Turkey Free" [op-ed, May 5], James Glassman laments the European
Union's exclusion of Turkey and blames "opposition from the
Greeks, and from richer Europeans with a racist streak and a fear
of easy immigration."
In contrast to the rosy picture painted
by Glassman, Turkey is one of the most politically repressive
nations on earth. In March 1996, the New York Times cited Turkey
as the country leading the world in imprisoned journalists, ahead
of China and Syria. Imprisonment, torture and assassinations of
Turkey's journalists have earned Turkey the distinction of being
"one of the world's most dangerous countries in which to
pursue a career in journalism," according to Amnesty International.
In 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus, and in a
brutally characteristic fashion ethnically cleansed its Greek
population from 37 percent of the island-democracy's territory,
which Turkey continues to occupy today. Turkey's war against its
indigenous Kurdish population has resulted in between 1 million
and 3 million Kurds being ethnically cleansed from more than 3,000
villages destroyed by Turkish troops, according to State Department
From the authoritarian military that governs
Turkey to the wave of Islamic fundamentalism engulfing it, Turkey
is not "a beautiful bird in a small cage," as Glassman
imagines, but a cesspool of international aggression, government
corruption and deadly political repression.