- The Washington Times - Monday, November 4, 2002

Turkish help not necessary to remove Saddam

Former U.S. ambassador to Turkey Mark R. Parris is way off the mark when he says the United States can't use force to remove Saddam Hussein from power without Turkey ("Heads up on Turkey," Op-Ed, Oct. 28). His stalwart statement "You can't do it without Turkey" is false and even ludicrous on its face. The United States does not need the Incirlik NATO air base in southeastern Turkey for missions against Iraq. The United States has several air bases as near and nearer to Iraq than Incirlik, including the British base on Cyprus and several U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf area as well as aircraft carriers.
The Persian Gulf war proved that the United States does not need Turkey for military action against Saddam Hussein. Mr. Parris conveniently forgets that Turkey refused the use of its air space and Incirlik during Desert Shield from Aug. 2, 1990, to Jan. 16, 1991; refused the U.S. request to open a second front against Iraq (The Washington Post, Jan. 16, 1991); and allowed large-scale smuggling along its 206-mile border with Iraq (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 30, 1990).
It was not until 48 hours after Desert Storm started on Jan. 16, 1991, and the U.S.-led coalition air war had neutralized the Iraqi air defense and air force and had complete air superiority that President Turgut Ozal allowed a limited number of sorties out of the Incirlik NATO air base in order to save face. Only one of 20 coalition sorties, all of them unnecessary, originated in Turkey. The Turkish military and public opinion opposed the use of Incirlik, and Turkey never joined the U.S.-led coalition.
Mr. Parris' main thrusts are to push for economic aid for Turkey, to support Turkey's anti-Kurdish policy and to press the European Union to start negotiations with Turkey despite its substantial failure to meet the requirements that all candidates for EU membership have to meet. The reforms Turkey has enacted to date are minor and fall far short of EU requirements, which include, among many others, putting the military, which controls the government, under civilian rule and removing its illegal occupation forces and settlers from Cyprus.
Regarding Turkey's economic situation, Mr. Parris also omits mentioning that the Turkish military has "tens of billions" in a cash fund (see the article by former French ambassador to Turkey Eric Rouleau, "Turkey's Dream of Democracy," in Foreign Affairs, Nov/Dec 2000). The Turkish military also owns substantial businesses whose value exceeds $100 billion. Before the United States even considers more aid to Turkey, we should insist on the repayment by the Turkish military of the $5 billion debt owed to the United States. The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United States also should insist on the divestiture by the Turkish military of its vast private holdings.

General counsel
American Hellenic Institute

Not quite knaves

Surely The Washington Times didn't think such a complicated jurisdictional affair as the sniper case would be anything but a lottery to execute ("Nobles and Knaves," Editorial, Saturday). How can it be anything but messy? If citizens were given baseball bats and a chance to have at it with these two thugs, undoubtedly there would be arguments about who would get to swing first.
Perhaps The Times' disgust, in naming the prosecutors the Knaves of the week, should be put on hold until this case gets really absurd, such as when Johnnie Cochran or some other opportunistic flim-flam man arrives on the scene.


An island divided

Friday's letter from the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus ("Cyprus and the EU") shows how heavily the Greek Cypriot side relies on international recognition in maintaining the illusion that there is only one people, one government and one state on the island of Cyprus. Yet, in this historic land, where myths and legends abound, the reality is otherwise.
The title of the "government of the Republic of the Cyprus," which the Greek Cypriots usurped by force of arms in 1963 after ousting their Turkish Cypriot partners from the 1960 agreement for the Republic of Cyprus, is but a diplomatic fig leaf for the Greek Cypriot administration. While it would take political courage and foresight to utter publicly that "the emperor has no clothes," several prominent personalities already have attested to the fact that the Greek Cypriot side does not represent the Turkish Cypriots or the whole of Cyprus and that there are two peoples, two governments and two states on the island. For example, American diplomat Richard Holbrooke stated on May 4, 1998: "I think it is very clear and no one has disputed that [President] Glafcos Clerides does not represent or have control over the people of Northern Cyprus." Furthermore, Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini stated at a press conference on Aug. 26, 1997 that "there are two entities, there are two governments in Cyprus and therefore, if the European Union does not recognize this basic fact, in conducting negotiations for membership, then you bump and run into the problem that one of the parties would not accept negotiations going on with only what, in effect, is the Greek Republic of Cyprus."
The fact that the international community in general and the European Union in particular have continued to grant diplomatic recognition to the Greek Cypriot administration in spite of indisputable facts to the contrary is a political act that has nothing to do with the legitimacy of the case or the rule of law. Such legitimacy, in order to exist, has to have the Turkish Cypriots on board. The European Union, by processing the unilateral application of the Greek Cypriot administration for membership, has in fact flouted the rule of law on Cyprus, namely the 1960 Agreements of Zurich and London and, specifically, Article 1 of the Treaty of Guarantee, which states that Cyprus "undertakes not to participate in whole or in part in any political and economic union with any state whatsoever."
If I were in the shoes of the Greek Cypriot officials who boast of having the international community and the European Union on their side, I would instead concentrate on winning the hearts and minds of the Turkish Cypriots by recognizing their equal rights and status in a new partnership. This is the way to reconciliation in Cyprus.

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Market boasts fewer failures than Congress

In his column "Watch this election's Wheel of Fate" (Op-Ed, Wednesday), Tony Blankley declares that "many of America's leading CEOs are being carted off to prison for unspeakable financial crimes," which, in turn, have had a lot to do with the meltdown in consumer confidence.
I beg to differ. I urge Mr. Blankley to get a copy of Cypress Semiconductor Chief Executive Officer T.J. Rodgers' letter to investors that reassured us of the viability and growth of his company, whose stock fell precipitously in value during the summer and early autumn. (It is now on the rise with most other companies.) Mr. Rodgers pointed out that fewer than 10 of the approximately 17,500 publicly held companies on the exchanges have failed. That is a failure rate of 0.06 percent. He went on to mention that this is a better showing than the number of people in Congress who (1) have led bankrupt companies, (2) cannot get a credit card because of their own bad credit and (3) have been indicted on felonies.
Mr. Blankley is too good a commentator to exaggerate about such things, which can only exacerbate the jitters of the average uneducated and ignorant American, who is prone to see the doom side of everything, wring his hands and blame someone else for his problems. Mr. Blankley would do well to listen to a brilliant man of business such as Mr. Rodgers instead of overstating the facts, which hinders the market from healing itself.

Sarasota, Fla.

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