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One view of the Turkey-Italy extradition scuffle

Regarding "Kurds Take Their Case to Europe" (Nov. 19): Your coverage of the crisis arising from Italy's decision to uphold its own Constitution by not extraditing Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan to Turkey, where he'd most likely be executed, overlooks an important consideration. Turkey has reacted far more like a militant Mideast backwater than a NATO ally.

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Turkey fomented an assault against Italian interests last week that was unprecedented in European Union history, potentially costing Italy billions of dollars. A boycott was launched targeting everything from Italian weapons, clothes, and farming equipment to tires for city buses and electrical household contracts. Even Turkey's association of travel agents announced that Turkish tour operators had canceled their tours to Italy.

Turkey's anti-Italian hysteria reached a frenzy this week as tens of thousands of protesters chanted "Italy terrorist" and burned Italian flags and shoes.

A mob even trampled Italian food for sale in a market, prompting Italy's Foreign Ministry to advise its nationals not to travel to Turkey.

Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini denounced the hysteria as "an aggression against all of Europe." Yet the Italian imbroglio is just the latest swell in a rising tide of Turkish anti-European hostility following Turkey's rejection from EU admission last year.

P. D. Spyropoulos

New York

Executive Director, American Hellenic Media Project

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Looking back at Newt

In the wake of the Gingrich upheaval, I think your reasoned editorial, "The Gingrich Era" (Nov. 9) is on point. As a former Pennsylvania Republican state legislator (and staunch moderate), my own social/political philosophy often was at odds with Representative Gingrich.

However, his grasp of the historical underpinnings of our republic and his vision and enthusiasm were unparalleled. I eagerly anticipated his GOPAC tapes and played them religiously on my weekly treks to the state capitol. His religious conservative ideological commitment I can do without. However, I agree with your statement that Americans may miss his "big picture of the world" more than they know. I count myself as one of those Americans.

Ellen A. Harley

Charleston, S.C.

Somewhat off target

In response to "Who Pays Cost of Gun Violence" (Nov. 11), socialists all over the world are drooling at the prospect of product liability lawsuits against the gun industry - another punch to "evil" corporations, another blow to personal liberty and responsibility in America, and another tentacle of the nanny-state wrapped around our ankles.

Perhaps the citizens of the states where this is happening should organize and countersue the incompetent governments of the cities propagating the gun lawsuits for failing to keep violent career criminals off the streets and behind bars where they belong.

Doug Drake

Auburn Hills, Mich.

Best situation for TV

Regarding the Monitor's recent coverage of television and family viewing habits, I am often amazed that no one ever mentions the most obvious solution to bad programming on TV. Simply turn the set off. I have not watched TV for over 20 years and I am much happier because of it. Nothing could bring me to watch it again because I know it is a drag on my life.

Darlene Poffel

Peck, Idaho

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of submissions, only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to

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