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Make Distinctions on Turkey's Treatment of Kurds

The editorial "Turkey's Kurds," April 3, attempts to draw an unfair and untenable parallel between the situation of the Kurds in Iraq and in Turkey.

In striking contrast to the totalitarian regimes under which Kurds are suffering elsewhere, the Turkish government is a democracy. Every citizen of Turkey is equal, regardless of ethnic or religious background, and has the freedom to preserve and develop his or her language, culture, history, religion, and ethnic identity.

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In the aftermath of the Gulf war, the attention and sympathy of the world focused on the plight of the Kurds in Iraq. In 1988, and again in 1991, Turkey did its utmost to assist Iraqi Kurds fleeing atrocities wreaked by their government.

Nonetheless, the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), a terrorist organization, has called for a general uprising to carve a Kurdish state out of Turkey. Its leader has announced from his headquarters in Syria that he "did not care if 100,000 people died" in the effort. PKK attacks on villages and cities in southeastern Turkey have flared dramatically. The local people are threatened, intimidated and forced to cooperate. Of the PKK's more than 2,000 victims to date, the majority are villagers who refuse to coll aborate.

Turkish security forces have responded with utmost restraint and have taken great care to avoid civilian casualties in combatting this terrorist threat. Turkey's borders are not negotiable and we will not make concessions to terrorism. The media must recognize the difference between the two distinct facets of the Kurdish issue: the humanitarian and the terrorist. Nuzhet Kandemir, Washington Ambassador, Turkish Embassy President Perot?

In the Opinion page article "Ross Perot for US Boss," April 7, the author enumerates various points on which H. Ross Perot would crack down if elected, and he implies that the resulting limitations of liberty would be an assault on the Constitution.

I have no idea whether Mr. Perot would make a good president or not, but I cannot help agreeing with him that we should not take our freedoms to mean that everything is permitted. Camilla Curran, Easton, Md. Jobs or trees?

Thank you for the article "Bush Trade: Redwoods for Votes," March 17.

It's hard to understand why the tree merchants can't learn that it's their own futures they're endangering by immoderate harvest of old-growth timber. And to whine that they're unable to earn a living any other way is ridiculous - other Northwestern people do.

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The author is to be commended for stating the case so well. Mary Mc Murtrey, Walla Walla, Wash. Rain forest ownership

In the Opinion page article "How Best to Save the Trees," April 3, the author wants to sell Malaysia's remaining rain forests to private interest. The author must have foreign timber corporations in mind. Who else could afford to buy?

The author expects these new private owners to exercise good stewardship of their forests or plantations, deforesting and reforesting on a sustainable basis. She believes that protection of timber resources and of the rich natural diversity needed for biological and medical research will result.

The only people trained to exercise wise stewardship of a natural forest and qualified to own it are the indigenous dwellers who live off it and whose beliefs honor it. Alas, they rarely have money or political clout. Kurt Volckmar, Garberville, Calif.

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