Correcting the record on Cyprus

On July 23 The Hill’s Congress Blog posted a response from the American Hellenic Institute’s Nick Larigakis to my op-ed “Hope for a peace settlement on Cyprus,” (July 21) on the continued hope for peace and reconciliation on Cyprus with harsh and inaccurate rhetoric (“Response to Turkish Cypriot’s opinion piece”). 

In blaming Turkey for preventing an Anschluss between Greece and Cyprus and saving the persecuted Turkish Cypriot population, Larigakis conveniently neglects to mention the remarks of Archbishop Makarios, who had barely escaped the Greek and Greek Cypriot coupists, made at the United Nations Security Council on July 19, 1974. The exiled leader unambiguously accused Greece of usurping the democratic rights of all Cypriots and attempting to destroy the island’s independence and sovereignty in trying to extend its dictatorship.

It is also worth repeating that Article IV of the international Treaty of Guarantee gave Turkey the standing to intervene, which was confirmed both by the Standing Committee of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Athens Court of Appeal.

Regarding the 2004 U.N. peace plan, it’s clear that verbal gymnastics is not Larigakis’s strong suit. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus leadership backed the proposal as Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented it and the voters endorsed its language by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. In contrast, the Greek Cypriot leadership bad-mouthed the Annan plan; not surprisingly, 75 percent of its population voted “no.”

For the past decade-plus, Turkey has encouraged the Turkish Cypriot people to remain focused on a solution; it is due to the refusal of Greek Cypriot side to accept and remain committed to the past convergences which the two sides spent several years to achieve.

It remains my hope that Greek Cypriot leaders will quit years of obfuscation and once and for all reject those who thrive on conflict and division and instead work with us to create the bizonal, bicommunal federation guaranteeing equal rights for all of Cyprus’s citizens.

From Ahmet Erdengiz, Washington representative for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Say 'no' to nuclear

Aug. 6 and 9 are the 69th anniversaries of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In addition to the 230,000 immediate deaths, there have been untold thousands of deaths from radiation poisoning, blood and brain and other cancers that have and are continuing three generations beyond those horrific events.

When nuclear weapons are used, even beyond the deaths and disease that are caused, the air, water and soil are contaminated and made toxic for many generations, if not endlessly beyond our capacity to determine, causing undetermined death and disease not only to humans but to all living species! There is also a toxification caused at sites where nuclear waste is disposed of or buried causing many of the same disastrous effects and affects.

We must dedicate this anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to a resolve to end the thought of using or making nuclear weapons of any kind and reducing to zero the stockpiles of these weapons that now exist in any and all countries of the world that possess them. To do anything less or to become silent would be behavior that is both intellectually dishonest and morally unconscionable.

Dr. King once said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that [really] matter.” Is this not such a time?

From David Bremenstuhl, Gaithersburg, Md. 

Planned Parenthood's teaching sexual torture

How many parents would be happy to hear that their children are being taught dangerous sexual behaviors, including whipping, cutting, and beating others, or having themselves beaten? How many parents would be pleased to know that our government is paying for such depraved advice?

This is what’s happening in Planned Parenthood, a corporation that gets about 45 percent of its budget from the American taxpayer. Undercover investigations (videos at have revealed that Planned Parenthood uses Americans’ tax money to teach underage kids about BDSM — bondage & discipline, domination & submission, sadism & masochism — as well as encourage them to engage in all kinds of other dangerous sexual practices.

This is the sort of thing people — and especially parents — across the political spectrum should be able to agree on. Even those who laud Planned Parenthood as a healthcare provider should be able to admit that lessons in sexual torture for minors are poor grounds for public money.

But Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers every year, with that number now over half a billion. The organization has gotten millions from the federal government to be a “navigator” for ObamaCare. And the ACA has allocated an additional $75 million in public money for sex education, with Planned Parenthood at the front of the line to receive said funds.

I don’t want to send my tax dollars to an organization that tells young teenagers what porn websites to view online, or what sex shops in town to visit. I don’t want to fund “counselors” who encourage children to develop pornography habits and teach them how to hide Internet browser histories from their parents. And I bet that tens of millions of parents across the United States feel the same way.

There are plenty of organizations out there who provide valuable services and care to women and children — without partaking in the sort of dangerous and alarming activities going on at Planned Parenthood. I have no interest in my tax money going to an organization like this ... and I’m not alone.

From Katrina Furth, Washington, D.C.