Turkish-Cypriots exercising their rights, that are widening the split in Cyprus and perpetuating division.

OSMAN ERTUG
Representative
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Washington

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