Speak Up

Progress in Turkey

I was on vacation in Turkey on Sunday and was able to witness its its presidential and parliamentary elections. Democracy prevailed once again.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the incumbent, was the first president of Turkey elected under the new government system by 52.5 percent of the popular vote. The current ruling party, Justice and Development Party — or AK Parti — won over 42 percent of all votes.

This is a well-deserved victory for both Erdoğan and AK Parti. Since 2002, under AK Parti, the Turkish economy grew more than 5 percent a year on average and the GDP grew from $3,500 to well over $10,500. Turkey paid off debts to IMF and started producing its own high tech weaponry and unmanned aerial vehicles. Manufacturing commercial and military airplanes, as well as automobiles, is in works. AK Parti also fended off two attempted coups in 2007, 2013 and in 2016.

With an established democracy since 1946, Turkey has become the role model and hope for citizens of other Muslim countries suffering from dictatorships, limited freedom and misuse of national resources.

As a Turkish American, I wish the new administration success and progress and prosperity for Turkey.

I am also hopeful that the new system and the election results will provide Turkey and the United States a fresh chance to enhance their relationship.

Mehmet Y. Ulutas, former chair, Miami-Dade County Asian American Advisory Board, Coral Gables

Downward slide

What President Trump is doing to our country, our flag and our freedom is so much worse than “taking a knee.”

Loralee Buchanan,


Potential customer

I hope that enough people support the Red Hen restaurant to a degree that it will open a restaurant in South Florida. Maybe several.

Jeff Haller, Cutler Bay

Try compromise

What’s going on our nation is troubling. Liberals fail to realize that half of the country doesn’t agree with them. The so-called “resistance,” as propelled by former President Obama and others can only lead to a real violent confrontation with the other, fanatical, side.

Seeking that elusive middle ground, in order to keep intact that venerable American principle of compromise is the only possible way out.

Felipe Fernandez


Saudi milestone

I was disappointed to find that, on June 24, the Herald’s coverage of Saudi Arabian women’s newfound freedom to drive was limited to a six-paragraph story on the penultimate page of the news section.

Granted, Saudi Arabia is half a world away and most readers probably found stories about migrant families protesting — and even flamingos — more familiar.

But lifting the driving ban is a big deal, one that deserves more applause from the Western world.

Asra Jawaid,

Coral Gables

Meet and greet

A Colorado baker refuses to make a wedding cake for a gay couple citing his religious beliefs. The Trump administration fully supported him and his right to deny service, saying its a form of free expression protected under the First Amendment.

Now, the owner of a small restaurant in Virginia refuses service to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, saying that she wanted to uphold the standards of honesty, compassion and cooperation. She asked Sanders to leave.

Sanders’ father, Mike Huckabee cried, “Bigotry!” He wrotes the restaurant serves “the hate plate” and the appetizers are “small plates for small minds.” Meanwhile Newt Gingrich responded that those on the left are increasing nasty to those who work for the Trump administration, saying, “Nastiness reflects desperation, not strength.”

Do Americans on the right not see the comparison to the baker who refused service to the gay couple? Was that not bigotry or small mindedness? Do Huckabee and Gingrich not hear the president and the nasty comments he makes almost daily?

If I were the restaurant owner, instead of asking Sanders to leave, I would have invited her to visit the kitchen to meet the workers who are affected by the Trump administration’s policies and to have a short discussion on how the policies affect their lives.

Susan Barnes,


Another take

Give Melania Trump a break and re-interpret the message on her cheap jacket as: “I Really Don’t Care (what my husband says). Do U?”

Bill Silver,

Coral Gables

Deported, with guns

If we send deport Central American asylum-seekers without adjudication, the least we can do is arm them with assault weapons and ammunition so that they can protect their families from violent gangs. American citizens have that right, so why shouldn’t they? We can call the program “Second Amendment for All.”

Sanford J. Smoller

South Miami

Stay in Mexico

Long before refugees from Central America arrive at the U.S. border, they are already in a safe place, Mexico, that even speaks their language. Mexico has a system for admitting asylum seekers. Why, then, do these refugees not apply for asylum there? Why must the United States accept them just because they can have a better life in this country than in Mexico?

Michael Katz,


Zara controversies

In years past, Zara stores have sold swastika bags and Holocaust shirts, for which the company subsequently apologized and removed from the shelves. Melania Trump and her staff should have known of Zara’s sales practices and that her “I Really Don’t Care” jacket would send the wrong message.

Alicia Cubota Smith,

Miami Beach

Too much

I’m afraid this beautiful, livable city is disappearing. Can’t our leaders realize that we have enough of a good thing and focus on fixing current problems?

Did we need American Dream Mall on the edge of the Everglades where traffic is a nightmare when we already have hundreds of shopping and entertainment options? Was it necessary to approve a road extension past the Urban Development Boundary, which will certainly lead to more development? Couldn’t this have harmful effects on the Everglades, sea level rise and our drinking water? Do we need a car race through downtown to lure more tourists? It’s a slap in the face to residents who already deal with Ultra and other events that cause noise and traffic problems.

Stop with all the new deals. Work on solutions for mass transit, affordable housing, flooding and sea-level rise. Help improve and protect what we have so residents can live their best lives.

Melissa Eastridge,

Miami Beach