Dear Editor, I was pleased to read Simon Jones' comments,in his column last week, about the need for Birmingham to retain its identity against the corporate tide.

While it is good for Birmingham that we now have a wide-ranging food offer and some famous names,it is still to be frank, fairly similar to other big cities such as Manchester, Leeds, Edingbugh and Glasgow.

Meanwhile I notice that our beloved balti - and by that I mean the genuine ones - have become something that the culinary 'connosseurs' have become increasingly sniffy about.

It is a real shame because in reality you cannot beat an authentic fast cooked balti served up sizzling in a bowl accompanied by a doughy naan bread.

So why not celebrate a bit of Birmingham's real culinary and cultural heritage by visiting the Balti Triangle and help keep a bit of Brum's best traditions alive!


Asian Balti Restaurant Association


Why we should listen to the Turkish people

Dear Editor, It was interesting seeing the Queen at the Green Mosque in Bursa, Turkey, the other day. My wife and I were there a few weeks ago.

Another interesting and fascinating place is the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Bursa is also the birthplace of the famous Whirling Dervishes and the museum in that city is amazing.

My wife and I were touring ancient sites in the western part of Turkey and found the people to be very friendly and the culture fascinating. We visited Gallipoli, Ephesus, Ankorra, Istanbul and travelled from the Middle Eastern side of the country to the European side of the country.

It was like being in an alternative universe at times.

Their history and culture goes far beyond ours and Western Europe, and they were making decisions about world affairs when we were all beating deer over the head to make dinner.

We visited many other interesting sites and met New Zealanders, Australians, Americans and many other nationalities. It is the land where St Paul and St Peter had much influence and in many respects could be classed as an alternative Holy Land. It is the cradle of civilization and learning and where the first alphabet was born.

One interesting discovery was that the people have no interest in joining the EU, but, as usual, their government does. The nations exports and economy is booming and the people are doing well.

There is no desire to change things in Turkey, and yet the British in their wisdom, think by sending the Queen over, all will change and they will be seen to show support. I say leave the Turks alone and listen to their people, not their government.

IAN PAYNE by email


We must back only solution to Iran crisis

Dear Editor, I read today's article by Lord Corbett (Birmingham Post, May ?) with great interest. His analysis of the situation surrounding Iran is one that should be supported as the only positive solution to what is each day becoming an increasingly deepening problem.

The Iranian regime's destructive measures in Iraq and the wider Middle East are clear, but the solution now offered by Iran's opposition, the PMOI has not been as widely covered.

The PMOI offer a real hope for democratic change in Iran, as the largest and most well organised opposition movement. After the UK court decision, we must now support the PMOI and its ideals for a free and democratic Iran. Congratulations to Lord Corbett and The Birmingham Post for highlighting the only solution to the Iranian crisis.



Short memories for Conservatives?

Dear Editor, Conservative MPs have been making a great noise about the need to compensate people who lose out as a result of the Government's decision to double the 10p income tax starter rate.

Have they forgotten that in June of last year they failed to support a compensation package which was proposed by the Liberal Democrats? Only one Conservative MP supported the compensation package and he has since resigned from the party. Do Conservative MPs have such short memories?


LibDem, Springfield ward