American Hellenic Institute


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November 14, 2003 No. 56 (202) 785-8430


WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hellenic Institute applauds the non-deployment of Turkish troops to Iraq. AHI General Counsel, Gene Rossides, stated: "The non-deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq is a wise decision. AHI, together with prominent Kurdish, Armenian and Greek American organizations, in a joint letter of October 21, 2003, sent to President George W. Bush, had warned the Administration about the implications for the U.S. to send Turkish troops to Iraq. We certainly hope that our voice was a factor taken into consideration." The joint letter states:

"The Iraqi Governing Council strongly opposes Turkish occupation forces in Iraq. Not just the Kurds, but the Arabs, as well, oppose Turkish troops in Iraq. They remember Turkey as the former harsh colonial master for 400 years of Iraq and the Middle East."

With regard to Turkey’s behavior to its minorities and neighbors, the letter states:

"Turkey’s well-documented and continuing ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide against its 20 percent Kurdish minority of 15 million is harmful to U.S. interests in building stability and democratic institutions in Iraq and the Middle East."

"Turkey is an aggressor nation. It has 35,000 illegal occupation troops and 100,000 illegal settlers in Cyprus."

"Turkey’s illegal economic blockage of Armenia prevents aid to Armenia including U.S. humanitarian and pharmaceutical aid."

Given the ethnic cleavages Turkey has created in the Southeastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, the letter warned that "The use of Turkish troops in Iraq will set back our efforts and cause additional problems."

It’s time that the U.S. redefined its relations with Turkey. The issue with the deployment of Turkish troops to Iraq demonstrated that Turkey is not only an unreliable ally, but one of limited value.

For additional information please contact Angeliki Vassiliou at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about AHI, please visit our Web site at

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The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) and its affiliate organizations, the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee (AHIPAC), the American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF), and the AHI Business Network, a division of the AHI, are working together under one roof, to provide a joint program for strengthening United States relations with Greece and Cyprus and within the American Hellenic community.