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Letter to Secretary Cohen to help reinstate Ms. Kavakci PDF Print E-mail
June 19, 1999.
The Honorable William S. Cohen,
Secretary of Defense,
1000 Defense Pentagon,
Washington, DC 20301 - 1000.

Subject : An appeal to help reinstate the ousted Turkish Legislator, Ms. Merve Kavakci. 

Dear Mr. Secretary,

May  the  blessing  of  God  be  always  with  you,  your  family  and  the  United  States.  Amen

Before writing anything on the above referenced subject, I want to say a few words about the situation in Kosova. Mr. Secretary, it is difficult to find adequate words to thank you - a person who so eloquently defended the policies of the Clinton Administration that resulted in the ultimate defeat of the evil forces of Slobodan Milosevic. I have watched your presentations to the Senate, the House and at other places and in every case it appeared to me that you were speaking from the innermost core of your heart. You deeply felt the pain and suffering of the Kosovar Albanians. This was an extra-ordinary and brilliant performance of a decent man, and I  salute you for your efforts  in the cause of humanity. I offer my sincere congratulations to you for a job well done.  Now, please ensure that the Kosovar Albanians are safely settled in their homes, and then they get a chance to decide their future under the supervision of  NATO forces and UN.       
I am sure you may have read or heard about a young woman Legislator, Ms. Merve Kavakci, who was elected to the Turkish Parliament in recent elections, but was not allowed to take oath of the office because she appeared in the opening Session in a Muslim head scarf. I never met Ms. Kavakci when she was living in the Dallas area, and most of the things I know now about her were learned through the news media.  Rarely has a head scarf caused such a political uproar in a Muslim country. The strong reaction by Government officials to this apparently trivial matter is difficult to understand because she has been wearing her head scarf throughout her life and also during the election campaign, but nobody raised any objection to it, but the situation changed dramatically after her election. It was Ms. Kavakci's first career move in politics, and she was looking forward to focus her energies on women's issues. In most cases people are helpful and sympathetic to some one who is starting a career, but the young lady finds herself in a helpless situation in her country of birth. Ms. Kavakci deserves the support and encouragement of world leaders at this nascent stage of her career. I seek your help to restore her rights to the Turkish Parliament.   

Dear Secretary Cohen, I decided to appeal to you  because it is the Turkish military that has precipitated this crisis. Ms. Kavakci  poses no threat to the secular order in Turkey, and the Turkish generals are worried without any solid reason. Women's problems, particularly in the developing world, are enormous and they present a special challenge for a young woman like Ms. Kavakci who is determined to make a difference.  It will be appreciated if you could  privately speak or write to the Turkish Defense Minister  and help Ms. Kavakci to obtain her freedom to fulfill the obligations to her constituents. Anyway, I leave it up to your wise judgment to find the best way to help in the solution of this problem.  I know Ms. Kavakci  will be eternally grateful  for your efforts in this matter. Thanks and best regards.


Mr. M. Khaliq Qureshi,
1317 Shamrock Lane,
Plano, Texas 75093.
Res. Tel. (972) 380 - 5106


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