Letter: Turkey's sectarian society

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The Independent Online
From Mr Cengiz Lugal

Sir: Contrary to the criticisms made by Tony Benn and his co-signatories, many people in Turkey, including politicians, are fighting a daily battle to improve both the democracy and the economy.

However, much of the population has yet to be convinced that political reforms and a secular "Western-style" democracy is to their advantage. After all, despite many years of being a staunch ally on the eastern front of Nato and regularly giving full support to "the West", Turkey has seen her application for membership of the EU being overtaken by east European countries with considerably worse records on all fronts. Even the much- publicised customs union is severely limited in scope in order to protect the farmers and various other interest groups within the EU.

Mr Benn is trying to douse a flame for not burning as bright as he would like it to. I would suggest that he and his friends refrain from aligning themselves with any one nationalist movement, and consider how prosperity - and the tolerance and freedom that would bring - may best be taken to each and every citizen of Turkey.

Yours faithfully,

Cengiz Lugal

London, N17