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Turkey's human rights record

Regarding the Opinion page column "Turkey: Caught in the Vortex of History," July 8: The column is correct that Turkey has positive opportunities in the new Muslim republics of Central Asia as well as with the European Community, and also in its identification of internal threats from both Kurdish separatists and fundamentalist Muslims.

It does not, however, point out that Turkey's atrocious human rights policies contribute to the domestic unrest. The Kurdish minority is driven to separatism by strict curfews, torture, and restrictions of basic freedoms. Our State Department might think it irrelevant, but Turkey's record with regard to its Kurds, students, journalists, and loyal opposition continues to weaken the infrastructure of its society. Demetrios Matsakis, Takoma Park, Md.

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