Letter to The Wall Street Journal, September 5, 1996

Letters to the Editor
The Wall Street Journal
200 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281

To the Editor:

I should not have been disappointed with your Aug. 16 editorial, "Get
Serious About Turkey", because it expresses the thinking of the mainstream
press on the subject, but I was expecting a more pragmatic approach from
your writers.

Is it really detrimental to our interests that the Turkish Prime Minister
approached Teheran? Doesn't it validate what many of our foreign affairs
experts of the last two or three administrations have foreseen and steered
for, i.e. that Turkey's future lies eastwards? To be sure, this seems a
distasteful concept to some Turkish politicians, who (paying lip service
to Ataturk's Western aspirations) would really prefer immediate access to
EU coffers rather than the hard work of playing a leadership role east of

Isn't it preferable having the unpredictable, economically unstable Tehran
regime rely for an important portion of its income upon Turkey, a NATO
ally, rather than see it move towards unanticipated and desperate

This arrangement in the end may be far more preferable than:

1) having Turkish politicians destabilizing the area with useless
and damaging distractions for their voters, like threatening Greek
territorial integrity and keeping an expensive 32,000-strong occupation
force on Cyprus, while

2) embarrassing us and our European partners with rampant human
rights violations and ethnic cleansing campaigns which we have not been
able to credibly reconcile with our values and culture? 

This agreement between two international pariahs with penchants for
transnational aggression may ironically help bring both Iran and Turkey
closer into the western fold by encouraging western ties and dependence by
the former, and providing an economic boost as well as a vision for the
latter, the lack of which has often led to Ankara's unseemly foreign and
domestic policies. 

							Very truly yours,

							George Voryas*

*Mr. Voryas has served as Editor, Deputy Chief and Acting Chief at Voice
of America, Greek Service. 

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