Regarding the Aug. 16 editorial “A better way to use U.S. leverage”:
If we’re considering ways to increase U.S. leverage over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, why not publicly demand that he remove all Turkish forces from Cyprus? The occupation of one-third of Cyprus since 1974 by roughly 30,000 regular army Turkish troops has been a persistent stumbling block to resolving the thorny Cyprus problem. Of late, the island’s continuing division has given Turkey unjustified pretexts for preventing U.S. companies from exploring and drilling for undersea gas in Cyprus’s territorial waters.
Not once since 1974, when the United States deliberately looked the other way as the Turkish army invaded and grabbed one-third of the island, has the United States publicly demanded the withdrawal of the Turkish troops. Doing so now would not only atone for U.S. complicity in causing Cyprus’s division in the first place but also expose the injustice of Turkey’s recent interference with U.S. commercial interests in the region. The United States can increase its leverage over Mr. Erdogan by announcing publicly that it is time for the Turkish army to leave Cyprus.
James Marketos, Washington