Letter: Instability in Turkey fuels risk of war

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Sir: The remarks of the Turkish Ambassador, Ozdem Sanberk, to Christopher Bellamy (report, 15 January) lend some hope to the Cyprus question.

The establishment in Turkey is sending a clear message that an equitable solution will be sought and that Turkey would like to develop a lasting personal understanding with Greece outside treaty arrangements.

These comments contrast somewhat with those of Tansu Ciller, the Foreign Minister, and utterances made by others involving ancient hatreds. The latter may well be attempts to deflect domestic attention away from government corruption scandals.

I believe the diplomatic olive branches held out by those who are likely to outlive their governments should be seized by the European Union and others, and Greece and Cyprus discouraged from embarking on untimely and unnecessary military shopping sprees.

Failure to do this may well result in a Bosnia-type Nato arrangement being imposed on the island, unwelcome for both communities and weakening the hands of those in Turkey who seek a genuine understanding with Europe. A wider Balkan conflict must be avoided at all costs.


Enfield, Middlesex