First, it is the Turkish military, not the “Turkish Cypriots,” as Mr. Shanks wrote, that illegally occupies Cyprus. He also did not mention that an estimated 500 churches and religious sites belonging to Christian and Jewish communities have been desecrated, pillaged or destroyed in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus. It appears that the “fine, reputable Turkish tourist agency” that Mr. Shanks described conveniently excluded these sites from his group’s itinerary.
The efforts of the American Hellenic Institute to educate Mr. Shanks about the Cyprus issue and the merits of adhering to the rule of law when traveling to Cyprus seem to have struck a nerve. The law is clear. The legal airports of entry into the Republic of Cyprus, which includes the illegally Turkish-occupied north, are Larnaca and Paphos.
Mr. Shanks has taken an irresponsible position, embracing convenience at the expense of international law — thus allowing a group of highly respected American archaeologists to be used as pawns by a desperate illegal state recognized only by Turkey.
Nick Larigakis, Washington
The writer is president of the American Hellenic Institute.