- The Washington Times - Monday, July 26, 2010

Daniel Pipes is wrong to draw a parallel between Cyprus and Israel (“Turkey in Cyprus vs. Israel in Gaza,” Opinion, Tuesday). He apparently is cross with Turkey over the flotilla incident and is reaching for what he believes will hurt that country most, as Cyprus is a national issue all Turks feel strongly about.

No two problem areas in the world are similar, and Mr. Pipes‘ comparison attempt falls flat. Suffice it to quote the ending paragraph of the statement released by the Turkish Coalition of America on the 36th anniversary of Turkey’s intervention in the island, which saved Turkish Cypriots from ethnic cleansing at the hands of Greek Cypriots:

“Despite the absence of an international solution to unify the island of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots have been enjoying peace and tranquillity and have developed strong democratic institutions, world class universities, tourism facilities and able entrepreneurs. In fact, Turkish Cyprus can be a model for other nations in that region on how to cope with hardship within the framework of democracy and respect for human rights.”

The Turkish Cypriots are proud of their independent state and determined to continue cherishing democracy and human rights irrespective of the outcome of current negotiations. Their respect for these values does not go unnoticed by the international community, as the U.S. Department of State’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices attest.

HILMI AKIL

Representative

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Washington