Monday, October 18, 2004

The Cyprus problem

While I agree with the main point in “Turkey’s EU bid devalues island” (World, Friday) that “the Cyprus problem” may not enjoy the same level of international attention in the future, I do not agree that it is “Turkey’s EU bid” that is causing it. Furthermore, I find the writer’s references to “a nation illegally occupied by Turkish forces” and “the 1974 invasion” factually incorrect and misleading.

The legality of the Turkish intervention of 1974, in accordance with the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960, cannot be disputed. Even the Athens Court of Appeals, in its decision No. 2658/79 dated March 21, 1979, conceded the legality of the Turkish intervention.

The presence of Turkish troops in the Turkish Cypriot part of the island moreover is a deterrent that has kept the peace between the two sides since 1974 and cannot be characterized as an “occupation.”

What is causing frustration and consternation in international circles with respect to the Cyprus issue is not Turkey’s long-standing European Union aspirations, but the rejection by the Greek Cypriot side of the U.N. efforts for a settlement, the most recent instance of which is the rejection of the Annan plan in the referenda of April 24.

So long as the Greek Cypriot leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, continues to treat the issue as a question of “invasion and occupation,” rather than an exercise aimed at establishing a new partnership with the Turkish Cypriots on the basis of political equality, the Cyprus problem is likely to continue to occupy the international agenda, whether on the front or the back burner.



Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus


Electoral victory in Afghanistan

The mainstream media treated it in perfunctory fashion, but the people of Afghanistan voted for the first time in their lives earlier this month (“Afghan, Australian antiterror votes,” Editorial, Oct. 12). To President Bush’s credit, this election went off rather quietly. The biggest confusion must have been for the millions of Afghan women. Prior to the liberation of Afghanistan, women had virtually no latitude over even the clothes they could wear.

It could be said that the election in Afghanistan was even more of a success than our last presidential election. That’s because the losers only complained for four days.


Montpelier, Vt.

Don’t blame doctors

Apparently Jai Singh does not realize what it takes to become a doctor (“Doctor compensation: Do no harm,” Letters, yesterday), especially one in a specialty. By the time a doctor is in a position to start making money he has invested eight to 12 years of schooling, completed an internship and invested in office and other medical equipment.

In order to get into medical school, a student has to be one of the most intelligent people in his class. Today, instead of going to medical school, it makes more sense for a person to consider law.

Rather than begrudge a person in the medical profession making $200,000 per year, why not look at why malpractice insurance is going up to $150,000 per year.

Instead of blaming the doctors, put the blame where it belongs, on the greedy lawyers. If it was not for the number of lawyers protecting their own practices and that of their friends in the Maryland legislature, this problem could be solved.

Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich has proposed such a step, only to be blocked by the legislative lawyers. Not until we get people in the legislature that are interested in the people of Maryland instead of their own personal greed will we have a solution to this problem.


Silver Spring

U.N. not ‘folding its hands’

Nat Hentoff’s piece “The U.N. is hopeless” (Op-Ed., Oct. 11) pours scorn on action taken thus far by the international community with respect to Darfur.

Secretary-GeneralKofi Annan has left no stone unturned in calling for urgent action. His report recommends that not only should the African Union (AU) force increase in size, but also go beyond its monitoring function to protect civilians.

Mr. Annan has urged all member states and organizations with the necessary logistical and financial capacity to do whatever they can to make the deployment happen as quickly as possible.

His special envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk, met in late September with senior European Union officials in Brussels to urge additional support and financing for the AU mission, given their lack of capacity to deploy rapidly.

Leaving aside the argument of whether a massive international intervention force is the most effective instrument in the Darfur case or not, the reality is that there is no standing United Nations rapid reaction force and the organization has to rely on member states to field troops.

An enhanced AU force with support and funding from donors continues to be the most viable option in this case.

The commission of inquiry created at the behest of the Security Council is required to determine whether or not acts of genocide have taken place. The panel led by Antonio Cassese of Italy is also mandated to identify the perpetrators of any acts of genocide “with a view to ensuring that those responsible are held accountable.”

This is not a case of the United Nations “folding its hands.”


Director of communications,

Executive office of

the secretary-general

United Nations

New York

Nepotism in Maryland?

It is most unfortunate that Allan Kittleman was chosen to succeed his father in the Maryland Senate (“Son a successor,” That’s politics, Metro, yesterday). Hereditary office was supposed to be done away with when we freed ourselves from the British aristocracy.

“Experience has shown that the hereditary branches of modern governments are patrons of privilege and prerogative, and not of the natural rights of the people,” Thomas Jefferson once said. Do we want our Senate to be like the old British House of Lords?

Maybe Gov. Robert Ehrlich is not aware of the Maryland Declaration of Rights Article 42, which states that, “No title of nobility or hereditary honors ought to be granted in this State.” A seat of office is certainly a hereditary honor that should not be granted.

Voting to transfer a seat of authority from father to son shows a complete ignorance of the principles upon which this country was founded and a lack of knowledge about our own state constitution.


Pasadena, Md.

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