February 19, 2003

WATERTOWN, MA — The Boston Herald on Monday, February 17, 2002, printed a Letter to the Editor written by Arin Gregorian, Director of the Armenian National Committee of America, Eastern Region (ANCA ER). The letter, edited by the Boston Herald staff, was written in response to the February 11, 2003 editorial, “An alliance on the line.”

Gregorian’s edited letter is included below along with the original Boston Herald editorial. For additional information, please contact the ANCA ER at 617-923-1918 or at

The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.



February 17, 2003

Turkey offends again

Contrary to your suggestion, this is not the first time Turkey put herself in such a dangerous predicament with NATO (“An alliance on the line,” Feb. 11).

When Turkey was merely threatening to invade Cyprus in 1964, President Johnson sent a letter to Turkey stating, “I hope you will understand that your NATO allies have not had a chance to consider whether they have an obligation to protect Turkey against the Soviet Union if Turkey takes a step which result in Soviet intervention without the full consent and understanding of its NATO allies.”

Let’s not pretend Turkey is an innocent bystander in the Iraq conflict. Any opportunity to stifle the Kurdish minority in eastern Turkey and northern Iraq would be to Turkey’s benefit.

Turkey cannot expect the United States or NATO to bail her out when she bullies her neighbors into a corner, particularly when she disregards NATO commitments. Your editorial states, “alliances used to mean something.” In Turkey’s case, however, they don’t seem to mean as much.

– Arin Gregorian, Watertown
The writer is director of the Armenian National Committee of America


An alliance on the line
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

For the first time in the 53 year history of NATO a member nation has requested “emergency consultations” under that treaty. The nation is Turkey, and thus far “old Europe” – as defined by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld – has opted to play obstructionist games.

At stake is the security of a valued ally, an ally that has the geographical misfortune of bordering Iraq.

“I hope that NATO will now realize that they have an obligation to assist a NATO member who asks for help, and Article 4 will produce a solution to make sure that Turkey is not put at any risk,” Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday.

Article 4 provides for consultation any time a member nation is threatened. And for Turkey, which recently granted the United States permission to use its land as a staging area for a possible Iraq invasion, the threat from a furious Saddam Hussein is very real.

Turkey asked its fellow members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to approve the deployment of AWACS surveillance planes and Patriot missile batteries now in Europe to its own borders. They also asked for anti-chemical and anti-biological warfare teams to be redeployed. Sixteen NATO nations – including all of the new Eastern European members – agreed. Only France, Germany and Belgium blocked the proposals.

Their action was, in a word, shameful, clearly designed to punish not simply Turkey, but the United States for having the temerity to protect its own people from terrorism. Alliances used to mean something. Perhaps one day they will again. But this will forever rank among NATO’s sorriest moments.

For Immediate Release
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