AHMP Letter to Rand McNally, October 8, 1995


Ms. Jo Ellen Klein
World Atlas Product Manager
Rand McNally Publishing Group
8255 North Central Park Ave.
Skokie, IL 60076-2970

Dear Ms. Klein:

We were surprised to find inaccuracies in your new world maps concerning Cyprus and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. As concerned citizens as well as clients, we wish to bring them to your attention in the hope they will be corrected in future editions of your maps.

First, Cyprus is depicted as territorially divided between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Because your maps only depict internationally recognized states, it is inaccurate and misleading to include an entity which was created as a result of an illegal invasion and occupation since 1974. When that entity proclaimed independence in 1983, Security Council resolution 550 (1984) explicitly called upon "all states not to recognize the purported state of the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus'" and further exhorted them "not to facilitate or in any way assist the aforesaid secessionist entity." In other words, in so far as the world is concerned, this occupied territory is not a member of the family of states. Depicting it as being otherwise is misleading and may be construed as an implicit approbation of invasion and occupation, which we are certain is not your intention. We believe that a separate name, flag, currency and any other information that lends legitimacy to this entity should be deleted from the map in the interests of accuracy and justice.

Second, you also depict the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as "Macedonia", and display a flag which FYROM has renounced, admitting that it included a Hellenic symbol. This despite the fact that there is an ongoing dispute between Greece, the legitimate heir to the name and cultural heritage of Macedonia, and the breakaway republic. The dispute was partially resolved when that entity was admitted to the United Nations under the temporary designation "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", with a permanent appellation pending the outcome of negotiations between the parties to the dispute (Security Council resolution 817 (1993)). The U.S. Government has recognized the republic under this legitimate, provisional name and every international organization refers to it as such. In so far as the flag is concerned, FYROM has agreed to change it pursuant to the interim agreement signed in New York on September 13, 1995. As of this date, it is still unclear what colors and symbols the new flag will have. We strongly encourage you to observe UN etiquette and depict that republic under its internationally recognized name of "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".

We assume that these inaccuracies were unintentional, but we nevertheless believe their inclusion seriously damages the credibility and worldwide prestige of your company's otherwise sterling reputation. Misinformed maps are inaccurate maps. And inaccurate maps, as you must well understand, are useless maps. We hope you will act promptly to correct these inaccuracies.


Nikos Zahariadis
Professor of Political Science
State University of New York

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