Hellenic Electronic Center

Themis Home Page

US should restrain Turkey's generals

by Theodore G. Karakostas
The Financial Times (Letters to the editor), October 16, 1998


Sir, Your coverage of the developing imbroglio between Turkey and Syria ("Generals spoiling for a fight with Kurds' 'protector' ", October 10) fails to address a larger issue: that Syria is only the latest target in an escalating campaign of Turkish military adventurism.

Renewed threats of military strikes against Cyprus, for its purchase of defensive anti-aircraft missiles, recent territorial claims against populated Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, the ethnic cleansing of more than 3,000 Kurdish villages in Turkey's south-eastern region, an attempted coup of Azerbaijanâ's government in 1995, and multiple invasions of northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish rebels since the end of the Gulf War have all set a dangerous precedent of transnational aggression by the Turkish state, a precedent the US and Nato are as responsible for as the generals who still rule Turkey.

For the sake of peace and stability in perhaps the most explosive region in the world, as well as for the sake of its own credibility, the US must restrain Turkey's out-of-control generals as it did in Bosnia through the use of diplomacy, sanctions, or the threat of military intervention if necessary.



back to Action-Press Home Page