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Repy of Jonathan Sugden, Noveber 9,2001

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November 9, 2001

Dear Mr. Karakostas
Thanks for your emails- sorry for my tardy reply.
Re: threats and problems encountered by the Greek minority in Istanbul. As I mentioned
before, leading members of the Christian minorities in Turkey have told me that they find that
high priority campaigning by international human rights organizations can be counterproductive.
I have not been approached by members of the Greek minority. I have a large program of work
on Turkey, and the fact that the community have chosen not to ask us to investigate their
problems is certainly a factor which contributed to the decision not to include the issue in
work this year. The letter you attached is certainly very alarming. I will contact the Patriarchate
on my next visit to Turkey in order to ask whether they would like to have a meeting. In the
meantime, it would be interesting to know how the EU department dealing with enlargement,
for which commissioner Verhuegen is responsible, are handling these issues. I will take it
up with them in my next contact, but you may want to take this up with them separately.
HRW has taken up issues concerning the Greek minority, and will continue to do so whenever
we believe we can do so effectively. Our decision would be influenced by what we hear from the
minorities themselves.
Re: Abdulhalim Dede. He was a recipient of the Hellman-Hammett award, which is not HRW
money or awarded by HRW, but HRW does do the administration connected with the fund
(hosting meetingss of the selection committee, handling dispatch etc.)
You may be interested to know that at the moment HRW is under daily attack by Turkey's
leading columnist in the leading daily Hurriyet concerning the HH award. I attach the text of
of Emin Colasan's opening attack.
HRW has taken up issues concerning the Turkish minority in Western Thrace, and we will
continue to do so whenever we believe that we can do so effectively. Our decision would be
influenced by what we hear from the community themselves.
Re: the question of the Greeks of Northern Cyprus and the disappeared: these are topics which
are the subject of various UN mechanisms, and will unquestionably be included in negotiations
concerning the candidacy of Cyprus and Turkey. To my knowledge, the situation of the Greeks
of Northern Cyprus is closely monitored by the Cypriot and Turkish governments, as well as by
the UN. I do not believe that HRW would be able to add to their protection at this stage.
Best wishes, Jonathan Sugden


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