Washington Times Prints Letter of AHI Chairman Marketos

Washington, DC- On October 22, 2005, The Washington Times published AHI Chairman James Marketos’ letter to the editor, on page A12, responding to Osman Ertug’s article “New ambassador, recurring issues.” The text of the letter appears below, followed by The Washington Times article to which the letter responds.

The Washington Times
October 22, 2005

'Good sense' on Cyprus

Osman Ertug complains in a letter published Oct. 9 that the new Greek ambassador's expression of hope for a "functional" solution to the Cyprus problem is just a "code word ... for Greek Cypriot dominance over Cyprus." Mr. Ertug is mistaken and does a disservice to the ambassador, Alexandros P. Mallias.

Cyprus is a difficult problem. The solution must not only strike a delicate balance between majority and minority rights in an ethnically divided island, it also must have a realistic chance of working. Otherwise, the "solution" will just provide new ways to reignite the old grievances.

Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected the Annan Plan. Why? Because it was unworkable. One glaring example among many is that it would have allowed an 18 percent Turkish Cypriot minority to veto key legislative and executive decisions. This flaw portended endless squabbling and deadlock.

The search for a "functional" solution is no code word. Just good sense. The solution that eventually unifies the island and brings lasting peace must not only be just. It also must be viable.


The Washington Times
October 9, 2005

New ambassador, recurring issues

I would like to congratulate Ambassador Alexandros P. Mallias for taking up his duties as ambassador of Greece to Washington (World, Embassy Row, Thursday). As Turkish Cypriots, we are glad to note that Greece supports the unification of Cyprus, as we do. I would like to observe, however, that the term "functional" he uses in the context of the search for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue is a code word used by Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos (who rejected a settlement last year) for Greek Cypriot dominance over Cyprus. As employed by the Greek Cypriot leadership, the argument of "functionality" is a negation of the concept of political equality and consensus-building in a bi-communal bi-zonal federation sought by the U.N. plan for a Cyprus settlement.

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

For more information about the American Hellenic Institute in Washington, D.C., contact Georgia Economou, Director of Public Relations for AHI, at (202) 785-8430 or at georgia@ahiworld.org, or visit the groups' website at http://www.ahiworld.org. AHI was founded in 1974 following Turkey's illegal invasion and occupation of 37.3% of Cyprus. It is a membership-based organization with members throughout the nation. AHI's core mission is to promote American values and the rule of law in U.S. foreign policy and to strengthen relations between the U.S. and Greece and Cyprus as being in the best interests of the United States. It conducts an active program with Congress in espousing and supporting legislation designed to promote American interests in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean and is registered with the Congress under the Lobbying Act. The AHI Foundation is the first think-tank devoted exclusively to the study of the issues confronting the Greek American community. This organization sponsors conferences, seminars and publishes books and other materials on the issues.

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