Letter to The New York Times, March 12, 1997

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036-3959

RE: March 8, 1997 Editorial

To the Editor:

While feigning token concern for Turkey's domestic policy of Kurdish repression and widespread human rights violations, your March 8th editorial dispenses with any similar moral considerations when examining Turkey's foreign policy. It is a policy that has proven alarmingly consistent across the different parties, regimes and political systems that have ruled the modern Turkish state; a policy best characterized as one of sustained and premeditated aggression, founded upon a centuries-old heritage of genocides, massacres and nightmarish repression against Turkey's Christian minorities.

Your editorial's statement that "Turkey's [EU application] seems to be unfairly blocked by Greece's bitter hostility and the anti-Muslim prejudices of other European states" is nothing less than audacious, in effect blaming the victim to protect the perp etrator.

Were Turkey to invade and continue to occupy 40% of Long Island, killing, raping and ethnically cleansing 200,000 Americans in the process; were it to have orchestrated pogroms and implemented repressive state policies over the past four decades against 250,000 Americans living in Istanbul, thereby reducing them to a population of 2,000 today; and were it to claim the Florida Keys archipelago as its own, dispatch jet fighters and warships into American territorial waters and repeatedly threaten a US invasion, our government would do far more than simply block the Turks' inclusion into the European Union.

Yet despite the ongoing Cyprus tragedy, the elimination of Constantinopole's Greeks, and Turkey's most recent aggression against Greece's Aegean territories (a few among a myriad of other violations), even a summary review of the record evinces that Greece is almost embarrassingly forbearing in the face of repeated atrocities, violations and other provocations by her expansionist neighbor.

Perhaps this is due to Turkey's gargantuan military machine--the largest recipient of our tax dollars after Israel and Egypt, comprising the largest standing army in NATO after our own. But should our government and our press become co-conspirators to Ankara's deadly aspirations of regional supremacy--by blaming Turkey's very victims to justify its crimes--we wilcloser to relinquishing America's most valuable commodity: our nation's moral integrity.

P. D. Spyropoulos, Esq.


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